Thirty years ago, John F. Collins, FASLA, and a dedicated group of faculty built on 75 years of environmental education offered at Temple University Ambler to create prestigious four-year undergraduate programs in Landscape Architecture and Horticulture that have generated dedicated leaders in every field of the green industry.
In practice with his own landscape architecture and environmental planning firm for 25 years prior to coming to Temple, Collins “needed some soldiers,” in the battle to preserve the environment.
“I wanted students that would look at nature, not pave over it. The thing that really excited me was the potential combination of horticulture and landscape architecture,” said Collins in an interview during the 40th anniversary of Ambler as a campus of Temple. “Nationally they had been growing further and further apart. I can’t separate the two. I don’t see them as isolated entities.”
That philosophy continues to this day as the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University celebrates 30 years of landscape architecture and horticulture students during Temple Ambler in Bloom, the Arboretum’s 14th annual garden party and fundraiser, which will be held on Saturday, September 14, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the Louise Bush-Brown Formal Perennial Gardens. Party attire and turf-tolerant shoes are suggested. Register online at ambler.temple.edu/bloom!
“One of the wonderful things about the Ambler Arboretum is the rich history that it shares with Temple Ambler and the connections that our students have to the gardens, which have served as a living laboratory for students for more than a century,” said Kathy Salisbury, Director of the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University. “As this is the 30th year since the establishment of the undergraduate landscape and horticulture programs at Temple, we wanted to celebrate the students and their role in caring for and helping to create these amazing garden spaces in the Arboretum. We’ll be acknowledging our alums with a special flower on their name badges and hear from a few of our notable alumni during the event.”
Temple Ambler in Bloom will also include live music by Fox School of Business alumnus Tyler Hunsberger, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. The beverage sponsor for 2019 is Tannery Run Brew Works in Ambler Borough.
Also returning for 2019 are the popular silent and live auctions featuring unique plants, artwork and experiences. The live auction will include several highly sought-after Temple treasures, including dinner for 10 with Temple University President Richard Englert in Ambler Borough and lunch for six with Provost JoAnne Epps.
“We have some very interesting plants available for the live auction this year, including carnivorous plants and some Amorphophallus titanum, which are being grown in the campus Greenhouse. The Amorphophallus is also known as a ‘corpse flower’ and for good reason — it gives off the scent of a dead body to attract flies and beetles who in turn act as pollinators for the plant!” said Salisbury. “We’ll also have some beautiful botanical artwork available from the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators. Additionally, we’ll have a private guided tour of the Michener Art Museum and a guided tour of Meadowbrook Farm up for auction — and this is all just a small sampling of what we will have available during the live and silent auctions.”
Salisbury said some of the stars of the silent and live auctions this year will be “unique experiences that reflect the activities and research that is taking place at Temple Ambler.”
Examples include a free week of summer camp and a consultation on developing your personal strengths offered by the Office of Non-Credit and Continuing Education; participation in specialized training sessions offered by the Temple University Municipal Police Academy and Criminal Justice Training Programs; and a small business start-up consultation, including logo development, offered by Temple’s Small Business Development Center.
“These are all creative, interactive ways to truly connect to what we are doing here on campus. I think the diversity of experiences really shows that the Ambler Campus and the Ambler Arboretum offer something for everyone,” said Salisbury, who is offering gardening consultations as part of the experiences up for action. Carter van Dyke, ASLA, AICP, founder of CVDA Landscape Architects/Planners and a member of the Ambler Campus Board of Visitors, is also offering “table-top” garden consultations, she added.
Proceeds from Temple Ambler in Bloom 2019 will go towards the maintenance of the gardens and their infrastructure including new signage and plantings.
“Of course one of the primary goals of Temple Ambler in Bloom is as a fundraiser, which helps us complete projects and achieve Arboretum goals. Beyond that, the event is a vital way to connect to the community and get them into and experiencing the gardens — it’s fundraising and friend-raising,” Salisbury said. “I hope our visitors have the opportunity to truly enjoy the beauty of this place, meet new people with similar interests and learn something new about the gardens and the campus. I hope they have a sense of satisfaction that they are directly supporting the next generation of horticulturists and landscape architects while also supporting an important community resource.”
Temple University Ambler has a long history of horticulture, landscape design and environmental stewardship. Established as the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women in 1910 and opened to students in 1911, the campus represents a unique mix of natural and designed landscapes. The gardens serve as excellent outdoor learning spaces for numerous classes and as a source of inspiration for the campus and local communities.
The Ambler Arboretum has a diverse range of learning gardens including the formal perennial garden, an herb garden, a groundcover garden, a native plant garden, a rock wall, a woodland garden, a sustainable wetland garden, an annual trial garden, a green roof garden, a winter garden, a healing garden, a conifer garden, perimeter woodlands and meadows and more than two miles of trails.
The mission of the Ambler Arboretum is to serve as a living, learning laboratory that promotes love and knowledge of horticulture, understanding of the relationship between people and the environment, and an awareness of both the need for and means to achieve greater environmental responsibility. For more information about the Ambler Arboretum, visit ambler.temple.edu/arboretum.
Register Online for Temple Ambler in Bloom by September 7! Consider becoming an event sponsor for Temple Ambler in Bloom and help support the future of the Ambler Arboretum! Learn more by visiting ambler.temple.edu/bloom.