July among the Natives and their glamorous foreign Cousins

2008-2020

Philadelphia, which itself sits in a vast natural park, Fairmount, climbing northwestwards on both sides of one of its two rivers, the Schuylkill 

 

 

 

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The Champion Single Sculls (Max Schmitt in a Single Scull), 1871, oil on canvas, and detail. 

Thomas Eakins, 1844-1916, American. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

  The Schuylkill and its surrounding park is an area of recreation for  metropolitan Philadelphia

 

 

 

is the horticultural center of the country by reason of the thirty parks and gardens in and around it: 

pleasure gardens, research institutes, parks of native plants. 

Increasingly, the focus of these green areas is plants classified as native in light of the catastrophic decline in the number of birds and bird species, insects and particularly bees in the continental USA. 

 

 

 

Franklin Tree (Franklinia alatahama), native

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Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware. Legacy of the Lammot du Pont Copelands

 

 

 

Have been added in the last 40 or 50 years, wilderness areas, preserved by gift of their owners to conservancies with a duty to protect their status. 

 

 

 

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Before Mowing, 2009, tempera on panel. 

George A. Weymouth, 1936-2016.

Private collection on loan to the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania  in 2019

Weymouth, a du Pont heir, student of Andrew Wyeth, was an instigator of the preservation of  wilderness and left much of his own land around the Brandywine Creek to be preserved in perpetuity.

 

 

You can sit and meditate amidst tree branches above a small valley in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia on a half bridge constructed by Martin Puryear.  

 

 

 

Martin Puryear Pavillion in Fairmount Park October 9, 2015-12

Martin Puryear Pavillion in Fairmount Park October 9, 2015-07

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Pavilion in the Trees, completed 1993. Martin Puryear, American born 1941. West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.

 

 

 

This is Lenni Lenape territory.  They are, of course, absent.

Beginning in the 1750s, they were forced out of these their territories to Ohio and then to the far West.

 

 

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Tammanend, Chief of the Turtle clan, chief of chiefs of the Lenni Lenape, c. 1605-1725. 

Statue placed by Philadelphia at Front and Market very near the spot where William Penn set foot on Lenni Lenape land from the Delaware River in 1682. 

The two men, with other Lenni Lenape, negotiated celebrated peace and friendhsip treaties in 1688 and 1692, memorialized in the wampun belt carried by the eagle, representative of the Great Spirit. 

The turtle is Mother Earth.

 

 

 

They left to us the names of trees and flowers;  streams now streets in Philadelphia;  and of rivers and streams which cross the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  And a philosophy of care.

 

 

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The Brandywine River at Montchanin, Delaware

 

 

My sojourn in the United States has been sustained and comforted by this rich natural and cultivated environment. 

 

 

 

A small sample of plants which flower in  July

 

 

 

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Stokes aster, a native

 

 

 

Milkweed (Asclepia)

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Swamp milkweed (Asclepia incarnata)

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Milkweed at Mt Cuba, Hockessin Delaware

 

 

 

Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus)

To my knowledge, there is only one hibiscus native to the east coast of the US 

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Hibiscus moscheutos, Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

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A cultivar of Hibiscus moscheutos in a garden in Philly

 

a modest flower compared to her  glamorous Asian kin which here have to be overwintered indoors to survive.

These are a few from the collection in the conservatory at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

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in a garden in Philly

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Conservatory of Longwood Gardens, legacy of Pierre S. du Pont

 

Perennials 2015-19

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The Painted Lady  (Cynthia Vanessa Virginiensis) on a spike gayfeather. 

All plants but one are native at Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware 

 

 

Sneezeweed (Helenium for Helen of Troy) has perennial varieties native to the eastern US.  Its dried, ground leaves were formerly the main ingredient of snuff. 

These were bred for study at Mt. Cuba, Hockessin,  Delaware

 

 

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At Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

 

 

 

 

 

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Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), Jenkins Arboretum, Devon, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

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Indian Pink (as in pinking shears), Mt. Cuba, Hockessin,  Delaware

Culver’s Root, native herbaceous perennial

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Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

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In a garden in Philly

 

 

 

Native Clematis 

 

 

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Three varieties of native clematis, Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

 

 

 

 

which cannot compete for size or elegance with their commercially available Asian cousins

 

 

 

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Asian clematis, Winterthur, Delaware

 

 

 

 

The native orchid, here one of several native species, growing in the Pine Barrens, New Jersey, cannot compete either

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Pine Barrens, New Jersey.

  These orchids will die if picked and planted elsewhere for lack of the spores on which their growth depend.  Nor is it just one species of spores.

 

 

 

with their overseas cousins, many of whom make up the collection of 2200 species at Longwood Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

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The Orchidarium at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania displays  orchids in bloom year-round 

 

 

 

 

 

Native Bee Balm (Monarda)

 

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at Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

 

 

 

 

Coneflowers (Echinacea), sunflower family, with many perennial, native varieties under study at Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

 

 

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A monarch feeding

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At Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

 

 

 

 

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Native bottlebrush buckeye in Stoneleigh, Villanova just outside Philadelphia,  legacy of Otto Haas and his family

 

 

 

 

 

Phlox, a native flower

 

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Joy 2-03

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At Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

 

 

 

 

 

Native Summersweet, sweet pepperbush, (clethra alnifolia)

 

 

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Pine Barrens & Native Orchids August 2015-25

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The flower of the fragrant, native Summersweet bush. 

Such potent fragrance that in the protected New Jersey Pinewoods where there are mature bushes, I thought I should stop the car before I drove off the road for the transporting headiness I felt.

 

 

 

 

Native Southern Magnolia, (Virginiana, grandiflora)

 

 

Southern Magnolia Mt. Cuba June 2015-1

Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware, espaliered

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Photo from the net

 

 

 

 

 

Native, carniverous Pitcher Plants (Saracenia) with dazzling biomechanics to invite, trap and devour insects

 

 

 

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the home of these Saracenia is the bank of one of three bodies of water created by the Lammot du Pont Copelands at Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

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Early autumn, Mt. Cuba, October 1, 2015-06DSC03828

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Autumn 2015-09

at Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

 

 

 

 

Sunflowers (Helianthus), native to the south-western US, naturalized across the country

 

 

Sunflower, Warrington. June 2015-1

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growing in Warrington community garden in West Philadelphia

 

 

Native Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus Angustifolius)

 

 

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Keeping company with the Saracenia, Mt. Cuba, Hockessin, Delaware

 

 

 

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Deep shade in July, Winterthur, Delaware

 

 

 

 

 

 

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