Part V: The Maymont Arboretum and Tree Experience
Today were continuing our visit around Maymont by wandering through the vast Arboretum which includes thousands of trees and shrubs. I am no tree expert and barely a novice but I love this area. The trees make not only a large area to enjoy but provide a particular feel. In this case it’s similar to English parks which I am familiar.
Maymont was once reviewed as one of the top Arboretums in the country. The original owners of this grand property, the Dooleys, spent their time and enormous resources creating this arboretum and would have been quite proud of that 1986 review by Gordon Tarbox, Jr. According to Maymont, Mr. Tarbox, Jr., the Director of Brookgreen Gardens, “noted that ‘the magnificent tree collection could not be duplicated in one hundred years.’”
The Fall is fantastic here with leaves crunching away under foot and colorful oaks canopied overhead.
The walk out of the Wildlife Habitat is delightfully picturesque with the sheer variety of trees.
All you have to do is look up or down to get the full Fall effect.
At one point while we were slowly taking in the treeline sites, I mentioned to Erika that just around the next bend we should be seeing Winnie the Phoo and Piglet. The trees just had that same wonderfully wild and romantic nature.
As you stroll about the area, it is obvious that there are some amazingly unique trees. Not being an expert, that was all I could immediately tell. The only thing I do know about Sweetgum trees is that they have star shaped leaves thats turn nearly every shade of Fall colering: yellow, red, burgundy, purple and of course green.
According to Maymont, the large acerage is also dotted with “several ‘exotic champions’ including the Blue Atlas Cedar, Cedrus atlantica; Cryptomeria, Cryptomeria japonica; European Vineleaf Linden, Tilia europea and the previously mentioned Persian Ironwood.”
As with Maymont itself, the walkways of the treelined park setting are ever changing with new types of trees and entirely new views.
From afar this tree looks like a typical evergreen but up close we found it’s a wonderfully huge American Holly tree which is native to the East Coast. 30 or more ft tall is my guess. It exudes a grand Christmas vibe.
The Japanese Garden alone is a tree lovers delight. There are so many species and they are perfectly positioned to display as a tree garden in and of themselves.
I especially enjoyed the Cypress or False Cypress trees (as I think they are called) in the Japanese Garden which have long curvy needles for leaves that turn bright Orange in the Fall and then fall off creating a carpet of color!
The Japanese Maples are lovely this time of year.
Oddly I’ve seen more people gathered on the lawn and benches enjoying the arboretum than I’ve seen in the gardens so far. Yet when you visit here you’ll immediately see why. These giant trees and open spaces have the same feel as a large European park. People play frisbee, couples quietly sit under huge outstretched branches and families picnic. It’s the perfect location for a great weekend.
You might ask, why I am featuring the trees? Well, the tree’s throughout the 200 acre park are not only wonderful for strolling under, they are an experience. I was immediately struck at the sheer size and feel of this space and the trees make it a space you want to go live in. Maymont reminds me of Hyde Park in London. It has a similar feel and begs for multiple visits.
I have to recommend a day at Maymont and a long day at that! So far we’ve seen the tremendous Japanese Garden, the Italian Garden, the Wildlife Habitat and Raptor Valley and the Arboretum and yet there is still more…
Join us tomorrow for a very special visit to the Children’s Farm where there are exceptionally cute animals waiting to be petted and appreciated.
- Part I: Maymont Overview
- The National Capital Columns at the U.S. National Arboretum
- Part II: Maymont’s Japanese Garden.
- Part III: Maymont’s Italian Garden.
- Part IV: Maymont’s Wildlife Sanctuary