This is a big week at Cylburn Arboretum. Located off of Northern Parkway, this green oasis is increasingly enjoyed by both city and county residents. In recent years, the Cylburn Arboretum Association has connected nature with art through exhibitions in the Vollmer Center, programs for adults and children and an artist-in-residence program.
Cylburn’s first artist-in-residence, Patricia Bennett opens her exhibit of paintings done during her past year there. Well-known as an event painter, Bennett has also produced an impressive series of Impressionistic paintings of the gardens. An opening reception takes place Friday, November 1 at 5:30 p.m. The show continues through the weekend, then November 5-7.
A new effort begins Sunday, November 3 at 2 p.m. with the Arboretum’s first book talk and signing. In cooperation with the Ivy Bookshop and Timber Press, author Laura Burchfield will speak and show excerpts from her newly released book American Home Landscapes, A Design Guide to Creating Period Garden Styles.
I’ve been working to replant the gardens around the 1922 Roland Park house where I grew up and live. Not until I saw the Timber Press book did I realize what a period garden we still have. Essential elements of American, Colonial Revival gardens from 1900-1930 include: symmetry, balance and a central axis, geometric beds, a picket fence, old-fashioned flowers.
In Roland Park, fences were originally permitted only in limited form, never in the front yard, because of the Olmsted design principal of low hedges instead of fences. At our house, however, the second owner was granted an exception to the architectural restrictions, because he thought Cold Spring Lane was too busy. If only he could see it now. Boxwoods were used for the front border, but along the sides and back, he installed brick pillars with sections of square, white spindles in between.
No flower garden was in front or along the sides, just more boxwoods and a long lilac border on the east side and privet hedge on the west.