April’s Bloom Where You Are Planted Edition
Photo by Paul W. Meyer
Our History at Home offerings typically sprout from history and architecture. Today, and once every month, we offer a conservation cornucopia from the Conservancy and some friends on trees, gardening, and stormwater management. We hope to help you “Bloom Where You Are Planted.”
April – Yoshino Cherry
by Paul W. Meyer, Conservancy Board Member and
Morris Arboretum’s Retired F. Otto Haas Executive Director
Yoshino Cherry – Prunus x yedoensis
Flowering cherries, sakura, have been an important part of Japanese culture for centuries. They symbolize the coming of spring and the renewal of life. In Japan each year, when they reach their peak of bloom, work life pauses, and people flock to the parks to eat and drink under the strikingly beautiful cherries.
There are many species and many hundreds of cultivated varieties of flowering cherries.  The Yoshino cherry is considered to be among the most beautiful and floriferous. Its flowers open pale pink and quickly fade to pure white. In Japan the ephemeral nature of the flowers are considered to be part of its magic. The origin of Yoshino cherry is not known, but modern gene sequencing has confirmed that it is a hybrid, probably of natural origin. For centuries, this hybrid has been cherished and widely planted in Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
In the 19th century, the Japanese flowering cherries were admired by western visitors and introduced slowly to the western world. In 1912, over 3,000 flowering cherries were sent as a gift of friendship to the people of the United States from the people of Japan.  Though this gift contained a number of varieties, and Yoshino comprised well over half of the shipment. These were mainly planted around the Washington D.C. tidal basin. Today, Yoshino cherry continues to predominate the tidal basin because of its beauty, vigor and adaptability.
Continue reading and see the full gallery of images HERE.
Photos by Paul W. Meyer
Top: Close up of Yoshino cherry blossoms.
Second: West Southampton Avenue Yoshino cherry street trees.
Third: Yoshino cherries were first planted along the Schuykill River in 1933 as a gift to the city from its Japanese residents. These plantings were renewed more recently by the Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia.
Fourth: An outstanding mature specimen of the rare weeping Yoshino cherry growing at the Morris Arboretum.
Bottom Photo: Yoshino cherries are precocious, flowering heavily at an early age.
See the entire gallery of images for this month’s article at our Tree of the Month page! Visit our History at Home page for more information.
Chestnut Hill Conservancy is regularly highlighting special trees in our community, both large and small, as well as common and obscure. In doing so, we hope to promote an appreciation of our arbor legacy and foster a culture of stewardship and renewal of this invaluable resource.
April – Daffodils
by Emilie Lapham, Conservancy Board Member, avid gardener, botanical artist, and active participant in several noted local and national garden organizations.
One of spring’s wonderful pleasures is daffodils! In my opinion, you can never have too many daffodils as long as you give some thought to where they are planted.
Narcissus is the botanical name for daffodils and they originate in Europe and North Africa. Narcissus was the Greek hunter who fell in love with his own reflection, hence the name is about their beauty. Depending on the research source, there are 40-200 species and over 25,000 cultivars or hybrids registered. Don’t worry, they are not all available. Late summer is the time to order or purchase bulbs but the spring season is a good time to make choices and plan.
To plan for daffodils in your garden, first select a location. Daffodils prefer full sun but will tolerate some shade, and remember, most trees leaf out after the bloom period of daffodils.
The best location is an area that does not require any maintenance of foliage after blooming. The bulb produces flowers with foliage and the leaves are necessary for replenishing energy to the bulb. Do not cut the foliage until it turns yellow. This is why it is good to consider a location where you can relax and do nothing. Select an area with moisture but also drainage. I actually think as long as you plant the bulb, twice its size deep and the flat or root side down, you will enjoy flowers in the spring. Bulbs are about the most rewarding and easy gardening. Daffodils are of no interest to deer, yay.
Selecting which bulbs to plant.
Trumpet, large cupped, small cupped, double; Triandrus (multi blooms on one stem); Cyclamineus (early bloom & smaller); and the division list goes on. Choose by time…..early to late blooming. Choose by color and size…yellow, white, orange, pink, green and combined colors. Choose fragrant, or become a collector. Mix with other kinds of bulbs as well.
Probably the best way to choose and order is by catalog and internet. Start by ordering a catalog online. Holland is the main producer of bulbs. A few sites…BrecksDutchgrowersEdenbrothersVan Bourgondien, and of course, local garden centers have bulbs.
At this time of the year, we have a vase of daffodils in every room in the house. Each spring there are more, because each bulb multiplies and we plant more bulbs every November. Like I said, more and more flowers make spring beautiful.
All Photos by Emilie Lapham
Top: Spring Sunshine. Second: Double Star. Third: Flowers for the house. Fourth: Fortissimo.
Fifth: Early Bloomers. Sixth: Olive oil bottle, instant arrangement. Seventh: Spring meadow.
Bottom: From Holland to Wyndmoor.
Ask the Experts: Earth Day Every Day – Recording Now Available!
Thanks for making our virtual lecture a success!
Earth Day Every Day: How to Bring Nature Back to the Neighborhood
Thanks to all who attended our April 22 virtual lecture, Ask the Experts: Earth Day Every Day, presented by Rob Fleming, an experienced landscape architect and teacher with special expertise in the design, care, and restoration of historic and natural landscapes. He was joined by Christopher Sohnly, co-founder of local landscape firm Spruce Hollow Designs LLC. The presentation included information about sustainable practices for the home gardener, and described environmentally diverse design, planting, restoration, and maintenance practices to add value and diversity to your yard and garden.
Whether you couldn’t make it, or would love to revisit this Ask the Experts program again, you can now find it online via YouTube.
If you attended this virtual talk and have any thoughts to share for our next virtual event, we’d love to hear from you! Please reply to this email or email info@chconservancy.org.
Only 3 Days Left to Vote!
The publicly-chosen Architectural Hall of Fame recognizes treasured residential, institutional, and commercial/public places in Chestnut Hill. Visit the 2021 Finalists webpage, or text the words CHESTNUT HILL to 56512, to learn more about each of the finalists – you can vote for one in each category!
Voting is open through April 30 and the winners will be revealed at our Architectural Hall of Fame Celebration on May 22nd.
Finalist photos, clockwise from top left: Woodward Community Centere (aka Redheffer House); Valley Green Bridge; Chestnut Hill Women’s Center (aka Julia Hebard Marsden Residence); William A. Kilian Co. Hardware; High Hollow; William Streeper House; Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting; Jenks Wall and Children’s Park; Keewaydin; Evergreen Place
Tickets Available at All Levels!
The 2021 Architectural Hall of Fame virtual Celebration on Saturday, May 22nd at 7:00 pm includes the Hall of Fame’s 2021 finalists and inductees, an online and live auction, and a behind-the-scenes tour of Louis Kahn’s Esherick House with a special introduction by filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn!
Don’t miss this unique evening celebrating Chestnut Hill’s tradition of well-designed architecture and open space! Please join us for this exciting program and support our only fundraising event of the year by purchasing a ticket at any level!
If you’ve already purchased a ticket, thank you for your support! Please share this with your neighbors and encourage them to visit our website for more information or purchase tickets online now. We look forward to celebrating with you on the 22nd!
From our Partners
Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership Inc.
Virtual Event with Springfield Township
Historical Society
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 7:30 PM
Pre-registration by Tuesday, May 4, 2021
The Springfield Township Historical Society will present a program to be given by Julie Slavet, Executive Director of Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership Inc., on Thursday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. This program about the organization will be presented via Zoom.
To register:
Interested persons are asked to contact Katie Worrall, secretary of the Springfield Township Historical Society board of directors, at 215-233-1305 or email, by May 4 to sign up.
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  • May 1 – Discovering Chestnut Hill Tour: Pastorius Park and Its Neighborhood In-Person Walking Tour with Rob Fleming – SOLD OUT
  • May 6– Historic District Advisory Committee Public Meeting 6:30pm REGISTER HERE for the Zoom link to attend
  • May 22 – Architectural Hall of Fame Celebration
Thank You!
Sponsors and supporters are community champions. Join your neighbors!
Always feel free to contact us with any questions about the Conservancy, our programs and events, or your membership at info@chconservancy.org
Chestnut Hill Conservancy | 8708 Germantown AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19118