Journeys of Dr. G at Tyler Arboretum

The sabbatical project continues, exploring all that Tyler Arboretum has to offer

Leave a comment

Carl W. Fenninger and his Holly Collection

I am always looking for new sites around Tyler Arboretum that previously have not caught my eye. Not far from the collection of birdhouses and the giant Cape May Birdhouse (one of Tyler’s treehouses), by the sign that describes the lilac collection and diversity at Tyler, I saw this stone under the shade of a nearby tree:


This certainly left me curious!  I had already learned about Tyler’s holly collection and blogged about the arboretum being an official holly arboretum, but the name Carl Fenninger did not come up in my initial search.  In addition to the information on the plaque, this is what I have learned about Mr. Fenninger:

  • Elected to the Philadelphia Botanical Club in 1947
  • Active member of the American Rock Garden Society (at least from years 1947-1948)
  • Lecture Committee for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 1956
  • Member of the American Daffodil Society in 1958 and 1959 and 1968
  • Director of the American Horticultural Society (years I could not locate)
  • Served for ten years as the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboretum
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (March 10, 1964)
  • Named an Honorary Life Member to the American Public Gardens Association in 1973

Certainly, Mr. Fenninger’s contributions extended well beyond his dedication and work with Tyler Arboretum!  What I have not yet found in my internet searching is his connection specifically to holly.  Time to keep digging (digging virtually, that is…).




1 Comment

Tyler Arboretum is an Official Holly Arboretum

Photos at Tyler on 12/18/13

Sign on the front of the Visitor Center at Tyler Arboretum

When I arrive at Tyler Arboretum, I usually just park my car and walk right in to the Visitor Center to start my journey for that day.  But recently, my eyes did a double-take when I approached the Visitor Center and noticed a sign I previously had never stopped to read.  I never knew that Tyler was an Official Holly Arboretum!  I found this to be exciting news, but then I asked myself… OK, so what exactly does it mean to be an “official holly arboretum”?

I started my online search at the website for the Holly Society of America.  Below is a summary from the HSA website main page:

The Holly Society of America, Inc. is an active, non-profit organization with members throughout the United States and numerous foreign countries. The purpose of the Society is to stimulate interest, promote research, and collect and disseminate information about the genus Ilex. The society provides the medium for all people interested in hollies, including both novices and skilled growers, to communicate and exchange information through scientific studies, publications, lectures, meetings, visiting holly collections, and other educational endeavors.

Photos at Tyler on 12/18/13

A photo of the Winterberry, on the right-side of the path leading away from the Visitor Center

To be an official holly arboreta:

An organization recognized by the Holly Society of America as an official Holly Arboretum or Experimental Test Center is a public or semi-public institution that educates plant lovers in the use of holly in the landscape and that complies with set HSA guidelines. Its holly collection is properly labeled and it maintains accurate records of its hollies so that each plant can be identified by location, valid name, source, date received, size or age when received, and other pertinent facts. Annual reports submitted by Official Holly Arboreta and Experimental Test Centers are included in the Holly Society Journal.

Photos at Tyler on 12/18/13What I am very excited to see under the list of recognized organizations is that Tyler Arboretum is one of only 20 organizations from across the globe honored with this distinction!  I encourage you to check out the range of holly that are growing at Tyler.  Just along the pathway from the Visitor Center towards the Butterfly House, look to your right to see Winterberry, American Holly, Japanese Holly, English Holly, and a large American Holly tree on the left before the Butterfly House.  What beautiful plants, especially in the winter.

And I can’t resist… I have to end this post with…

Happy “Holly”-days, everyone!

Photos at Tyler on 12/18/13

One of the branches of an American Holly tree, near the Butterfly House