Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Veblen House and Cottage in Fall Colors

For lack of a gardener to keep things in balance, some of the remnant plantings of Elizabeth Veblen's gardens have been running wild. Fall colors reveal the way wisteria, which once modestly climbed an arbor behind the Veblen House, has long since gone rogue, obscuring the circular stone horse run in the foreground and most of the yard to the right of the house.

The Japanese maples, originally planted near the Veblen cottage and turning glorious red, have spread surprisingly far into the woods. They have long been a species that, like Rose of Sharon, seeds aggressively in people's backyards, but has fortunately not spread into nature preserves. Herrontown Woods may be proving the exception, raising the question of whether a tree's great beauty gives it free reign to alter the local ecosystem. In the meantime, it sure is pretty.

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