Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Strawberry bush

How about this! it's known as strawberry bush - a native euonymus, which was a surprise to learn. I've never thought of euonymus as a native. It's called Euonymus americanus ‘Atropurpureus.’ This enlightenment comes compliments of Maggie Knapp, head horticulturist at Jenkins Arboretum. Maggie is celebrating her 25th anniverary at Jenkins, which is celebrating its 35th birthday. Kudos all 'round!

Strawberry bush

How about this! it's known as strawberry bush - a native euonymus, which was a surprise to learn. I've never thought of euonymus as a native. It's called Euonymus americanus ‘Atropurpureus.’ This enlightenment comes compliments of Maggie Knapp, head horticulturist at Jenkins Arboretum. Maggie is celebrating her 25th anniverary at Jenkins, which is celebrating its 35th birthday. Kudos all 'round!

I spent the morning with Maggie yesterday. How did I not meet her before this? She does walkabouts and tours and lots of events at Jenkins, a sweet little place tucked inside a residential neighborhood in Wayne. If you haven't been there, GO.

It's famous for its rhododendron and azalea collections, so spring is the most popular time to visit, but it's spectacular in any season. I'll post later with a shot of the pond. Yesterday was one of those moody fall days, dark and a little threatening. Rain? Snow? Nothing materialized, so we were able to enjoy the dark clouds without running for cover.

Jenkins is all about native plants. If there remains even one more soul out there who thinks natives lack color or pizazz, this strawberry bush is for you. Gorgeous, no?

Doing a profile of Maggie and her family - husband Jeffrey and two daughters - and how they and the arboretum seem to have all grown up together. Talk about combining work and parenthood. The Knapps live in a 1920s house on the 46-acre property, which was a popular gathering place for the girls and their friends.

They have quite a sledding hill! Maggie's delightful. Wait till you read - Dec. 16.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected