monarch, caterpillar, pollinator, pollination

Maple Entrance

A striking visual centerpiece serves as the entrance to the Reserve

The Maple Entrance to the Reserve is a testament to nature’s profound ability to thrive even in the most implausible conditions. A gnarled Freeman maple, here long before us, beckons visitors into the garden. It’s the progeny of a natural cross between an Acer rubrum (red) and an Acer saccharinum (silver) maple. Curiously, the nearest silver maple is many counties away and many hundreds of feet lower in elevation from Southern Highlands Reserve. Yet here it stands, a witness to the folly of human attempts to neatly categorize the natural world and also, more than likely, to the efficiency of birds in distributing seeds in a system only they understand.

The centerpiece to the Reserve’s entrance, this unique maple is surrounded by a planting of Christmas ferns. The Maple Entrance was carefully crafted as a foyer, an inviting open space where towering ‘Roseum Elegans’ rhododendrons and a warm flowering forest carpet of ferns welcome visitors.

The Maple Entrance’s stone path leads to the vestibule of the Core Park, the Woodland Glade. From this path, you can follow the stone steps to the Wildflower Labyrinth and the Azalea Walk or stroll down the path to the Vaseyi Pond and Viewsite.

wildflower, native plant, blossom
monarch, caterpillar, pollinator, pollination

Plant Varieties

  • Phlox stolonifera

  • Tiarella cordifolia

  • Heuchera Americana

  • Acer x freemanii

  • Polystichum acrostichoides

  • Carex

  • Pachysandra procumbens

  • Acer pensylvanicum 

  • Chionanthus virginicus

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