Maple Entrance

A striking visual centerpiece serves as the entrance to the Reserve

The Maple Entrance to the Reserve was selected as a testament to the profound ability for life to find a way to thrive even in the most unlikely conditions. Here, a gnarled freemanii maple beckons visitors into the garden, 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 The Southern Highlands Reserve. Yet here it stands, a testament to the folly of man’s 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.


Explore: The Maple Entrance Gallery

Serving as the centerpiece to the Reserve’s entrance, this unique and beautiful maple is surrounded by a planting of Christmas fern. The Maple Entrance was carefully crafted as a foyer, an inviting open space where towering rosie elegums, rhododendron, 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.

Plant Varieties:

  • Phlox stolonifera
  • Tiarella cordifolia
  • Heuchera Americana
  • Freemanii maple
  • Christmas fern
  • Carex
  • Pachysandra Americana
  • Acer pensylvanicum (Striped Maple)
  • Chionanthus virginicus (White Fringetree)