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Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College

A garden of ideas to inspire home gardeners


The Experience

Stop and smell the roses. There are 200 varieties at Scott Arboretum, a sprawling oasis of color and calm.

As you roam the Swarthmore College campus arboretum, you’ll encounter many different environments and settings, so pick the one that strikes your interest.

Take a solitary walk through the woods at Crum Creek, grab a shady spot under the tulip trees and enjoy a music concert in the amphitheater, or wander through the grove of conifer and flowering trees. If you’re in the mood for a picnic, you might want to pack a lunch, and enjoy the butterflies that flit through the bloom garden.

Enjoy the campus ambiance that permeates this rich landscape of beautifully tended woodlands and sun-drenched gardens. Pick up a self-guided tour pamphlet at the arboretum office and visit the Terry Shane Teaching Garden behind the building. Any one of the meandering paths will lead you to the Dean Bond Rose Garden, the Theresa Lang Fragrance Garden and the many mixed borders along the campus buildings.

Take special note of the planted containers in charming courtyards and the many collections that dot the campus, including hollies, crabapples, magnolias, viburnums, rhododendrons, tree peonies and native azaleas. In the outdoor amphitheater, towering tulip trees preside over summer concerts and annual graduation ceremonies.

The vision of Arthur Hoyt Scott, Swarthmore College class of 1895, inspires the arboretum that was established in his honor in 1929. Scott, an avid gardener and president of Scott Paper Company, believed that gardening could significantly improve the quality of life in an industrial society. Fittingly, at the arboretum, people of average means could see and be inspired by plants.

Come Prepared

Membership is not required, but does garner invitations to private events.

Don’t Miss

You can bone up on horticulture at the Arboretum Office which houses a library of thousands of books, magazines and other garden-related documents. And for a small donation you can enjoy an Evening in the Arboretum music series that runs through the summer months.

Outsider’s Tip

The cherry, magnolia, and lilac collections peak during April. June brings the tree peonies and roses. The texture garden is at its best in the Fall. The winter garden looks attractive after a snowfall.


500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081

(610) 328-8025

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