Winter Meeting at the Horticultural Center

Saturday, February 18, 2006 10 am to 1 pm

Speaker: Otto Heck

Topic: Natural History and Ecology of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Directions to the Horticultural Center, Fairmount Park:

From the Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia: exit at Montgomery Drive [(driving south, it is the first exit after Roosevelt Blvd. [Route 1], turn right at the bottom of the ramp; driving north, it is the first exit after Girard Avenue, turn left at the bottom of the ramp). Go west about 1/3 mile and turn left where a sign points to the Horticultural Center. Go a block and turn left through the gates. The Center is on the right and the entrance can be reached by the circular drive. Parking is on the street or in the parking lot directly across from the Center.

After the presentation there will be a short business meeting to finalize plans for the flower show and upcoming field trips. Bring along a sandwich. We will provide beverages and deserts.


2006 Field Trip Schedule

We have scheduled several field trips to take place during April, May, June and September of 2006. Please remember that it is important to register with the trip coordinator so that you may be informed of any last minute changes due to weather or other circumstances. The coordinator may be helpful in suggesting possible car-pooling arrangements.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 ( Earth Day)

Place: Shenk’s Ferry

Time: 10:30 am meeting time in the parking lot of Conestoga Wagon Restaurant.

Trip Coordinator and Leader: John Scott

Tel: 610-682-2809


What better way to celebrate the arrival of Spring than to visit this favorite spot southwest of Lancaster. Early spring wildflowers and ferns combined with easy strolling make this a trip everyone can enjoy if the weather cooperates.

Directions: Take Route 30 west through Exton to Gap. Turn left on Route 41 for less that 1 mile, then right on Route 741 west. Stay on Route 741 west for about 13 miles though Strasburg to New Danville (careful for abrupt turns) you will pass the Willow Street Restaurant and the Kendig Square Mall before coming to the intersection with New Danville Pike (traffic light, Exxon station on the left). Turn left onto New Danville Pike toward Conestoga. Go about 3 miles to the top of the hill to the Conestoga Restaurant. We will meet at the Restaurant at 10:30 am and then carpool to the preserve. Please remember to notify John Scott of your attendance and to bring lunch.

Trip conditions: Relatively easy walking under dry conditions. Individual participants can determine how far they wish to walk.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Place: Mt. Cuba Center, Greenville, Delaware

Tel: 302-239-4244

Trip coordinator and leader: Donna Wilhelm

Tel: 215-843-7987


Mt. Cuba will provide guides. The admission fee is $5 per person.

This is repeat visit to this 630 acre estate dedicated to the preservation of our most beautiful native Piedmont plants. Over the years a series of naturalistic woodland wildflower gardens have been created. May has the greatest number of blooming wildflowers, including 17 species of trilliums. This is truly a wonderful time to visit.

Directions: From Philadelphia go south on I-95 and in Wilmington exit at “Delaware Ave; Route 52 North.” Stay in the far right and then turn right at first light. Immediately get in the left lane and bear to the left as the road divides. You are now on Pennsylvania Ave. (Route 52 North). Go about 5 miles and exit right on ramp to Rt. 141 south.

At the first traffic light turn right onto Center Road / Barley Mill Road. Turn right at the “T” onto Center Road, which will eventually become Barley Mill Road and go 3.9 miles from that light. The entrance to the estate is on the right and marked only by white painted rocks. Proceed up the main drive and turn into the parking area at the fourth light. Do not drive into the forecourt in front of the main residence.

Please remember to notify Donna Wilhelm of your attendance and to bring lunch.

Trip Conditions: Easy walking over grassy paths with a few steps.


Monday, June 5 to Saturday June 10, 2006

Place: western Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio.

Trip leaders: Jack Schieber, Tel: 215-357-3720 Email:

Otto Heck, Tel: 908-996-2598

Trip Coordinator: John DeMarrais

Tel: 908-735-5503

While the detailed itinerary has not been established we will essentially follow the route taken by the Society trip to this area in 1999. The plan includes a first day visit to Kentuck Knob and Falling Water – two houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Both houses are surrounded by many ferns. Next on the tentative schedule will be a visit to Old Man ‘s Cave, a half-mile-long gorge with vertical cliffs and an unusual assortment of ferns and rare plants. We will then visit Conkle’s Hollow, another deep gorge with 200-foot vertical cliffs. The one half mile trail winds through the bottom of the gorge.

It is also hoped that we can, once again, visit the garden of Joan and Milton Gottlieb, one of the most fascinating and attractive garden collections of small conifers and ferns on ca find anywhere. There is also the possibility of scheduling a visit to see the beautiful gardens in Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia.

At the present time the exact schedule is tentative so there may be changes. It would be most helpful to have those members interested in making the trip notify the coordinator as soon as you can. We will publish a detailed itinerary for those who intend to go and make the necessary arrangements when we have a final count.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Place: Camp Bernie, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

Time: 10:00 am meeting time in the parking lot of St. Paul’s Catholic Church on Route 57 where we will carpool the short distance to the Camp Bernie site.

Trip Coordinator and leader: Otto Heck

Tel: 908-996-2598

Otto will extend an invitation to members of the New York Chapter of the American Fern Society to visit this fern rich area of New Jersey. We will search for both the northern and southern beech ferns and some of the uncommon botrychiums as will as variety of wood ferns.

Trip conditions: easy to moderate difficulty – walk to a modest slope to get to the marsh area where the ferns grow. The area can be wet depending on rainfall prior to our visit, so wear appropriate footgear. Bring insect repellent and don’t forget to bring lunch and water.

Directions: From Philadelphia – Take I-95 north, cross the Delaware River into New Jersey and take Route 31 north through Flemington into the town of Washington where 31 intersects with Route 57. Go right or east on Route 57 approximately 4 ˝ miles to a road on the right, Penwell Road. At that intersection there is a church on the other side of Route 57 with ample parking. We will carpool to the Camp Bernie site, which is only a few miles away.

Don’t forget to let Otto Heck know if you plan to go on this field trip a there may be opportunities to carpool to the church site.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Place: Wissahickon section of Fairmount Park, Philadelphia

Time: 10 AM

Leader: Janet Novak, (215) 248-2642 home, (215) 534-6700 cell,

Fairmount Park runs right through a major metropolis, but it retains a goodly number of fern species. The northern section is in a deep valley formed by Wissahickon Creek, which is a pleasantly cool location for an August walk. We will look at ferns and other plants along the creek. We can expect to see silvery glade fern (Deparia acrostichoides), maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), blunt-lobed woodsia (Woodsia obtusa), Mackay’s fragile fern (Cystopteris tenuis), probably Tennessee bladder fern (Cystopteris tennesseensis), and other species.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Place: Dunfield Creek, Delaware Water Gap

Time: 10:30 am. Meet in the parking lot of the National Park Headquarters located on the west side of I-80. Just before the Delaware Water Gap bridge.

Trip Coordinator and leader: Otto Heck

Tel: 908-996-2598

This is repeat club trip of the one taken in the early fall of 2001. Interested members of the New York Chapter of the American Fern Society are also invited to participate in this trip as well.

The first part of the trip will include a walk up the Dunfield Creek Trail northward as follow the Appalachian Trial. Eventually it separates up a gradual slope to the fourth bridge crossing the creek. The area is virtually covered with a variety of ferns. After passing the second bridge patches of botrychiums or grape ferns are encountered. The trek up the Dunfield Creek Trial is one of easy to moderate difficulty over essentially dry ground.

After lunch back a the trial parking lot we will attempt to climb a fairly short trail of more strenuous difficulty to find some of the specialties of the areas (Rusty Woodsia, Purple Cliffbrake and Hairy Lipfern). Some people may not wish to make this climb and may opt to wait in the parking area.

Please remember to let Otto Heck know of your attendance and to bring lunch, water and insect repellent.

Direction: From Philadelphia take I-95 north to Rout 31. Take route 31 north and proceed all the way to where 31 intersects with route 46. Go west or left on 46 until it runs into I-80 west. After a short distance you will enter the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. You will note the National Park Headquarters building on the other side of the four-lane highway. You must go beyond the Headquarters and Cross under the highway. Soon after and go east and park in the Headquarters Parking lost there are restrooms in the headquarters building.

Some of you may find it easier to come north through Pennsylvania to I-80 via Allentown and Route 33. At any event please let Otto Heck know of your attendance, as he may be able to arrange carpooling.


Fall Meeting at the Horticultural Center

Saturday November 18, 2006, at 10 am to 1 pm.

Speaker: DVFWS member, Janet Novak

Topic: Adventures with Newfoundland Plants

Directions to the Horticultural Center, Fairmount Park

From the Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia: exit at Montgomery Drive. Driving south,Valley Forge toward Phila, it is the first exit after Roosevelt Blvd -Route 1 turn right at the bottom of the ramp. Driving north, Cntral Phila toward Valley Forge, it is the first exit after Girard Avenue, turn left at the bottom of the ramp.  Go west about 1/3 mile and turn left where a sign points to the Horticultural Center.  Go a block and turn left through the gates.  The Center is on the right and the entrance can be reached by the circular drive. Parking is on the street or in the parking lot directly across from the Center.

More trips:

In addition to the above list of field trips we are looking into the possibility of one or two more trips during July or August. These might include a trip to a member’s garden or to an outstanding garden we have not yet visited. We are most interested in receiving and solicit any suggestions you may have concerning such trips. Please let us know if you come up with any ideas. We will let members know of future trips through the newsletter.

John DeMarrais