Deputy Provost Richard Englert has good reason to call Temple’s Ambler campus “one of the gems of Temple’s crown.”
The gardens are a breathtaking sight, from the colorful flowers of the Perennial Garden to the understated trees of the newly cultivated Winter Garden, designed to maintain its beauty year-round.
Ambler’s serene formal gardens were bustling with activity on Saturday night, including live music and an open bar, as nearly 200 guests celebrated the second-annual Rhapsody in Bloom event benefiting the Arboretum and the gardens it encompasses.
“[Rhapsody in Bloom] is a fall event showcasing the Landscape Arboretum and Gardens to friend-raise and fundraise,” said Linda Lowe, Ambler’s director of development. “All proceeds benefit the Landscape Arboretum.”
The evening began with hors d’evours in the pristine and vibrant Formal Perennial Garden and commenced with a tented live auction, where guests could bid on everything from a Temple sports package to an Italian countryside villa in Tuscany.
“This is actually the third year we’ve had an event like this in the garden,” said James Hilty, Ambler’s acting dean, in reference to Rhapsody in Bloom’s origin as a garden party welcoming Jenny Rose Carey, the Landscape Arboretum director, to the university three years ago.
“The party here is a fundraiser for the arboretum, the primary mission [of which] is to support the academic programs [of] horticulture, landscape architecture, and community and regional planning,” said Carey, who opened her arms to “anyone who wants to use these gardens for teaching in any way” and also invited guests to come back to Ambler’s gardens for tours.
Among the guests were the two honorary chair couples, Philip and Barbara Albright and Faith and Joseph “Ty” Tiberio.
The Albrights spoke excitedly about the Albright Winter Garden.
“We thought a winter garden would be unique,” said Barbara, who calls Ambler’s formal garden “a hidden treasure.” Philip, who is also chairman of the Arboretum Board, explained the beauty of the winter garden. “[The red bark and stems] all stand out, particularly against the snow,” he said.
Faith Tiberio explained how she became involved with Ambler. “When I found out that there was to be something with a greenhouse, which my father was interested in, I decided to come and help. I’ve taken a very great interest in everything that’s going on now,” Faith said.
Faith, the president-elect of the Women’s National Farm and Garden Association, eagerly pointed to pictures of her mother, a student of the School of Horticulture during World War I, and her father, who taught at the school during that time.
Ambler plans to continue this event in order to further the rich history of its gardens.
“We’ll keep doing it annually,” said Jim Duffy, Ambler’s public relations and Web site coordinator.
Jenny Rose Carey also urged, “Look out for invitations next September and please join us next year.”
Morgan Zalot can be reached at email@example.com.