Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

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Japanese Hill and Water Garden

Built in 1905 by Mr. Muto, this Hill Garden or Tsukiyama-niwa was made from soil dug out of the Swan Pond. Hills, rocks, water, trees, bridges, paths, shrines and lanterns were arranged according to certain rules of Tsukiyama-niwa to create an image of nature. Each element has a symbolic meaning and their arrangement suggests a more expansive, natural landscape. Many of these original specimens have matured and provide a tranquil space within the Arboretum. Japanese Gardens, and Asian features in general, were placed throughout the garden between 1889 and 1912. In 1913, The Philadelphia Ledger wrote about the Asian aspects of the Morrises’ garden as, “…an object lesson in the adaptation of foreign ideas to American conditions.” The Morrises had one of the first American gardens to adopt the Victorian style of borrowing ideas from other cultures, particularly exotic features.

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Construction Notice:

Parking Lot Closed September 21, 22 and 23.

Morris Arboretum’s parking lot is being repaved September 21, 22 and 23. Our parking lot is a demonstration lot for its sustainability. Installed 25 years ago as one of the first of its kind, the parking lot has filtered into the earth about 31,863,304 gallons of precipitation from the Wissahickon watershed. But the time has come for it to be renewed.

The entire parking lot will be closed September 21, 22 and 23. Auxiliary parking will be available at the bottom of the hill (near the kiosk) and shuttle service will be provided to the top of the hill. ADA access will be limited. No buses will be permitted beyond the kiosk.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are committed to keeping our parking lot sustainable and our visitors safe. Thanks for your patience.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.