Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

University of Pennsylvania

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Time in the Garden Call for Artists

Time in the Garden

Time is the essence of gardening and the natural world. Whether counting tree rings, or planting seeds, the passage of time marks the life of the garden. Sunflowers bend to follow the path of the sun throughout the day. Leaves turn colors in autumn as day length shortens. Common names of flowers often express the essential essence of time’s import: daylily, nightshade, four o’clock. Runs through October 28th.

Download a Map of the Outdoor Artist's Sculptures

All works in this exhibit are available for purchase. Please contact the artist or their representative directly for pricing and further information. A portion of any sales that result from the exhibition will be donated back to the Arboretum by the artist.

Upper Gallery Artists
Outdoor Artists

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Know Before You Go

For the safety of our visitors and to preserve the structural integrity of our tree collection, climbing or sitting on the limbs of trees is not permitted. Thank you!

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Tell time using Gassho:

This sculpture marks both the daily passing of the daylight hours and the annual solstices and equinoxes.

The Hours:
The long angled pole with the figure at the end is called the gnomon; the shadow of the gnomon crosses the center line of one of the square stones every hour on the hour. The square stone in the middle marks noon. The stones to the right of center mark the afternoon hours; the stones to the left of center mark the morning hours. As this is an astronomical device based on the movement of the earth relative to the sun, it does NOT reflect daylight saving time.

The Seasons:
The figure at the tip of the gnomon is the oldest known written symbol for the sun. The shadow of this figure will fall on the nearest round stone on the longest day of the year (also known as the summer solstice) at noon. On December 21, the shortest day of the year, this shadow will fall on the far round stone. On September 21 and March 21 (the fall and spring equinoxes), we experience equal amounts of daylight and darkness. On both of these days the shadow of the figure will fall on the center round stone.