Spring Has Arrived at Nichols Arboretum

Spring Has Arrived at Nichols Arboretum

Wolverines rejoice—spring is officially here! While Nichols Arboretum (more affectionately known as The Arb) is open year-round for autumn and winter vistas, it is undoubtedly the warming weather and new bloom that draws students, alumni, and visitors out of their snow shelters to enjoy the flora. In the late fall 2013 issue of Michigan Alumnus, we asked alumni what they miss most about Ann Arbor. The Arb placed near the top of the list—and we’ve included some memories gathered from our social media channels. 

Courtesy of the staff of the Arb, we invite readers to shake off any lingering chills and soak in the warmth emanating from these archival shots of the grounds.

The Peony Garden

W.E. Upjohn of Kalamazoo planted the seeds of the Peony Garden with a donation of plants in 1922. The site is now home to 27 beds that house up to 800 peonies and 10,000 flowers at peak spring bloom.

Laurel Ridge Trail

An artist renders a section of the Laurel Ridge Trail, whose natural geography makes the perfect scene for tree peonies and azaleas to flourish. These plants thrive here because of the acidic soil provided by the old pine stand and their location on a northerly slope, which offers protection from winter sunburn.

“I miss running and picnics in the Arboretum! Nothing like it anywhere else.” – Julie Hindenach Honeycutt, ’83


Arisaema triphyllum, or jack-in-the-pulpit, can be found all over the Arb. They flower from May 2-14. 

“I am a recent graduate and still live/work here, so my favorite things to enjoy, though I had much more time to in undergrad, are the Arb and floating the river.” – Ryan Goold, ’12

Cherries in Bloom

One of a collection of weeping cherry trees, gifts from Tokyo alumni to the University, planted in 1952. The trees celebrate Japan’s historic 1912 gift of cherries trees to America. 

“I miss the Arb all the time. It’s my favorite place to go for a run, especially during the fall.” – Andrew Kaplan, ’06, MBA’13

Shakespeare in the Arb

From Shakespeare in the Arb on Facebook

Shakespeare in the Arb performers and audience members move through sections of the Arb as the play progresses. Performances usually start in June.

“[I miss] the Arb! I used to go there to unwind and enjoy the nature. I also loved the Shakespeare in the Arb series.” – Sherri Nazarian, JD’10

Winter Throwback: Traying 

Image via BJM JR on Wikipedia

We promised warm spring images, but the chill of winter is still with us. Many alumni remember “traying” down hills in the Arb—even though taking trays from cafeterias and sledding in Nichols Arboretum are expressly forbidden.

“I miss “traying” down hills in the Arb when it snowed.” – Lisa Hoglund, ’83.

“Lisa Hogland is right on about missing “traying” down the hill with stolen goods from the cafeterias. I haven’t done that since 1969.” – Sylvia Aruffo, ’70.

So what are your favorite memories of Nichols Arboretum? Let us know in the comments.


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