Blooms of the Season: The Harry Wood Garden

Blooms of the Season: The Harry Wood Garden

Even though my maternity leave delayed the posting of this story, I would still like to introduce you to Diane Mattis and her intimate look at the wonderful plants found at the Scott Arboretum. Enjoy the reminder of the delightful blooms in the Harry Wood Garden this spring as we are poised to begin summer tomorrow.

We would like to take a moment to introduce a new series for the Garden Seeds blog entitled Blooms of the Season. This series will feature the original artwork of Diane Mattis, highlighting what is blooming in the garden right now from a new perspective.

Close-up of a Clematis bloom. photo credit: D. Mattis

As a volunteer photographer, Diane’s wonderful photography has been featured in our publications and on our family of websites over twelve years. Her new artistic expression, scanning plant arrangements on a flat bed scanner, is equally striking and horticulturally inspirational. You may have glimpsed some of her recent artwork on our facebook page.

Left: Cuttings placed on scanner. Right: Finished artwork.

Her latest creation highlights the March blooms of the Harry Wood Garden. To create these pieces of artwork, Diane takes small cuts from the blooms in the Scott Arboretum gardens and then creates floral arrangements on her scanner. She hopes these compilations will inspire others to take a closer look at the beauty of the Scott Arboretum no matter the season.

Even this early in spring the Harry Wood Garden is awash in blooms. Diane features seven plants: Galanthus nivalis, Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore-pleno’, Skimmia japonica, Bergenia ‘Appleblossom’, Helleborus niger, Helleborus x hybridus, and Nandina domestica ObsessionTM.

Take a moment to appreciate the glimpse into the throat of the Galanthus. Snowdrops often droop and disguise the intricate workings of their blooms.  The Skimmia flower can seen adjacent to its red berries in the garden right now. The various hellebore cultivars add a variety of colors to the understory of the Harry Wood Garden.

Come explore with us the blooms of the season through the intimate perspective of Diane Mattis.

Diane Mattis taking cutting in preparation of creating artwork featuring plants of the Unusual Tropicals and Annuals Sale. photo credit: R. Robert

Artist’s Statement

Fall color in the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. photo credit: D. Mattis

“Although I started taking pictures as young person, I didn’t really become passionate about my photography until after I retired and started my own garden. It seemed wise to document my efforts, and then it seemed even wiser to come to Scott Arboretum as a volunteer to learn more about horticulture. At the start I was weeding, mulching, and building erosion barriers in the Crum Woods. One thing led to another, and not long after I started I was honored to be asked to do photography for the Arboretum as my volunteer work. Over the past twelve years I have photographed many of the collections, the Plant Sales, the Spring and Fall Festivals, and the summer concerts in the amphitheatre, as well as documenting all the dedicated trees. There was never a time that I came to the Arboretum that I was not overcome with awe at the natural beauty that surrounded me.


My family and friends were shocked to see me leaving for the Arboretum, year round, summer and winter. Far too many people are unaware that nature has provided us with beautiful vignettes whether the temperature is 77 or 37 degrees. There was always something at the Arboretum to delight the senses and make the spirit soar. Using the latest format that I have become interested in, scanning plant arrangements on a flat bed scanner, I hope to become a catalyst to inspire people to take a closer look at the beauty Scott Arboretum has been offering for decades.


Each day presents us with a multitude of visual miracles, if only we have the eyes to see them.”

Becky Robert
  • Kim Lathrop
    Posted at 21:50h, 24 June Reply

    That’s my Mom!
    I have one of her larger scans hanging in my dining area that I just adore. I fell in love with it when I first saw it, in her over cluttered diningroom of other beautiful scans and photos. I have several pieces of my mother’s work hanging on my walls from insects, trees, and plants, to David Bowie!
    Seeing her love for plants and flowers inspired me to do the same. She has been there for me for countless questions and has helped me garden my new balcony.
    She has a love for natures beauty and it shows in her pictures. Love you Mom!

  • Louise Roemer
    Posted at 05:07h, 17 December Reply

    Diane has unbelievable genius with her creations and so affordable!!!

    • Becky Robert
      Posted at 09:18h, 30 July Reply

      Thank you for the compliantment, Louise. We are enamored with Diane’s work too.

      Becky Robert
      Scott Arboretum

  • Janet Kravis
    Posted at 01:21h, 19 February Reply

    Hi Diane
    Hope you’re well
    I’m now retired living in Bethesda Md closer to my son and his family
    Best regards
    Janet Kravis

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