Springtime in Delaware, Ohio, transforms the grounds of Ohio Wesleyan into a floral wonderland. With natural arbors of draping fuchsia flowers, and Magnolia and flowering apple trees, pathways that wind through the campus offer an inspiring aesthetic to all.
Whether worn between pins in hair, sketched on paper by aspiring artists, or stitched onto chest pockets, Ohio Wesleyan’s flowers are more than aesthetic adornments on campus.
Across campus, the flowering plants and trees–from Susan, Jane, and Star Magnolia species to the Judd Viburnum–tell stories about geographic origins of countries worldwide. Made possible by OWU’s Jane Decker Arboretum, 105 species of woody plants and trees, from Norway to the United States, can be found on the campus, identified by both their common and scientific names.
The arboretum was created in the 1870s by a local Methodist minister, the Reverend Joseph Creighton, who used his own savings to start the museum of trees. He collaborated with botany scholars to decide which trees from around the world could be brought to Delaware, Ohio.
After the passing in 1988 of Ohio Wesleyan botany professor Dr. Jane Decker, the arboretum was renamed the Jane Decker Arboretum. In her honor, trees break their buds and the flowers open their petals each year at the awakening of spring.