First Spring blooms 4.11.19

The Willowwood Arboretum is enchanting in the Spring. Over the last few weeks, we have been watching the ephemerals bloom and bask in the sunshine as the days have gotten longer; an assortment of birds have been singing and heralding warmer weather throughout the gardens; and, our gardeners are more cheerful as we begin to prepare the garden beds for spring displays. This week in particular, it seems that everything has sprung to life in the garden! Everywhere you turn, there seems to be a new flower, fresh from its bud.
Our early-blooming Daffodils (Narcissus) are beginning to bloom and the next few weeks should be the best time to view them. Be sure to visit behind the Rosarie to see our Magnolias, followed by the emergence of a new planting of Narcissus ‘Mount Hood’. In addition, we have many other bulbs and spring flowers emerging, including Siberian squill (Scilla siberica), Oxslip (Primula elatior), and Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa luciliae). These mass plantings of cheerful yellows and blues are lovely when combined, especially in the Rockery near the Tubbs house.
We have been so excited to see that the Magnolias are beginning to flower this week. There are several beautiful white flowering Magnolias in the Cottage Garden (Magnolia ‘Alba Superba’ and Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’) and up the drive past the Dawn Redwood. There are also several stunning pink-flowering varieties, including Magnolia ‘Leonard Messel’ currently flowering behind the Rosarie. Visitors will also likely see the two Magnolia ‘Willowwood’, the striking pyramidal Magnolia in the Winter Garden near the parking lot. John Beirne, our current Superintendent of Horticulture, is a Magnolia enthusiast and will be supervising an installation of several new varieties of Magnolia to our collection in 2019. We look forward to seeing them bloom in next year’s display.
We have already heard from many of our visitors that they are excited for the lilacs to bloom. While they are not out yet, we are sure that this year’s display will be fabulous. This winter the horticulture team planted several dozen new lilacs into Highland Park, as well as new crabapples, which flower during the same time. Currently blooming in the lilac area in Highland Park are masses of Forsythia, fragrant Viburnum (Viburnum farreri ‘Candissimum’), and several cherries (Prunus), such as Prunus subhirtella ‘Shaka No Hisui’ and Prunus conadenia. We recommend visiting in early May to see the lilac collection in peak bloom but visit this weekend to see the Magnolias and Cherries .

4.11.19 1st Spring Blooms