The weather may have turned a bit cooler lately, but that hasn’t deterred the plants here at Willowwood, where spring is really at its peak. Redbuds and dogwoods are blooming; look for them near the entrance gate and along the woodland edge, visible across the meadows as you drive in. Crabapples have joined the chorus, and some of the later cherries and magnolias are still holding on to their flowers. Another stellar woody plant at its best now is Burkwood Viburnum, Viburnum x burkwoodii, which can be found growing near the Tubbs House. This viburnum has lovely clusters of small white flowers with a delicious, spicy fragrance.
LILACS are just beginning to bloom: take a stroll through the Lilac Collection to spot some early bloomers like Syringa vulgaris ‘Nadezhda’, Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Esther Staley’ and Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Lamartine’. Plenty of others are in bud and will be opening over the next few weeks, just in time for the Willowwood Foundation’s annual Lilac Party, Sunday May 15.
And several of the azaleas donated by Mrs. Lois Poinier are now blooming – go up the drive past the Tubbs House and past the Stone House up the walkway and they are off the path to the right.
Tulips continue to bloom in the beds in the Cottage Garden, Roserie, Pan’s Garden and elsewhere. The Rockery and Chive Walk are filled with all sorts of botanical treasures this time of year. Newly in bloom there are wood poppies, Stylophorum diphyllum, bleeding hearts, Dicentra sp., Trillium grandiflorum, Lathyrus vernus, and pasqueflower, Pulsatilla sp. Many of these herbaceous spring bloomers are spectacular, but don’t hold on to their flowers for long, so be sure to plan a trip to see them soon!