Spring 2024 President’s Message

Dear Friends,

For me, springtime at Willowwood has always been about the daffodils which herald the highly anticipated season in a variety of colors and shapes.  On a recent Arboretum visit I learned of a new species in full bloom which inspired a bit of a treasure hunt in search of a little gem.  It was the unexpected call of “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” that set me on a meandering path providing many wonderful encounters along the way. 

Strolling along I found our always informative Manager of Horticulture, Bruce Crawford, hard at work but willing to pause and regale me with current spring planting plans.  Designing for late spring and summer is in the works and soon a new crop of annuals and tropicals will enhance the Arboretum.  Bruce also mentioned the unique new species of daffodil that was not not-to-be missed.  His capable “partners in crime,” Anthony and Dylan were also on hand to share knowledge about the spring bulb display that was in full bloom around the Tubbs House.  The scilla looked particularly beautiful.  Without a doubt the Tubbs brothers would have viewed the scene with great delight.

Winding my way further through the gardens, the promise of spring was everywhere; green shoots galore poking through the earth, winter jasmine crept up a stone wall and magnolias prepared to put on their seasonal show.

Narcissus romieuxii,
Narcissus romieuxii,

But where oh where was Romeo? Circling back to the rockery, eureka!  Perched innocently alone, there it was, the delicate little Narcissus romieuxii, more commonly known as the Petticoat Hoop Daffodil which is native to Morocco. The soft yellow flower with its widely flared hoop is an early bloomer and the perfect way to invite interest and conversation into any garden landscape.  Have a look at the photo. Perhaps you’ll order a few for yourself next year!!!  In any event, be sure to carve out some time for a spring garden walk at Willowwood.  There is always something new to discover at our charming Arboretum.

In closing, I am reaching the end of my time as President of the Willowwood Foundation.  It has been my great privilege to serve in this capacity, as well as an officer and trustee over the past thirteen years.  The support of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the community has meant the world to me!     We are delighted that trustee Kristen Petersen, who has a long and special history with both the Arboretum and the Foundation has agreed to assume the reins of the presidency.

With appreciation and best wishes for a happy spring,

Meryl Carmel

Last modified on April 5th, 2024 at 10:25 am