Spring has sprung at Powell Gardens! Forsythias, magnolias, daffodils and others add splashes of floral color around the grounds as the fresh spring greens of lawns and woodlands replace the browns of winter. The image is from the Visitor Center Trolley Stop with 'Gold Tide' Forsythia in the foreground--this is a great lower growing forsythia and a Plant of Merit.
The yellow-flowering 'Butterflies' Magnolia is nearly in bloom -- it has always been a later blooming cultivar, blooming after the Saucer Magnolias. I like our long-time volunteer and local resident farmer, Wilbur Kephart's comment about local winter weather "it will be different." The sequence of bloom in plants in the gardens is NOT typical this spring.
Star Magnolias (Magnolia stellata) with their delicate aroma are in full bloom now. We have several cultivars on the grounds that have pink to white flowers with varying aromas. I always like to buy Star Magnolia in bloom to make sure I get a sweetly scented plant.
Mid-season Daffodils are also already in bloom. This shot shows mostly 'Ice Follies' Daffodil (white with cream center). They usually bloom later, with or after the flowering cherries. There are thousands and thousands of daffodils in bloom across the grounds with large drifts in the Rock & Waterfall and Perennial Gardens.
Construction progresses on the Heartland Harvest Garden. The main arbors where all the quilt gardens come together are complete. This is the view from the Villandry Quilt.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Staff and Volunteers were busy preparing and loading soil for the intricate beds in the Villandry Quilt Garden. This will be a spectacular display of summer vegetables in four themes on opening day in June. The four themes are: tomatoes & basil, plant families, heirloom vegetables, and companion plantings. Each bed will have 18 inches of good soil and is defined by an edge of Ipe lumber.
Matt Bunch (Horticulturist, Heartland Harvest Garden) inspects our Pluot in bloom. What is a pluot? It is a plum-apricot hybrid!
Peaches are also in bloom in the Heartland Harvest Garden. The predicted wild weather will test the hardiness of our selections! This is the 'Saturn' Peach, which produces doughnut shaped peaches.
The flower buds of pawpaws are very swollen and close to opening. The green buds cloaked in purple fuzz will gradually open to sage green petals that mature a madder dyed maroon.
Predicted cold and possible heavy snow this weekend do not faze us. It is part of the exciting challenges of gardening in our climate. Each season we learn more and are often humbled by what we think we know. We actually hope it snows because it is the best insulation we know of against cold!