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Posts Tagged ‘spring bulbs’

I had the great fortune to celebrate the start of spring at Brooklyn Botanic Garden this past weekend. It was still too early to see the Cherry Blossoms in the main promenade, but there were more than a few early bloomers offering a dazzling display of Spring color. The Magnolia stellata (Star Magnolia) grove outside of the main conservatory was breathtaking. I could go on and on about the sweet fragrance and the heavenly white blossoms floating magically on the bare branches, but you should really go see it for yourself.

One early blooming Cherry tree, Prunus ‘Okame’ also offered spectacular pink blossoms that drew a crowd of admirers. Camellia ‘Bernice Boddy’ gave brilliant pink blossoms along the walk leading into the Japanese garden. In the summer of 2006, when I volunteered at the BBG working with the children’s garden, I fell in love with Lagerstroemia indica ‘Natchez’ commonly referred to as Crepe Myrtle. The bark stands out in the spring garden and is covered in smooth patterns in varying shades of cinnamon and tan. The best specimen I have ever seen of L. ‘Natchez’ is growing outside of the main conservatory.

Daffodil hill was a sight for sore winter eyes while Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry Dogwood) brightened a garden full of Boxwood and Chamaecyparis. One unusual bloom I came across was the pale yellow flower of Edgeworthia chrysantha (Paperbush). Edgeworthia is in the same family as Daphne and is used to manufacture very high quality paper. The summer leaves are arranged in palmate fashion similar to the shape of a Rhododendron.

Spring is here whether you like it or not. Embrace it and smell the flowers because they won’t last very long in this heat. Though it isn’t my favorite season, I am learning to appreciate spring for its fleeting beauty.

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Main Conservatory at Longwood Gardens

You will not be disappointed when you make the trek to this incredible garden and horticultural showcase!  Spring is the peak time to visit Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA because of the brilliant displays of spring flowering bulbs, trees, shrubs and early-blooming perennials.  In addition to the visual overload, the history of the space is presented in an easily absorbed format that appeals to everybody and allows visitors to take something home more than memories.

Planters Full of Spring Flowers

Longwood’s history began in 1798 when Quakers farming the property started to plant an arboretum.  Fast forward to the early 1900’s when Pierre du Pont purchased the farm to save the original trees.  Influenced by the world fairs of the time period, he brought their innovative fountain technology and large, airy building structures to life on the Longwood property.  All of these features are still on the grounds in working condition and provide a different experience then most gardens.

Hanging Baskets Exploding with Hydrangeas

Magnificent Spring Plantings

Check out the Longwood website for more pictures and visitors information!

Notable interest points of the spring gardens:

  • Extensive collection of spring blooming bulbs including tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils, amongst many others
  • Blooming cherry trees, crabapples, various shrubs including forsythia and corylus
  • Exterior container plantings featuring typical spring flowers (pansies) to atypical (bleeding heart, Dicentra sp.)
  • Seasonal display of the conservatories
  • Signs of plant life in the perennial trial gardens that range from tiny sprouts to full blooms of the Lenten Rose (Helleborus sp.)
  • New installation of the Green Wall in the Main Conservatory

    GreenWall in the Main Conservatory

Article and Photos by Lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design

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Buds are starting to swell on trees and the earliest spring bulbs are showing signs of life. It’s time to remove any holiday or string lights from your landscape. If you leave them up all year, they aren’t special. Now that the days are growing longer you don’t need them. Replace them with a sleek oil lamp for the summer season.

Lighthouse Outdoor Torch

The Lighthouse Torch (pictured above) is available at Design Within Reach. Created by the Danish designer, Christian Bjorn, they have a very modern feel. Detailed in porcelain and stainless steel, the flame at the top is much bigger than what a typical candle provides. Read more about Christian Bjorn’s design aesthetic and products here: http://www.christianbjorn.dk/uk/index_uk.html

Stainless Steel Column Oil Lamps

For an even bigger impact in the landscape, try out this giant stainless steel version available at Frontgate. Ranging from 42″ to 64″ in height, these lamps are truly striking. You can even use citronella oil in them to keep pesky mosquitos under control. Who knew grandma’s stinky little bug candles would transform into something so sleek? I recommend using these in a backyard since rooftop gardens are generally too windy.

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