From the bloom of our ever-fragrant lilacs to the dainty dramatics of the Auricula Theater, spring’s progress isn’t hard to see here at NYBG. The crabapples are waking near Daffodil Hill, and the magnolias—always some of the season’s top charmers—are still trucking along with pink and white blooms. Meanwhile, the Azalea Garden is becoming a sea of color.
Check out what’s beautiful now!
Tree of the Week: Cornus florida, Flowering Dogwood
Flowering dogwood is a lovely deciduous tree with year-round appeal including spring blooms, showy fall fruit and foliage, along with interesting bark. In spring before the plants fully leaf out, small green and yellow flowers open surrounded by creamy white, showy bracts. Groupings of the cultivar ‘Cherokee Princess’ are located in the native border of the Native Plant Garden and on the slope outside the Stonemill. Other cultivars and species of this smaller native tree are concentrated in the Native Plant Garden, Azalea Garden, and in the Forest.
Between the billowing canopy of cherry blossoms above and the rolling waves of daffodils below, there hasn’t been much attention paid yet this spring to the classic tulip—such as this Darwin hybrid tulip.
As I mentioned the other week, I have been making the Garden rounds to talk to different colleagues about their favorite bulbs. We often like to use tulips here at the NYBG as part of large annual displays in springtime. We plant the bulbs in November, which then flower in May. By June, they have all been dug up and recycled in the compost pile.
The reason why tulips are not often part of permanent displays is that many varieties don’t come up consistently in subsequent years. They look glorious the first year, spotty the second year, and prove fairly anemic moving into the third and fourth years. Happily, this is not true with all tulips, and many make wonderful, long-lived additions in a garden provided they have good drainage.