This is an informal blooming journal from Director of Horticulture Mike Ecker. For specific information on the location mentioned below, please call 740.323.2355 or email us at

Blooming Now – April 25, 2013!

Well, bit of frost over weekend did a number on some of last week’s flower show.

Most magnolias with flowers out are browned at worst, spotted at best. Color nice from the car, but get close to take a picture? Forget it. Good news is those that weren’t open yet will still bloom.

Serviceberry around grounds in full flower – Flowering Shrub Collection on Hawthorn Hill looks wonderful. You can’t miss seeing a beautiful specimen just after passing through the Stone Gates.

Forsythia are mostly still nice. Foliage has emerged on some but Orchard down hill from Visitors Center is still a sea of yellow.

Daweswood House magnolia flowers are mush but nearby PJM rhododendron still making a show and an early spirea, (Grefsheim) is in full bloom. Weeping cherries across pond from Daweswood House still look nice. Shows what a bit of water will do for frost protection. Others around the grounds are toast except those at Dawsewood House and along Dawes Lake.

Not many get excited by sugar maples blooming. Guess I’m odd that way. They are HEAVY in flower and look like light green clouds from a distance. Shantung maple from China also very noticeable in Azalea Glen with yellow-green flowers covering the tree. I even took some pictures.

Flowering dogwood bracts (yes, showy things are bracts and actual flowers small cluster in centers) are beginning to show color. While not full size or color yet, you can tell white ones from red already.close up

Other cherries & plums now flowering are Hally Jolivette flowering cherry, a plant some could make an argument either way for its being a shrub or a small tree. Light pink flowers with a darker center are quite pretty. Look for these on hillside north of Visitors Center. On Hawthorn Hill is native Mexican plum covered in its white flowers while also cloaked in spring splendor is another native, hortulan plum. This can be seen along the Auto Tour next the Hedge Letters. It is a progeny from a former State Champion that was here at Dawes.

The Callery pear are in flower – unfortunate since seeds of these trees are being spread by birds everywhere. Look along interstates now – white flowering trees you see are Callery pear. Most have not been planted by man.

This is mostly about blooming things but new foliage on Japanese maples in North End, Rare Trees, Azalea Glen, Japanese Garden and near Visitors Center make these trees look as if in bloom. Red, orange, dark reddish purple really stand out now.

Crab apples area posed for a great year. Louisa, a semi-weeping selection southeast corner of Dawes Lake is simply loaded with buds. A few of the early forms, Chilko, Strawberry Parfait, Baskatong and the hybrid micromalus are already in bloom. Next week should be peak for them.

Pieris in aptly named Pieris Collection Area are still looking none-the-worse for wear even with frost. In Flowering Shrub Collection is early lilac Betsy Rose a white flower selection with typical fragrance. And if you are a “fragrance connoisseur” be sure not to miss passing the nose over the flowers of Viburnum x burwoodii selections!

A rarely seen native shrub with bright yellow flowers along stems is swamp-privet (Forestiera acuminata) – NOT a privet however. I think with shearing it could be used for hedges like privet. Another great plant saddled with a lousy common name.

Soon to be making a hit will be the buckeyes and horse-chestnuts. Their small, unopened panicles, while not yet colorful, can be seen sticking upright above the new foliage.

Till next tour