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

It’s greener than last week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other colors to see.  A fine viewing example is from Center Point looking down the hill.  Some heirloom apples still in bloom, underline beautiful view to Daweswood House.  Summer House overhead trellis is ablaze with blue flowers of Kentucky wisteria.DSC_2387

Center Point has Tinkerbelle ™ lilac about to burst bloom.  Littleleaf lilac types are better in my opinion than common lilac because not subject to powdery mildew or borer and are every bit as fragrant.  Look & smell down trail leading to Event Terrace – sides adorned full-bloom Burkwood viburnum!

Bottom of hill, grassy flat area, is All Seasons Garden used for events, but color is still rampant with red buckeye, redbuds, Carolina silverbells.  This area has the largest and certainly
most impressive ivy-leaf maples (Acer cissifolium) I’ve ever seen!

DSC_2356For any not familiar with the North End, shame on you!  This section has some of oldest collection trees as well as huge native oak, maple, beech and ash (still) as dominant canopy.  Beneath are rare maples since we’re part of the NAPCC maple group.   Driving North End Auto Tour you’ll see flowering “islands.”   Two now are pearlbush and Carollina silverbell with another being Dawes Memorial.  Pink and white flowering dogwood, Japanese kerria, Japanese maples, bright red azaleas and dark purple European beech leaves make this a spectacular area.

Magnolia flowers at Daweswood House are replaced by yellow flowering Scotch rose and brilliant lavender of Korean azalea, one of my favorites. Rhododendron yedoense var. poukahanense, Korean azalea, is almost as fun to say as it is beautiful to look at.  Also showing are Tina Sargent crab apples on standards lining Bertie’s Garden and a large, light yellow tree peony along the north side of the house.

Speaking of azaleas, the Azalea Glen lives up to its name this time of year—this year no exception.  Yellow, pink, lavender, purple and various shades of red create a color kaleidoscope for your perusing pleasure.

Now’s the time to visit our National collection of buckeyes and horse-chestnuts, most just coming in flower with some still to open.  Continue uphill to visit beech collection.  Beech leaf colors, textures and various plant habits won’t fail to please.  Old buckeye collection is near Rare Tree area and is alive with color as well, not just the buckeyes but Japanese maple interspersed throughout.  Now is the time to see the “17” Ohio buckeyes.

For visual and “scentual” pleasure visit Flowering Shrub area— viburnum, lilac, dogwood and crab apples take the show.  The crab apple collection has petals falling, some faded, but still worth a drive through.  Among most showy now is Chinese snowball viburnum with huge flower heads.

Near Pershing Avenue intersection with short loop connector is a rarely seen but highly desirable small tree saddled with the sad moniker shineyleaf yellowhorn.  White flowers, some with yellow centers, others with red cover.  Literature says they make good cut flowers but I prefer them on the tree.

I’ve always thought the most read label on grounds is Tamarix along road in Magnolias—at least when it’s in flower—as it is now.  The small pink flowers coat this shrubby mass in a cloud which causes cars to stop and someone run to see what the label says.  Someone finally selected this mass for a Legacy label, making it easier for seekers to find.

A native plant with dark purple flowers is paw paw, very pretty especially if back-lighted by early morning sun.  These occur natively in the woods and along trails.  Another U.S. native, chokeberry is flowering now and if you drive through Rare Tree area now you will never question why this plant is high on recommended landscape plant lists!