Happy April Fools! I thought about writing a nice blog about how Scott’s had come out with a new Weed N Feed product that killed everything but dandelions and how the green industry hailed this revolutionary new breakthrough, but instead I threatened the webmaster that I would stop writing blogs if he didn’t post my picture on the home page with the headline as NBG’s most popular plant. What else could he do?
The warm weather last week and the wet weather of the last few days has really encouraged a lot of plants to start blooming. Everywhere you go in the garden something is bursting out. Azaleas, camellias, cherries, crabapples, daffodils, tulips, magnolias, andromedas, epimediums, hellebores, pot marigolds, and phlox. You could find all of these and more in just a ½ hour walk!
I’ve moved over to Statuary Vista today and the variety of plants blooming here is fantastic. Most people notice the 11 sculptures when they walk down the vista, but I find them too tall and they give me a crick in my stem when I try to look up at them. Instead I enjoy all the plants coming into bloom. Several shrubs are the first thing that will catch your attention as arrive in this garden. Greenstem forsythia is still brilliantly in yellow flower while the more traditional types have long gone to green leaves. Across the way a loropetalum contrasts nicely with bright purple flowers. A little farther up the border a doublefile viburnum has started to bloom. This one is known as Popcorn has tight little balls of white flowers. Nearby is an unusual weigela cultivar known as Canary and is just starting put out some pale creamy yellow flowers.
Shrubs are not the only thing in bloom. A wide variety of daffodils sprinkle the border, highlighting garden with shades of yellow and white. The pale blue mazus runs along the ground, forming a nice mat in spots and ties together the different clusters of flowers. Here and there are sprinkled small clusters of epimedium (or barrenwort) with their delicate stems boasting small white flowers tinged in pink. The real star of the border today, however, is an early blooming tree peony. The plant is about three feet tall and right now has three large white flowers that feature a red center and a ring of yellow stamens. It is most stunning, but you can’t see it from the road by the lake or the path behind coronation court – you must walk down to the middle of the vista. Along the way you might see me as well. I hope so, because you know I am the most popular flower of Norfolk Botanical Garden. It says so right on this website.