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It’s Poppin’: Leach Research Station


It’s spring, which means that plants are popping at the David G. Leach Research Station! Home to Holden’s premiere rhododendron and azalea collection, our site near the shore of Lake Erie provides everything necessary for an array of vibrant blooms, and our team wants you to come see them!

Rhododendron ‘Maud Corning’

This beauty above is named after Maud Corning, who piloted Holden’s Horticultural Therapy Program and was a member of the botanical garden when it was still known as the Garden Center of Cleveland. The soft pink flowers give off a sweet fragrance that attracts humans and bees alike!

David Leach’s ‘Popcorn’ Viburnum

Ironically, David Leach’s most famous plant is the ‘Popcorn’ Viburnum he hybridized from seed. Here are pictures of the original plant, which has grown to immense proportions since it was planted.

Holden’s™ ‘Raspberry Ruffles’

One of our breeding team’s latest introductions, known as ‘Raspberry Ruffles’ is a real show-stopper! Bred to be cold hardy and root rot resistant, we will be selling these in 2-gallon pots at our open house this Mother’s Day and May 25.

Rhododendron Vaseyi ‘Spring Spangle’

Interested in native rhododendrons? Our Rhododendron Vaseyi is in full bloom alongside David Leach’s selection ‘Spring Spangle’. Find them by our lake alongside other spring wildflowers such as may apples and wood poppies.

Our site hosts a rich canopy of bitternut hickory, black locust, red oak, and white pine. Not only do our rhododendrons love the dappled shade, but a plethora of birds have made it their home! Feel free to bring your binoculars to one of our open houses.

This is just a tiny taste of the many wonders awaiting you at the Leach Research Station. Alongside our open houses we also have drop-ins occurring every Friday from 10 am to 2 pm until June 7th. Come walk the grounds, look for birds, take photos, and admire Holden’s largest plant collection!

Kara Grady

Kara Grady

Conservation Horticulture Assistant, NOWCorps

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