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It’s Poppin’: May 17th


Holden Arboretum 

While the rhododendrons and azaleas as still the show, I’ll start this week by showing you several of our late spring bloomers that are opening now in the Wildflower Garden.  Then we’ll move to back of the property through the Rhododendron Garden, across Logsdon Pond, and to the Layer Garden to see a spectacular display of large-leaved rhododendrons.  They are looking the best I’ve seen them since I came to the Arboretum in 2021.  

In the wildflower garden, one of my favorites is at peak – wild hyacinth, Camassia scilloides.  It forms large colonies of tall panicle flower stalks with light blue flowers and distinct yellow anthers.  It’s quite a combination and a true beauty of our eastern forests.  Similar in color, but in a very different habitat, our wild lupines, Lupinus perennis, are now blooming.  Denizens of our ancient sand dunes that run parallel with Lake Erie, horticulturists Dawn Gerlica has worked hard to renovate the sand prairie where these are now thriving.  Finally, look for our native umbrella magnolia, Magnolia tripetala, which can be found in Ohio’s southernmost counties, open and blooming.  Magnolias come from an ancient lineage of plants and are one of our signature collections.  

But the show right now at the Arboretum are the large-leaved rhododendrons.  There is a spectular array of color – purples, pinks, whites, reds dominate the Layer garden, which is from where the canopy walk begins.  From the parking area, head to the allee which leads you to the Rhododendron Discovery Garden where your journey will begin.  Continue past the canopy walk to loop around, and then be sure to walk to the top of Beech Knoll, where you’ll see even more rhododendrons. 

There is so much beauty right now at the Arboretum.  Enjoy! 

Cleveland Botanical Garden 

This week, I enjoyed seeing some of the early roses begin to bloom – and if you are a fan of dogwoods, our Cornus kousa are peak.  The rhododendrons of the Japanese garden continue to wow, and scattered throughout, our ornamental alliums are now popping.  Soon our roses will really come on – look for those in the next few weeks.  Also look for the Ohio native Virginia spiderwort, yellow fumewort, with blue and yellow blooms respectively.  

Tom Arbour, M.En.

Tom Arbour, M.En.

Curator of Living Collections

As Curator of Living Collections at Holden Forests and Gardens, Tom guides the acquisition and documentation of more than 20,000 plants and trees at Cleveland Botanical Garden and The Holden Arboretum. Significant arboretum collections include oak, crabapple, maple, conifers, and Ohio wildflowers. At the Cleveland Botanical Garden, two biome-based glasshouses contain plants of the Madagascar spiny forest and a rich neotropical rainforest community. Tom is particularly interested in connecting with those wanting to use Holden’s living collections for research. Please contact Tom to learn more about the broad collection of trees and plants at our two campuses.

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