Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wild Collected Cornus kousa flowers fading to pink/red

This young dogwood has been growing in the Asian Collections at the USNA for about 15 years but has never looked especially vigorous. Last year (2013) that changed. The leaves took on a better color, there were more of them, and the tree didn't shed small branches as it had over the past 4-5 years. Sometimes it takes a while for a plant to acclimate to a site. Fifteen years seems like a long time, but this site, soilwise, isn't the greatest so I'm just happy that it's finally happy!

This spring it had a few more flowers than the smattering it had produced heretofore and the bracts assumed this intense color as they aged. There must be a genetic component but the question is, will it continue to do this? It's possible that the color is primarily a result of environmental conditions. We had a remarkably wet spring/early-summer last year, a very cold winter, and a late spring. We'll watch next spring to see what happens.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Flowers in the sun

Saw a lot of gardens this weekend; I loved these flowers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The year of the buttercup!

We are overrun with buttercups this year in Washington DC and environs. I often wonder what it is that accounts for explosions of a particular plant. We had quite a cold winter....but we had a very wet spring and early summer last year. Those are just what comes to mind. I'm sure the answer is different and more complex so I'll just try to enjoy the color without thiniking "weed".

Asian Collection US National Arboretum May 14

No hydrangeas flowering this year and almost no loropetalum, but it's still a beautiful place.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Primula sieboldii 'Pink Snowflake' Asian Collections USNA

This is another plant that the winter seems to have been good for. While there are a few outliers scattered through the collection, most of these primroses are planted in the perennial beds at the GCA Circle. They've been in the ground for a few years now and the clumps have increased enough so that we've been able to turn singles into groupings. The plant in the foreground was a small division of the larger clump last year.