The first walk will be next Sunday (see below). The plan was to space the three walks so that we could monitor the progress of spring. Normally the 11th of March is early spring but it's impossible to sit down mid-winter and predict what'll be happening on any given calendar date in spring in even the most predictable seasons...... The 11th looks like it's going to have all the early plants and a good number that don't normally flower for another few weeks. . It looks like all of the early magnolias will be flowering and according to all forecasts, they won't be burned by cold. Plus there will be some cherries, cornus, an assortment of early woodland perennials, and lots of camellias. One feature of the garden I love this time of year is the great view of the Anacostia River. It positively sparkles.
The Lahr Symposium, it's 26th incarnation, is coming up at the end of the month. I'm going to have a busy spring. If you've never attended, it is, of course, a great one day program. The vendors are like a super bonus. It's a chance to buy plants you might normally have to go online for. Last year I bought three Conradina verticillata 'Snowflake' which I am liking very much. I grow a number of species in the Florida garden but this is the first up north! I have a weakness for sub-shrubs/evergreen perennials. Someone had nice Trillium cuneatum, so I had to buy those as well. Normally the Lahr is held at the Arboretum, but because we've still undergoing renovation (the Administration Building) it is, for the second year, in Beltsville. After the event, just about everyone agreed that is was a preferable location: more parking, better vendor area, larger venue. I guess I don't even know whether it'll return to the USNA next year.
Tour: Spring in the Asian Collections
March 11, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
April 1, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
April 22; 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meet in the Asian Collections parking area
The Asian Collections are some of the Arboretum’s most dramatic and diverse. The steep terrain slopes sharply downhill from the heights of Hickey Hill to the quiet banks of the Anacostia River, where plants from China, Japan, and Korea cover 13 acres of hillside. Horticulturist Chris Upton leads three tours to reveal and identify the rapidly changing spring flora. The walks include steep and unpaved trails. Fee: $15 ($12 FONA) Note: Each tour date requires a separate registration and fee. Registration required.
March 11: Early Spring: The line between late winter and early spring is different each year, making this an especially interesting time in the garden. If winter still prevails, there will be pheasant’s eye, wintersweet, panda flower, Helleborus thibetanus, plus a variety of woodland wildflowers, early shrubs, and a few magnolias. If spring comes early, see all those plus more – maybe Magnolia zenii, a rare Chinese species, or hepaticas in the Japanese Woodland.
April 1: Mid spring: The magnolias and cherries will add masses of pink throughout the garden; camellias will be flowering along with corylopsis and many perennials, including irises, primroses, and columbines.
April 22: Late spring: Now the garden is alive with color, including roses, rhododendrons, azaleas, redbuds, and loropetalum. Perennials in bloom include Asian Jack-in-the-pulpits, peonies, and irises. It is likely that the rare dove tree, Davidia involucrata, will be flowering this weekend.
Lahr Native Plant Symposium: Native Plants: Inspiring New Directions
March 31, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Beltsville Area Research Center
The 26th annual Lahr Symposium explores the work of landscape architects, authors, and gardeners who were inspired by native plants to change their career paths to pursue unique callings. From journalist turned naturalist to researcher turned native fruit aficionado, these individuals explain how native plants have influenced their work. Learn how native plants can foster creativity in the garden and inspire new insights into nature and landscape design. Registration fee includes lunch and early access to the Native Plant Sale. Fee: $89 ($71 FONA) Registration required. For complete program details, including a map and directions, see the Lahr Symposium brochure or call 202-245-4523.
Note: This year the symposium will be held at the Beltsville Area Research Center at 10300 Baltimore Blvd, Beltsville, MD.