Wednesday, May 15, 2013

L'eau de Welkinweir

Each season has its unique charms that are worth celebrating - that special something that can make you forget the previous season and wish this one would stay just a little bit longer.  For me, the certain "je ne sais quoi" about spring is the profusion of colors and fragrances that this season's flowers bring.
Amsonia tabernaemontana, Arkansas Bluestar

Bumblebee visiting 'Dragon Lady' holly flowers

Pink-flowering Halesia tetraptera - Carolina Silverbell

Cercis canadensis 'Appalachian Red' - a particularly colorful and floriferous cultivar of Eastern Redbud

Chaenomeles cv. - Flowering Quince

'Prairie Fire' Crabapple

Iris cristata - Dwarf Crested Iris, white

I. cristata - dark purple

I. cristata - light purple

Cornus florida - Flowering Dogwood

Epimedium cv. - Barrenwort or Bishop's Hat...looks more like a jester's hat to me!

Geranium maculatum 'Espresso' - our native geranium, with leaves the color of chocolate!

Dicentra eximia - Wild Fringed Bleeding-heart

The arboretum is full of perfume these days, and I'd like to share some of the highlights of the recipe for "L'eau de Welkinweir":
For an unbelievable sweetness, 'My Mary' deciduous azalea;

'Carol Mackie' Daphne combines heady sweetness with a touch of spice;

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris- always a great flower fragrance.  We have lavender-colored shrubs near the Children's Garden and Azalea Lane, and a white-colored shrub in the Lower Arboretum;

'Golden Gift' yellow-flowering magnolia adds the faintest whiff of citrus, while the nearby Fothergilla shrubs (below) lend a sweeter, but just as subtle, aroma.

Along Azalea Lane, a collection of tree peonies round out the recipe with an exotic spicy base note.  

Come visit Welkinweir, and let your nose be your guide to even more spring fragrances!

This past Sunday was our annual Mother's Day Tea and Azalea Bloom Walk.  If you haven't had a chance to attend in previous years, I highly recommend marking your calendar for next year's Tea!  It's the perfect Mother's Day gift, and a great time to see one of Welkinweir's most beautiful gardens, Azalea Lane.  This year's Tea saw perfect weather and thousands of azalea blooms at their peak.  I will close this blog post with a few photos of my favorites: