Spring Foliage (1 of 2)
At the end of Winter's chill, Spring slowly germinates into new growth and the birth of plants and flowers for a new year. Always one of the loveliest seasons, Spring represents new birth for all mankind. There are many plants that the visitor will only see at this time of year.
The first thing we notice is the subtle pastel coloring of the forest as tree buds open and begin to elongate. This can be almost as colorful as fall with pastel pinks, yellows, and green.
In April the first real flower display of Spring begins with hundreds of Native and Introduced Dogwoods and Native Azaleas "Bush Honeysuckle".
Hundreds of Native Wild Azalea or Bush Honeysuckle are scattered though the Hollow. One of our main trails winds through areas where these are in bloom. The Wild Azaleas here sport pure white to dark pink blooms and all shades in between. They are also wonderfully fragrant and loved by the first Butterflies of Spring.
At about the same time as Native Azaleas bloom, the Hybrid Azaleas also are in flower. Their blooms exhibit more variety of color and larger size but do not have the fragrance of the Native Plants.
One of the outstanding Spring flowering plants here is the vine Carolina Jasmine. It becomes a mass of yellow blooms in the Spring and the sweet fragrance attracts dozens of butterflies.
The Gardens exhibits over 100 varieties of Iris of which German Bearded Iris is the most spectacular. Here are a few of these plants.
We also grow Siberian, Yellow Flag, and Japanese Iris. Certainly not as spectacular as the German Bearded they all have a niche to occupy in the Landscape. Most of these tolerate extreme conditions such as dry, poor soil or wet areas of which we have plenty.
Rhododendrons show their stuff in late Spring each year. They make magnificent specimen plants or add color to lightly shaded areas. They will grow here in almost full sun.
One of our favorite perennials the Hosta is now at its loveliest before the heat and insects of Summer take their toll on its leaves. We currently display about 250 varieties ranging from the smallest Miniature such as Estrelita to the largest Giant Hosta like Blue Angel. Our new Hosta trail extends from our main shade garden for one half mile along the creek that runs through the Hollow. The visitor will be able to see many varieties of Hosta, Ferns, Wildflowers, Rhododendrons, Wild Azaleas and other plants along this trail.
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