In May the lilacs in the Display Garden (Syringa vulgaris, S. x hyacinthiflora) will be in bloom early in the month, along with the fragrant viburnums (Korean spice - Viburnum carlesii, Burkwood – V. x burkwoodii, and fragrant snowball - V. x carlcephalum). Later in May enjoy the fragrant dwarf Korean lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’) and other late blooming lilacs (S. pubescens, S. x josiflexa, S. josikaea, S. komarowii, S. x nanceana, S. tomentella, S. wolfii).
In the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden and the newer Eliot and Linda Paine Rhododendron Discovery Garden enjoy the colorful blossoms of hardy rhododendrons and azaleas throughout May. The severe winter weather has significantly diminished the potential for bloom, but flowers there will be. Come see which ones made it through.
Hardy magnolia hybrids of our native cucumbertree magnolia (M. acuminata) and Asian magnolias bloom including Magnolia ‘Daybreak’ in the Conifer Collection and the Arthur S. Holden, Sr. Hedge Garden. Magnolia ‘Ivory Chalice’ is in the Conifer Collection and the Display Garden. Also in the Display Garden is Magnolia ‘Yellow Bird’ and ‘Elizabeth’.
In the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden Magnolia ‘Jolly Roger’, ‘Yellow Lantern’ and ‘Butterflies’, which is also at Lantern Court, will be in bloom, albeit later than “usual”.
Crabapples (Malus species and cultivars) will be in bloom in the Crabapple Collection, Display Garden, Lantern Court, and in the crabapple research plot north of Working Woods and the holly collection.
See the Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), great white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), columbine (Aquilegia), golden star (Chrysogonum virginianum), woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata), creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera) and lakeside daisies (Tetraneuris herbacea) in the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden. The buckeyes and horsechestnuts (Aesculus) will be in bloom, so see the red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) by the Corning Visitor Center and its hybrid with the yellow buckeye (Aesculus x hybrid) on the south end of the Holden Wildflower Garden.
See the tree peonies (P. suffruticosa) in the Display Garden and at Lantern Court. Don’t miss the Japanese primroses (Primula japonica) at Lantern Court in the valley garden.