February at the Arboretum
Witch-hazels are blooming near the Corning Visitor Center, the yellow petals of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Moonlight’ are unfurling in the bed adjacent to the bus pull-off. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ has red petals just off the Bouquard Patio on the northwest side of the building, and a bit later in the month ‘Arnold Promise’ (yellow) will unfurl its narrow petals on the north side of the Visitor Center. In the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden is Hamamelis ‘Pallida’ (yellow) along the work road across from and west of Heath Pond, and Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Sunshine’ (yellow) west of Sherwin Pond. At Lantern Court Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ is along the main drive past the gate to the east. Near Kirtland-Chardon road by the west corner of the gate house is Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’ which started unfurling its light orange petals in January this year.
Snowdrops have appeared in the south end of the Arthur S. Holden, Sr. Hedge Garden, Galanthus elwesii starting in January on the northwest end of the hedge garden. Galanthus elwesii has also been planted by the Visitor Center under the magnolia east of the entry doors, in the bed by the bus pull-off, by the Gardner Terrace on the northwest side of Corning Lake and in Holden Grove to the southwest of Corning Lake. Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ is on the northwest side of the Hedge Garden under the weeping mulberry. These were not in bloom at the beginning of February, but may be up later in the month. They are simply not in soil that warms up quite a quickly as the bed on the south end of the Hedge Garden does.
In the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden along the watercourse on the north and west side is Skunk Cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, the first native herbaceous perennial to bloom each year at the Arboretum. The silvery white buds of our native pussy willow, Salix discolor are peeking out on the southwest side of the Wildflower Garden, along the edge of Corning Lake near Holden Grove, and east of the Arlene and Arthur S. Holden, Jr. Butterfly Garden. Salix ‘Winter Glory’ is an exotic pussy willow with larger silvery white buds by the stream on the west side of the Display Garden. These pussy willows will not shed and be receptive to pollen until March or April but there are a number of weeks that they are showy in bud before flowering.