The gardens are asleep for winter, but it’s a great time to take a walk and enjoy the majestic evergreens and the arboretum’s natural architecture.
Some early-blooming bulbs to watch for at Laurelwood Arboretum in January, if we get a warm spell, are snowdrops (Galanthus) and yellow-flowering winter aconite (Eranthis). These bulbs spread naturally and are found among the rhododendrons on Fairway.
Hellebore is a semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial that can flower In January. The bell-shaped flowers hang down under the leaves and the flowers come in a variety of colors (white, rose, green-tinged, pink). We have masses of them just past the South Rock Garden.
Winter jasmine (Jasminum) may bloom the first warm day in January. This yellow-flowering plant is growing along a hill on the wood chip path near the Gazebo and 1st Bridge. It is a low-growing shrub that we use for soil erosion control.
Perhaps you will see witchhazel (Hamamelis x intermedia) blooming at Laurelwood. As the Latin name suggests, this plant is a hybrid cross between H. japonica and H. mollis. The yellow blossoming plant is near the Fairy Tree on Brook Road.
There are a couple of beautiful examples of winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata) in the gardens at Laurelwood. The Native Plant Garden has a stunning red-berried plant near the bulletin board. Anyone strolling down Brook Road can’t miss the plant grouping just past the Gazebo, near the “Bridge to nowhere.” Birds will eat the berries, after all the soft fruited species have been devoured.
Look for american beautyberry (Callicarpa) in the Native Plant Garden. The purple berries are so unique.
In the same garden, female native hollies (Ilex) are showing off their red berries. Male plants simply contribute pollen for fruit production and do not develop fruit.
Enjoy all that Laurelwood Arboretum has to offer, any time of the year!
Best wishes for a wonderful year in 2018!
— Elaine Fogerty, Executive Director