Thursday, May 1, 2008

Willowwood Arboretum - A wild garden in NJ

Willowwood Arboretum is in New Jersey and was the property of two brothers who loved to collect and grow lots of plants, native and exotic. AnS and I went there last week to see what was in bloom. Answer - all spring flowers!

Flowering dogwood (Cornus), about to develop its white leaves around the flowers. When this is in bloom, the trees look like white clouds in the deepest forest. Amazing that it is in the same genus as the Swedish hönsbär, isn't it?

Magnolia, especially for my friend KV.

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia), look how they change from purple to blue! All flowers in the borage family (Boraginaceae) do that, from forget-me-nots to borage itself.

Batman flower (trout lily) and Tarzan tree (cherry).

This cherry tree reminded me of the 'Cherry Valley' in Nangijala described in Astrid Lindgren's Bröderna Lejonhjärta (The Brothers Lionheart), such a good book.

When the Forsythia starts flowering you know winter is gone for good. Apparently most spring flowers are yellow because yellow attracts the queen bumblebees which are the first pollinators of the spring. I love these shrubs in the spriing and dislike them the rest of the year, but the flowers in the spring makes up for the dislike. They spread a lot and you have to keep them contained.

A propeller flower! Vinca major, such a beauty. I guess get to have these instead of the blue anemones (Hepatica nobilis) in Sweden.

Cherry blossom shadows. I got to play with our new Olympus DSLR camera this day and our new 50 mm macro lens - it was great!

PS. I added some links and updated some of the text on May 2.


EH said...

I like the Virginia bluebell, but are a bit confused. Here all the plants in that family are more or less hairy, but this one looks "bald" or non-hairy. How is this possibly? Didn´t it loose all the hairs when it came to America? (Ok, I know this is not so) Scientific explanation please.

The pictures are wonderful, and the cherry blooms are superb. I like the Tarzan tree.

LS said...

Oh, there are non-hairy Boraginaceae - remember the Swedish ostronört? But most have rough hairs, you are right. Isn't it a pretty plant?

EH said...

I like the "forgetme-nots" best, but these are nice too.

The cherrytrees are about to bloom here too. Barking dog plaza by night, a lot of singing "trast" and a morkulla.