The bad news is that 2014 was the harshest winter in memory—but you already knew that. Garden plants that had flourished in the recent string of mild winters were severely, and some lethally, shocked by wave upon wave of ice, snow, wind, and bitter cold. Trees snapped, crushing understory shrubs, while perennials were heaved from the frozen ground.
The good news is that the Barnes Arboretum plant sale is coming up on May 3, and is your one-stop shop for beautiful, unusual plants to spruce up your garden.
This year we’re offering a number of icons of the Barnes’s living collections. Mrs. Barnes loved plants with multi-season interest, particularly trees with beautiful bark patterns. The elegant Stewartia pseudocamellia’s bark looks mottled as dark plates flake off to reveal fawn-and-silver-colored inner bark. The bark of Stewartia monadelpha has a translucent outer layer the color of cinnamon. Visit the arboretum’s Stewartia grove to decide which deserves a place in your garden—or just get one of each.
One of the most famous trees in the collection is Araucaria auracana, the monkey puzzle tree of Chile. This conversation piece is rarely found in commerce, but we have specimens of this special conifer, with its distinctive whorled scale-like leaves, available for purchase.
For romantic flower lovers, look for peonies propagated from the historic Barnes collection, fragrant lilacs, and old-fashioned roses like the beautiful polyantha ‘Perle d’Or,’ whose blooms of apricot-tinged blush appear in flushes throughout the summer and look fantastic in any sunny garden.
There will be hundreds more varieties of tree, shrub, and perennial species and cultivars available at the sale. Barnes gardeners and volunteer plant experts will be available to help you select the combination of plants that’s best suited to your tastes and growing conditions. Come early for the plants, stay for an arboretum tour, and enjoy a day out in one of our region’s most interesting gardens.