Spring this year has been a particularly pretty one for the flowering trees, shrubs, and plants at Darlington House. This past weekend, with temperatures unseasonably reaching into the nineties both days, we witnessed the final flowering of the grounds, ahead of the summer's more subtle shades of green. Come have a look.
Several years ago we planted a row of six crab apple trees (Malus 'Candy Mint Sargent'), replacing a row of heritage apple trees that deer destroyed overnight one weekend. The crab apples were at their peak flowering on Saturday morning, and were covered with bees and other insects gorging themselves on their nectar.
The lilacs were in full throttle over the weekend, and by Sunday our Syringa vulgaris 'Edith Cavell' were covered with the plumpest of their wonderful, almost sickeningly sweet fragrant flowers.
These diminutive grape hyancinth (Muscari racemosum), took over from the earlier white snow drops I showed in a previous posting. They really do smell like Grape Nehi soda.
The boxwood (Buxus) hedges on our property were particularly happy this year, and sent out a lot of healthy new growth.
The flowering crab apple (Malus sieboldii zumi 'Calocarpa') that we planted a decade ago at my cousin Joanna McQuail Reed's suggestion put on a great show this year, and was covered on Saturday morning with its pretty, palest-pink blossoms. By Sunday afternoon many of the petals had already fluttered to the ground.
This is the first year that we do not have the pleasure of an ancient flowering red bud tree that was planted on our property well before the Proctor's bought it in 1931. We lost the red bud last summer in a freak storm that destroyed half a dozen of our mature trees, and denuded whole sections of the property. We are planning on embarking on a planting program this year to re-populate the landscape.
Do you have any favorite old-fashioned trees or shrubs that you particularly like?
All photos by Boy Fenwick