Today I had the pleasure of walking some of the campus in search of blooms. I found some lovely dwarf daffodils at the southwestern corner of the HUB. This butter yellow Narcissus ‘Little Gem’ can be found blooming in the Bearberry [Arctostaphylos uva-ursi} ground cover. The Daffodil flowers usually face the sun, so bulbs should be grown with any shade areas at the rear of the planting.
Walking through the “Bowl”, between Rounds Hall, the Silver Center and Speare Hall, some beautiful crocus were popping up under the burning bushes by the stairs. The darker shade of purple being the Crocus vernus ‘Flower Record’ while the lighter shade purple with a darker veining in the petals I believe to be a Crocus biflorus.
Along the south side of Ellen Reed are three hybrid Witch Hazels. The flowers of hybrid witch hazels (Hamamelis x intermedia), all crosses of Hamamelis mollis, the Chinese witch hazel, and H. japonica, the Japanese witch hazel, are much larger than the Vernal Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) located in front of Ellen Reed Hall which has small reddish flowers. In doing some online reading on these shrubs at the Plants in Profile page of http://frenchgardening.com, I learned that “their four petals are narrow and strap-like: about an inch long and only about one-tenth of an inch wide. They are slightly wavy and kinked. And although the flower may not sound like much, you can see from the photos that, because they’re borne in clusters of two to four, they add up to quite a show.” And yes, I did compare the blossoms from the south side shrubs to those of the east side shrub, finding that I much prefer the larger petals of the hybrid Witch Hazels.
Here at PSU we encourage you to walk the campus & look around! Discover what may become a favorite blossom of yours!