May 2, 2011

May 2nd, 2011 by Michael

Above the retaining wall at the west end of Boyd Hall is a group of Forsythia {F.x intermedia} with yellow flowers on long stems with an arching habit. This is becoming a more dependable bloomer [as our winters moderate] but the flower color lacks the intensity it develops when grown farther south. In the bed on the west side of Prospect Hall is the groundcover Common Periwinkle {Vinca minor} that has blue flowers above its evergreen foliage. This has been a very popular plant in New Hampshire for well over a century and you can find very large masses of Vinca in the most unlikely places, such as below the Plymouth Court House along the Pemigewasset River. In front of the Russell House is a large planting of the hybrid ‘Brouwer’s Beauty’ Pieris {Pieris x ‘Brouwer’s Beauty’} with drooping panicles of cream colored flowers. The buds of these flowers are exposed all winter and had a striking red color to them, they are our most effective shrub for winter interest. This plant is the result of a cross between out native Mountain Pieris {P. floribunda} and the less hardy Japanese Pieris {P.japonica}. In front of Memorial Hall is our Saucer Magnolia {M.x soulangeana”} with large purple and white flowers that are very showy. Below the Saucer Magnolia is a small planting of Pigsqueak {Bergenia cordifolia} that has a spike of pink flowers held above its thick green foliage. The foliage is not in good condition this year because our snow cover was late in protecting it. In front of D&M Hall behind the Aronia at the south end of the building is a volunteer patch of American Wood Anemone {A. quinquifolia} that has white flowers above its green foliage. In several locations on campus there are Red Maples {Acer rubrum} blooming, here is a close-up of the flower. This tree is used extensively in our landscape as well as being prolific in our woodlands, especially in wetlands, it is also called the Swamp Maple. Behind the Ellen Reed House, under the Paperbark Maple {Acer griseum} is a large planting of the ‘Vardar Valley’ Boxwood {Buxus sempervirens ‘Vardar Valley’} with small fragrant flowers, though this plant is grown primarily for its evergreen foliage. In the garden on the north side of Memorial Hall is a very attractive pendulous ‘Camperdown’ Elm {Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdown’} that is in full bloom with interesting flowers that are rarely seen so close to the ground. This tree produces large amounts of flowers and seeds.

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