Visit the Garden as spring awakens sleeping beauties like narcissus, crocus, cherry trees, iris and magnolias. Early spring at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is filled with the wonder and anticipation of March blooms. Find bright pink cyclamen hidden in shady wooded areas. Watch in awe as snow-like cherry blossoms rain down with the slightest breeze. Take a romantic stroll with your sweetheart on an early spring day along the Cherry Tree Walk around Sydnor Lake. As March unfurls so do countless buds, building anticipation for the start of A Million Blooms on at the end of March.
Use our March Garden Explorer tour from your desktop or smartphone to plan your visit around these blooms! Check back for a link to this month’s Bright Spots (PDF) highlighting current blooms and interest.
Daffodil 'Cum Laude'
Narcissus ‘Cum Laude’ is one of our favorite daffodils. Its ruffly split corona blooms explode in muted peaches and creams. If a daffodil could have confidence, this one does! The name, ‘Cum Laude,’ after all, means with distinction, or literally with praise. You’ll find clusters of the fragrant beauties blooming in the Central Garden, Flagler Garden and in Grace Arents Garden.
Daffodil 'Sweet Orange'
Narcissus ‘Sweet Orange’ in Flagler Garden has a white flowers and a bright orange cup. According to the American Daffodil Society there are between 40 and 200 different species, subspecies or varieties of species — and over 25,000 registered cultivars (named hybrids). Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has over 400 different cultivars!
Narcissus ‘Jetfire’ is a miniature daffodil with swept-back petals and a bright orange cup. As one of our early bloomers thats planted prolifically, you won’t want to miss walking across the decking from the West Island Garden to be surrounded by the contrast of crepe myrtles and ‘Jetfire’ on both sides of the walkway. You’ll also find this sweet bloom in the Bragdon Memorial Garden in the Central Garden.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has over 150 cultivars of iris, but this beauty, Iris reticulata, is nearly always the first to bloom. For that reason, it holds a special place in our hearts. We know if the dwarf iris is blooming, that spring really is on its way! You’ll find clusters of these small, purple, spotted flowers in Flagler Garden, the Asian Valley and Grace Arents Garden.
Lily of the Valley Bush
Pieris japonica ‘Dorothy Wycoff’ is also called Lily of the Valley bush. It features drooping clusters of white- pink, pearl-like flowers and a fragrance you won’t soon forget. You’ll find it on the path across from the clusters of ‘Jet Fire’ daffodils on the brick walkway in Flagler Garden.
Dutch Crocus 'Pickwick'
Crocus vernus ‘Pickwick’ is a striped silver-lavender and purple bloom with a bright orange center. The blooms are larger than most croci and make a bigger visual impact. You’ll find it on at the north end of Sydnor Lake in Margaret Streb Conifer Garden. Like daffodils, these beauties come back year after year.
Lenten Rose 'Maroon Strain'
Some call this beauty a Lenten Rose because it tends to bloom around Lent. The botanical name is Helleborus orientalis ‘Maroon Strain.’ Unlike most Lenten Roses that are white or green, this beauty features a burgundy to maroon color. You’ll find it in several spots in Flagler Garden.
Camellia 'Crimson Candles'
Camellia japonica ‘Crimson Candles’ is one of our most prolific blooming camellias. When you find it, look up! You’ll be surprised at how many blooms this shrub has. Who knows, it may even remind you of a candelabra filled with brightly lit red wax candles. You’ll find it in the Asian Valley on the left-hand side as you descend the hill.
This striking beauty doesn’t have to work hard for your attention! You will find Camellia japonica ‘Kumasaka’ in the Asian Valley, along with many more camellias. There are too many blooming to mention them all, but this is one of our favorites for its full double bloom accented by glossy green foliage.