Mar 11th, 2014

Cherry Tree Walk & Peak Bloom Times for Cherry Trees

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator and Beth Monroe, Director of PR,  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  

cherry blossoms, Prunus x yedoensis, blooming at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Cherry blossoms at Lewis Ginter on April 10, 2013. This year, look for them to peak a bit earlier.

If you are a fan of the Garden on Facebook, you may have heard about an exciting new  project at the Garden:  the Cherry Tree Walk. The “Cherry Tree Walk” is the working title of the project currently underway around the perimeter of Lake Sydnor. Scheduled for planting in mid-April of 2014, the project is funded through the generosity of an anonymous donor and will:

  • Create improved planting beds bordering the east side of Lake Sydnor filled with a variety of spring-flowering trees, including several varieties of cherries, and layered plantings up to water’s edge.
  • Remove and replace diseased and damaged trees or those competing with other specimen trees.
  • Improve planting conditions and irrigation.
  • Visually and physically “tie together” the lake and all the individual gardens surrounding it.
  • Create an attractive, accessible, illuminated walkway around the entire perimeter of the lake.
  • Create paved secondary walkways looping from and back to the main walkway in five locations where guests are encouraged to linger and look.
  • Create plans for future projects.

Director of Horticulture, Grace Chapman, has  chosen species to extend the bloom time as much as possible: “From flowering apricots in the winter, to a range of ornamental and edible cherries and other flowering tree/shrubs in the spring (amelanchier, viburnum, plums, apples), to flowering shrubs and perennials in the summer (hydrangeas, deutzia, phlox). I’ll be adding ornamental grasses in the sunny areas, ferns, tiarella, and phlox in the shady area around the treehouse, and native wetland plants that will attract and support pollinators along the waters edge.”

Plus, some very exciting news: Chapman says we will also be getting some rare Prunus specimens from the  U. S. National Arboretum as well.

Speaking of cherry trees, it won’t be long before they are in full bloom at the Garden. Stay tuned to our Facebook or Twitter pages for updates on peak bloom time. Peak bloom for the Washington D.C. cherry blossoms is forecast for April 8 – 12, 2014, according to the National Park Service.  The Japanese cherry trees  for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, planted around the Tidal Basin in D.C., are Yoshino cherries (Prunus x yedoensis). We also have Yoshino cherries here at the Garden, but we have many other kinds of blooming cherries as well — that means the bloom time will be a bit longer than if we had just Yoshinos. Also, Richmond’s blooms tend to be 1-2 weeks before those in the Washington, D.C. area, depending on the weather.

And if you are a fan of cherry trees, be sure to visit our Spring Plant Sale on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. We will have some, but not all of the varieties of cherry trees that we are planting around the Cherry Tree Walk for sale for your own yard or garden. What a treat to have a sister of one planted here at the Garden.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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