March Featured Plants
Spring has sprung at Cheekwood, with thousands of blooming bulbs, dogwoods, magnolias and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the gardens this month. With vibrant, cheerful tulips, to colorful, fragrant hyacinths, there is no better time to explore our gardens. Read this month’s featured plant list, and be sure to keep an eye out for the plant labels throughout the gardens to identify each of these plants.
Common name: Daffodil (pictured, right)
Botanical name: Narcissus ‘Ceylon’, Narcissus ‘Gigantic Star’, Narcissus ‘Marieke’, Narcissus ‘Minnow’
Description: At Cheekwood, we enjoy singing the praises of the daffodil: an easy naturalizer, rodent resistant, and so much variety. These four cultivars were chosen for this month’s featured plant list for their radiant beauty, however this short daffodil list also serves as a planting recipe for an extended narcissus bloom season.
‘Ceylon’, a large-cupped daff, upward facing flower. Deep orange cup amid buttery-yellow petals. early-mid spring
‘Gigantic Star’, also a large-cupped narcissus, it is homogenously saffron yellow. Early-mid spring.
‘Marieke’ is a one of the largest trumpet forms (having a long corona) and golden in color. early-mid spring
‘Minnow’, a tazetta form, has the classic shallow corona and fragrance, is petite in size, and very often referred to as “paperwhites”. This cultivar emerges in bunches at the very end of February. Cream colored petals surround a golden yellow corolla. midspring
Martin Boxwood Gardens
Common name: Eastern Red Cedar
Botanical name: Juniperus virginiana ‘Canaertii’
Description: This is a needled evergreen with exfoliating bark, dark green foliage and aromatic wood. ‘Canaertii’ is a compact pyramidal cultivar with ascending branches and small grape-like cones. This conifer thrives in our Tennessee and Kentucky limestone rich soil and may reach a height of 45 feet.
Common name: Pussy Willow (pictured, right)
Botanical name: Salix caprea
Description: Large (1 – 2″ long), fuzzy, soft catkins appear before leaves emerge in early spring on the Salix caprea. This small tree will reach an ultimate height of 25′ and is Insect pollinated. With male and female flowers confined to separate plants (dioecious), ours happens to be a male. Salix caprea is often confused with S. discolor. However, the bark of S. capra typically possesses a yellowish-brown bark while S. discolor presents a deep brown bark and bluish while lower leaf.
Wills Perennial Garden
Common name: Clove Currant
Botanical name: Ribes aureum var. villosum (formerly R. odoratum)
Description: Trumpet shaped flowers of this Ribes are arranged in clusters, smell distinctly of cloves and are yellow with light red centers. Attractive blue-green and rounded (3 lobed) leaves. Irregular habit shrub. Black currants form in summer and are a great snack for Cheekwood’s resident birds.
Shomu-en, Japanese Garden
Common name: Common Flowering Quince (pictured, right)
Botanical name: Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Spitfire’
Description: With an upright habit, ‘Spitfire’ has vibrant red blooms that present themselves in early spring before its dark green foliage emerges. A common selection for Japanese gardens, Chaenomeles can withstand a variety of soil conditions, even dry, and flowers best in full sun. Yellow-green pome fruit is totally ripe by October and is most palatable when used to make preserves and jams.
Turner Seasons Garden
Common name: Seven – Son Flower
Botanical name: Heptacodium miconioides
Description: A large, deciduous shrub, the Seven – Son Flower gets its name from its seven tiny blooms presented in the fall. The Seven – Son has added a lot of winter interest to the seasons garden with its newly revealed inner layer of brown bark. Native to China and regaining some of its bygone popularity, the Seven – Son commonly attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to its whorls of little flowers.
Bradford Robertson Color Garden (Arches)
Common name: Phenomenal Lavender (pictured, right)
Botanical name: Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’
Description: Lavandula x intermedia is a cross between L. angustofolia and L. latifolia. ‘Phenomenal’ expressed tremendous winter hardiness at Cheekwood this past winter. It also boasts exceptional heat and humidity tolerance. This lavender, with its evergreen silvery-blue foliage, adds texture and interest to the Color Garden year-round.
Carell Dogwood Garden
Common name: Barrenwort
Botanical name: Epimedium ‘Orange Queen’ & Epimedium ‘Sulphureum’
Description: If you are an Epimedium fan, then you will understand way there are two, not one, listed as a featured plant this month. Barrenwort performs best in light shade with moderate soil moisture, however it will tolerate drier soil conditions and heavier shade. It tends to naturalize well.
- ‘Orange Queen’, a true collector’s barrenwort, has cheerful coral buds that open to copper-toned flowers. Its new leaves are outlined in red. Bronze fall color.
- ‘Sulphureum’, an excellent performer, is highly recommended for first time epimedium growers. Flowers earlier than other barrenworts. Yellow flowers, marbled red leaves, turning green with maturity.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Bruckse Photography.