The Middlebury Landscape

May 29, 2009

Pagoda Dogwood

Filed under: Blooms,Trees — Tim Parsons @ 6:28 am

There is another, better Dogwood in bloom right now on campus, a native. Pagoda Dogwood, Cornus alternifolia. There are a bunch planted by Starr/Axinn, and one nice one next to Old Chapel. I’ve got a great one at my house, read on… (more…)

May 24, 2009

Doublefile Viburnum

Filed under: Blooms — Tim Parsons @ 6:03 pm

We’ve got another plant in bloom on campus, and this one is worth driving past on your way to work. In front of Carr Hall, look for its large white blooms on a large shrub. For you plant geeks out there, it’s a Doublefile Viburnum, Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum.


May 11, 2009

Blooming Madness

Filed under: Blooms — Tim Parsons @ 12:15 pm

The rains of the last week are certainly helping spring appear, after a very dry March. There is all sorts of plants in bloom now, here are some of my favorites.

Redbud-Cercis canadensis. We planted 3 of these against Mumford last year, and another one on the Old Chapel Road side of Starr/Axinn. Great plant, small like a crabapple, but shade tolerant. Great as an understory plant in a woodland setting, but also well as a small speciman out in the open. Make sure if you are buying one in Vermont to get a northern grown one, there is a northern strain that is hardier than others you may buy from chain stores. (more…)

May 10, 2009


Filed under: Blooms,Trees — Tim Parsons @ 9:27 am

It’s almost impossible now to keep up with everything in bloom, so I’ll write about the most obvious around campus, the Crabapples (more…)

May 3, 2009


Filed under: Blooms — Tim Parsons @ 8:40 am

There’s a new plant in bloom this week, and it’s all over the place. Amelanchier is the mouthful of a latin name, and it has several common names, including Shadblow, Serviceberry, and Juneberry. There are several in bloom by Starr/Axinn, some next to the Mahaney Center for the Arts, even some in the woods at Ridgeline. (more…)

April 27, 2009

Cherry Trees

Filed under: Blooms — Tim Parsons @ 6:34 pm

Cherry Trees-Mead Quad

One of the two cherry trees on campus is in full bloom, and the one on the north of it is getting close. I will confess that I don’t exactly know what kind of cherry tree this is-one of the drawbacks to going to a university in the north. (University of Vermont) We’re not exactly a hotbed of cherry knowledge up here. In fact, it’s not even supposed to live up here. If I had to guess, I think it’s a Sargent Cherry, Prunus sargentii. So for those keeping track, that’s starting at about 75 growing degree days. For those that read a post a while ago saying I would write a post about growing degree days, I haven’t forgotten you.

April 26, 2009

Star Magnolia

Filed under: Blooms — Tim Parsons @ 6:01 pm

Star Magnolia

It’s been a great weekend to see Magnolia flowers as they go flying past you at 30 MPH in the wind. Seriously, it’s been pretty windy all weekend. A hot wind yesterday, from the south. It got up to about 84 degrees, and today it didn’t feel like it broke 50.

The magnolias on campus are still in full bloom, though. They are Star Magnolias, a wide spreading shrub/small tree of about 15 feet wide and tall. Perfectly hardy in the Champlain Valley, and a great early flowering choice for the landscape. Fine in full sun, but also adaptable to part shade as well. One at my house is thriving on the north side of a garage, and it probably doesn’t get more than 3 hours of sun a day.

The ironic thing about the magnolias on campus is where they are planted. Someone in years past thought they were not very hardy, so they planted them on top of steam lines, thinking the heat from the steam would help protect them. So, there is one behind Voter, right on top of that steam line, one in front of Carr Hall, and another in front of Allen. There was one by Starr/Axinn, but we moved it with a tree spade last year during construction, and it now resides behind Hillcrest.

We planted Merrill Magnolias last year by the Bowker House, on the corner by Adirondack Road. They have a more classic magnolia flower, not in the star shape of the Star Magnolia, more like a small tulip. They are going to be much taller as well, as much as 30 feet or so.

April 13, 2009


Filed under: Blooms — Tim Parsons @ 4:38 pm

We’re up to 18 growing degree days (yeah, I promised in the last post to explain that, I will try to get to that tonight), and there is some Forsythia in bloom. It’s in the service building parking lot, next to Centeno. And entire hedge of it, and it’s been in bud for a week now. There is no other forsythia in town that I’ve seen, I think the warmth from the parking lot has sped this one along some.

It was a warm winter, so we probably won’t see any low blooming forsythia this year. (more…)

April 2, 2009

What’s in Bloom

Filed under: Blooms — Tim Parsons @ 6:49 pm

It’s April 2, and we’re at about 15 growing degree days on campus. (More on that later) We already have some plants in bloom: here’s a short list

In the Garden of the Seasons by the New Library is some Spring Witchhazel, Hamamelis vernalis. It’s the very first plant to bloom I can think of, but it is pretty subtle. Down south they may bloom as early as January or February, but up here they are right on schedule. I like it’s fall color, a nice vibrant yellow.

There are also some snowdrops in bloom behind Longwell, that’s on Hillcrest Road by the commuter parking. They look to be escapees from an old garden back there.

And finally, Red Maple is in full bloom on campus. Otherwise known as swamp Maple, or loggers refer to it as soft maple. It’s not in bloom in Weybridge yet, but Middlebury is a little warmer than other locales.


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