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Garden Update: April Flowers in Oakhurst

Hi, my name is Clair Burt, and I’m a full-time gardener at Minnetrista. I’m in charge of the ornamental gardens, including the Rose Garden and Culinary Herb Garden, among others. Right now I’m really enjoying the spring weather and all of the beautiful flowers that are blooming. I even like coming to Minnetrista on my days off to enjoy the blooms and snap some pictures.


Oakhurst is my favorite spot to enjoy spring flowers here at Minnetrista. There are lots of different flowering plants that provide beauty throughout the whole season. The first acts of the spring show—winter aconite and snowdrops—are already fading, with Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica) and Glory of the Snow (Chinodoxa luciliae) coming on next. Both of these plants are bulbs and have naturalized over large areas of the woods over time. In full bloom, both create a stunning carpet of blue that you really should see. Hurry though, it may fade soon!


If you’d like to have some of these bulbs at home, check at your local garden store. They can be naturalized in your garden bed or even your yard, and since they do their growing before the trees leaf out, you can plant them anywhere, even under a tree.

One group of spring-blooming flowers that haven’t bloomed yet is primroses (Primula sp.). These were ones that were historically planted in Oakhurst’s garden areas, as seen in Elisabeth Ball’s photographs. Today there are only a few growing here and there, mainly in the Sunken Garden and the Courtyard Garden behind the Oakhurst house, but we hope to plant more in the future. Primroses have brightly colored, delightful blooms that are usually borne in clusters on a single stem.  Their light green basal leaves are interesting too, resembling a crinkly kind of lettuce.


Keep checking the gardening blog every month for updates about what is happening in the gardens at Minnetrista. And remember—don’t miss the spring show in Oakhurst!