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What’s Blooming

Categories: Blog, Garden

Garden Happenings

April 22 – May 5, 2019

PDF RESOURCES:      Blooming Calendar Year – PDF   |    Spring Display List – PDF   |    Visitor Map – PDF


Summer Display 2019

In the next 4-6 weeks, our spring beds will be switched to the summer annual display. This summer, there is a color theme of purple, chartreuse and silver. The Sunken Garden will be the main focus of this palette, but neighboring beds will also have elements of this scheme. However, there will be a number of beds of pink begonias, but look for some other surprises including bedding dahlias in the Dutch.

Plant Highlights

Wisteria: Peaking all around the garden now. The best are the Japanese and silky varieties, which should be blooming another 2-3 weeks. The early Chinese varieties are beginning to fade, but the later ones are still beautiful.

Tree peonies: Have been blooming the past two weeks, but still not at peak yet. The cooler winter and spring have resulted in a longer show this year.

Roses: The very first of the blooms have begun in the Rose Garden. Climbers are flowering throughout the garden, including Lady Banks, Gold of Ophir, and 'Mrs. Sam McGreedy'.

Camellias: Still a number of flowering shrubs.

Lilacs: As predicted, these are peaking and should continue to look nice the next couple weeks…

Some of the mid-spring flowering woody plants are blooming, including Japanese rose (Kerria japonica), Exochorda ‘The Bride’ and pearl bush (Exochorda racemosa), dogwoods, crabapples, azalea and rhododendron, and many other flowering shrubs and trees.

Magnolias: The late M. liliiflora is in peak flower in the northwest corner of Panel Garden. There are still some lingering flowers on some of the mid-season varieties, including the yellow flowered Elizabeth magnolia (M. ‘Elizabeth’).

The Camperdown elm is covered with its chartreuse seeds.

Filoli has one of the largest collections of ivy in the world. In the tradition of many historic English gardens, ivy was a component chosen for the walls in many places, particularly along the Bowling Green. In the late 90s, Filoli received an enormous collection from Dr. Cliff Coon, an avid ivy collector and breeder. Many of the varieties are represented on the fence line that wraps around the south and west side of the garden. In addition, a collection of adult ivies, which are more shrub like in form, grows to the west of the High Place. This peaceful corner of the garden is a lovely spot to sit and read a book.


Wisteria are spectacular throughout the garden!


Don’t miss walking the west side of the Yew Allée to smell the lilacs, or take in the glory of the large shrubs on the east side of the allée.

Dogwoods are just starting to bloom in the Woodland.

The Rose Garden should be peaking around Mother’s Day, but some of the climbers, like ‘Mrs. Sam McGredy’ is full of flowers.

The ‘Black Panther’ tree peony has particularly impressed guests since it started blooming. Many others are loaded with buds and will be blooming the next few weeks.

Our Camperdown elm is one of the most stunning trees in the garden, particularly when it is laden with chartreuse seed heads.


Though the tulips are passed, the color of the spring annuals is still beautiful.


The foxgloves are looking stately and full of blooms.


  • Spring routine maintenance
  • Display pots into garden
  • Annual bed maintenance

Garden Irrigation Information

I recently received a question from a docent asking why some irrigation programs run during our hours of operation. In general, we try and run all programs during the early morning. This is often what is most healthy for the plants. However, for some blooms, waiting until the plants have had a chance to dry from the morning dew, before running the irrigation, keeps the flowers from fading or prevents them being subject to some diseases. Some annuals, like petunias, and the bearded iris, do best when irrigated during the warmth of the late morning.

Bloomin’ Bucks Program

Whenever visitors, volunteers or anyone else asks about where Filoli purchases our bulbs, after telling them that the bulk of our bulbs are purchased wholesale from the Netherlands, I tell them the best retail vendor in the U.S. that I know is Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.

As part of the company’s commitment to public gardens, schools and other non-profits, Brent and Becky established the Bloomin’ Bucks program. With each purchase from Brent and Becky’s through the program, the designated non-profit receives 25% of the funds. Filoli is a participant in this program. So, if you’re planning to order bulbs this year, and like Brent and Becky’s products, please go to the Bloomin’ Bucks page to start your purchase by choosing Filoli as your non-profit of choice. From there, you will be sent to the regular Brent and Becky’s Bulbs website to start your shopping.