Find out what's blooming at Filoli from January to December.
Learn about Filoli plants and gardening practices—ask the experts.
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Plant Highlights This Week
Flowers are one of the most pronounced markers of the progression of time in a garden. Each month we scout the Garden for amazing blooms and feature our favorites here. Check back often to see what we have in store for your next visit to Filoli.
Winnie The Pooh makes an appearance for the Filoli Flower Show.
Plant and Garden Highlights:
Plant of the week: Hydrangea petiolaris – climbing hydrangea. The vine growing on the brick wall near the Camperdown Elm is spectacular this week.
Roses are in full bloom just in time for the Filoli Flower Show and Mother’s Day weekend.
Tree Peony are in full bloom this week. The entire bed is bursting with color and texture. Make sure you stop by to take a look. The Iris Border in the panel gardens deserves your full attention.
Other flowering plants: California poppy, perennial border, delphinium, foxglove, rhododendron.
Projects: Rough cut mowing, planting in the kitchen garden and cutting garden, prepare beds for dahlia plantings, weeding, weeding and more weeding.
Notes and Common Questions
- When do we replant for the summer display?
We aim to have the Spring display take us through the Flower Show and Mother’s Day weekend. By mid–May the gardeners are chomping at the bit to pull out the old and plant the new. The third week in May is typically when we begin pulling beds and digging out the tulips. Planting continues into early June and the summer display will fill in and peak through July and August.
- What do you do with all the tulip bulbs when they finish blooming?
When the tulips have faded, the foliage is removed and the annual display continues through the spring. Once the spring display has faded, the beds are pulled and the tulip bulbs are dug up and dumped into the compost pile. We do not keep tulip bulbs in the ground for a couple of reasons. First, tulips in our climate do not come back consistently after the initial season. Tulips left in the ground will typically come up sporadically, with less vigor and have smaller flowers. Secondly, we change the color scheme of the spring display every year. If all the tulips were left in the ground every year, we would have a jumble of colors as the old tulips mix with the recently planted bulbs.
- Do you replant the daffodil field every year?
The upper daffodil field is a combination of older daffodils that are naturalized and bulbs that are added every fall. We typically plant anywhere between 15,000 and 20,000 daffodil bulbs every year.
All the white and yellow daffodils you encounter in pots throughout the Garden will be moved to the greenhouse after they are done blooming. The pots are allowed to dry out and the bulbs go into dormancy. In late summer, the bulbs are removed from the pots and sorted by variety into crates.
The lower Daffodil field was planted with Narcissus ‘Golden Dawn’ and is expected to naturalize and not require any annual additions. The next couple of years will prove the hardiness and reliability of ‘Golden Dawn’ in the Garden.
October is the month we plant the bulbs in the field. We make numerous 6 inch deep trenches the width of the field, place the bulbs in the trench and backfill. We concentrate on the areas where the bulbs are getting sparse to ensure a solid swath of yellow and white daffodils for the spring display. Enjoy the beauty!
- The Sunburst Honeylocust has been removed
An insect (Pod Gall Midge) had caused significant die back over the years and the tree, located behind the pool pavilion, was in serious decline. A new tree, Frisia Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’) will be planted this week as its replacement. The key characteristic of Frisia Black Locust is its beautiful yellow foliage. Losing an important tree in the Garden from the standpoint of design and history is always difficult. However, change is inevitable in a garden. The tree we planted is about nine feet tall. Given time, it will be grow into a spectacular specimen.