Perennials are found in every garden and collection at the U.S. National Arboretum, but here in the Perennial Collection they make their boldest statement. Interspersed among the shrubs of the National Boxwood Collection, the beds of three dependable horticultural favorites—daffodils, peonies, and daylilies—bring their bright colors to this corner of the Arboretum throughout the growing season. In the first warm days of spring, daffodils offer cheery white and yellow blooms. Tree peonies unfurl their enormous delicate blossoms shortly thereafter. The herbaceous peonies are next, with their vibrant red, pink, and white blooms opening near the end of May. The daylilies signal the arrival of summer and bloom in a dazzling array of colors in the heat of June and July. Some of the daylilies continue to flower sporadically as late as September and October.
In this garden, you can find both the subtle and obvious differences in plant habits, flower color, and form. Many are fragrant, so lean in a little closer to experience their inviting scent. Coming soon: The “big three” (daffodils, peonies, and daylilies) will be joined by a complementary array of herbs, native or well-adapted grasses, and forbs to offer a continuous floral display from March until the first frost of late fall. Be sure to come back to watch this garden truly come into its own.