Blooming at Bullington Gardens
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In the early 1970s when Bob Bullington established his home, garden and nursery on what is now Bullington Gardens, he collected many interesting and unusual plants. At the time, plants from Asia were gaining in popularity in the U.S. and Bullington took part in that wave. The evidence is the many different forms of Japanese maples, pines and other plants on the property. One of the truly beautiful specimens he planted in his front garden is Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia), pictured below. All year long this muscled, multi-stemmed tree with colorful, exfoliating bark is eye-catching. Very soon though, it will come into its prime and be covered with white blossoms that have a yellow center. Individual flowers don’t last long and drop to make a white carpet around the tree. But the blooms keep appearing for about a 3 week period.
Bullington was also interested in native plants, perhaps developing that interest a little later. Currently a variety of mountain laurels in different colors are blooming as well as the large fringe tree covered in delicate white flowers. The native azalea collection, reportedly originating from Gregory Bald in the Smoky Mountains, has had plants blooming throughout the spring, but more are yet to come. The hybrids of Flame (Rhododendron calendulaceum) and Cumberland (Rhododendron cumberlandense, formerly bakeri) are just now opening up with their rich orange-reddish combinations.
These are among the many plants blooming in the late spring at Bullington Gardens. The Gardens are open Monday-Saturday, 9:00-4:00.