One of the many perks of working at Crystal Bridges is that we are regularly encouraged as a staff to experience and enjoy the fruits of our labor. When a new exhibition opens, the staff gets a guided preview. If the Museum acquires a new work of art, we get a personal introduction. And when something AMAZING is happening out on the grounds, we get an email like this:
Scott Eccleston, Director of Facilities and Grounds, described what is happening this way: “We’ve had a very tough few years of drought here in Northwest Arkansas, and every time you have adverse conditions for the trees, it’s like the big fireworks show was rained out. The trees don’t use their energy in blooming when they’re trying to survive, so that energy gets stored up. we’ve seen this pattern repeated and we’ve been expecting it. This year, we’ve had a wet summer and a wet winter, so the conditions are perfect for the trees to release that energy. We have a flowering like I’ve never seen.”
It’s true: the dogwoods are putting on a spectacular show out there right now. I had the pleasure of taking a walk along the Rock Ledge Trail with a group of staff members today, led by our horticulturalist, Cody George. He explained that dogwoods produce their blooms for the next spring in the summer, so last year’s wet summer added to the pent-up energy for this spring’s display.
The dogwood blooms are sweet, but short-lived. So don’t miss it. Here at Crystal Bridges our grounds team has managed to extend the bloom time by planting several different species and cultivars of dogwoods that bloom in stages, stretching it out to about four weeks, but as our email emphatically told us this morning: Now’s the Time! Carpe Flores! (sorry if my declension is wrong, my Latin is rusty.)
Bonus: this spring’s optimum bloom conditions extend to the wildflowers, as well. Cody expects the wildflower bloom to be as exuberant as the dogwoods, so watch the beds along the Museum entrance and in the Skyspace Meadow: they’re just beginning to bloom this week, and within a couple of weeks they should be a riot of spring color!