Late-Spring Highlights

Peonies, bluebells, early roses, and more lovely plants are in bloom in late April through early June. Here's what to see.

Tree Peony Collection

These gorgeous flowers bloom in early to mid-May. There are around 300 plants in the collection, all Japanese cultivars, and all are fragrant, especially in the morning.

Look for

  • Lavender cultivars ‘Kamada Fuji’ and ‘Fuji no Sato’, which have large blooms with clear, intense color.
  • Huge white ‘Godaishu’ and ‘Tama Usagi’ blossoms. Some are the diameter of dinner plates!
  • Red- and white-streaked ‘Shima Nishiki’ peonies. Bicolored petals are rare in peonies, and each flower’s pattern is unique.

The herbaceous peonies, located in a bed in the Plant Family Collection, are also wonderful in late spring. These peonies are similar to tree peonies but have smaller blossoms, nonwoody stems, and bloom a bit later than tree peonies, usually in late May.

Cranford Rose Garden

Early blooming roses start to appear in May, with peak bloom usually taking place in early June.

Look for

  • Rosa carolina a pretty, pink early bloomer that usually appears some time in May.
  • Rosa 'Canary Bird', a lovely yellow shrub rose, also among the first to bloom.

The Garden's diverse collection of roses includes over one thousand different species and hybrids will continue to bloom through June and beyond. Visit often and see and smell different blooms every time.

Also see

Mountain laurel and irises in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, Water Garden, and Discovery Garden, rhododendrons, azaleas, and columbines in the Rock Garden, and Spanish bluebells in Bluebell Wood.

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Japanese Tree Peony
Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kamada Fuji' (Japanese tree peony) in the Tree Peony Collection. Photo by Morrigan McCarthy.
Wisteria and Azaleas
Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria) and azalea cultivars in the Osborne Garden. Photo by Sarah Schmidt.
Syringa vulgaris 'Sensation'
Syringa vulgaris 'Sensation', a beautiful bicolor lilac, blooms along with 150 other specimens in the Louisa Clark Spencer Lilac Collection at BBG. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
Rosa carolina
Rosa carolina is usually one of the first species to bloom in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Sarah Schmidt.
Mountain Laurel
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) in the Water Garden. Photo by Blanca Begert.
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