The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Snow Falling on Cornus

The snow that fell last Sunday looked beautiful on many of the trees at the Arnold Arboretum. As far as I could tell, there was little damage done. This is my favorite specimen of Cornus officinalis dusted with snow. I liked the way the sun made it look both silver and gold.

I wasn't familiar with this Chinese species of winter-hazel called Corylopsis glandulifera. It was burning bright in the plantings from Asia on Bussey Hill.

 This Cornus kousa tree looked spectacular covered in snow.

I had mixed feelings about the snow covering the tender and vulnerable white buds and blossoms of this saucer magnolia in front of the Hunnewell Building. This cultivar called Magnolia ×soulangeana 'Candolleana' came to the Arnold Arboretum from the Biltmore Estate in 1895.


  1. It's snowing hard right now in Montreal and will probably continue through tomorrow. When I get out to the country on Friday, I expect to see snow covering magnolia buds and daffodil foliage but nothing as beautiful as what you've pictured from Boston. The Cornus kousa is spectacular indeed.

    1. Hi Pat!
      These early spring snowfalls always reveal something about structure in the garden. I was interested to see the more horizontal branching structure of the kousa dogwood (more along the lines of Cornus controversa or our native Cornus alternafolia) in contrast to the outward-in-every-direction structure of the Cornus officinalis. I have been getting a last opportunity to evaluate the structural elements in my own garden as well.



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