It's Rhododendron Season!
Spring is in full swing at Bayard Cutting Arboretum. It seems like every day there is a new bloom to admire. I like to think of May as the unofficial start of rhododendron season. This month, different varieties of rhododendrons will begin to blossom, painting the Royce Garden into a vibrant scene. Our rhododendron collection includes historical specimens of 'Roseum Elegans' interplanted with newer varieties like ‘Gold Flimmer’. The main attraction during the early days of May is Rhododendron ‘Taurus’. With its solid red flower clusters, ‘Taurus’ will surely catch your attention as you stroll through both Royce and the woodland garden.
As a self proclaimed rhododendron lover, the month of May holds a special place in my heart. Royce garden seems to awaken from a long sleep, inviting visitors in with its colorful display. But I have to admit, the rhododendrons are not the only stars of the show. Our collection is not complete without our stunning array of groundcovers and canopy trees which work together to form a cohesive collection. Notable groundcovers in bloom right now are Dicentra spectabilis and Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’. Each plant has a wonderfully delicate bloom that seems to dance with the Spring winds. Dicentra spectabilis or Bleeding Hearts, are a true work of art by nature. Each flower appears just as the name suggests. Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ has a bloom which resembles a small star. Even the finest details of a small groundcover can be the most exciting aspects of a landscape!
Dicentra spectabilis 
Epimedium x veriscolor ‘Sulphureum’
So come take a walk down by Royce Garden (located east of the parking lot and Oak Park) this May to admire not only our spectacular rhododendron blooms, but each and every plant on display, no matter how small!
-Jenna Zier, Horticulturist
Behind the Scenes:
Spring Addition
Last November, I shared a behind the scenes of what our fantastic staff does in the fall. Spring is in full force and our days are jam packed! This time of year is always temperamental with weather, which makes things exciting and challenging. We dress with layers, not knowing what each day will bring. Trees are waking up and bulbs are popping in and out. Everyday the landscape looks and acts differently. We try our best to appreciate nature’s beauty while racing to get everything done.

In the landscape, the staff are doing the same tasks as most of you. Pulling weeds, laying mulch, cutting back perennials, removing residual leaves, edging beds, and planting. The prep work done in Spring sets us up for a successful season. Mulch mania is in full swing here where the staff can spend weeks upon weeks (upon months) ensuring the garden beds and tree rings are properly prepped. When visiting, you’ll likely see cart loads of mulch transported from our compost area to all our collections.
On top of mulching, we are planting every week. This includes perennials, shrubs, trees, and a spattering of annuals. Every week we receive planting material from March to June. Perennials are being planted, transplanted, and divided where necessary. Trees are keeping us very busy as we strive to diversify and improve our collections. Currently, we have planted 41 trees and shrubs and have well over 100 to go! My favorite tree we have planted so far is the Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa, 2022-0039) in the Pinetum Extension. It is always very exciting to add a new species of tree to the arboretum.
With planting comes watering. We use a watering tank and trailer for the new additions until we are clear of frost. This past week, our irrigation systems have been slowly turned back on. We keep our eyes open for leaks and problems that are inevitable after a long winter. Gauging when to water and turn on the irrigation clocks is an art when considering the weather and ingoing plants. We have a detailed process for watering to ensure proper plant health. It starts in early spring and will end in late fall!

Spring is an enchanting time at the arboretum. Behind the scenes, we are sprinting through the long list of tasks to ensure a successful season with healthy plants. After a long winter, the spring energy invigorates us! We look forward to June when our interns arrive, and we can achieve even more.
-Joy Arden, Landscape Curator
Staff Photo of the Month
Mike Voss,
Colorful,spring view of a blooming Rhododendron and Eastern Redbud with a beautiful green backdrop.
Upcoming Events
Arboretum Grounds Tours
The best way to see all that BCA has to offer is to take a “Grounds Tour” that is guided by a friendly and knowledgeable docent. We are offering free tours every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:30 am. We offer private grounds tours at $10 per person with a minimum of 10 on the tour. We hope to see you and your friends soon!
Arboretum House Tours
House tours will be starting again on Saturday, March 5th. They are held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Attic tours will also start March 5th at 2:30 pm and continue on Fridays and Saturdays. Call (631) 581-1002 to register for a tour!
Children Education Programs
We have introduced an abundance of education programs and classes starting this spring. There are preschool classes, elementary classes, story hour, and more coming!
Saturday Story Hour
$5 per person, No registration is required. Walk-ups welcome!

In the first part of our story hour, we invite children to come and explore our outdoor classroom and tour the surrounding farm space. We will gather for the second half of the hour to have our story time. Caregivers are welcome to bring a blanket or yoga mat for their children to relax in the shade and listen to the week’s literary selections. Families are encouraged to end the hour with our self-guided storybook walk.
Cost per person: $40
For more info and to sign up: website
Join certified forest therapy guide, Linda Lombardo of Wild Heart Nature Connection, on a walk to reconnect with the natural world around us.
Art Show
Join us for Once Upon a Dream, an art exhibit by Linda Louis happening Thursday, May 5, 2022, through Sunday, May 22, 2022. The opening reception will be on Sunday, May 8, 2022.

The gallery is open from Thursday through Sunday 11 am to 3 pm.
Art Workshops
Workshops: watercolor, acrylic, fiber
For more info and to sign up: website
The Bayard Cutting Arboretum offers an array of art workshops in the mediums of painting, sculpture, metal-sculpting, mosaics, and more! Learn from our group of local, working professionals and jump-start your journey into art today.
Gift Shop
The gift shop will be open on Thursday - Sunday from 11am-4pm. Stop by at the Manor House to visit the gift shop!
Help Support Bayard Cutting Arboretum
Tax deductible donations can also be made by check payable to
Natural Heritage Trust and mailed to
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, PO Box 907, Great River, NY 11739