Sarina Dellinger column: Spring is on the horizon at Hurley Park

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 5, 2022

By Sarina Dellinger
For the Salisbury Post

The days are getting longer, daffodils and crocus have started to pop up, and the Lenten roses are blooming which means that spring is in sight. After a long January of multiple snow events and many blustery days, spring is especially welcome here at Hurley Park. In fact, it’s the best time of the year to view the park!

In the march toward the vernal equinox, the park starts to take on a different form. The blooms on the Ozark witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) are the first sign that spring is near. The bright yellow petals against the backdrop of last year’s leaves is a welcome sign in Priscilla’s Fragrance Garden. If you look closer to the ground, the march continues with the purple, white, and gold flowers of the crocus bulbs scattered throughout the park. As you traverse the park, you may catch the scent of the Edgeworthia or Sarcococca in the wind. If you are sitting in Haden’s Gazebo, the scent of the Sarcococca, also known as the aptly named Sweet Box, will certainly grab your attention. Then a stray daffodil in a warm, sunny spot will be sure to catch the eye in mid-February and remind you that spring is certainly on its way.

In the annex, you may discover the floriferous Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) which will catch the eye even from the roadside. Its tiny yellow flowers that appear before the leaves make quite the statement against a blue sky background. Not quite as noticeable from the road, the toadshade trillium (Trillium sessile) begins peaking up through the soil in late February. This North Carolina-native plant is scattered throughout the park in many gardens and natural areas, a reminder of the beauty that was here even before Hurley Park.

Starting in March, we will be offering guided tours of the park. These will occur on the second Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. near the pond area. The first tour is scheduled for March 8 and is open to the public. We hope to see you there and be able to share some of the spring beauty that Hurley Park has to offer.

As your gardens wake up this spring, keep in mind that our park tour in May will have a native plant theme and a native plant swap. Bring your favorite native plant cuttings, seeds or divisions to share. We will also have some plants and seeds to share as well.

If you have questions about Hurley Park, or want to know how to book events, please give us a call at 704-638-4459, or contact us on Facebook or Instagram @HurleyParkNC. To view a map or donate to Hurley Park, visit our website at salisburync.gov/hurleypark.

Sarina Dellinger is public garden manager for Salisbury Parks and Rec.

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