Return to Kingwood Center Gardens

I wrote about Kingwood Center Gardens once before, but Tom and I returned to Kingwood Center with Mom and Dad last week.  It was a beautiful spring day and we wanted to see the daffodils that were in full bloom.  Fortunately, Mom and Dad have a membership and are able to go as often as they want.

Kingwood Center Gardens is located in Mansfield Ohio.  The home was the estate of Charles King, the President of Ohio Brass.  He built the mansion on 45 acres in 1926 and left it in trust to the city of Mansfield.  The public gardens have been open since 1953.  When the public gardens were first opened, there were massive beds of flowers through all the lawn.  I especially remember giant beds of tulips.  But the landscape plan has changed over time at Kingwood.  Today the large sections that used to be flower beds are mostly lawn.

Which doesn’t mean that there aren’t any flowers.  The estate has 45 acres with wandering paths that take you through different kinds of gardens.  The Kingwood Center also built a new Gateway Building last year, although they weren’t able to dedicate it due to Covid-19 restrictions.  The Gateway Building has a gift shop, museum and café.  You buy your tickets inside or show your membership card.  Then you walk through the building to get to the rest of the estate.

Once we went through the building, we immediately entered a large and beautiful area filled with flowers, budding trees, and blooming shrubs.  We saw thousands of daffodils in a variety of sizes and colors.  The majority of them were the traditional “Dutch Master,”  but we also saw some double flowers and some miniatures.  In addition to the daffodils, there were hyacinths and even a few tulips blooming.  Most of the tulips will be blooming a couple of weeks when the daffodils are starting to fade.

Map of the Gardens
Glory of the Snow
A few tulips
Kingwood Mansion
Dad’s scenic spot

We also saw a beautiful flower that we didn’t recognize.  It was blooming all over the grounds, and we finally found a bed of it that included a sign.  The flower is a lovely and delicate purple flower and is called “Glory of the Snow.”  Like crocuses, they are some of the first flowers to bloom after the snow melts.  I had never heard of them before, but they were beautiful and are deer resistant and good for naturalizing.  I may need to plant some of these bulbs this fall.

I’ve mentioned how much I love daffodils before.  They are a beautiful harbinger of spring and don’t trigger my allergies.  But do you know the difference between a daffodil, a jonquil, and a narcissus?  The answer is:  there isn’t any difference.  Narcissus is the Genus name for this type of flower and daffodil and jonquil are the common ways we refer to the flower.  They are often classified according to petal shape, but there are so many shapes that it is hard to name them all.  Here is a chart for classification purposes taken from Wikipedia:

Cultivars of Narcissus

We enjoyed our return to Kingwood Center very much and had a wonderful stroll around the grounds.  Dad found a good place to sit and enjoy the flowers without walking as much.  We plan to return in a couple of weeks to see the tulips.  I hope you get a chance to explore a local garden and see the wonderful variety of spring flowers that are out now.