Seasonal Highlights

Whether you’re looking to visit the McMillan Greenhouse or one of our outdoor gardens, we offer beautiful botanical sights all year long. However, each plant peaks at its own time of the year, making each time of year a unique experience. If you’re planning a future trip or simply trying to find what is currently blooming, this guide will help you plan your visit.

January – February

Orchids in the greenhouse—this time of year you will find the largest variety of different types blooming. Our yearly orchid sale is the week of Valentine’s Day. The Winter Trail in the Susie Harwood Garden features plants that love winter. Enjoy seeing the ornamental barks, evergreens, and even blooms on the Japanese flowering apricot, wintersweet, and witch hazels.

Late February – March

The delights of the Winter Garden continue in the Harwood Garden and include early bulbs, camellias, edgeworthia, mahonia, hellebores, cornelian cherry, and many more.The spring ephemeral wildflowers begin blooming in the Van Landingham Glen, beginning with trout lily, bloodroot, and hepatica, followed with trilliums, phlox, bluebells, wild geranium, green-and-gold, and others.

Early – Mid April

Spring Wildflowers continue in the Van Landingham Glen with mayapples, anemones, jack-in-the-pulpits, trilliums, foamflowers, woodland phlox, emerging ferns and columbine.The Harwood Garden transforms into a fresh, green paradise over the month of April – with dogwoods, redbuds, azaleas, emerging Japanese maple foliage, silverbell, styrax, viburnums, spring bulbs, and perennials.

Late April – Mid May

The Harwood Garden welcomes a fresh wave of blooms with hydrangeas, daylilies, japanese iris, water plants, and hardy tropicals. The carnivorous plants at the greenhouse are fully out and growing. The courtyard and outside beds are full of colorful annuals, tropicals, and vines. The Van Landingham Glen provides a shady, woodland respite—a way to feel a little of the mountains in the Piedmont this time of year. Remember, the inside of the greenhouse is lovely year-round; don’t forget to visit it too!

Late May – October

The carnivorous plants and outdoor tropicals at the greenhouse remain colorful and blooming all the way into October! The Susie Harwood Garden’s butterfly garden, water garden, Asian garden, and hardy tropicals are all flourishing throughout the summer and early fall.


Fall leaf and fruit colors turn the Van Landingham Glen and Harwood Garden into a kaleidoscope of autumn colors. Especially worth seeing are the berries of the Idesia trees in the Harwood Garden. Sasanqua camellias also bloom during this colorful and crisp time of year.


With the greenhouse’s arid, desert room; humid, tropical room; colorful, orchid collection; and lush, dinosuar room, you may forget that it’s winter outside. December is a great month to visit the greenhouse with its warm rooms and diverse collections.