Early Spring Rose Care Tips

Whether you believe it or not, growing and maintaining roses is not that difficult. Roses will keep growing and blooming even if we neglect them entirely. However, like with most things, roses benefit from a little TLC. At Biltmore, we take a proactive approach to gardening – with roses in particular. Most of the efforts you make in caring for your roses in early spring will mean fewer problems during the growing season. Here are a few tips from Biltmore's rose garden experts!

1. Prune starting in late March, or when Forsythia starts to bloom. Any earlier before the leaf buds swell and you’re chancing it should a late freeze come along.

2. Start with simple clean-up: Remove deadwood, diseased or damaged canes. Then, thin out the branches as needed to promote air flow and new growth. Remove crossing canes.

3. When temperatures are right, remove any excess soil, mulch, leaves and debris you used to protect bushes in winter. This allows for much needed sunlight on the plant to force new canes from the base.

4. Once buds start to open, apply fertilizer to bushes. Try a mix of one half-cup of cottonseed meal, a half-cup of bone meal and blood meal, and ¼ cup of Epsom salts for each plant. That gives your roses a little kick-start for the season.

With roses being a part of Biltmore's culture since Olmsted's original design and hosting the International Rose Trials since 2011, our garden crew knows a thing or two about proper rose care. Comment with your questions below, or share photos of your roses on Biltmore's social media pages!  

Photo: 2014 winner George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose Of The Trials (Best in Show) “Miracle On The Hudson,” bred by Robert Neil Rippetoe of California

7 Tips for Making Fresh Cut Flowers Last

Cathy Barnhardt, Floral Displays Manager, has spent 35 years at Biltmore and is nationally known for her work. She began her career in the estate’s greenhouse, but now handles everything “Christmas at Biltmore.” With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Cathy shared some tips and tricks she has used over the years to make floral arrangements last as long as possible.

1. Be sure that there is no foliage below the water level of the vase or pushed into a block of floral foam. Soft tissues will decompose quickly and foul the water. Some flowers such as gypsophilia (baby’s breath), or snapdragons decompose very rapidly and require fresh water daily. The water in a vase should be clear, never cloudy, which indicates bacterial growth.

2. Change the water daily if possible for the greatest vase life of your materials. If it is not feasible to change the water daily, then it is important that you check the arrangement frequently and “top off” the water. The woodier stemmed and hollow stemmed materials are generally the heaviest drinkers, and should be checked daily.

3. Direct sunlight and heat or drafts will shorten the life of your arrangement. Place arrangements with this in mind. 

4. Don’t put your arrangement in a heavily air conditioned room to “keep it fresh.” The air conditioning can dehydrate the materials.

5. Do not mist arrangements in place. Misting can cause some flowers to wilt as it draws the moisture from within the petals to the surface where it evaporates. Misting may cause spots on some blossoms and will certainly damage furniture finishes, paint, or woodworking.

6. Pinch off faded or wilted blooms to encourage newer ones to open.

7. If a flower wilts, you may try filling the sink with warm (not hot) water, submerge the entire flower briefly and then re-cut the stems under water.  Leave the flowers standing in the warm water for half an hour, and then rearrange in cool water.

Behind Biltmore Poinsettias

The Winter Garden is known as one of Biltmore’s premier displays of holiday greenery during Christmas at Biltmore. Throughout the years, this room has hosted countless musicians, carolers, and even ballerinas during the holidays, all surrounded by the beauty of red, pink, and white poinsettias. In fact, nearly 100 poinsettias adorn this room alone, with grand total of 1,200 poinsettias decorating the estate through the season.

Poinsettias grown on Biltmore Estate

From November 7 through January 11, the poinsettias are strategically placed, rotated, and replaced to provide the best color. However, many guests are surprised to find out just how complex these hearty plants are–and that for about half of these plants, their journey on the estate begins much earlier.

“Each February, my crew and I decide what poinsettias we would like to have for the next year's displays,” says Conservatory Gardener Jordana Chalnick. “Last year we had a red poinsettia with white splotches for the front display; this year we will use a pink variegated poinsettia.” Once the varietals are determined, the poinsettias are grown from rooted cuttings inside Biltmore production greenhouses starting in July.

What makes these plants unique is that they are a short-day photoperiod crop, meaning they naturally flower when the nights become longer than the days. Some varieties need to be covered with a black cloth, sheltering them from all light, to force them to bloom at the desired time. 

Biltmore employees in poinsettia greenhouse

Jordana explains that timing is key. “We grow two crops of poinsettias for two target dates: November 2 and December 1. A shorter finish week means the plant will color earlier. This would be a variety we select for early November. A longer finish week means it will color later, and these are the varieties we select for December 1.  Development is monitored to determine if we will need to cover them and if so, the plants are covered in the evening with a black cloth beginning in September for five to six weeks,” she says.

Although Biltmore does not have the space or staff to grow all of the poinsettias used during the holidays, the remaining plants come from two growers in North Carolina. From propagating the poinsettia cuttings, to monitoring their light exposure, to placing and replacing each plant around the estate, our horticulture team does an excellent job year after year–just one of their many jobs during Christmas at Biltmore!



Preserving History in Biltmore’s Italian Garden

Filled with numerous varieties of exotic water lilies, tropical bananas, papyrus, and koi fish, the Italian Garden pays tribute to George Vanderbilt and Fredrick Law Olmsted’s vision each year. Although it’s is one of the most visited areas on the estate, many guests do not realize this special garden is astoundingly accurate to Fredrick Law Olmsted’s original design in 1895.

Century-Old Traditions

In early spring, Biltmore Gardeners Charles Cissell and Steven Ayres strategically choose which lilies they will order from Tricker’s Water Gardens – the very same supplier that Olmsted used in 1895. The William Tricker Company was one of the first commercial water lily growers in the United States, experimenting with growing and hybridizing water lilies to improve the shape, colors and hardiness. Olmsted’s keen eye took note of these unique beauties and deemed them a perfect fit for Biltmore, an idea that still rings true today.

From planting, to grooming, to cleaning, the Italian Gardens require extensive maintenance. “We plant each lily in a 45-gallon nursery pot with a mixture of clay and manure. Then we use a Bobcat to lift each plant into the pool,” recalls Cissell, a process that is no doubt far easier than in 1895. Although “plant metabolism” is a foreign term to most aquatic plant novices, Cissell notes that, “Lilies are heavy feeders. We fertilize once a week and groom three times a week throughout the season, usually June to October. Grooming is especially important because the more pollinated blooms you remove, the more new blooms it will produce,” says Cissell, who has spent the last four of his seven years with Biltmore dedicated to the Italian Garden.

In addition to the lilies themselves being originally-sourced from Tricker’s, the pool filtration features the original 1895 technology as well. “It’s a natural system with constant water flowing into and out of the pools. The original gravity-fed reservoir provides the water for the pools, which also used to provide water to the house,” says Cissell. This natural filtration is especially beneficial to the dozens of koi swimming about – one of which Cissell says is close to 50 years old!

Magical Lilies

Each year, Cissell gets excited to see the new hybrids and cross-varieties that Tricker’s Water Gardens offers. He orders many of the exact plants featured in 1895, but now with new colors and hardier blooms that Tricker’s has cultivated over the years. Each pool is strategically planned and includes several varieties of night-blooming lilies, the distinct Victoria Water Platters, hardy lilies, and various banana trees and shrubs to add texture and depth.

Each lily variety works together to provide an unforgettable experience, no matter what day or time a guest visits. Night-blooming lilies reach their peak bloom in the early morning and will be completely closed by noon, while day-bloomers will open in the morning and carry into the early evening. Though each plant is expected to show between three to nine blooms at a time, Cissell notes that many guests don’t realize that lily blooms only last for three days, and he describes the bloom process as being “sort of magical.”

Hardy lilies typically have standard colors like red, white, yellow, and pink while tropical lilies produce vibrant blues, purples and even combinations of color. “One of my favorites is Nymphaea  ‘Green Smoke’ which transitions from green outer petals to blue, then yellow inner petals to finally having light purple in its center,” says Cissell. And in the case of the large Victoria Water Platters, he notes that these lily blooms can even change colors. “The Victoria is hermaphroditic – when it blooms, it changes from female to male overnight. Beetles are attracted to this flower’s warmth, and as the bloom closes, it traps the beetles inside and forces them to pollinate the flower. The new bloom will change from white to a pink or maroon the next night.”

Uniquely Biltmore

In 2014, the Italian Garden closely resembles original outline by Olmsted, with Cissell saying the only main difference being the center bed display. “I use a more contemporary garden design with banana trees and elephant ears. Also, due to the sheer amount of lily varieties available now, we’re able to create a mosaic effect out of the different colors they would not have had back then,” says Cissell.

The Italian Garden serves as an introduction to aquatic gardening for many Biltmore guests, as water gardens are not something often seen. It draws thousands of admirers each spring and summer, and Cissell says the garden has even inspired a few to create their own water garden at home. Parker Andes, Director of Horticulture at Biltmore says, “This is world-class. This water garden is as good as you’re going to see pretty much anywhere in the United States, but it’s a bit different. It’s uniquely Biltmore.”

Lucas Jack and Biltmore’s Rose Garden

If you are the resident expert for a historic garden like Biltmore’s Rose Garden, people might assume that’s your favorite spot in the estate’s 8,000 acres. But the location Lucas Jack prefers may surprise you.

Lucas JackBiltmore’s Rosarian didn’t grow up dreaming of a career cultivating roses. The only exposure to the flower he can remember was an old garden rose his mother received from a neighbor. His rose career was more of a happy accident, fueled by a love of the outdoors, plants, and history.

Since 2011, Lucas has overseen the care of 1,800 roses in the estate’s Rose Garden and maintained the space as a show garden for guests within the Walled Garden.

In college he worked landscaping jobs to make money that would fund weekend trips to visit his girlfriend Brooke (who became his wife in 2007). He earned a degree in forestry from Haywood Community College and interned at Biltmore in the arboriculture department. After graduation, he started a landscape company, but soon found that tending to the details of running a business didn’t leave him much time to focus on his love of gardening or his desire to become a more proficient gardener.

He applied for a full-time position at Biltmore working the perennial borders inside the Walled Garden, but didn’t land it. Instead, he was offered a temporary job in the Rose Garden. The prospect of working with Biltmore’s professional crew of horticulturists appealed to him and it wasn’t long before a sense of direction began to take root.English roses

“I felt there was something there for me,” he said. “What I knew of roses was very limited, but I love history and plants so I found that in dealing with roses, you deal with history in some way.

“Phillipe Noisette hybridized historic roses in 1811 and 1812 outside Charleston, S.C. in the middle of the War of 1812, and now I'm working with that same species of rose. That strikes me as being a very interesting pursuit considering that historical social climate, yet that's what he did. As gardeners, that's what we are doing now during yet another tumultuous period in history; we are providing a place of beauty and calm here in Biltmore's Gardens.”

The role of Biltmore Rosarian is steeped in its own history, as the Rose Garden has been in continuous cultivation since 1895 when Frederick Law Olmsted walked the grounds as George Vanderbilt’s chief horticultural adviser. Lucas relies on Olmsted’s design intent and combines that with contemporary horticulture practices to ensure that Biltmore’s Rose Garden is world-class. Lucas and his team of rosarians maintain more than 200 different cultivars laid out in both French formal and English border designs. The garden is home to nearly every class of roses, and one may find roses of antiquity and new cutting-edge varieties.

Conservatory rosesIn addition to taking care of the descendants of those roses planted in the 1890s, Lucas also oversees the planting and cultivation of the Biltmore International Rose Trials, which recently completed its third year of trialing and competition.

While he obviously loves the Rose Garden, he has a few other favorite spots around the property, including the hill overlooking the Bass Pond. It’s an easy spot to reach; cross the bridge over the Bass Pond spillway, and then follow the trail to the top of the grassy knoll.

“The hill overlooking the Bass Pond and French Broad River is a very pleasant place to catch a breeze and look at hundreds of acres of farmland. This area is simple and natural, showing that there is no need for everything to be planned and structured,” Lucas said.Bass Pond bridge

He recommends looking back towards the Bass Pond from your vantage point on the hill to get a great view of the bridge with the forest in the background, especially in the morning. From this point, you can easily see how Biltmore House, gardens, and the grounds beyond are perfectly blended into the natural setting. 

“It’s a testament to Olmsted’s design and vision for what could be accomplished here at Biltmore,” Lucas said.

7 Simple Ways To Prep Your Party!

From formal dances and masquerade balls to light-hearted garden parties on the lawn, celebrations at Biltmore House were always held in style.

Ready to host your own elegant soiree or homespun hoe-down? Here are our top picks to make your party preparations easier and your event memorable:

1. Choose a theme
The easiest way to kick-off your party prep is to choose a theme. Be inspired by the life and times of Cornelia Vanderbilt who grew up in the Jazz Age and consider a 1920s era Gatsby Party or a Downton Abbey-style garden party or festive tea.

2. Color palette
Just as brides select wedding colors to help keep things coordinated and under control, a pair of pretty colors will make some of your choices easier. For example, we love the fresh look of green and yellow together for a summer-themed party.

3. Party favors
Get creative! Add a meaningful quote to a print you love and roll it up gently, like a scroll, and tie with a pretty ribbon. Your guests can frame them for display in their home or office as a reminder of a wonderful gathering with friends and family.

4. Make it memorable
Offer one or two truly distinctive elements that get people excited and keep them talking about your party. Ideas include renting a Photo Booth to preserve all those fun faces or providing old-fashioned lawn games to fire up a competitive spirit.

5. Do it differently
Use your garden statuary as a stunning centerpiece or use your birdbath as a temporary wine chiller. Our Hospitality Pineapple is the age-old symbol of hospitality and our Ramp Douce Tortoise is inspired by the stone turtles at the terraced stairway at Biltmore. 

6. Take it outside
Make a statement by moving some of your favorite furniture pieces outside, like we've done with our Beverage Cart. It will really change the “landscape” of your yard or garden and surprise your guests. Also, don’t limit yourself to paper and plastic just because you’re in the yard—enjoy your pretty serveware outside, too. 

7. Simple & Personal
To keep the party prep simple while still adding your personal touch, consider easy additions to something you pick up ready-made—like fresh fruit for the sorbet or crushed candy bars as an ice cream topping.

Here’s a summer party idea we love: turn plain iced tea into a refreshing Southern Raspberry Iced Tea!

Get the recipe here

Click here to discover more Biltmore For Your Home products.


Here's to a great party!

Summertime Strolling in the Gardens-Q & A with Parker Andes

We love the long days of summer at Biltmore, especially in the gardens. There’s just something special about an early morning or late afternoon stroll along the winding paths through the Shrub Garden and down into the Walled Garden. Summertime is when this garden is really full of itself! Tropical plantings mix with manicured patterns to create what we think is a Monet landscape come to life.

Tropical plants and palms figure heavily into the mix to create the effect, and relate closely to what Biltmore’s original landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, envisioned. His plan called for Biltmore’s summertime gardens to mix tropical elements into manicured areas, as was the style in the late 1890s. Biltmore's horticulture team works diligently to stay true to that vision. We asked Parker Andes, director of that team, to share some fun tidbits about the gardens this year, and what it takes to insure Olmsted's ideas are alive and well on the estate. 

Open House Blog:  How many types of plants are in the Walled Garden pattern beds this year?

Parker Andes:  There are 18 different types of plants in the Walled Garden pattern beds for summer 2014.

OHB:  How many specific plants are in the pattern beds?

PA:  Roughly 14,000.

OHB:  What is typical summertime bloom span?

PA:  From June through late September as the weather allows.

OHB:  What colors will we see in the Walled Garden this year?

PA:  Purple, peach and lime green. Chartreuse, blue and lavender will also make an appearance. 

OHB:  How many gardeners and how many hours does it take to care for the Walled Garden?

PA:  It takes six people roughly 40 hours a week, totaling up to 240 hours a week.

OHB:  What is the largest lily pad in the Italian Garden pools?

PA:  The Victorian lily pad. In the tropics of South America, they can grow to 10 feet or more in diameter and have been known to support the weight of a small child. For our plants at Biltmore, the leaves will get to 2.5 to 3 feet wide since the air is cooler.  Ours don’t support a small child but Green Herons can be seen standing on the leaves early in the mornings, hunting for tadpoles.

OHB:  What should guests look out for on their next visit?

PA:  One of my favorite perennials in the Walled Garden that is quite unique is the Pineapple Lily. The Sparkling burgundy variety has a dark foliage bulb with a bloom cluster that looks like a pineapple. 

OHB:  What are some other fun facts about Biltmore's summer gardens that come to mind?

PA:  Daylilies! We have lots of them. The American Daylily Society will hold its national meeting in Asheville this summer, so as a tribute and with their assistance, we’ve planted hundreds of them throughout the estate, from the Walled Garden to Antler Hill Village. Guests will see some of the latest hybrids of daylilies. 

OHB:  We recently heard that there are actual grapes growing in the Walled Garden, which we didn't realize. Is that true? 

PA:  It is. The Arbor that runs down the center of the garden has four different grape varieties growing on it. They're named after four rivers: Catawba, Concord, Niagara and Delaware.

OHB: What is one of your favorite aspects of the Walled Garden in summer?

PA:  There is a trellis along the wall that provides support for plants we prune and groom in the “espalier” style. The plants we maintain in this style are apples, pears, apriums, wisteria, Rose of Sharon and pyracantha. The word “espalier” is French, and it comes from the Italian “spalliera,” meaning “something to rest the shoulder against.” The purpose is to save space and control the plant growth for the production of fruit. We prune and tie the branches to a frame, and set the frame flat against the wall. We prune ours for the ornamental aspect of it rather than fruit production. However, ours do flower and produce some fruit.

Top photo: The Walled Garden, summer 2013.

Inset photo:  Parker Andes, Biltmore's director of horticulture.

“Miracle On The Hudson” Wins the 2014 Biltmore International Rose Trials Competition

The second trial in the Biltmore International Rose Trials competition came to a close this past Saturday when an international jury selected the winning roses in 11 categories.

“Miracle On The Hudson,” bred by Robert Neal Rippetoe in California, took the George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose. “Miracle” also took the top spot in three additional categories: the Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub Rose; the William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit; and the Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant.

Since 2011, Biltmore’s Rose Garden has been home to the trials in which more than 90 varieties from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by Biltmore’s expert horticulturalists. Each trial lasts two years and a permanent jury judges the roses four times per year. During this year’s competition, the international and permanent juries conducted the final round of judging for the trial group of 29 roses planted in 2012.

Before entering their roses into trials and competition, breeders work on their creations for four or five years prior. The roses judged this year were from Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, the UK and the U.S. Rose trials are a more common occurrence in Europe, with trials held in 20 different locations in 15 countries. 

New rose varieties will be planted for trials each May. They are evaluated for garden performance, fragrance, disease resistance and ability to be used in varying landscape situations. The next awards will be in 2015 for the trials planted in 2013 and will continue annually.

Congratulations to all of the winners of the second annual Biltmore International Rose Trials!

“Miracle On The Hudson,” bred by Neal Rippetoe of California, winner George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose Of The Trials (Best in Show); Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub Rose; William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit; and Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant. Available through Roses Unlimited. 

Award of Excellence For Best Established Rose
“Honorine de Brabant”

Frederick Law Olmsted Award for Best Groundcover
“Sweet Drift” bred by Meilland in France, distributed by Star Roses and Plants available at garden centers nationwide.

Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda
“Tequila Supreme” bred by Meilland in France, distributed by Star Roses and Plants available at garden centers nationwide.

The Honorable John Cecil Award for Open Group
“Pookah” – polyantha bred in California by James Delahanty and available through Burlington Rose Nursery in California.

Gilded Age Award for Best Climber
“Bajazzo” bred in Germany by Kordes, available through Roses Unlimited.

Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea
“Francis Meilland” bred by Meilland in France, distributed by Star Roses and Plants available in garden centers nationwide.

Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose

“Munstead Wood” bred in the UK by David Austin Roses and available in the U.S. through David Austin Roses in Tyler, TX.

Top photo: International Rose Trials jury member Susan V. Fox gets in close to enjoy the scent of “Bajazzo,” winner of Best Climber category. 

Fresh For Spring

According to George Vanderbilt’s great-grandson Bill Cecil, spring is always a favorite season at his family’s estate.

“I like seeing the grounds wake up from winter,” Bill said. “Biltmore looks like my great-grandfather and Frederick Law Olmsted, the estate’s landscape architect, envisioned with all the gardens, grass and trees in full color. Warmer weather is a welcome change and the Spring Garden, Azalea Garden and Shrub Garden offer a wide range of color before and after the tulips in the Walled Garden have put on their best show.”

A Favorite Spring Floral Arrangement

We love all those spring blooms, too, so we decided to celebrate the season by creating an easy arrangement that harmonizes with any décor. We developed a stunning centerpiece that evokes the fresh feeling of spring with a classic blue-and-white theme, anchored in one of our estate-inspired tin containers. We added pretty pops of color through the use of greenery and graceful peacock feathers, plus a decorative egg-filled bird’s nest as a special nod to spring.

Fresh Materials
Biltmore tin container
Floral oasis (for cut flowers)
Blue spring Dutch iris
Cream stock
Pittosporum (we used a potted version in this arrangement)
White roses
White hydrangea
Peacock feathers
Decorative bird nest with eggs

To create a fresh arrangement like this one, cut a piece of floral oasis foam to fit snugly inside your container. Soak it well, then begin adding flowers and greenery.

Tip: you can create an equally pretty arrangement by using small potted plants (or even permanent botanicals) rather than freshly cut flowers. Choose green and flowering plants of different heights for texture and interest, and add pieces of Styrofoam to lift some pots higher than others.

Floral arrangement shown in our Biltmore-inspired tin container.

Bringing Spring Ahead Of Schedule

Sometimes in the midst of winter—with a little help from our Conservatory—spring arrives a bit ahead of schedule.

“Gardeners have been forcing blooms for centuries,” said Parker Andes, Director of Horticulture, “and the practice became especially popular in the 19th century. As many wealthy Victorians added conservatories to their homes, they could enjoy the look and the scent of delicate bulbs even in the coldest months of winter.”

According to our archives, in February 1908, Chauncey Beadle, Biltmore’s Garden Superintendent, wrote to Storrs & Harrison Nursery of Ohio ordering fruit stock of cherries and apricots “for placing in tubs in preparation for forcing later on in the greenhouse.” This effort would have enabled the Vanderbilts and house guests to enjoy a hint of spring before it actually came.

The Conservatory is Parker’s favorite garden in the winter, and she enjoys the beauty and the cozy warmth it provides to complement the year-round lush greenery and tropical foliage of palms, ferns, and other warm climate exotics.

“Along with the orchids and other beautiful plants in the Conservatory this time of year, we add containers of spring bulbs that have been forced to bloom. Look for containers of daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips during this period,” Parker said. “We’ll rotate them every couple of weeks until mid-April.”

Branching Out For Spring

For a more informal look, consider forcing flowering spring branches—here are some easy tips to help you “branch out” on your schedule rather than waiting for Mother Nature to do it for you!

For a springscape arrangement, choose early bloomers like crabapple, forsythia, and spiraea branches for forcing. Just remember that the forcing process can take anywhere from one to eight weeks, so the closer branches are cut to their natural blooming time, the quicker they will bloom. With a little extra effort and planning, you’ll have all the beautiful blooms you need to brighten any room or make any occasion more special.

Items Needed
Sharp cutting/pruning shears
Access to flowering shrubs
A warm, humid space (bathroom, kitchen, sunroom, etc.)
5-gallon bucket or other large container
Spray bottle
Decorative Biltmore tin planter or container

Gather branches on a day when temperatures are above freezing, or on a warm, rainy day.

Cut branches 1–3 feet long on a slant with sharp shears. Always keep the shape of the tree or shrub in mind as you are pruning.

Immediately place twigs in a bucket with tepid water (remove all buds from the part of the stem that will be under water) and keep in warm, humid room.

Re-cut the stems and change the water every few days. Spray stems with water if humidity in room is low.

The easiest branches to force are those that are early season bloomers: Almond, Apple, Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Crabapple, Daphne, Forsythia, Pear, Plum Pussywillow, Quince, Spiraea, Winter Honeysuckle, Winter Jasmine, Wisteria, Witch Hazel

Branches bearing larger flowers like Deciduous Magnolias, Dogwood, Japanese Maple, and Mock Orange should be left on the shrub until their buds are large and well-developed.