The Museum’s Front Yard

Coming out of a weekend spent working in the garden, it’s fascinating to see the many flowers now in bloom in the Museum’s front yard. Red tulips currently dominate the space, joined by other perennials enjoying the long-awaited spring sunshine.

Flowers in bloom at The Corning Museum of Glass

Flowers in bloom at The Corning Museum of Glass

The landscape design of the Museum’s front yard celebrates the beauty of the indigenous regional landscape. The concept, designed by landscape architects Quennell Rothschild & Partners in 1999, is to set-off the elegant, hard-edged glass and steel architecture of the building against a soft waving field of tall ornamental grass. The ornamental grass selected is Miscanthus, in three varieties named Gracillimus, Autumn Light and Sarabande. These grass varieties were selected for their aesthetic qualities: their height, flowering plumes, beautiful fall color and for its character during the winter months when most other vegetation is not visible.

The Miscanthus grass in the late summer

The Miscanthus grass in the late summer

The design is a layered planting of many plant materials to provide:

  • Low, ground covering flowering plants which will be primarily effective in early spring
  • Moderate height flowering plants which come in during the late spring and bloom until early summer with a few continuing into summer among the taller grasses
  • Finally, the tall grasses which begin their new growth in the spring, mature during the summer so that by late summer they will remain the dominant visual plant and will remain through the fall and winter, changing color from green to golden brown

The flowering plants consist of:

  • Perennial herbaceous plants – ones which die back completely in the winter but grow back each spring
  • Bulbs – ones which grow from underground bulbs and which normally self-propagate and have a flowering season which can vary from very early spring to mid-summer
  • Self-seeding annuals – wild-flower seed mix containing many species which self-seed
  • Annuals – commercially grown annuals which have a long blooming season
Blooming Crocus vemus

Crocus vernus blooms in the early spring

Specific Plant Species

Early Spring Blooming Bulbs:

  • Crocus vernus
  • Common Crocus
  • Narcissus ‘King Alfred’
  • Narcissus
  • Crocus biflorus var.
  • Scotch Crocus
  • Iris reticulata
  • Stemless Iris
  • Muscari ormeniacum
  • Grape Hyacinth

Ground Covering Perennials:

  • Arabis stolonifera
  • Rock Cress
  • Phlox stolonifera
  • Creeping Phlox

Late Spring to Early-/Mid-Summer Blooming Perennials:

  • Iris siberica
  • Siberian Iris
  • Baptisia australis
  • False Indigo
  • Scabiosa caucasia
  • Pincushion Flowers
  • Hesperis matronalis
  • Dame’s Rocket

Mid-/Late-Summer to Fall Blooming Perennials:

  • Rudbeckia fulgida
  • Rudbeckia
  • Achillea matrionalis
  • Yarrow
  • Echinacea purpurea
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Veronica virginica
  • Culver’s Root
  • Popaver orientele
  • Oriental Poppy


  • Dusty Miller
  • Nicotiana
  • Salvias