Colors of campus come into focus in spring

Blossoms index

As cold, winter temperatures moderate and the spring semester comes to a close, the monotones of winter are replaced with bursts of color: white, pink, yellow and red. Early blooming flowers and blossoming trees transform the campus, seemingly overnight, and for a brief period, spots of color can be seen no matter where on campus you find yourself.

Blossoms McCormick

The early-blooming, red flowers of a Japanese apricot (Prunus mume) greet staff of the University Art Museum as they enter McCormick Hall. Opposite this entry on the side of McCormick Hall is upperclass dormitory Dodd Hall.

Blossoms procter hall

A flowering Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) sets off an entrance to Proctor Hall at the Graduate College.

Blossoms dogwoods

Between Joline and Hamilton halls of Rockefeller College, these Cornelian cherry dogwoods (Cornus mas) might be mistaken for Forsythia, but they have more of a tree-like form.

Photos by Mahlon Lovett

The landscape of Princeton's campus always has been a defining element of its identity and experience. Beginning with the enclosure of the "front campus" between Nassau Hall and Nassau Street in 1756, the relationship between the architecture and the landscape has created a feeling of an intimate academy unique to this setting, with myriad pathways and courtyards. There are places to congregate, to meditate and to appreciate nature; there are places where one can simply escape from the noise of daily life.

Blossoms class

At Princeton, a sure sign that warmer temperatures have arrived is classes meeting outside, such as this one on the front lawn of Prospect House, under a flowering Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana). (Photo by Mahlon Lovett)

Many elements of Princeton's present beauty are the work of Beatrix Farrand. Commissioned in 1912 to work with architect Ralph Adams Cram at the new Graduate College, Farrand was appointed University consulting landscape architect in 1915. Her work at the Graduate College was an auspicious beginning of a 30-year association with the University. Farrand’s work -- and that of her head gardener James Clark, who served from 1928 to 1962 -- survives today almost in its entirety at the Graduate College and in remnants throughout the main campus.

Blossoms daffodils

Daffodils (Narcissus spp) fill the lawn next to Proctor Hall, at the Graduate College. (Photo by Mahlon Lovett)

Today, as the University's campus evolves, with growing arts, humanities and science areas, the planning challenge is to accommodate growth while preserving the campus characteristics -- and abundant natural beauty -- treasured by generations of students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Blossoms prospect

Princeton Preview, sponsored by the Admission Office, brings families of prospective undergraduates to campus to sample classes, meet professors, visit the University Art Museum and take a tour of the campus -- which includes, here, a stop in the formal garden of Prospect House. (Photo by Mahlon Lovett)


Blossoms chapel

An early blooming Okame cherry (Prunus 'Okame') greets visitors to Firestone Library as they walk past Scheide Caldwell House from Nassau Street; across Firestone Plaza stands the University Chapel. (Photo by Mahlon Lovett)


Blossoms bikes

Shapiro Walk, which in early spring is enlivened by Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana), offers one avenue of access to the Engineering Quadrangle across from the Computer Science Building and Mudd Manuscript Library. (Photo by Mahlon Lovett)


Blossoms daffodils

Among the campus plants first to bloom in spring, these daffodils (Narcissus spp) fill a bed between Wright and Walker halls; at the top of the steps, students walk through an arch leading to Cuyler Hall. (Photo by Mahlon Lovett)


Blossoms fountain

A Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) dapples the entrance to Corwin Hall on Scudder Plaza -- a popular spot to study, read, visit with friends and enjoy the sun while the 'Fountain of Freedom' sprays a cooling mist. (Photo by Denise Applewhite)