The tropical waterlilies now sport bold purplish leaves; a reflection of autumn’s cooler and shorter days.
• Bits: Colchicum—Autumn Crocuses—are pushing up in a number of places, most notably Shady Lane and the Perennial Walk. They are big and beautiful, especially in combination with other flowers.
• Pieces: Verbena bonariensis has been in bloom for awhile now, but in masses, it really shows off. See it out front in our street display, and elsewhere such as the Rose Garden.
‘Helvola’…the Grandest Little Waterlily on the Planet - On the way to the Monet Pool stop at the popular Zen Doorway pool for a special treat. In the foreground find the diminutive charming smallest hardy water of all, Nymphaea ‘Helvola’.
The petite canary-yellow flowers are charming, exquisite and precious, measuring a mere 2 ½ inches across. On warm days flowering commences at 11:30 A.M.
The best part: the luscious, horseshoe-shaped mottled leaves.
• Berries: Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) has the earliest blooms of just about any tree in the Gardens, usually appearing in March or even February. Its small but welcome yellow flowers become deep red berries; find them in the Romantic Garden. Toward the west end of this garden, you can also find several viburnums with showy berries, Viburnum lentago (Nannyberry) and Viburnum x bodnantense (Arrowwood.)
• Berries: The Birds and Bees Garden has...
The Gardens, including the water gardens, are fabulous if not spectacular in September.
Victoria…grandest waterlily of all!
Whereas the hardy waterlilies are slowing down a bit in September (many have been flowering since late May), the tropical waterlilies including the Giant Water Platter are coming into their own. On warm sunny days they will delight all with their handsome leaves and
eye-popping colorful flowers.
Visitors are astonished by one of the most amazing of...
• Bromeliads: Look for the beautiful Aechmea ‘Blue Tango’ and Aechmea ‘Maginali’. Their cups hold water for the plant, and their gorgeous flowers attract pollinators.
• Rocks, Mist, and Water: The space itself will delight you as you wander among several waterfalls, through caves, or up to the overlook balcony. Enter through the Conservatory or the outdoor entrance from the south, and enjoy the misty light-filled space.
Favorite lunch spot this week: Find a...
• Traditional: What could be more ordinary than marigolds and brown-eyed susan (Rudbeckia)? But look how splashy they are when they are artfully placed! Another fairly common annual, the zinnia (here, Zinnia ‘Profusion’), adds vibrant color to the All-America Selections Garden.
Gomphrena is another favorite, but check out Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ which grows taller than the usual. Both of these plants belong to the Amaranth family. See them in Lainie’s Cutting Garden...
Along with these everyday adventures you find in the Children’s Garden, daily
drop-in programs are available for you to investigate natural processes even further. Last week, visitors had the opportunity to learn why different birds have different beaks, how a tree grows, and what the insides of a plant look like. More fun is scheduled to open late in September when Pipsqueak Pond and Sagebrush Stage will be open for exploration!
For instance, take a look at Allium sativum, a late-season Allium whose delicate white flowers grace the Perennial Walk, as well as a number of other gardens.
• White: You can’t miss the Phlox paniculata with its prolific blooms. Though it comes in all kinds of candy shades, the white is my favorite. See some really impressive ones in the Romantic Garden.
• And More White: In the Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden, catch...
• Stalks of Color: Do not underestimate the ordinary goldenrod (Solidago var.) for color and texture this time of year. (And it’s ragweed that will make you sneeze, not goldenrod!)
Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum) grows in the Rock Alpine Garden. It has large leaves at the base, with thin stalks of yellow flowers waving above.
For spherical blue flowers, catch Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) in bloom in the Birds and Bees Garden, and...