Friday, July 15, 2016

Pin It

June at Olbrich Botanical Gardens


As spring slides into summer it's fun to get out and visit garden centers (you never know when you'll score a new plant for your collection) and botanic gardens. Of the latter, one of my favorites is Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin. At 16 acres it's an intimate showcase for lots of different garden styles that flow naturally from one to another. I try and visit every year and am always glad that I made the drive.

"Prairie" done well greets you at entrance

This durable dogwood has it all
Corneliancherry dogwood (Cornus mas) This is a tree that should be used more often. Great seasonal interest with: early and long-lasting yellow spring flowers, great dark green summer foliage, red late summer berries, burnished purple fall color and checkered buckskin bark on larger trunks. This is a great alternative to standard evergreen screening. Will do in sun or shade, can be grown as a single trunk tree or clump form (as shown).

A groundling clematis!
Clematis xdurandii  Who'd have thunk it? Clematis aren't just for trellises. Some of  the integrifolia clematis are well suited for clambering over the ground and through other perennials. What a great way to cover old tree trunks or cascading over a low wall. And a long, long season of bloom. You may more readily find Clematis integrifolia than C.  xdurandii, but you never know.

Gorgeous gams of paperbark maple
Paperbark maple (Acer griseum) This is at the top of my ten favorite plants, be it tree, shrub or perennial. This ornamental maple has beautiful dark green trifoliate summer leaves, spectacular scarlet red/orange fall color and this amazing 365 days-a-year peeling mahogany bark. Smashing!

Tall and lovely meadow rue
Meadow rue (Thalictrum rochebrunianum) There's something cool about an airy perennial that gets 6' tall.

Something different for your containers?
Porcupine tomato (Solanum pyracanthum) - This is a plant I'd heard about, seen in pictures, but never experienced in person. Cool orange spines with marble-sized, greenish-yellow fruit. NOT edible, but could be an interesting specimen (grows to 5' tall) in a stylized contemporary container.

Illuminating pachysandra
'Silver Edge' Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis 'Variegata') I will continue to carp about how much I personally love this plant for what it does in a deep shade area. What does it do, you ask? It lights it up in a beautiful, subtle way. End of harangue.

Succulent scene
Olbrich displaying the diverse range of succulents and giving them their due as a fantastically popular, low/no maintenance family of plants.

Firelight panicle hydrangea sizzles now and later
'Firelight' Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Firelight') This quickly soared to the top of my Hydrangea popularity list last year. Had to have these fresh, long-lasting white flowers that age to smoky raspberry pink, 6' tall and wide.The panicle Hydrangeas really want at least 1/2 day of full sun and more is even better. As Hydrangeas go the "panicle" varieties are fairly drought resistant.

Climbing hydrangea showing off as usual
Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris) This is a handsome, handsome vine. It's adhering so best grown on a rough, solid surface. Will do in sun, part or full shade. Develops lacy white flowers in early summer on the horizontal "arms" it produces with age (this one is just starting to bud). Handsome peeling cinnamon-colored bark on larger diameter stems makes for great winter interest.

I believe you learn something from every garden you visit. Hopefully, it's something positive, but sometimes it's as simple as what not to do. A visit to Olbrich Botanical Gardens is always a lesson in how to do a garden right and what plants to use to accomplish a beautiful end result.
        

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share: