The Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel set between seasoned prairie grasses, early fall woodland and placid lake epitomizes Powell Gardens’ tranquility. There is a reason the gardens are a road trip for the soul. I rarely get a chance to photograph Powell Gardens in the morning but finally got that opportunity today. It was one of Horticulturist Richard Heter’s five good things from a previous blog that I never got captured to share.
The Island Garden Arbor looks especially inviting on this rare crisp morning this season. Temperatures have been nearly 10F higher than an average September and rainfall broke 9.5″ for the month as of last night! It has created a lush, peaceful garden.
The ants are still marching past the Meadow Pavilion. Only two more weekends to view these marvelous “Big Bugs” sculptures.
I had to show a photo I took last Saturday (Sept. 18) of the spectacular thundershowers that formed that summery afternoon. These “Missouri Mountains” created a spectacular experience as you walked through the gardens. The sky is much of the beauty of Powell Gardens and we are one of only a few major public botanical gardens that have the space to show it off. We think it captures our spirit of place on the edge of America’s Great Plains.
The Island Garden’s water plants are in prime form and what a play of reds and purples here: purple-rimmed dinner-plate leaved Victoria Waterlilies, robust fountain-like Red-stemmed Thalias (Thalia geniculata) in the pools with purple-leaved Diabolo Ninebark and red-fruited Zumi Crabapples in the background. There are probably only a couple more weeks of a spectacular show of water plants on the Island Garden too.
Native wild sunflowers have set much of the regional landscape full of added sunshine. This Maximilian’s Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) in the Powell Gardens meadow has a native praying mantis facing downward on its stem if you look close. I encourage you to SMELL the blooms of these wildflowers: a delightful whiff of cocoa awaits! Be sure and smell the roses so to speak to get the full dose of a Powell Gardens experience.
Wonderful self-sown Gauras (Gaura lindheimeri) have added sparkle to the Island Garden. From standard white to this pink-flowering form, they add a airy bit of serene color to the garden.
Lovely Colchicums have burst forth in bloom through groundcovers of Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides). What delightful companions these two plants create in the garden. In early spring the colchicums have huge green leaves which fade by late spring when the plumbago finally wakes up to take over the show. They both send off the season with a duet of beautiful flowers as sweet as any garden pairing.
Here’s a different species of Colchicum also paired with Hardy Plumbago: we haven’t met a colchicum we didn’t like. Make sure you make a date to visit Powell Gardens in the next couple of weeks to enjoy the full bounty of this phenomenal growing season and experience the added bonus of the Big Bugs sculptures. We all can use this place of peace and serenity in our busy lives.