Late Spring’s Flowers & Nature Connects

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Late Spring’s Flowers & Nature Connects

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru, Newsworthy

It’s always sad to see the flowers of spring fall and fade.  The native dogwood bracts have fallen and the spring bulbs are now almost all gone.  Where I grew up “up north” this period after the hurrah of spring is called the “June blahs” when gardens are GREEN.  There are however many flowers bursting into exuberance at Powell Gardens!

NC Weigela Fine Wine & V

Weigelas are one of the late spring-flowering shrubs that I always look forward to.  This is ‘Fine Wine’ Weigela (Weigela florida) with the light pink flowers of ‘Variegata’ Weigela in the background right.  These shrubs surround the Fountain Garden.

2013-05-29 Mockorange, heirloomSAMSUNG

Mockoranges are another favorite of the season and their wonderful fragrance brings back many childhood memories.  These two shots were taken with my camera phone of the heirloom Mockorange (Philadelphus coronarius) on Wednesday and I was happy to capture the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly nectaring on its nectar-rich blossoms.

NC Lego Swallowtail

The butterfly nectaring on the mockorange is the same Swallowtail species depicted above in the Nature Connects Lego(R) sculpture by the fountain Garden.  The Lego(R) sculptures are marvelously accurate and detailed!  You can see the Weigelas in bloom in this image too.

Ornamental Onions, Columbine, later flowering Dogwood species, Iris, Honeysuckles, late Azaleas and Viburnum are currently the stars of the garden.

NC Azalea Autumn SunburstNC Azalea E Autumn Sunburst

Two of our Encore(R) Azaleas varieties are very late flowering and this is ‘Autumn Sunburst’ with salmon pink flowers edged in white.  It does rebloom some all summer with usually a good encore of flowers in autumn reflecting its name.

5-21 Janet w new stumpery

The recent storms and heavy rain have wreaked havoc on our region with no damage at Powell Gardens and then we saw we had ONE casualty.  A majestic double trunked Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) uprooted and crashed into a bed of Stewartsonian Azaleas. Soggy wet ground and 10″ of rain this month are more to blame than wind here.  We will let the tree lie as a new feature in the garden.  The tree will gradually be recycled into the soil and be a place to see unique fungi and the a place to create what in England they call a “stumpery” garden.  Here Janet Heter (Senior Gardener in the Rock & Waterfall Garden) inspects our new garden feature.  It is always sad to lose an old tree but luckily there were a few neighboring Northern Red Oak saplings that will take its place.

NC Villandry planting

Spring beds of edibles in the Heartland Harvest Garden are at peak and destined to be replaced with summer crops as soon as the rains stop.  This beautiful bed in the Villandry Quilt Garden sure will make a great salad!

NC Villandry Sage

The culinary Sage (Salvia officinalis) is in full bloom in the Villandry Garden as well and creates a gorgeous sight with the Missouri Barn in the background.  Be sure and take in the view from the silo too!

NC Rose Distant Drums with bug

Roses are the definitive garden plant symbolizing the beginning of summer in the garden.  This is the unique ‘Distant Drums’ Rose in the Fountain Garden with an alluring blend of colors from honey to lavender.  A Leaf-footed Bug is enjoying this flower as much as human garden visitors, a fine example of how gardening and a visit to Powell Gardens will connect you to nature.  That is what our new Lego(R) exhibit “Nature Connects” is all about and be sure not to miss the 14 sets of sculptures in that display which stretches from the Visitor Center to the Island Garden and Heartland Harvest Garden.

NC Lego Garden worker

Menu Garden Lego(R) sculpture inspires me to keep on gardening.  What better way to exercise without feeling like a gerbil at the gym.  The connection with soil and nature inspires well-being and the beauty and bounty you create provides sustenance for your body and soul alike.  Come join the experience!