Perennials Post-Solstice Peak at Powell Gardens

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Perennials Post-Solstice Peak at Powell Gardens

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru

A stroll through the Perennial Garden, Island Garden and Fountain Garden areas will reveal a riotous array of blooming perennials. I would say now is the peak of color but we have great displays with masses of blooming perennials through fall.
This glowing mass of Missouri Coneflowers (Rudbeckia missouriense) has a few Orange Coneflowers (Rudbeckia fulgida) that really look orange when planted with the more yellow Missourians. This photo is from the Prairie Border in the Perennial Garden. Missouri Coneflower is a choice perennial “Black-eyed-Susan” that is just now becoming a valuable “mainstream” perennial. Orange Coneflower was made popular by its cultivarGoldsturm‘ even though the wild Missouri form is depicted here.
Sahin’s Early Flower Sneezeweed or Helen’s Flower (Helenium) is one of our longest blooming perennials. It is a hybrid of the native Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale). Native Americans called the plant sneezeweed because they made a snuff out of it that would make you sneeze to rid your body of evil spirits. It does not cause you to sneeze otherwise!

The Hardy Hibiscus or Rose Mallows (Hibiscus spp.) are riotous and tropical-looking in bloom. This is our favorite: Pink Clouds Hibiscus. All hardy hibiscus are hybrids of our native Rose Mallows. Look for this one in the Perennial Garden.

Disco Belle White Hibiscus may be an older cultivar but it is valuable for its compact size and abundant bloom. Look for this mass in the Perennial Garden.

Disco Belle Rosy Red Hibiscus has very nice pink-red flowers of beautiful texture. Look for this old cultivar in the Perennial Garden.

Lord Baltimore Hibiscus is probably our most dramatic of all the cultivars! This huge mass in the Perennial Garden is over 6 feet tall. There are many, many new cultivars of Hibiscus on the market, some of which are not as good as the classics. Everyone wants to buy something new!

The white mass of flowers in this shot is White Swan Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). We have received many comments that this cultivar is not hardy but we have had good luck with it — this mass near the Visitor Center is on its third year.

The Butterfly Garden borders around the Fountain Garden are reaching spectacular bloom. Here native Prairie Blazingstar (Liatris pycnostachya) spires above Adonis Blue Butterfly Bush, Verbena bonariensis and Powell Purple Rose Verbena. You can even see an artichoke at the lower left!

This exuberant image of Perennials in the Butterfly Garden reveals bluish Anise Hyssop (Agastache hybrid –lower left), Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea wild form — Center), Black-eyed-Susans (Rudbeckia hirta cultivar — mid-right), towering Rattlesnake Masters (Eryngium yuccifolium –center back in white), and a huge clump of Sweet Coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa — budding yellow) back left.

With the Fountain Garden in the background our Perennials are creating quite a splash! There is no better time to visit Powell Gardens and see colorful perennials — this is just the “tip of the iceberg” in what you’ll see and you can cool off afterwards in the fountain if you wish.
All photographs taken by Alan Branhagen on July 21, 2008.