Summer’s Early Start

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Summer’s Early Start

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru, Newsworthy

The warmest spring in history has brought about the earliest flowering and fruiting ever recorded for many plants at Powell Gardens.  Meteorological “Summer” begins on June 1st and a visit to the gardens now will reveal some shocking plants at their prime nearly a month ahead of “normal” schedules.  The pulsing buzz of the dog day or scissor-grinder cicada can already be heard — normally a sound of the Dog Days of summer.
Peaches ripe in May?  Yep, that’s a first and what a welcome to summer’s early start at Powell Gardens!  These are ‘Harrow Diamond’ Peaches from Canada and have proven a hardy, flavorful and EARLY variety for our region.  Try a taste of fresh peaches at the Heartland Harvest Garden’s tasting station and check at Refresh– the snack shop at the Missouri Barn to see if any are for sale to take home too.
Apples are showing surprising sizes already too.  Here are some‘Yellow Transparent’ Apples in the Quilt Gardens.  ‘Lodi’ is our earliest apple in the Heartland Harvest Garden and I can see it will be ripe and ready for fresh baked good in just a couple weeks!

These are not raspberries but ripening Blackberries — usually a fruit of much later, it won’t be long until these are ready for picking (they turn black when ripe).  The abundance of berries in the garden is astounding after our mildest winter AND spring on record.

Ripe winter wheat in the Old Missouri Quilt Garden is also a first for this early.  Here’s your chance to see this beautiful grass up close and be sure to see its contrasting color enhancing the quilt pattern of the garden when viewed from the Silo’s observation deck.

The flouncy puff balls of the Annabelle hydrangea’s flowers are making their change from lime to cream and white so are at their peak of beauty in the garden.  Normally a flower of midsummer they are a sight to savor now on the Island Garden.

Come sit a spell on the Island Garden and find yourself ensconced in flowers in all shapes and sizes from little cuties on the living wall to the waterlilies in the pools and of course be among the gorgeous hydrangeas.

The Hardy Mimosas (Albizzia julibrissin var. rosea ‘E.H. Wilson’) are also in bloom with their powder puff flowers of vibrant pink.  Hummingbirds and butterflies love these lightly fragrant flowers and they can be seen north of the Visitor Center.

Butterfly Bushes (Buddleia davidii) have reached unprecedented sizes of 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide and are in FULL bloom already.  Watch for our flying flowers (butterflies) imbibing nectar from their wonderfully fragrant flowers throughout the gardens.

I was shocked to see the Rose-of-Sharons (Hibiscus syriacus) are already in bloom too.  This is the cultivar ‘Bluebird’ besides the Heartland Harvest Garden’s Seed-to-Plate Greenhouse.  These flowers ARE edible and make a spectacular garnish to a summer plate or salad.

So come and savor the new summer season at Powell Gardens.  Even the Fountain Garden is already a favorite stop by our young visitors as a place to cool off and get wet after an adventure to experience all the Fairy Houses and Forts.