The Perennial Garden
The Perennial Garden is undergoing a transformation and will be closed during the 2023 season. The original 3.5-acre landscape is being reimagined with emphasis on sustainable design and a planting mix of shrubs and perennials.
Perennials, which die back to the ground each winter but return from the roots in spring, show best with the structural elements of trees and shrubs around them.
Perennials may live year to year but their bloom time is usually shorter than garden annuals—about two weeks on average. This garden is designed to bloom in sequence from spring to fall, always providing colorful flowers in each garden bed.
Perennial Garden Highlights
This pathway features plants for sunny areas including baptisia, iris, little bluestem, peonies, and sedum.
Along the side of our 12-acre lake with a view of the Marlese Lowe Gourley Island Garden, the Arbor Gardens provide the perfect setting for intimate moments in the gardens. Wisteria covers the arbor and fills the garden with its sweet fragrance in the spring. White summer flowering hydrangeas are planted along the paved pathway leading to the arbor. Look for a new mulched pathway within the garden to explore perennials that thrive in the shade of a blackgum tree.
This butterfly garden attracts pollinators from spring through fall while providing nesting places in the winter. Enjoy the activity of the butterflies visiting the garden while resting on a bench under the summer flowering Japanese Pagoda Tree (Sophora japonica). Look for butterfly habitat plants including aster, butterfly bush, caryopteris, garden mum, Joe pye weed, lilac, monarda, rudbeckia, sedum, viburnum, weigela, and yarrow.
Along a winding paved pathway leading to the arbor, are the Mixed Perennial Border. With a backdrop of the popular Powell Gardens’ mixed evergreen hedge, summer perennials include Powell Gardens’ extensive daylily collection. Follow the pathway through a serene setting featuring the bear sculpture that quickly gives way to the updated perennial border.
The Woodland Garden provides year-round interest with epimedium, helleborus, and winterberries. Look for groundcover ideas for your home garden and colorful foliage plants perfect for shady spots.
A must-see in the spring, visitors to the native shade garden enjoy the delicate flowers of bloodroot and Virginia bluebells (native ephemerals), flowering dogwood trees, witchhazel, red buckeyes, and bottlebrush buckeye. New plantings include ‘Blue Moon’ woodland phlox and Spigelia marilandica (indian pink).
Get up close and explore the plants of the Byron and Rosemary Banta Sensory Garden. Look at the colors, feel the different textures, and smell the fragrant flowers and foliage. Listen for the many songs of the birds nesting in the area and for the rustling of leaves and branches. A bubbler brings water into the garden giving songbirds and pollinators a place to bathe and drink.
In the heat of summer, Susan Lordi Marker Native Plant Garden comes to life. Look for prairie grasses and forbes including little bluestem, coneflower, milkweed, prairie dropseed, and rudbeckia attracting pollinators and songbirds.