When Visiting Powell Gardens this Memorial Day Weekend for the Opening of Big Bugs be sure and meet one of the largest flowers in the botanical world “Big Bird” our Octopus Agave in the Visitor Center Conservatory. Late spring flowers are also at peak bloom around the gardens so be sure to stop and smell the roses too! The taste of Strawberries also awaits anyone who stops in the tasting station at the Heartland Harvest Garden.
Here’s our 15 foot tall flower in the Conservatory! It’s an Octopus Agave (Agave vilmoriniana) and they bloom only once about every decade. Gardener’s named this super succulent “Big Bird” as its flower spike first looked like a large bird beak. When it is done blooming the plant will die but little plantlets will form on the dying flower stalk and these will be potted up so we can repeat the performance around 2020. Come visit and take a picture with our “Big Bird.”
Powell Gardens has no rose garden BUT you can see roses in all parts of the Gardens’ landscapes. This Oso Easy Peachy Cream Rose (Rosa ‘Horcoherent’) in the Perennial Garden is a new kid on the block but has performed as well as its name. The rose flowers are simply stunning companion planted here with well named, blue-flowered Blue Ice Dragonhead (Dracocephalum argunense ‘Blue Ice’) — a perennial that is still virtually unknown and rarely used in Kansas City.
Hot Cocoa Rose has chocolaty-scarlet flowers and another stellar garden performer for many years at Powell Gardens. Look for this rose along the Dogwood Walk outside the Visitor Center.
Don’t forget roses in the Heartland Harvest Garden: These Damask Roses (Rosa damascina ‘Ispahan’ left and ‘Kazanlik’ right) are intensely fragrant and the source of commercial rose attar. Look for these roses around the bench at the entrance to the Vineyard where roses are companion plants to grapes and celebrate the original “paradise garden” theme of the Vineyard.
The bumper crop from over two dozen varieties of strawberries (Tribute Everbearing Strawberry in the picture) continues in the Heartland Harvest Garden so be sure to stop there and TASTE them at the tasting station and observe the various varieties throughout that garden.