During my tours I often speak about the importance of using the botanical names of plants instead of common names, to avoid confusion. Generally plants are named binomially (two words). The first word is the Genus ( meaning descent, family or type) which groups plants which are most like each other. The second name refers to the species and describes the uniqueness of that plant within the genus (the general grouping).
Take for instance the rose (Rosa). There are hundreds of different roses. Some are tough as nails and can survive in a windswept seaside location. Others are prima donnas which must be coddled and closeted in order to get that prized flower. For my windswept garden I only plant Rosa rugosa. Note the species name rugosa… it tells you that plant is rugged. Rosa floribunda flowers prolifically, while Rosa foetida has an objectionable smell. All three species names describe an attribute of their respective roses.
A Rose of Sharon might surprise you… It’s botanical name is Hibiscus syriacus and it isn’t a rose at all.
The azaleas (Rhododendron subgenus Pentanthera ) have gone as have most of the more exotic Rhododendrons species, but these late-blooming Rhododendrons are still peaking. The Rhododendron genus has more than 1000 different species. Have I made my point yet?
Glen (one of the gardeners), is preparing the frame of the living urn. A watering tube runs down the center of the frame. On the outside Glen wraps a ‘skin’ of landscape fabric which will hold the soil in place.
The almost finished product. The ‘skin’ is firmly in place, soil has been added and holes have been cut through to place the plants in. Now begins the laborious task of planting the plants he has chosen for his design, which will resemble an urn made entirely of plants. It’s like a carpet bed only in 3D. Next week we’ll check out the finished product.
This Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood) begins its season long display. The flowers will continue to grow larger and pinker and when their spectacular floral display is over their raspberry-like berries will continue to delight.
These huge Papaver orientale (Oriental poppies) are the subject of a lot of attention.
It’s beginning to look a lot like summer.
Sir William Young’s urns are looking very exotic. The plant colors in the urns and floating beds have been coordinated to match the newly restored bandstand.
Enjoying the sun in the peaceful surroundings of the Boer War fountain.
Humans weren’t the only ones basking in the sun, and poppies weren’t the only ones basking in the attention. This turtle soaked it all up as a group of us took our photo ops.
Next week summer officially arrives and the Gardens are almost in full summer mode. Our free weekly tours have started as have the Band Concert series. Most of the beds have been planted and the living urns should be in place soon. If you’ve been putting off coming to the Gardens until ‘things start to happen’, put off no further.