So this post will wrap up the travel series showing a bunch of perennials we saw on our trip to The Berkshire Botanical Garden, which, by the way, is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the nation!
Here are two exceptional plants, each special in their own way. The first is Arum Italicum, Italian Lords-and-Ladies, which does best in shade gardens. This plant is so interesting…it offers up arrow shaped leaves in the spring with a stunning “flower” that looks like a calla lily. The actual flowers are on the spadix, which is the spike in the center of what appears to be one big petal, which is itself a modified leaf. When the leaves and flowers die off the spike remains and each little flower on it produces a berry, and you get this unique plant shown in the first picture above. You can plant other things under it that offer foliage in the summer because the Arum leaves will reappear in the fall!
The next picture is Eucomis pallidiflora, Pineapple flower. It speaks for itself with that wonderful collection of flowers seen in the summer. This plant can get tall and really is a sight to see. There are varieties of this plant, like Sparkling Beauty with purple leaves and flowers, that may make it thorough a Zone 6 winter. Regardless of the variety you chose you can pull the bulbs out and replant in the spring (like Dahlias) for a guaranteed summer show.
This is Clethra alnifolia, Summersweet. This plant reminds me of a butterfly bush with its spiky grouping of fragrant flowers, accompanied by a rich, full foliage. A really nice native shrub to add to your garden.
Here are two plants that just fill in empty spaces so well. The first you may already know, Stachys byzantina, commonly called Lamb’s ear. This amazing plant has foliage as soft as a fluffy fleece. You can not really imagine it until you see it and feel it brush your skin. I would recommend this plant to everyone just for the shear joy of watching people experience its softness. It also produces a tall spike with small purple flowers that can be enjoyed or cut back. It grows quickly, can handle full sun, and is easily managed by just keeping in clean and reined in.
The second plant is a grass, Hakonechloa macra or Japanese forest grass. The blades of this colorful grass just float on the breeze and drape gently over like a waterfall. The mounds appear full, covering the ground well, and yet the grass is light and airy. This one likes part shade, too much sun and it may scorch.
I saw this plant and just loved it with its huge display of flowers, like a foxglove I thought. I was going to leave it out of this post because I could not determine its name. I am sure someone out there must know what this is. Please do share it with us, leave a comment and I will let everyone know.
The last picture I include for the beauty shared by the flower, a Hydrangea, and my niece, Zoe. We spent the entire afternoon together just taking in the scent and color of all these amazing plants and when it got a little to warm she would ask if we could rest on a bench in the shade. The sweetest, most precious little voice, and look at that face! Again, thank you to my husband Ed for catching this moment forever.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
The next post will be on my Garden Party! I will share my garden through photos, spreading the joy of flora and fauna.