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Clippings: #Perennial #Plant of the Year: Butterfly Weed

Perennial Plant of the Year: Butterfly Weed

Perennial Plant of the Year: Butterfly Weed

What’s a garden without butterflies? As gardeners focus more on native plants that support pollinators, the Perennial Plant Association made a brilliant choice and named Asclepias tuberosa — butterfly weed — as its 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year.

Native to the continental United States, butterfly weed’s orange/red/yellow flowers are a show-stopper for people and magnet for pollinators in sunny flower beds with average to dry soils.

Here’s some information from the Perennial Plant Association:

Pollinators – Many bees, wasps, ants, butterflies, beetles and hummingbirds. Butterfly weed is a member of Apocynaceae, or milkweed family. All members of the milkweed family serve as larval food for the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) and the Milkweed Tussock Moth (Euchaetes egle).

Hardiness — USDA Zones 4 to 9

Light – Butterfly weed grows best in full sun.

Soil – Grows best in well-drained soils and it is drought tolerant.

Uses – Butterfly weed is a perfect selection for full-sun meadow or prairie gardens as well as formal to semi-formal urban gardens. Flower arrangers and the plants make long-lasting cut flowers.

Monarch butterfly on butterfly weed

Unique Qualities – Asclepias tuberosa are butterfly magnets. Flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies and leaves are a food source for the monarch butterfly caterpillars.

Maintenance –  Plant in masses. Butterfly weed pairs well with summer blooming Phlox, Hemerocallis, Liatris, Echinacea, Salvia, and most of June/July sun loving perennials. Reaches 2-3’ high with a 2’ spread. Cut back in early spring. Mulch young plants to prevent frost heaving. Be patient since butterfly weed is slow to emerge in the spring. Cutting back once, early in growth cycle, will promote compact growth.

Butterfly weed has no serious insect or disease problems. Deer usually avoid it. Deadheading Asclepias tuberosa should prevent reseeding and promoting a second push of color later in the season.

The Perennial Plant of the Year program showcases a standout perennial.  For other recommended perennials to add to your garden, be sure to search the Plant Database.

Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Garden lovers and history buffs alike will enjoy a road trip searching out the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Gardens. Dedicated at historic sites in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Gardens commemorate the more than two hundred years of peace and friendship between two countries that share the world’s longest undefended boarder.

The garden trail covers more than 600 miles including the United States and Canada, and blooms May through October. Gardens are located throughout the Greater Niagara, Finger Lakes, 1000 Islands/Seaway and Adirondack Coast regions of New York State.

Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Peace Garden at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Charlotte Genessee Lighthouse Peace Garden

Charlotte Genessee Lighthouse Peace Garden

 

 

For suggested itineraries, special events, nearby attractions, accommodations, and more, contact each  garden individually or call 1-800-622-2686 ext 23 (M-F 8 am – 4 pm EST)

About the International Peace Garden Foundation

Established in 1992, the nonprofit International Peace Garden Foundation is a nonprofit organization advocates global friendship through the creation of peace gardens and cultural programs around the world.

“Let the seeds of peace begin here and spread throughout the world.”

Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville Opens

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May – October, 2015

A swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan built with LEGOs.

A swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan built with LEGOs.

Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks

September 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016

What more can you possibly build with LEGOs? If you love pollinators, how about a swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan? There’s inspiration galore to be found when the Nature Connects LEGO exhibition comes to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville, September 19, 2015  – January 3, 2016.

The traveling exhibition made entirely of LEGO bricks was designed and built by New York artist Sean Kenney. Gainesville’s new woodland garden will feature 14 nature-themed installations comprised of 27 individual sculptures.

What’s Special? A 6-foot-tall praying mantis (built with more than 42,000 LEGO bricks) and a swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan. There are also duck and ducklings next to the pond, and a hummingbird with a trumpet flower (more than 31,500 bricks) off the Woodland Promenade.

Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new Gainesville location opens

The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new Gainesville location is now open! Considered a second campus, it’s on land donated in 2002 by the late Charles Smithgall and his widow Lessie in 2002. Also known as the ‘Smithgall Woodland Legacy,’ there’s approximately 168 acres, with a five-acre garden as part of the first phase of development.

Located at 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville, Georgia 30501. The entrance is located on Cleveland Highway a 1/4 mile north of Limestone Parkway on what was formerly Lakehill Drive. Google Maps is the only accurate online map to find the new address. Do not rely on other GPS navigation.

 

Visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville  

The Gainesville Garden is located at 1911 Sweetbay Drive, Gainesville, 30501 and open from April through October, Tuesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and from November through March, Tuesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $8 adults, $5 children 3-12, and free to children under 3 and Garden members. For information, visit www.atlantabg.org or call 404-888-4760.

 

Austin: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

LBJ Wildflower_wfc_demostration

Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson, our former first lady, was known for her tireless campaign to beautify America. In recognition of her efforts, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and on it was inscribed this tribute: “Her leadership transformed the American landscape and preserved its natural beauty as a national treasure.”

Part of her legacy is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin that introduces visitors to the incredible beauty of native plants.

In 1982, Mrs. Johnson and actress Helen Hayes founded the National Wildflower Research Center to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. Later renamed as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the 279-acre site is now an Organized Research Unit of the University of Texas at Austin dedicated to increasing the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

The Center’s gardens display the native plants of the Central Texas Hill Country, South and West Texas, while the Plant Conservation Program protects the ecological heritage of Texas by conserving its rare and endangered flora. The Native Plant Information Network is a database of more than 7,200 native species available online.

The cultivated wildflower meadows and gardens feature 12 acres with about 650 species of native Texas plants. The center is one of only three gardens nationally emphasizing native plants.

Other points of interest: A rooftop rainwater harvesting system, aqueduct, and observation tower.

The Little House Courtyard is designed to help young children ages two to six learn about shapes, smells, textures and colors through nature. There’s also a wikiup (a framed hut used by nomadic Native Americans), tree stump stools and large pots in which children can dig for plastic insects and lizards.

What’s Special

Working gardens such as the Hill Country Stream, Homeowner Inspiration Gardens, and the Ann and O.J. Weber Butterfly Garden serve as models for homeowners as they restore their own property to a more natural state.

Visiting

Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

4801 La Crosse Ave.
Austin, Texas 78739
Phone: 512.232.0100

Photo credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Wayne, Pennsylvania: Chanticleer Garden

Chanticleer

Chanticleer is appropriately labeled “a pleasure garden” and it’s easy to see why it’s regularly included in lists of the 10 best public gardens in the U.S.

Originally a summer home that Christine and Adolph Rosengarten, Sr. used to escape Philadelphia’s heat, Rosengarten named his home “Chanticlere” after the estate in Thackeray’s 1855 novel “The Newcomes.”

The 35-acre garden includes a Teacup Garden and Chanticleer Terrace with seasonal and tropical plants. Bell’s Woodland features plants of the eastern North American forest, with azaleas, foam flowers, and ferns, as well as wetland plants including skunk cabbages, rushes, and sedges. There’s also the Asian Woods, Water Garden, Stream Garden, Ruin Garden, and the Cut-Flower and Vegetable Garden, where a potager, enclosed by paling, contains a mix of vegetables grown for taste and ornament.

Chanticleerveg1Photo: Cut flower and vegetable garden

In addition to horticultural expertise,

many of the talents of the Chanticleer staff are found throughout the garden — ranging from wood working, stone carving, painting, and metal working.

What’s Special

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is a garden that’s a source of inspiration for any gardener – novice to master.

Visiting

Open from April through October; Wednesday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm, Fridays until 8.  Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. There is no food available, although picnicking is generally allowed in designated areas. Painting is allowed on Wednesdays.

Located at 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, DE 19735

For in-car GPS and online mapping services, use: 786 Church Road, Wayne, PA 19087-4713

 

Photo: The Teacup Garden planted with purple mustard, and apricot Diascia barbarae
[Flirtation™ Orange] = ‘Dala Oran’ and Heuchera ‘Caramel’. Photo by Lisa Roper

Website: Chanticleer Garden

Portland: Japanese Garden

Portland, Oregon

Japanese Garden

New-Group-Tours-Photo-395x263

Considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan, Portland’s Japanese Garden has its own personality, reflected in five formal garden styles set on five and one-half acres: the Strolling Pond Garden, the Natural Garden, the Sand and Stone Garden, the Flat Garden and the Tea Garden.

What’s Special?

There are a number of concepts at work in a Japanese garden. There’s the concept of using “borrowed scenery,” such as the remarkable vista across the city of Portland toward the Cascade Mountains and Mount Hood. The concept of “hide and reveal” is subtle and affords the visitor delightful surprises. Plantings, placement of stones, and the route of pathways all give the garden wanderer constantly changing views. The garden is meant to calm and soothe, and instead of gasping in awe, the visitor is encouraged to pause and reflect.

Traditional Japanese gardens emphasize natural, abstract beauty, and you won’t find  the typical signage labeling plants.

Visiting

Summer Public Hours (March 13 – September 30)

Winter Public Hours (October 1 – March 12)

The Garden is located in the west hills of Portland, Oregon, directly above the Rose Gardens in Washington Park.

Street Address
611 SW Kingston Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205

 

New maple leaves are bright green, as the Portland weather turns warm again. Photo Credit: David Cobb

Bronx: New York Botanical Garden

 

Bronx, New York

Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden

Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory, NYBG

Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory, NYBG

A National Historic Landmark, the New York Botanical Garden celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2016.

In 1888, Columbia University Professor of Botany and Geology Dr. Nathaniel Lord Britton and his wife, Elizabeth Knight Britton, who had a keen interest in mosses, visited the London’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The Brittons were inspired to create “a public botanic garden of the highest class” on 250 acres of land in northernmost New York City.

NYBG is considered a classical botanical garden, in that plants are studied, exhibited and people of all ages are taught about plants and the environment. The institution operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs.

Today, the New York Botanical Garden supports more than one million living plants.  NYBG is considered The collections include dramatic rock outcroppings, wetlands, ponds, a cascading waterfall, and a 50-acre tract of the original forest that once covered New York City. Among the horticultural attractions are 48 gardens and plant collections, including the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, the Rock Garden, and the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden, as well as outstanding collections of daylilies, orchids, hardy ferns, cherry and other flowering trees, and conifers. The Garden is also home to the nation’s largest Victorian glasshouse, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Visiting

The NYBG is located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is accessible by Metro-North Railroad or subway. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, as well as certain federal holiday Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Winter hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., mid-January through February). For more information, please call 718.817.8700 or visit nybg.org

The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458

Photo: Aquatic Plants Gallery in the Conservatory. Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Winterthur Estate and Gardens

 

Winterthur

Winterthur

Winterthur, Delaware

Winterthur Estate and Gardens

Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”) is the horticulture legacy and childhood home of Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969).  Set in the hills of the Brandywine Valley, du Pont created a wonderful 60-acre naturalistic garden within Winterthur’s 1,000 acres of woodlands, meadows, and streams.

The plantings at Winterthur bloom from late January to November, delighting visitors with a true living landscape. Generations of du Ponts from Evelina du Pont Bidermann, the first owner of Winterthur, to Henry Francis du Pont, the last private owner, have lived here.

A garden “should fit in so well with the natural landscape that one should hardly be conscious that it has been accomplished,” H. F. du Pont said.  The concept of the four layers of natural woodland (ground cover, shrubs, small trees and tall tree layers) are incorporated to create a beautiful garden that’s regarded as one of the last “Wild Gardens.”  As the website explains:

“The garden encompasses the entire estate; the views in every direction are important to the whole; the woodlands, hay fields, and meadows are as crucial as the more formally planted areas. The paths are an integral part of to the overall design, curving rather than straight, following the contours of the land, passing around tree, drawing walkers into the garden. At Winterthur ‘color is the thing that really counts more than any other,’ said du Pont. A master of color, the garden is known for its harmony and “near-discords,” as landscape architect Marian Coffin, who worked with du Pont on the garden’s hardscaping, wrote with admiration.”

Be sure and take the narrated garden tram shuttle at the Visitor’s Center to acquaint yourself with all Winterthur has to offer (and of course, allow time to visit the house!) Stops include Azalea Woods, Magnolia Bend, and Enchanted Woods.

What’s Special

Enchanted Woodsthumbnail

Enchanted Woods. There’s a saying that “Faerie folks are in old oakes.” In this enchanting three-acre children’s garden,  woodland fairies live on Oak Hill where there’s a Troll Bridge, Fairy Flower Labyrinth, Faerie Cottage, Frog Hollow, Tulip Tree House, Bird’s Nest and much for children to explore.

Visiting

Open Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Located at 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, DE 19735

For in-car GPS and online mapping services, use: 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807

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