Monthly Archives: June 2011

Striking Plant Combos at Elizabeth Park

Rose lovers head to Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT to view the 2.5 acre rose garden filled with 15,000 rose bushes.

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The arches and surrounding beds are a wonder to wander through, even on a rainy weekend morning in early June just before the roses hit their peak.

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But Elizabeth Park’s 102 acres offers more than roses. Visitors can stroll through other gardens to observe many different plant combinations.  Some of the combinations may only spark interest, others may inspire plantings useable at home. Below find a handful of interesting plant combinations you can find at Elizabeth Park.

I was drawn to the herb garden and this fantastic use of thyme as a ground cover.

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The perennial garden displays the eye-catching nature of plant groups. Lady’s Mantle (foreground) and the pink astilbe in the far end of this bed are so much more striking in large masses.

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The shade garden shows foliage combinations – no flowers needed – featuring brunnera in the foreground and hakonechloa to the rear.

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The annual garden is a series of different planting beds. Many were still in the state of planting during my visit but two combinations caught my camera. Whether or not you would plant … or like … this bed of just Japanese blood grass edged by artemisia, it will certainly say ‘wow’ when it fills out.

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And, this mass planting of coleus already screams for attention.

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A flagpole in front of one of the park’s buildings was adorned by a mass planting of globe allium.

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Next to a driving path rests a garden-variety Old Glory.

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As with most public gardens, Elizabeth Park is ever-changing. A visit today, just two weeks since these photos, would look very different. It’s creatively stimulating to stroll through gardens planted by others … my curiosity may just draw me back to see how these plantings mature.

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More on the Japanese Barberry-Lyme Tick Connection

A post of mine from April 2011 describes research connecting the non-native, invasive shrub Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) and Lyme disease-carrying ticks.  Basically, scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven found that stands of Japanese barberry create ideal growing conditions for Lyme ticks.

You can also read about the scientists’ similar, previously reported research in an April 2010 post.

To learn more about this research and control methods being used on conservation lands read the  well-done report Scientists link invasive barberry to Lyme disease in The Day. Read this article!

A sidebar to the article notes the high tick populations seen so far this year in Connecticut. Unfortunately, more barberry leads to more ticks. More ticks means higher risk for Lyme disease.

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Do you need a better reason to not plant Japanese barberry and control the barberry that’s invading Connecticut woodlands?

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Rain drenched Connecticut blooms

Connecticut’s weather cannot make up its mind. Spring began cold and wet, remained well into May, then turned hot, humid and dry. Everything waiting to bloom rapidly burst into color. Then, almost as quickly, faded.

I cannot resist sharing some of the blossoms that have come and gone since May’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day so here’s quick tour of the blooms of the last four weeks .

Late May 2011:

Amsonia Blue Star, columbine and stachys. Clematis  and rhododendron

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Along the driveway near the back door.

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A few bearded iris:  unknown lavender blend and white;

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black and the lovely Beverly Sills.

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Oriental poppy and peony made a brief show.

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Early June:

Globe allium and scabiosa joined the late May party and still show their purple hues today.

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Before the rain of the last two days I caught this shrub rose accompanied by lavender ready to pop.

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Nasturtium bloom in yellow and soft orange, campanula blue and pink pinks show off beneath the good old lavender blossoms of sage, salvia nemorosa and Louisiana iris add deep purple hues while penstemon holds white blossoms tall, and lavender and late iris are ready to burst into full show. But with rain keeping my camera inside, these flowers will have to remain in the gardener’s imagination.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the brain child of Carol at May Dreams Gardens. She graciously hosts this web-wide garden party on the 15th of each month. Head to May Dreams Gardens to catch a glimpse of the lovely blossoms gardeners from all over the world share on this day.

Happy June … Happy Gardening.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Joene Hendry