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.


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.



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.



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.



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



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.


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



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



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



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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14 comments for “Striking Plant Combos at Elizabeth Park

  1. June 27, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Those rose gardens are fabulous! The annual beds are entertaining, though not my style. Public gardens like this provide so much inspiration. I love thyme used as a ground cover, but so far I have not been able to succeed with it. In the shade it doesn’t bloom; in the sun it perishes!

    • joenesgarden
      June 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      Entertaining is a great way to describe the annual beds, Deb. They are not my style either, but I enjoy seeing them. Gives me a chance to get into other gardeners heads. Are you trying to plant thyme in an area that is very moist? It really likes hot and dry.

  2. June 27, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Thank you for showing these grand combos. I would not plant a ‘flag’ — one of my stars would be sure to die –but the plants used in that one could spin off into a wonderful oval bed.

    • joenesgarden
      June 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      I would not try to plant a flag either, Nell Jean … for the very same reason. You are right though, the same plants could make a very interesting combination planted together in another design.

  3. June 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    One of my favorite places to wander (and lunch at the Pond House is a treat, I hope you stopped in). Great photos of a small treasure right here in the area!

    • joenesgarden
      June 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Laurrie, Elizabeth Park is indeed a gem. I’m not always overwhelmed by the plantings, but I always enjoy a stroll through the many gardens there. The Pond House was busy with Sunday brunch during our visit. Maybe next time we’ll stop in.

  4. June 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    So many lovely spots in that garden! My favorites: the arches, the flag, and the allium. Thanks for sharing…

    • joenesgarden
      June 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      I’m partial to the allium too, Sage Butterfly. They stood like miny flag poles supporting perfectly round flags in contrast to the flag waving above thier heads.

  5. June 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    The shade garden is to die for. But the flag really rocks!

    • joenesgarden
      June 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      Wendy, I loved the shade garden, too. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on this post.

  6. June 27, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    This looks like a fun garden to visit. I especially liked the sense of whimsy in the flag planting.

    • joenesgarden
      June 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      Jean, the flag is interesting in an amusement park way. I’d like to see how it looks in August.

  7. June 28, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Joene, I’ve never visited that garden so I really enjoyed your photos. The thyme groundcover is fantatsic but I love the masses of brunnera the best. Brunnera is such a great shade plant, I don’t know why you don’t see it in more gardens.

    • joenesgarden
      June 29, 2011 at 9:40 am

      Debbie, the brunnera really sets off one section of the shade garden at Elizabeth Park. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

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