Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Spring at Niagara Parks' Botanical Gardens, May 17th

Here's another set of shots I took of various cool plants at their peak...

This is the plant that started it all for me -- Gentiana acaulis, the Stemless Gentian. There's just something about the blue, tubular flowers that I've been entranced with ever since I first saw pictures of them in catalogues and books. Now I make a special trip each spring just down the road to see them in the little alpine garden at the Niagara Parks' Botanical Gardens.

While the above plant, and the genus as a whole, is considered relatively exotic to most gardeners, it is interesting to note that a renowned expert is Dr. James Pringle of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario.

The outstanding variegated Tuliptree, Liriodendron tulipifera 'Aureomarginatum'.

The very cool Camassia in full bloom. This plant was a food source for the native peoples of North America, as well as those on the expedition of Lewis and Clark.

A couple of unidentified ferns:

Here's another plant I love to admire and photograph -- Rodgersia (Rodger's Flower), a genus of about five species from China and Japan, named after U.S. navy commander Admiral John Rodgers.

Here's a near-perfect shot of the Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum) showing the pink-purple mid-ribs on the silvery leaves.

Here's what I believe to be Geranium himalayense 'Gravetye', although Armitage refers to this species as "summer-blooming". In any case, it was in full bloom here in mid-May, and very impressive, despite not being long-blooming like 'Rozanne'.

I'm not sure exactly what this is, but my guess is a Dogwood (Cornus sp.) of some type. But what a sight!

This is such a great Hosta, but unfortunately with an old, un-cool name: H. montana 'Aureomarginata'. In any case, it is a show-stopper every spring.

This grass-like Sedge, Carex elata 'Aurea' (Bowles' Golden Sedge) is well-known for its bright foliage, here showing a pleasant contrast with its dark "flowers".

It's funny -- in the UK (and certain parts of the U.S. I'm sure), this plant is described as a weed due to its spreading nature. Here in Niagara, where it is likely just hardy enough, it survives the winter well, and spreads only very slowly. In any case, Euphorbia grifithii 'Fireglow' is a unique beauty.

Here's to dirt under your nails.

MPD, the coolplantsguy

1 comment:

rebecca said...

I was in the area this summer and saw a stunning large silver leaved plant that reminded me of a thistle. I believe it was in use in a seasonal bed with grasses and cannas...could you give me any suggestions as to what it was? I would love to incorporate into my garden this year
thanks, Rebecca