Sunday, August 26, 2007
Checking in at the BG
This side greenhouse is still being restored, a continual process in a cold-climate glasshouse like this.
Interestingly, this is by far the best time of year to visit the outside gardens at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. I was disappointed in their perennial beds earlier in the summer, and their annual beds were just so-so. Now they're worth seeing. I usually visit the greenhouses, but yesterday I stayed outside.
Many annuals I have no fondness for—like traditional short ageratum and celosia—are used to superb effect in patterned beds, with a backdrop of more interesting taller plants like verbena bonariensis, cleome,dahlia, canna, and nicotiana. None of these plants are terribly rare, true, but the gardeners here are real artists, and that makes all the difference. Would I ever buy or plant a celosia? No, but I love looking at the way they are used here. I suppose, with no formality whatsoever in my garden, I yearn for it in the gardens of others.
I also applaud them for being free of paranoia in planting castor bean, giant milkweed and the many other (no doubt) “deadly” cultivars here. And I’m assuming that Erie County’s no-pesticide rule applies to the nicotiana, usually troubled by tiny bugs at this time, so more kudos that theirs look so good.
As for the huge century plant, it looks like it’s starting to bloom, but it’s not fully out yet.