Late summer is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the fullness of the gardens. The perennials throughout the grounds are large and lush.
With only six or seven weeks until our first frost, now is a perfect time to enjoy the Rosarie, full of many cold-sensitive plants. Some interesting annuals are the Giant Castor Bean, Ricinus ‘Zanzibar’, which is growing over 6 feet tall and Ornamental Okra, Abelmoschus moschatus, which has hibiscus-like pale yellow blossoms. However, the entire Rosarie garden is overflowing with blooms, bright foliage, and interesting texture this time of year which makes it a big draw for pollinators, such as the bee in the attached image on our Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’. The weather will be warm tomorrow so it is a good day to sit under the shady pergola and just enjoy.
The Cottage Garden is currently full of hot summer colors. A staff favorite, Hibiscus ‘Raspberry Rose’ just began blooming this past weekend. It is stunning as it grows above the Phlox and blossoms in large, bright magenta blooms. The Dahlias are still going strong in the gardens as well, such as Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’, which has shocking pure red blossoms. The tubers of these Dahlias will be dug up at the end of the season and stored in the basement of the Tubbs House for use in future displays throughout the gardens.
Pan’s Garden is a quiet retreat from the colorful bustle of the other garden areas. Pan’s Garden showcases white flowers and foliage. Some blooms you may currently see are Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’, Phlox ‘David’, and Lobelia siphilitica ‘Alba’. Near the back corner of the Pergola is also a beautiful Carpinus betulus, a New Jersey Champion Tree, which, while not blooming, has stunning bark and was the backdrop for a recent wedding at Willowwood.
While each visitor to Willowwood who enters through the Main Gate passes through the meadows, we highly recommend walking through the meadows as well. The meadows are currently entering their second colorful phase. Earlier this season they were full of Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa, and Early Goldenrod, Solidago juncea. Now the bronze seedheads of the grasses in the meadow are emerging, adding height and an autumnal color to the meadows. The meadows are also a wonderful place to watch for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife this time of year. However, please remember to keep a respectful distance from any wildlife you may encounter.