Now - August 27, 2012
The Clowes and Conservatory – Looking Good Enough to Eat!
are two spots in White River Gardens where you won’t have any difficulty
finding a banquet of gorgeous flowers - the Hilbert Conservatory and the
Allen Clowes Water Gardens.
Conservatory boasts some delectable bloomers right now. Our Stanhopea is
busy sending out buds that will keep going for weeks to come. A fun name for
that plant is the “upside-down orchid,” since its stems of spicy
vanilla-scented flowers often poke out of the bottom of their container.
Upstairs on the Mezzanine you’ll see the Ponytail palm
(Beaucarnia recurvata) in bloom.
It is not actually a palm, but is instead a member of the Lily family,
related to the yucca and agave. The individual flowers are very tiny, but
the massive flower stem cluster is very noticeable!
will also spot a couple other eye-catching delicacies in the Conservatory -
Lobster claw plant (Heliconia
rostrata) and Corsage orchid (Cattaleya
sp.). You’ll have no problem figuring out how they got their names!
the Allen Clowes Water Gardens are overflowing with treats for the eyes and
taste buds! In the pools you’ll find water lilies in yellows and pinks, and
“floating islands” of cannas, water hyacinths and rushes. If you look very
closely you might be lucky enough to glimpse one of the native green frogs
that are hiding out on the islands.
surrounding beds are filled with annual flowers of chartreuse, rose, and
maroon that will be looking luscious well into the fall. Old-fashioned
Zinnias ‘Queen Lime’ and ‘Queen Red Lime’ are mixed in with pink Angelonia,
‘Lime Green’ Nicotiana, and red striped ‘Fireworks’ Pennisetum grass on the
corners of the beds. Tropical Red Malabar Spinach climbs up bamboo trellises
at the four center walkway urns. This plant, which is not a true spinach but
can still be eaten the same way, is a glorious display of deep burgundy and
might think you are seeing things when you turn your attention the sides of
the Clowes beds, but no! There really are watermelons and squashes growing
there with the dark leaved Iresine (Beefsteak plant) and spikey little
rushes (Juncus ‘Blue Dart’)! We
planted these from seed, going for some that are pretty as well as tasty,
like ‘Blacktail Mountain’ and ‘black-seeded ice cream’ watermelons, and ‘Bennings
green tint scallop’ and ‘sweet dumpling’ squashes.
Recent rains are helping us to keep the White River
Gardens looking beautiful for you. So come in and feast your eyes on our
tempting selection of plants!