What's Blooming at Noerenberg?

By: Arla Carmichiel

August 13, 2018

Category: Nature Notes

August can often be a difficult month for tired gardeners dealing with too little rain and too much rain, storms wreaking havoc, excessive heat, disease, bugs, and tired plants. A walk through Noerenberg Gardens might be just the thing to get through the “dog days” of summer.

Spring blooms are long gone and summer’s garden is slowly slipping into fall. There is still a lot to see at Noerenberg and hopefully give you inspiration for next year. Many of the annuals still look good, and we’ve been steady with our deadheading (cutting off spent flowers).

Gardens and path at Noerenberg

Gardens and path at Noerenberg

Gardens and path at Noerenberg

Gardens and path at Noerenberg

Gardens and path at Noerenberg

Plants to Look for This August

Soft lavender pentas and white gaura steal the show.

Lavender pentas
Pentas
White gaura
White gaura

Tall, airy nicotiana and Verbena bonariensis are a buzz with pollinators and hummingbirds. 

Nicotiana
Nicotiana
Verbena bonariensis
Verbena bonariensis

Many of the annual salvias (another favorite of hummingbirds) are in full bloom. 

Salvia
Salvia

Humorous succulents tucked along the edge of the garden bring smiles. 

Succulents

Some of the perennials are done flowering but add to the scene by providing form and texture. Gillenia’s upright vase shape, feathery foliage and red seed heads contribute much to the garden even without flowers. 

Gillenia leaves
Gillenia leaves

Siberian iris bloom in June but still hold their spot in the garden with gray-green upright foliage, a nice contrast to the soft, billowy forms of nearby plants. 

Siberian iris

There are some perennials that wait all summer just to begin the fall show. Anemones, hibiscus and bush clover are a few that begin blooming in August and will continue into fall. 

Hibiscus
Hibiscus
Bush clover plant
Bush clover plant
Bush clover flower
Budding flower on bush clover

The grasses begin to come into their own and get more beautiful as fall approaches. 

Bouteloua (or Blonde Ambition)
Bouteloua, commonly known as blonde ambition
Shenendoah grass
Panicum, commonly known as Shenandoah grass
Prairie dropseed
Sporobolus heterolepis, commonly known as prairie dropseed

Walking through the quiet beauty of the gardens in August, a light breeze blowing off the lake sets the garden in motion and clears the mind, ready to accept the past season and look forward to the fall.

About the Author

Arla Carmichiel is the Horticulture Supervisor for Three Rivers Parks and is responsible for the design and management of gardens and landscapes. She began working at Three Rivers Park District 40 years ago as a seasonal gardener at Noerenberg Gardens. Although her responsibilities and interests are district wide, Noerenberg will always be a very special spot for her. Arla enjoys gardening the home grounds and exploring other gardens with her husband.

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