TOP-TEN GARDEN HIGHLIGHTS for AUGUST
Cleveland Botanical Garden
This is a walker’s self-guided tour through the Gardens inside-and-out that will help us to discover the magic of local Nature in August. Every month is a new top-ten list!
All photos and copy by Mark Bir, HF&G Horticulturist
1. GARDENS WITHOUT BOUNDARIES.
Our Gateway Gardens are brimming with color and verve in August; they are also free. Start with the beautiful “flower pots” built by Horticulturist Rob Dzurec that frame our Gateway entrance to sample what we’re about … and then come through the gates and enjoy the rest.
Found in the HERB GARDEN. I enjoy this garden most in August, because so many of its herbs and medicinal plants are maturing toward harvest. Everything smells like food and reminds me of cooking. And even the antiques roses, long past bloom, are burgeoning with hips (fruits) soon ready for the teapot.
3. FENNEL (Foeniculum vulgare)
Found in the HERB GARDEN. Early in the month its flowers look like little starbursts; by late August they’ll have become seed-heads, beautiful again in their own way. Those seeds help make pizza great, and in fact the entire plant is edible—and super-healthy. The plant’s huge and fun to stand next-to—snap a group photo!
4. SOCIALLY-DISTANCED CREATURE FEATURE.
Held on OAK WALK. Remember the animal gang from Madagascar? Get reacquainted with the chameleons and tortoises in a safe, socially-distanced outdoor setting. Beginning Friday, August 7th, we’ll be offering our animal encounters, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11am and 1pm. Weather permitting.
5. KALANCHOE and ALOE.
On Display in MADAGASCAR. For August we’ll be featuring greenhouse-grown potted specimens of these two unusual African desert plants. And if they pique your interest, you can then find their monster kin growing free and wild in the biome beds. Can you say, “Kal Ann Khowie?”
6. TOP OF THE WORLD in the RAINFOREST.
Found on the COSTA RICA CANOPY WALK. Walk up to the canopy deck and pretend you are on top of the world. The emergent layer of a true rainforest is 10o feet aloft, and if ours isn’t that high, it is still a great time-and-place to enjoy all the canopy epiphytes in color and in bloom.
7. CUP FLOWER (Silphium perfoliatum).
Found in the CHILDREN’S GARDEN. Their sunflower-like blooms and forthcoming seeds drive bees and birds crazy, and their clasping cup-like leaf bases capture rainwater for the thirsty critters. A patch of cup flowers are perfect kid plants: bright, big, buzzing with animal life, and great to hide in!
8. SUMMERSWEET (Clethra alnifolia).
Found in RESTORATIVE GARDEN. Summersweet is a wildlife-friendly Ohio native that still has enough manners to invite into the garden. It also is a gap-filler that blooms at a time when many other natives are not. Look for pink-ish and white-ish varieties, and stick your nose in one to discover why the bees love ‘em, too.
9. COOL RETREAT in the HEART of the CITY.
Found in the WOODLAND GARDEN. Our newly restored Woodland Boardwalk leads you from the hustle-and-bustle into a moment of cooling forest calm. Look up for the huge tulip-poplar and the dawn redwoods; look down for the patch of wild ginger and the white pom-pom flowers of edible leeks. A great escape from a hot August day.
10. LEOPARD PLANT LEAVES (Ligularia ‘The Rocket’).
Found on CK Patrick Walk. Yes, August has flowers. But it really has leaves, fully matured and not yet subject to autumn’s descent. For instance, this leopard plant gave a beautiful flower show last month, but today you are freed to appreciate its fascinating leaves. Walk the Gardens and Biomes today and find your favorite leaves!