In the great green garden-room
There was an elephant ear alocasia
And some blue and white balloon flowers ….”
It has been a long gentle slide through a beautiful autumn here in the gardens. Cool sunny days and no heavy rain storms meant outstanding leaf color on trees and shrubs around the campus. But the bright yellow has now fallen from the sugar maple outside the Deer-Zink Pavilion, the needles of the great pyramidal dawnredwoods around the Sutphin Fountain are going to russet orange, and the red maples on the mall above the parking garage are just past peak color.
Yesterday morning folks in my neighborhood were needing to really scrape frost from the car windows. The last of the summer’s annual plantings are being pulled out. Hostas are cut down, and autumn windflowers are spent. Only some purple monkshood and blue tartarian asters have blossoms among the perennials. And I have not been able to make myself dig this year’s surprise performer Canna ‘Ermine’ still pushing white bloom spikes 6 feet above the perennial border in the Tanner Orchard.
But it is, “Goodnight garden, and off to bed.” The elephant ears from the Garden for Everyone are cut back and ready for their long winter nap in the hort office basement with their banana buddies. I’m sure they are dreaming of the sunny tropics – or at least humid Hoosier July.
A few more leaves to rake and compost, then a long winter trying to convince my colleagues to allow a few native black cherry seedlings to grow up in the gardens, “… but you heard Dr. Tallamy say black cherry supports vastly more Lepidoptera than redbud….”
Post script for true plant nerds:
If Susan Sarandon can do the original version of Goodnight Moon on YouTube, is a horticultural version by Tracy DiSabato-Aust far behind for the next Perennial Plant Association conference?
Filed under: Horticulture