Summer Highlights

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Roses, water-lilies, and meadow flowers are among the many beautiful blooms to see during summer. Here are some of the highlights.

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Water Garden

This picturesque garden features a meandering stream that flows into a pond lined with wetland plants and offers many shady spots to sit and take in the view. It is also a working landscape that captures excess rainwater to reduce urban flooding.

Look for

  • Riparian plants like summer-blooming hibiscus, rushes and sedges, and umbrella plant. These are plants that have adapted to living near the water's edge, and some also help clean and filter the water.
  • The rock weir, which helps regulate the depth of the pond. When heavy rains are approaching, the pond can drop to accommodate excess stormwater and reduce runoff.
  • Water fowl and other wildlife. Ducks, herons, frogs, and dragonflies are all drawn to the pond and stream.

Herb Garden

What does an artichoke flower look like? How are espaliered fruit trees shaped? Summer is the time to see a wide variety of food plants at all botanical stages in a garden that is as lovely as it is practical. Here, heads of lettuce, bunches of spinach, and leek stalks are planted in patterned rows, and strawberries are interplanted with tiger lilies and feverfew.

Look for:

  • Apples, peaches, and cherries growing and ripening on trees in the garden's small orchard and and on espaliered trees along the perimeter of the garden.
  • A wide variety of regional crops from around the world: colorful hybrids of North American tomatoes, handsome bunches of Mediterranean grapes, African pole bean vines curling around sorghum stalks, and a colorful Caribbean hibiscus species used to make sorrel.
  • Displays of cold frames and window boxes, as well as irrigation and composting stations, that provide instructive examples of techniques that home gardeners can put into action for themselves.

Cranford Rose Garden

The historic Cranford Rose Garden is in full glory in June and continues to bloom throughout the summer until its second flush in late August or early September. Some of the original specimens planted when the garden opened in 1927 still grow here, along with a vast collection of modern hybrids.

Look for

  • Two of the most fragrant roses, Rosa 'Meizeli', THE MCCARTNEY ROSE, and Rosa 'Ausmum' PAT AUSTIN, planted next to each near the south end of the beds.
  • A wide range of rose hybrids in gorgeous colors, from delicate pale pink ‘Dainty Bess’ to deep red ‘Lava Glut’ to wine-colored ‘Basye’s Purple’.
  • Lilies, clematis, wildflowers, herbs, and other perennials. The garden practices organic methods, one of which is including a variety of pollinator-friendly, pest-repelling plants among the roses to promote a more healthy collection.

Also See

Water-lilies and sacred lotus in bloom in the Lily Pools.

Plants with scented foliage and colorful, fragrant flowers in the Fragrance Garden and a profusion of colorful blooms in the Shakespeare Garden.

Plan Your Visit

Rose 'Ausmum' PAT AUSTIN
Rosa 'Ausmum' PAT AUSTIN in the Cranford Rose Garden. Introduced 1995. Photo by Blanca Begert.
Sacred Lotus
Nelumbo nucifera ‘Charles Thomas’ (sacred lotus), at Lily Pool Terrace. Photo by Lee Patrick.
Sand Wasp Visiting Swamp Milkweed
A sand wasp (Bembix species) harvests pollen from swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in BBG's Native Flora Garden. Photo by Elizabeth Peters.
Water Garden
A view of BBG's Water Garden in late August. Photo by Blanca Begert.
Artichoke
Artichoke flowers (Cynara scolymus ‘Opera’) in the Herb Garden. Photo by Morrigan McCarthy.
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