Summer Highlights

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

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.

Native Flora Garden

Designed to represent a variety of habitats native to the metropolitan area, the Native Flora Garden is a wonderful place to escape the concrete jungle in the summer.

Look for

  • Wildflowers growing among the tall grasses in the sunny meadow areas in the south part of the garden.
  • Aquatic plants, including water-lilies, spatterdock, duckweed, and watermeal, the world’s smallest flowering plant, growing in the garden’s pond.
  • The shady forest habitat, one of the quietest, coolest spots in the city during the summer. Many of the trees are older than the garden itself, which was founded in 1911.

The Native Flora Garden is also a prime spot for wildlife. Butterflies, bees, and wasps of all kinds are drawn to the meadow plants, and birds—including ducks and great blue herons—love the pond.

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.

The stepped walk lined with crape-myrtles leading from Ginkgo Allée to the Cranford Rose Garden.

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
The Water Garden forebay. Photo by Alvina Lai.
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