Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fragrance Garden at the Morton Arboretum - Herb(s) of the Week

This week I stopped by the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.  I drive past it everyday and stop in on my way home several times a week if my own garden permits.

The weather Monday was spectacular.  The sun was out there was a gentle breeze and the temperature was only in the high 70s.  For Illinois at the end of July this is heaven!  As a result I grabbed my dinner and when the the arboretum to enjoy the outdoors.  After eating I strolled the area and stumbled across the Fragrance Garden.  Located a the north end of Joy Path, this quiet little oasis was just the perfect spot to stop. I did not have my camera with me, so these images were taken with my camera on my phone.

There are several benches and resting areas and frog pond mixed in among the plantings.

This was the view from one of the shaded benches.  I liked the fact that this garden had a number of herbal plantings.  The flowers were mostly spent so I did not find much fragrance in a overcome your senses sort of way, but the bees and the butterflies were everywhere!

I loved the overall look of the bee balm plantings.  There were two clusters a traditional scarlet and a pink.
Pink Supreme Dwarf Bee Balm

traditional red

If the pink was a dwarf, I wonder what the regular size of this hybrid is, because it was waist high. There were catmints, and creeping thyme and this chive-like plant that I have noticed is all the rage in landscape plantings this year.  I had been wondering about the name and I now know it is: Summer Beauty German Garlic. A Allium variety with a large purple flower head and all the scent of traditional chives.

I wandered the garden slowly on the brick path and took in the view from several different benches.

The most spectacular find for me was this hybrid of Purple cone flower called Salsa Red Sombrero.  It has a flatter shape and an amazing red color I was surprised my camera phone could capture.

This was by far my favorite item and I came back to it several times.  However, I also enjoy a leaf variation too!  And this garden did not disappoint in that aspect either.  They had a dark leafed bugbane and a golden leafed anise hyssop.
Black Negligee Komchatka Bugbane

Golden Jubilee Anise Hyssop

It was an enjoyable hour I spend resting and exploring in the Fragrance Garden at the Morton Arboretum and I suggest if you live nearby you invest in a membership so you can just pop in after a long day and enjoy the nature and the beauty.  
                                You never know what you might find...

Like this perfect tiny leaf catmint that I will be adding to my fairy garden next year.
Kit Kat Catmint  (normal leaves left for scale)

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