What’s of Interest

nov13-Oak-Leaf-CenterpieceYounger visitors to Smith-Gilbert Gardens enjoy picking up a copy of the Scavenger Hunt Education Coordinator Stefanie Haerynck creates as each season changes.  Use this “What’s of Interest” article as your own scavenger hunt.

A walk through the fall garden must be taken at a slower pace.  Plants are more subtle, but still beautiful.  When you arrive in the Hiram Butler house, take time to admire the fall decorations made by Stefanie.  Using only materials from the Gardens, Stefanie has created unique swags and centerpieces. Some of the plants used include grasses, Pyracantha, Alexandria Laurel, Golden Larch cones, magnolia leaves and hydrangeas.

The vivid reds and oranges of the Chinese Pistache tree in the Knowlton Meadow are sure to draw you toward it.  You may notice the smell of coffee as you walk by that end of the perennial bed on the way to the meadow.  That lovely aroma is coming from the Euphorbia in the perennial bed!

Berries are starting to turn red and make us think of the holidays.  Don’t forget to look up as you pass under the Parsley Leaf Hawthorn.  This tree is one of our favorites!  It has interesting bark, a delicate leaf, spring flower and now, red berries.  Other berry producing plants that are especially pretty include Japanese Winterberry, Linden Viburnum, Beautyberry and Alexandria Laurel.

Walking toward the picnic area from the parking lot, you will notice the interesting fruit on the Cornus kousa var angustata – common name Chinese Evergreen Dogwood.  It looks like a cross between a strawberry and a raspberry.  The Toad Lilies are blooming in the water feature next to the Marcia Pels sculpture.

We hope you are lucky enough to be here when the Golden Larch shows its fall color.  This deciduous conifer turns a beautiful shade of orange.  Within a few days, it drops all of its needles.  What remains are lovely pinecones.  As the leaves come off the trees, our Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ (Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick) and Celtis sinensis ‘Green Cascade’ (Japanese Hackberry) become especially fascinating.

We look forward to seeing you this fall.