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Plants Echo History in the Formal Garden

Last fall Minnetrista Horticultural staff planted several new additions to the Formal Garden. These selections pay homage to the Victorian garden styles of the late 19th century. Here is a preview of what you’ll see blooming this summer. Why not add some old fashioned favorites to your own yard?

Garden Heliotrope, Valeriana officianalis

Garden heliotrope displays clusters of delicate white blooms atop four foot tall stems. An excellent choice where vertical accents are needed, it may benefit from structural support or grouping with other tall plants. Blooms all summer and prefers full sun with moist soil. Fun fact – Valerian was historically used as a sleep aid and anxiety reducer. It was even employed during World War II to relieve the stress of air raids.

Blazing Sunset Avens, Geum chiloense var. flora plena ‘Blazing Sunset’

With its sizzling bright red blooms, this hardy perennial will stop you in your tracks. Blazing Sunset produces prolific ruffled blossoms atop tall stems throughout the summer. An excellent cutting flower, this geum resists most pests and diseases, needing only full sun and good drainage to thrive.

Carmichael’s Monkshood, Aconitum carmichaelii

Perhaps you recognize this mysterious plant, also called Wolfsbane, from the Harry Potter novels.

This striking specimen produces tall spikey blooms from August through October. The upper sepals of the dark purple-blue flowers develop a hood-like structure that resembles the garb of medieval monks.

There is much folklore surrounding the aconite genus, which has a long history of use in poisoning – from assassination, to vermin control, to warfare. Handle with care!

Peach Leaved Bell Flower, Campanula persicifolia ‘La Belle’

The word “campanula” is Latin for little bell. The lovely blue flowers it produces throughout the summer do indeed resemble bells. Easy to grow, this campanula does best in moist soil with full to part sun. It may spread in ideal conditions.

These are just a few of the additions to the Formal Garden. Other newcomers include ‘Amethyst’ adenophora, ‘Bridal Veil’ astilbe, and ‘Ruby Bells’ heuchera. Stop by Oakhurst Gardens to see the full display!