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Garden Visitors


It is a public garden and intended to have visitors. Each day I am in the garden, I see more insect visitors than human. But then they outnumber us in any given space so why not? The Monarchs continue on with their floating parade, accompanied by Swallowtails, Fritillaries, Sulphurs and Coppers. The past week these delicate visitors have seemed even more abundant. It could be my imagination or it could be that many flowers have gone by and Bressingham is still a reliable and abundant food source. Either way I am guaranteed to be delighted by multiples a day and often get a great view of one or two. It's hard not to pause to take in their soaring displays and beautiful color.

They are joined by a variety of other insects. Most are more residential than passers by. Not since I was a child have I seen so many true grasshoppers. They come in all colors and sizes and often have their own aerobatic displays. Bees are another large and varied group. I rarely am bothered by yellow jackets despite their common presence. Even more common are the oh-so-gentle honey bees that cannot get enough of the sedum, helenium and agastache. And also the bumbles. These bees are a bit clumsy, especially in the morning, but can develop an attitude as they warm up and get busy. Still it's mostly show and they tend to make more noise than war. With hundreds of these armed insects around you might think that I would be at risk. Honestly though, they all seem to have more important things to do and I have yet to be stung while working in the garden.

While we don't have hundreds of human visitors at a time, activity levels at Elmbank have picked up over the past couple of weeks. The change in weather has made exercising outdoors far more attractive. Weekday mornings bring walkers, dog and otherwise, joggers and moms with children too young for school. Midday is quiet. Afternoons and early evenings tend to fill up with all sorts of visitors from families to school running groups, and individuals on wheels of most kinds. Weekends are flush with all of the above and more.

I love talking to visitors about the garden. Many people stop me to ask questions about the property, MassHort, plants and gardens. I have yet to meet anyone who is unhappy or disappointed with what they've encountered here. I also get to talk to lots of individuals who have been around this property far longer than I. It is wonderful to hear how fabulous they think Bressingham is, memories of how it has progressed over the past 3 years, and what pleasure they take in it's beauty.

Even beyond Bressigham it has been great to hear people say they see a change in Elmbank, how much work has gone into it and that the gardens all look really good this year. Maybe some of that is just maturity of gardens and plants. Some of it is getting into the routine of new garden care and maintenance. A lot of it is a conserted effort from staff and a huge push of volunteers. Pat yourselves on the back guys and keep it up!

Oh, yeah...the garden... Still glorious. Boltonia is in full bloom and could not possibly look more fabulous. Then it looks better the next day. Rudbeckias fade away, heliopsis still shining bright, and the sedums, especially Autumn Joy, are fantastic. The weather change has been great for me as well. It's easier to heft and haul in seventy degrees than ninety degrees. Only a short  time to Adrian Blooms' visit and things are looking really great.

Don't think that if you haven't been to the garden this summer that you've missed it.And if you have been, the scenery changes every day. It stil holds color, beauty, and serenity that make it worth the  trip.


About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Mass Hort logo newFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

2018 Calendar & Courses

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