By Greg Lecker
Like the display gardens, the natural world has built up much texture – as well as color – by this point in the growing season This morning’s cool dry air has a definite autumnal feel. Dew is plentiful; and the over-abundant rain is overflowing the water feature in the prairie’s water feature – again!
Between recent downpours, the full moon glowed brightly through the night-time tree canopy of my side yard.This morning’s clear blue sky allows appreciation of the waning gibbous moon hovering above the prairie, here faintly visible above the cup plant that stretches skyward.
The yellow composite (daisy-like) flowers of cup plant and others are yielding to goldenrod which has recently begun blooming. In the low angle morning sun, goldenrod and blue giant hyssop make a pretty color duet blooming near the edge of the prairie.
It can’t be repeated often enough that goldenrod is not the source of pollen allergies like hay fever. Its flower pollen grains are too large to be wind-borne. Rather it is the inconspicuously flowering ragweed that spews light pollen to be distributed on the air to your nose.
Growing on the parking lot side of the Capen Display Garden, low bush honeysuckle is beautifully multi-colored. The low morning sun projected on the leaves accentuates the pattern of red foliage color change.
Returning to the parking lot, I notice that the pagoda dogwood too is showing a remarkable amount of color change!
Don’t worry – there’s still plenty of summer remaining. The state fair has yet to begin. Labor Day is a few weeks away. Plenty of flowers have yet to bloom. Driving around Three Mile Drive, I enjoy the fruit of crabapples and buckeyes and marvel at the huge blossoms of the hydrangea collection. Schedule a visit to the Arboretum soon to see the peak bloom of so many flowers!
Greg Lecker is a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer.