Nature Notes

These Golden Days

Roses remind me of my Dad, so I take a longer pause than usual. He would’ve smiled at this one for sure. It is a true English-style rose with a fruity scent that butterflies and pollinators adore.

By Lee Anne Laskey

The warmth of sun loving, seasonal goldenrod, towering sunflowers and delicate asters greet me today on my long, refreshing walk throughout the Arboretum. A new favorite find, “World Peace” Phlox brightens up the landscape even more.

Blooms that brighten the path

Asters of all kinds might be my favorite fall blooming plant. They are pest-resistant and there are about 90 species native to North America. Jewelweed, that has reached its maximum size now, lights up the shady areas, especially by Green Heron Pond.  Crabapples drape gracefully above napping geese, ready to fly. Subtle shifts in the scenery reveal the crisp, new season ahead. Can you feel it too?

Crabapple beauties

Old and new blooms still hang on for added cheer everywhere and delicious veggies of all kinds can be found in the Teaching Garden by the visitor center. Don’t forget to admire all this abundance tucked away right off the building.  Morning Glories are bursting, bees are buzzing by the mint and ripe veggies happily hide under all the lush green.

Welcoming morning blooms

I brush past soft fennel leaves & take in the scent of sage before checking out the “Purple Haze” Tomatillos that make such an interesting trellis backdrop.  “Gold Rush” Yellow Wax Beans peak out, “Summersweet” Sweet Bell Peppers shine, Orient Charm Eggplant and Green Fingers Cucumbers are there as well to admire if you look closely.  Just wait until you spot the “DePurple” Purple Cauliflower!

Colorful Harvest

Besides craving new school supplies this time of year no matter what my age, these days make me crave wandering among the lovely trees of the Oak and Nut collection. As birds flit high above, I spot acorns among the rustling leaves and some down below. I’ve loved spotting them since I was a child and hope families can take time for a treasure hunt or two here this week! Those simple pleasures are hard to beat.

Acorn treasures

I sit for a moment on a bench, with the perfect inscription, “Rest with me, Refresh with nature, “Whistle while you work”.  Hints of squirrels that have been hard at work are scattered beside me. Hickory nuts and black walnuts are mature enough to provide food for them at the end of August. Look up and take a peak!

“Missouri Mammoth” Shellbark Hickory fruit & nuts

“Later, I find another bench with a view of beautiful rose blooms and enjoy the sounds of the trickling water feature nearby. Roses remind me of my Dad, so I take a longer pause than usual. He would’ve smiled at this one for sure. It is a true English-style rose with a fruity scent that butterflies and pollinators adore.

“Fun in the Sun” Grandiflora Rose

I catch a mother/daughter photographing the miniature bloom collection, giddy with their discoveries. Coffee Bean and Debut Sunblaze are two miniature varieties I notice today. Which will be your favorites? A buttery bloom off the path leading out sums up the whole Arboretum visit today.

“Walking on Sunshine” Floribunda Rose

Hope to see you all in the gardens this week and now at the AppleHouse of course! Mary Hagen and all the staff there create the friendliest vibe.  No matter how busy it might be, they take time for a friendly chat. I made it home safely with my bountiful bag of apples, autumn themed gifts to share and of course the helpful timeline brochure for the fridge to remind me to enjoy ALL the upcoming varieties.

Lee Anne Laskey is a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer.

2 comments on “These Golden Days

  1. Jill C Diloreto

    Lovely!

  2. Thank you! Hope to see you there someday soon. 🍂🌞

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