We Grow Pumpkins

By Charles Gleaves

We do indeed grow pumpkins and for a specific purpose. Our biggest event of the year is the Great Pumpkin Glow. Thousands of people visit us over two days in October for this event featuring lots and lots of pumpkins. We buy many of them but also grow our own. As a horticultural institution it seems only reasonable that we apply some of our skills for growing things to the task. Last year we displayed 1,833 pumpkins of which 1303 were carved and illuminated and we grew over 700 ourselves.  The biggest challenge for us is not the growing of pumpkins per se, but growing pumpkins on this scale. Gardeners, such as us, don’t typically get into field production.

Daytime picture of The Pumpkin Glow

Daytime picture of The Pumpkin Glow

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The Mysteries of Wisteria

By Karen Fraizer

For too many people, me included, the thought of growing Wisteria can cause nightmares. Kingwood recently planted a variety called Amethyst Falls Wisteria in the new Carriage House Garden. This is an American Wisteria, which is supposed to be smaller and slower growing than its oriental cousins. Now that spring is upon us I have been thinking that it’s time to start training these four Wisteria plants, which also got me thinking about how little I actually know about this plant. So in order to care for and prune them properly I’m going to have to do some research.

Wisteria

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Molly the Witch Peony

By Chuck Gleaves

With what must be thousands of varieties of hybrid peonies to chose from, it is fun to go back, sometimes, to actual natural peony species. One peony species of particular fascination also has one of the most unpronouncable of plant names, Paeonia mlokosewitschii.  An effort to pronounce the second name in that binomial will readily explain its nickname, Molly the Witch.

Molly the Witch flower and foliage

Molly the Witch flower and foliage

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The Dark Side of Kingwood’s Tulips

By Chuck Gleaves

Kingwood is widely known for our spring tulip display. Our phones ring constantly in the spring as prospective visitors try to determine the best time to come see the tulips. We have been offering big displays of tulips every year for about sixty-two years. Some of our tulip beds have had tulips in them every year for decades.

Kingwood's tulips with peacock

Kingwood’s tulips with peacock

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Garlic Mustard

By Shawn McClain

On April 22nd for Earth Day, one of the most common practices of celebration is to plant new trees. Other practices of celebration include picking up trash, planting wildflowers and cleaning up streams. In my case, removal of invasive species from the woodland area here at Kingwood Center Gardens, particularly Garlic Mustard. This ecologically invasive and non- native plant easily naturalizes in shady locations and spreads viable seeds early in the spring pushing out many wildflowers and native plants.

Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard

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