Category Archives: Articles from the Director

Hardy Fall Blooming Perennials

By Chuck Gleaves

I searched all the pictures I have taken in October over the last six years and found far more blooming perennials than I could mention here. Many of them begin blooming in August or September but carry on well into October such as Japanese anemones. One of my favorites is Anemone x hybrida ‘Whirlwind’. There are also lots of different Asters and ornamental grasses that meet this descripton. For example, I particularly enjoy my ground hugging Aster ericoides ‘Snowflurry’ in combination with various upright stonecrops like Hylotelephium x ‘Autumn Joy’. Curiously, despite the name (Autumn Joy) the upright stonecrop is finished blooming by October, but remnants of the flowers still make a nice companion for my Aster.

Aster ericoides ‘Snow Flurry’ flowering with Hylotelephium x ‘Autumn Joy’ on October 14th.

Aster ericoides ‘Snow Flurry’ flowering with Hylotelephium x ‘Autumn Joy’ on October 14th.

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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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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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Anticipating Spring Gardens

by Chuck Gleaves, Executive Director

At Kingwood you can enjoy the daffodils by the thousands or as incredible individuals like this one

At Kingwood you can enjoy the daffodils by the thousands or as incredible individuals like this one

Spring is the most popular time at Kingwood, and we have lots to see. Over the years our gardens have become more nuanced that just a gazillion tulips, although we have far from forsaken the brilliant spring color that tulips provide. Many thousands of daffodils bloom sequentially over about a six-week period, typically from late March to early May, although as I write this on the second to last day of February there are already one or two daffodils in bloom.

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