Bedding Plants at the Parks

Today we are at the gardens of the New York State Parks at Niagara Falls. The bed above is representative of the more informal of the gardens with its mixed-use planting. They use a combination of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees.

The Parks Department incorporates many grasses, annuals and perennials.

This garden above, and the next two below, are at Whirlpool State Park. The images were taken only a week ago.

I often see the workers maintaining these beds filled with a variety of color and texture.

The red feathered cocks comb is used often in beds around the parks. Where Canada uses quite a bit of Canna, here they seem to use this plant for height and color later in the season. Images above and below come from the beds at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center gardens.

The following images are taken at the gardens of the Niagara Falls Visitor Center. Here you visit the 1.5 acre gardens that depict the Great Lakes region above the falls, including grassy areas in the shapes of Lakes Michigan, Superior, Huron and Erie, as well as a walkway that follows the course of the Niagara River. Honestly, this is a bit of a stretch to see this in the shape of the paving and grassy areas, but it is a feature.

From a design perspective, they do have many Burning Bush planted in these gardens. It is pretty at this time of year, but is on the invasive species lists.

 This planting above, is an odd combo and is at the parking lot leading to the Visitors Center.

Like Canada, they also plant a large number of annuals en mass.

I found this peculiar, a Viceroy on Holly. The Butterfly Bush was right behind the holly and every time I got close, the Viceroy would take flight, but return back to the Holly. I did this no less than ten times because I did not understand why it would repeatedly land here.

 Benches are throughout the gardens and they are really pretty well used.

Grasses flanked by petunia are lighted at night.

They edge the beds with granite which I am sure is to aid in maintenance, but I am not fond of this heavy detail.

This is the Visitor’s Center and the image was purposefully shot this way. Here they show an IMAX movie at the Adventure Theater. I never have seen it though. They provide maps and information, have a gift shop and a variety restaurants, including specialty coffees, ice cream, a patio grill and a deli snack bar. Food as you would expect, is quite expensive.


8 thoughts on “Bedding Plants at the Parks

  1. There is some imaginative planting in those parks. I don’t know what it is like in the US, but in the UK our Parks Departments have been the training ground for many, many top gardeners, designers and horticulturists. The rich tradition of elaborate bedding plant schemes meant trainees learnt plant propagation very thoroughly. Nowadays it seems people are using more and more perennial planting schemes, and the money for maintaining parks, roundabouts, town centre beds is decreasing rapidly. I wonder what it will mean for the horticulturists of the future.

  2. Long ago, early nineties, I lived in Connecticut. Ex and I went up through Buffalo around the Canadian side to view the falls. The one thing I remember most about the trip, beside the magnificent falls, was the gardens in the park there. The colors and the hanging baskets were magnificent. Of course I was used to hot, old dry Texas landscapes back then. I have since learned you folks live in a much kinder climate than I do. With a kinder climate wonderful lush landscapes can happen.

  3. I must say I was surprised to see the Burning Bush since it is invasive but they are stunning in color. I love looking at what people include in bedding plants. i get so many ideas. The dark reds with the deep purples and light orange/golden yellow bed was particularly eye catching…so much beauty around you!!

  4. I guess autumn is late to Buffalo also. The fall leaves were particularly hard to predict this year. I went to Bear Mountain last week and came away with wedding photos not leaves. In NYC my gardening is limited to containers. You can concentrate the color in a small palette. Doing a garden as you have shown so well, that’s a bit more of challenge. There’s so much more that comes into play. Well done.

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