I met up with a group of fellow garden lovers and avid garden photographers. The gardens were alive with color, something my garden lacks this time of year. A few pockets of gold can be found in my yard right now, like with the brilliant yellow of my Blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) or the unique flower of the my Toad lily (Tricyrtis sp.), but mostly, my garden lacks punch.
What I discovered on this trip is the sheer excitement that people get when they see wildlife in the garden. The colors can be amazing (and they were), but when a conversation comes to a screeching halt and is only completed with a single emphatic word, "monarch!" You know that a design works.
Botanical gardens are one of the many places I like to go for growing ideas to bring home. The downside is the scalability of projects. Most of the garden displays are laid out with the luxury of large scale design. If you look around enough you'll start seeing how you can scale the designs, and find ideas that you can take home to a residential garden.
All of these flowers are very easy to grow from seed, and they really liven up the garden. I have a few sunny patches in my yard. The prospect of bringing in more birds (and butterflies) without having to refill a feeder is truly exciting.