Perennial Borders

Perennial Borders at Boerner Botanical Gardens   "Horticulture ... attracts, delights all.
It seems to be a common field where every degree of taste and refinement may unite and find opportunities for their gratification."


Excerpt from address by Daniel Webster to Massachusetts Horticultural Society, 1845


T
hese borders, a tapestry of color, texture and form, stretch along each side of the long grassy mall to the steps to the Rose Garden.

Perennial plants live several years. Because they must reserve their energy to survive from year to year, their period of bloom is typically shorter than that of annuals, which bloom continuously throughout the summer. Consequently, a perennial border provides special design problems to the garden planner. Calculating progression of bloom and coordinating height, texture, color and form for the borders is an art requiring infinite planning and know-how.

The Botanical Gardens' two perennial borders were part of the initial garden design. The original plantings were primarily tulips and daffodils. This seasonal display quickly gave way to the use of a wider variety of flowers designed with both bloom time and color in mind. The garden staff now uses many types of perennial flowers to insure that visitors will find a sumptuous display of bloom from early spring through late fall. In early spring come the tulips. These are followed by stately irises and peonies. In summer, phlox and sunflowers bloom, and in fall chrysanthemums are in their glory. Each shares space with, and is planted to complement, many other perennials--Anemone, Coreopsis, lilies, Delphinium, Geranium, Hosta, Salvia and Sedum to name a few.

One of the Gardens' most striking statuary pieces is found in the perennial borders. The statue, depicting a mother and two sons, was created by George Adam Dietrich an artist who was the head of the sculpture department of the Layton School of Art in the 1930's. The Mother and Two Sons statue was made from stone cut in the Currie Park quarry, and was installed in the northern perennial border in 1938.
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Boerner Botanical Gardens
9400 Boerner Drive, Hales Corners, WI 53130
(414) 525-5600