Mother Nature is still deciding whether we’re in spring or summer, but that hasn’t stopped her from putting on a beautiful display of colorful flowers from the foothills to the valley. And one of those beautiful spots is the Idaho Botanical Garden near Table Rock.
Garden master Jim Duthie takes us there to show us how you can get inspiration for your own garden designs at home, and he gives us a heads up on a popular garden event coming up this weekend.
Wildflowers are blooming along the foothills trails below Table Rock, and nearby, one of the prettiest landscapes in the Treasure Valley is in bloom as well.
We’re here at one of my favorite spots in the Treasure Valley, the Idaho Botanical Garden. A stroll through the garden will give you inspiration for your own gardens at home. And now’s the time to see the garden in full bloom.
“We have plenty in bloom right now. Spring and early summer is a great time of year to visit the garden,” said Idaho Botanical Garden Executive Director Erin Anderson.
Volunteers were busy putting the finishing touches on attractive flower beds and perennial displays for an explosion of colors and sweet smells. Even the littlest gardeners were lending a hand.
“Right now we’re standing in our rose garden," said Anderson. "As you can see, behind me, a lot of our flowers are in bloom. Our English garden, right now, is blooming. And throughout the other seasons different areas will begin to grow and flourish.”
The Oppenheimer rose garden features a wide variety of heirloom roses and other flowering plants, as well as more modern tea roses.
Step through the gates of the Kirk English garden, and wander, stroll beneath the stone arbor, and you’ll almost think you’ve stepped into a Jane Austin novel.
“Every year we focus on improving the garden," said Anderson. "This year we’re working to improve our English garden space. We’ve done a revamp and update of a lot of our plant material that’s there.”
Among the other updates and improvements at the garden is the koi pond, made possible by a generous donation last year.
“We have a large koi pond that was installed and finished last year," said Anderson. "We’ve removed our old koi pond and are now really focused on the new pond. We have several very beautiful and fancy fish that have been installed.”
The botanical garden also features native Idaho plants, including the Lewis and Clark native plant garden, with living specimens of most of the nearly 150 plant species collected by the famous expedition over 200 years ago.
“We also have a fire-wise garden that we partner with the College of Western Idaho on," said Anderson. "It’s not a part of the Idaho Botanical Garden, but we partner, and so you’re able to walk through the fire-wise garden to check out some great ideas for how you, too, can have a fire-wise landscape.”
A big project this year is building improved bathroom facilities for the Outlaw Field concert venue, which features visiting musical artists throughout the summer.
“We’re really excited about our line up this year at our Outlaw Field concert series. We kicked it off on Wednesday night with John Mellencamp. It was a successful concert. On the 27th we have Carlos Santana, and a great line up from there on out.”
And this year marks the 30th anniversary of another popular annual garden event.
“Coming up this weekend we have our private gardens tour.”
“We have ten homes that are featured. There’ll be live music throughout the entire day. A lot of different types of gardens and this year we’ve focused on the Bench area.”
Even though it’s not located at the botanical garden, the private gardens tour will enable you to see what other gardeners have done in their home landscape, and give you some great ideas for yours.
Ideas for firewise gardening, native landscaping, and even vegetable gardening, all to be found here in the Idaho Botanical Garden.
The Idaho Botanical Garden is located off Warm Springs Avenue next to the Old Penitentiary below Table Rock, and is open daily at 9 a.m.
The private gardens tour is this Sunday, June 11th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the tour, and the summer concert series, you can visit the botanical garden’s websitesd.