A beautiful bed found in the southeast corner of the Teaching Garden in the Four Seasons bed. Designed to always have something blooming in the four season from March to November, this bed has an array of blooming perennials as well as small trees and shrubs that add color at different times of the year. In the winter months, the garden has plenty of color from red and yellow twigs of dogwood and texture from ornamental grasses. A great idea for all home gardens which will showcase the many plants available in Northern Virginia that provide year round color.
The Four Seasons bed is managed by Jean Bennett, and is also supported by Marie Scanlon. Jean has been a MG for 10 years, and the bed leader for 8. Marie has been a MG for 2 years and has been helping with this bed for the season. The ladies both come at least once a week, sometimes twice; Marie on Tuesday mornings and Jean Thursday afternoons and/or Saturdays. They describe the bed as providing some plant interest for all four seasons. New plants are watered regularly, and the rest of the bed during times of drought in July and August.
Some of the bed’s best features are shrubs that bloom in the spring and summer, a variety of perennials that bloom in the spring, summer and fall, red twig and yellow twig dogwoods and grasses that provide winter interest. Right now, the “Korean mums” (Dendranthemums) are blooming, in both white and faintly pink (in the shaded areas).
In spring one can find witch hazel flowers, daffodils, lenten rose, bugleweed, iris and catmint blooming. Late spring brings Astilbe, sweet woodruff, bear’s britches and dogwood flowers.
During the summer one can find Echinacea, Coreopsis, Clethra, day lilies, Sedum, witch hazel, coral bells, phlox, Heliopsis, and Hibiscus blooming. Fall is the best time to see the Korean mums.
Like all gardens in our area, weeds and pests are common. At the Teaching Garden healthy populations of bunnies and deer roam freely at night and routinely feast on plants in just about all of the gardens. Deer repellents are sprayed often, but is often ignored especially in the fall. Four-lined plant bugs (Poecilocapus lineatus) can be found on the Korean mums. The Teaching Garden works to encourage beneficial insects and this year has been very productive. Integrated Pest Management works to build beneficial populations to prey on some of the common garden pests.
Some of the changes that the gardeners have done over the years include adding new things and moving plants as the smaller trees grow and cast more shade. For more information, check the plant list below:
Benedictine Sisters Holydays Festival and Craft Fair: