Plants & Gardens Blog

Bloom Alert: Shakespeare Garden

As the Shakespeare Garden transitions from late spring into early summer, the beds explode with height, color, and texture. Take in the abundance of these blooms on your next visit.

Tall Bearded Iris
Iris ‘Breakers’
Blooming in late spring, this tall, herbaceous perennial boasts large purple-blue flowers. Tufts of hairs are present on the sepals, which provide a landing place for insect pollinators.

A large, bright purple-blue flower blooms with tufts of hairs on the lower petals.
Iris ‘Breakers’ (tall bearded iris) in the Shakespeare Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

Aquilegia vulgaris
A member of the Ranunculaceae, or buttercup family, columbines are a source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Flowers with dropping, layered petals of white and dark pink bloom from thin arching stems.
Aquilegia vulgaris (columbine) in the Shakespeare Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

Digitalis purpurea
This herbaceous biennial has bell-shaped flowers with dark spots and hairs on the inside. Foxgloves attract bumblebees and easily self-sow—a single plant can produce one- to two million seeds.

A cluster of pink trumpet-shaped flowers with dark spots bloom alongside small green leaves.
Digitalis purpurea (foxglove) in the Shakespeare Garden. Photo by Blanca Bergert.

Mountain bluet
Centaurea montana
Native to the mountain regions of central and southern Europe, this herbaceous perennial boasts striking, wheel-shaped flowers made of clusters of purple-blue florets.

A wheel-shaped flower of small blue florets blooms at the tip of a stem with long green leaves.
Centaurea montana (mountain bluet) in the Shakespeare Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

Moth Mullein
Verbascum blattaria
This biennial plant is a member of the Scrophulariaceae, or figwort family. Tufts of purple hairs surround the flowers’ stamen, resembling the furry antennae found on moths.

A cone-shaped cluster of pink-tinged white flowers with purpler centers bloom along a green stem.
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) in the Shakespeare Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

Paeonia sp.

A black metal plant label is surrounded by large bright pink flowers with yellow centers.
Paeonia (peony) in the Shakespeare Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

Ranunculus sp.

A cluster of small round yellow flowers with tightly packed petals bloom on the tips of thin green stems.
Ranunculus (buttercup) in the Shakespeare Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

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Image, top of page: Michael Stewart