Real Gardens

Granny’s favorites


Our local Botanical Gardens has a soft spot for old-fashioned annuals. They start them all from seed in their back greenhouses, and as a result the plants don’t really come into their own until very late in the season, when everyone else’s annuals have started to flag.


These are the plants with great common names: pearls of Opar, kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, love lies bleeding. They’ve got them meticulously planted in patterned beds leading up to the entrance of the glasshouse.


It took me a while to figure out what this one is. Asclepias physocarpa (giant swan milkweed). It will not surprise you to learn that it also goes by “hairy balls.”

Posted by on August 26, 2007 at 2:34 pm, in the category Real Gardens.
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3 responses to “Granny’s favorites”

  1. Beautiful! But I thought we were the only ones with “Hairy Balls”! (We originally bought the seed for the name, of course) And I posted a picture of the flowers just this past Friday.

  2. Georgia says:

    I was introduced to my first milkweed this weekend! The showy milkweed. I wrote about the seed collecting experience local ecologist.

  3. eliz says:

    Who wouldn’t want hairy balls when they look that cool?