The ornamentals at the Longfellow Gardens are stepping into rare form these days, even more vivid with night flash, in my opinion.
Don't know what this is, some kind of hanging lantern froofie thing. I had better ask Teresa the Gardener at the Longfellow. [Ed. Note: My Sis tells me that this plant is a "Dicentra" (Dicentra spectabilis) also known as a "Bleeding Heart" and that our neighbors grew them when we were growing up in Ashland, WI. (I knew I saw them somewhere before.) They are also known as Venus's car (oddly enough), Dutchman's trousers (not breeches), or lyre flower. They are perennials native to eastern Asia from Siberia to Japan. The flowers are shaped much like hearts, or "pendulous," and are produced along a strand called a "raceme." Cool. Thanks Bethy!]
Black tulips are always nice, kind of Goth in a naturey way. Except they remind me of that birthday party I had to clean up at the Nature Center where the cake had black frosting. Gah. I don't know how anyone could eat that much food coloring and survive. It wouldn't come off the tables, chairs, and floors, I can't imagine it does much better in your colon. Yarch.
And then there's our old fiend again, Buckthorn. It looks pretty innocuous when it's blooming, with it's white flowers and deep greens. But "Rhamnus cathartica" is aptly named, as a cathartic is something that gives you the fast-acting laxative effect. Birds eat the berries, especially in fall when there isn't much else available, and can barely get over to the next bunch of trees before they have to poop them out, making a handy and efficient seed/fertilizer mixture to keep the Buckthorn Dynasty rolling. You've got to admire the audacious procreativity to maintain the species, even if it's not needed in it's current environment.