Skip to main content



The Buttonbush ( Cephalanthus occidentalis) is an unusual shrub with curious white pincushion flowers. It is found in the wild all over the United States, usually in swamps and moist areas.  Growing up in rural Alabama, I remember seeing it in the woods behind our house.  It doesn't garner much attention until the blooms make their appearance.  Sources vary on the size of the plant. In the wild, it can get to 20 feet but in gardens, most likely under 12 ft. In my garden, it is about 4 feet tall after five years in the ground. It is located along the back fence in an area that doesn't get much supplemental water although I am working on the area and watering more often this year. The flowers have a slight honey-like fragrance. Bees love this plant! Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

More from Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

The Franklin Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio was well worth the drive from Marysville (about 30 minutes). It was an overcast day with mild temperatures - perfect for a garden visit. Although the conservatories were awesome (see my previous post), the outdoor gardens were lovely as well. I saw workers everywhere tending to stunning displays. The above photo shows a raised bed near the front entrance which contained a striking agave ("Whale's Tongue"??), ornamental grasses and coneflower.

Ornamental grasses and goldenrod -

More coleus surrounding a palm in a container -

A red ribbon memorial to AIDS victims made of begonias along the driveway entry -

I grow Lespedeza (bush clover) in our garden but it not as stunning as this one because of our shade.

The centerpiece in the perennial gardens was a dramatic sculpture.
Sedum was another popular plant in Ohio - I saw throughout this garden as well as in a lot of private gardens.

One of the prettiest displays of Beautyberry (Callicarpa) that I have ever seen. This was actually on an outdoor terrace outside of one of the conservatories.

Another terrace outside the conservatory -

The Bride's Garden - a beautiful spot for a small wedding.

Seven Sons Tree (Heptacodium miconioides) -

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. They do have some dramatic plants. My Beauty Berry is a handsome plant. It looks great with a little more room to spread.

  2. Such beautiful photos! Colors so bright and pretty.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts