Musa basjoo patch in Souto Garden

Souto Garden

The Souto Garden is named to honor our late neighbor, Eddy Souto, who previously owned the property. It was the third section of JLBG to be developed, starting in 2008. The purpose of the Souto Garden is to provide a place for more full sun plants, since the array of trees, planted in the earlier sections now provide too much shade for sun-loving plants to prosper.

Rudbeckia maxima ‘Golda Emanis’
Rudbeckia maxima ‘Golda Emanis’

Visitors enter this section through a 300’ long, 3’ tall berm of dryland plants. The background plants of this berm are an array of over 125 different agave selections, most hybridized here at JLBG. Many old clumps of hardy barrel cactus also reside here, along with two large hardy Acacia species. There are also an assortment of dryland-loving geophytes including the white-flowered Dracunculus vulgaris, desert salvias, and much more, planted among the agaves and cactus.

A system of wetlands

The Souto Garden is also home to a series of 17 interconnected rain garden pits, designed to handle the runoff from the steeply sloping part of the property. Each of the pits is filled with an array of fascinating wetland plants, including Acorus (Sweet Flag), Sagittaria (Arrowhead), Hemerocallis (Daylilies), Rhynchospora (Beaksedges/White Top Sedge), over 50 different Hibiscus (Mallows), and over 115 different Iris, scattered throughout both the pits and the rest of this garden section.  

Diverse plant collections

The Souto Garden also contains a large collection of over 50 different Baptisias (False lupine), 60 different Paeonia (Peony), both of which are usually in flower for our spring open house. The spring floral display also includes 20 different Alstroemeria (Princess Lily), 50 different Echinacea (Coneflower), and over 120 different Salvia (Sages). The spring show of over 30 clones of Rhododendron, mostly Aromi hybrid deciduous azaleas, is truly a sight to behold.

Seasonal blooms

In summer, the large collection of hardy Hibiscus (mallows) put on an amazing show, along with 30 different Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile) clones. Those are joined by over 65 different Crinum lilies, 20 different Amorphophallus (Love Lily) selections, 20 hardy Asparagus ferns, 20 Canna selections, 20 different Eucomis (Pineapple Lily), and 120 different Hemerocallis (Daylilies), The garden is insanely perfumed during summer, when most of the 45 Lilium (True Lilies) selections are in flower.

The fall season is also an amazing time to visit the Souto Garden to catch some of the 60+ different Lycoris (Surprise Lilies) in flower. For fall fragrance, don’t miss the 30 different Hedychium (Ginger Lily).

Beautiful trees and perennial borders

The far southeastern corner is the only significantly shady spot in the Souto Garden, featuring large native Quercus alba (white oak), along with a self-fruiting Idesia polycarpa (Ligiri Tree), Parrotia subaequalis (Chinese Parrotia), and Cercis canadensis ‘Carolina Sweetheart’. Underneath the trees are a collection of many quite special woodland gems, including over 60 different trillium selections.

Other significant woody plants in the Souto Garden include Stewartia ovata ‘Amicalola’ (Mountain Camellia), Planera aquatica ‘Falling Waters’ (Water Elm), a Mexican collection of Osmanthus americanus, Halesia diptera var. magniflora ‘Pine Apple’ (Two-winged Snowbell), Quercus robur ‘Furst Swarzenberg’ (Variegated English Oak), Acer oblongum (Himalayan Maple), and our oldest specimen of the rare Nothotsuga longibracteata (Chinese Bristlecone Hemlock).

Both the east and west sides of the Souto Garden contain mixed borders, filled with a combination of woody and perennial plants. On the western side, is our newest feature, a walk-through, sunken rock bog, which combines an incredible collections of pitcher plant co-habitating with a dryland rock garden.

Next up – Crevice Garden

A unique habitat for designed for dryland perennials, succulents and miniature conifers that contains more plants per square foot than any other area in our garden.

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