The EMC Insurance Companies Entry Garden welcomes visitors with a naturalistic planting inspired by the riparian context of the Botanical Garden site. In spring, sweeps of 30,000 bulbs wash the Garden’s entrance in yellows (Narcissus) and blues (Muscari). In summer, broad drifts of Iowa native grasses punctuated with colonies of shrubs, trees and colorful masses of perennials serve as a relief from the city’s hardscape and an abundant reserve for native pollinators, including bumblebees, Monarch butterflies and other Lepidoptera. The entry garden peaks in late summer and early autumn with fiery flowers like Helen’s flower (Helenium), goldenrod (Solidago shortii ‘Solar Cascade’) and sweet coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’), the rosy haze of purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis) and the searing fall color of staghorn sumacs (Rhus typhina).
This garden is made possible through the generosity of the EMC Insurance Foundation.