Shades of red, orange and yellow are considered “hot” colors; in the garden, they serve to brighten up a spot, highlight an area and/or provide a focal point to lure you in for a closer look.

The arbor at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum holds a large Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans), covered at this time of the year with big orange flowers. The Trumpet Vine is a vigorous, deciduous woody vine growing to about 33 feet long, with shiny, dark green, pinnately compound leaves. The flowers are each about 3.5 inches long, trumpet shaped and lacking in scent. After flowering, a six inch long seed capsule forms, dries and splits releasing hundreds of thin, brown, paper-like seeds. It is native to the Eastern United States..

Another name for the plant is Hummingbird Vine because the flowers attract these tiny, jewel-like summer visitors. The vine also attracts a variety of other creatures: Birds nest in the vine and moths, bees, flies and ants feed on the nectar.

A variety of vegetables and fruits are grown in the Barkman Vegetable Garden and this year there is a large bed of Sunflowers (Helianthus) growing against the fence, providing a nice, bright sunny yellow show. Sunflowers are native to the Americas and are said to symbolize long life and lasting happiness.

An interesting fact about Sunflowers is that they track the sun (heliotropism). At night, Sunflowers face east, anticipating the sun’s return and track its progress throughout the day. They do this until they get old and stop moving.

The gardens at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum hold a large variety of hot blooming plants, visit soon and discover them for yourself!

Picture credits: Margery Ennist.