The Clowes Coral Reef Garden
The Clowes Water Garden currently features plants inspired by sea life

Oceans Come Ashore in White River Gardens


By Nina Evans, Horticulturist


Have you ever seen an elephant ear plant that looks like a manta ray? You can find this plant, called Alocasia ‘Stingray’, “flying” over the water of the Allen W. Clowes Water Garden in the White River Gardens this summer. It was the inspiration for the amazing and intricate seasonal plantings in the Clowes beds, which now are wonderfully reminiscent of the ocean’s coral reefs.

Four different plantings have been created along the garden’s walkways, all having anchor plants of blue flowering Evolvulous ‘Blue Daze’ and Sweet potato (Ipomoea) ‘Solar Powered Lime’ with its chartreuse, creature-like leaves, topped by the pink stars of Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’. The magic emerges with the combinations of succulents and other plants that look very much like sea life.

Look for our resident octopuses (otherwise known as foxtail fern (Sperengeri ‘Myersii’), alligator plant or mother of thousands (Bryophyllum daigremontianum), with her many little babies that drop to the ground and root right in, and the very creeping Cissus quadrangularis, sometimes called devils backbone.

Added in are oodles of kalanchoes, aloes, sansevierias, graptoverias and the like, making our undersea world is complete. It’s an adventure in water gardening you don’t want to miss!

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