A Wander Through A Riparian Urban Garden

 

Wyatt Visitors Pavilion Entrance - Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Wyatt Visitors Pavilion Entrance – Cape Fear Botanical Garden

On Easter weekend my husband and  travelled 70 miles south to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to visit two of my sisters. One sister volunteers at Cape Fear Botanical Garden and after a delicious lunch, she and I managed to escape for a couple of hours to tour the garden. It was my first time seeing it, though I had wanted to for a long time.

The tulips were beautiful the day we were there. A cheerful planting greeted us at the entrance to the visitors center. Once we had our tickets we emerged out the back of the center we immediately encountered more tulips. My sister is at the garden weekly and for some time had been admiring this lovely group.

Tulips

Tulips

Tulips

Tulips

Also just outside the visitor center door I had to stop to enjoy two copper-toned planters, on either side of the path, each holding a Japanese maple.

Planter behind Wyatt Visitors Pavilion

Planter behind Wyatt Visitors Pavilion

 

Planter behind Wyatt Visitors Pavilion - Looking toward Cypress pond

Planter behind Wyatt Visitors Pavilion – Looking toward Cypress pond

The brick path between the two planters (in the lower right above) led through an arbor where I was soon captivated by this little unfamiliar daffodil known as Narcissus ‘Hawera’ (Hawera Daffodil).

Narcissus 'Hawera' (Hawera Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Hawera’ (Hawera Daffodil)

Fayetteville has an annual dogwood festival that was coming up and the dogwoods we saw this day were further along in bloom than mine back home. Dogwoods are understory plants that love the forest’s edge. They thrive under these loblolly pines.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

The varied terrain of this 80-acre garden allows visitors to enjoy an open pine forest (quite typical of this region) that soon gives way to sandy paths and nature trails leading through hardwood forests and eventually sloping down to meet the Cape Fear River.

Preserved natural areas are home to indigenous plants and wildlife while the cultivated areas feature 2,000 varieties of ornamental plants.

The garden has extensive and well-known collections of daylilies, hostas and camellias. Actually it was the camellias I had especially wanted to see.

Due to a combination of illness and wintry weather I had missed attending the 69th Fayetteville Camellia Festival hosted in this garden a few weeks earlier. Luckily a good number of camellias were still in bloom at Easter, including this pale pink Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora.’

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’  1886

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’ 1886

In close proximity to the Camellia Garden sits the Children’s Garden featuring this oversized chair with a seat cushion of Clematis armandii (Evergreen Clematis).

Oversized chair in Lilliput Labyrinth Garden

Oversized chair in Lilliput Labyrinth Garden

Working our way back from the Camellia Garden we paused to admire a redbud along side the Cypress Pond and check out the frog fishing off the pier.

Redbud in bloom at Cypress pond

Redbud in bloom at Cypress pond

Eventually we came to a picturesque gazebo with red maples in the background.

Butler Gazebo - Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Butler Gazebo – Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Further along the path there were azaleas, rhododendron, viburnum and this attractive plant brightening the fence. Unfortunately I could not find a label for this one.

Bluff Garden and Cross Creek Overlook

Bluff Garden and Cross Creek Overlook

Bluff Garden and Cross Creek Overlook-2 Bluff Garden and Cross Creek Overlook

We did not have time to see the entirety of this botanical garden on that afternoon so we did not actually make it all the way down to the Cape Fear River. But this section is referred to as Bluff Garden and Cross Creek Overlook. It was quite restful and peaceful as we sat watching this view of Cross Creek and listening to the birds.

Bluff Garden and Cross Creek Overlook

Bluff Garden and Cross Creek Overlook

With time running out we retreated back toward the visitors center. First though we had one more stop to make.

Historic Eastern Carolina Farmhouse

Historic Eastern Carolina Farmhouse

The McCauley Heritage Garden features a furnished historic eastern Carolina farmhouse that was built in Eastover, Cumberland County in 1886 by Alexander Carter.  The house was relocated to CFBG on February 3, 1996. It really is a quintessential style house common to this area.

It is here that my sister hangs out when volunteering each week, guiding visitors through the farmhouse. Unfortunately no one was working the day we visited so I had to peek inside the window to catch a glimpse of the interior.

Historic Eastern Carolina Farmhouse

Historic Eastern Carolina Farmhouse

Historic Eastern Carolina Farmhouse

Historic Eastern Carolina Farmhouse

Interior - Historic Eastern Carolina Farmhouse

Interior – Historic Eastern Carolina Farmhouse

Also on display along with the farmhouse is a typical tobacco barn and a general store that was once operated by the Carter family.

Tobacco Barn

Tobacco Barn

General Store

General Store

General Store

General Store

In front of the farmhouse was an extensive kitchen garden with roses, nepeta and herbs. Raised beds in another portion of the heritage garden are used for growing flowers and vegetables, part of a gardening therapy program for war veterans returning to nearby Ft. Bragg.

McCauley Heritage Garden

McCauley Heritage Garden

The sandy path leading us back to the visitors center was lined with a beautiful forsythia hedge, much of which had already finished blooming for this year.

Sandy Path Along Forsythia Hedge

Sandy Path Along Forsythia Hedge

As we returned to the visitors center there were yet more tulips to admire. This was my favorite.

Tulips

Tulips

I really enjoyed finally getting to see the Cape Fear Botanical Garden first-hand. My sister made a wonderful guide and it was great to spend time with her. When we returned my other sister had managed to clean up the dinner dishes, package up several days worth of leftovers for us to take home, and she also had coffee and dessert waiting for us, a decadent chocolate pound cake. Good food, lovely garden, and loving sisters. It was a nice day.

Wordless Wednesday—At Dusk And At Dawn

This dramatic iris opened overnight, unharmed by a heavy rainstorm. At first I thought it was Iris germanica ‘Batik’ but after seeing it opened I am not sure.

At Dusk - Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

At Dusk – Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

At Dusk - Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

At Dusk – Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

At Dawn - Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

At Dawn – Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

At Dawn - Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

At Dawn – Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

In A Vase On Monday—Anemones Redux

Anemones In A Vase On Monday - Overhead View

Anemones In A Vase On Monday – Overhead View

I am joining Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, a weekly challenge to fill a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden.

I wandered around the garden for quite a while this morning, not sure what to select. The lovely Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ kept waving at me as I tried to decide.  Last week I had featured this blue-violet poppy anemone in my Monday vase, but in the end, other flowers in that arrangement were more dominant. I have been very happy with these anemones this spring, so here is another vase giving Mr. Fokker a prominent role. Also I chose a few white Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ to add brightness to the other dark-hued flowers.

Anemone coronaria 'Bride' and  ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ and ‘Mr. Fokker’

The meditation circle is full of Viola and Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’, some of which have spread into the walking path. I pulled up three young penstemons and several handfuls of viola to use as filler.

Viola

Viola

The container is a rectangular terra cotta clay pot, into which I placed a Pyrex glass bread pan to hold water. The penstemon plants were spaced evenly inside toward the center, followed by groups of violas around the edges of the pot.  I relied on the density of the filler plants to hold the anemones stems in place rather than using floral foam, but the flowers always shift when secured this way.

In A Vase On Monday - Anemones Redux

In A Vase On Monday – Anemones Redux

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

 

 

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Viola
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Terra cotta rectangular planter
Rectangular glass dish

Were it not for the fine grains of pine pollen currently coating everything in this part of North Carolina, the arrangement would be perfect for the front porch.

Anemone Arrangement On Front Porch

Anemone Arrangement On Front Porch

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting each week. Please visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Garden Views At Mid-April

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

The past week was sunny, hot, rainy, cool—mostly splendidly spring. Dogwood branches dress the back northwest corner. At first the bracts opened a creamy yellow-green, but later changed to white.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

 

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

An afternoon thunderstorm passed through several days ago. That night another storm followed with rain pounding and prolonged streaks of lightening piercing the nighttime sky. Here is a garden view in-between storms.

 

Meditation Circle On Late Stormy Evening

Meditation Circle On Late Stormy Evening

The stones in the circle now need a good cleaning since the driving rain washed mud across the the labyrinth. The upper part of the the circle is filled with Viola that overwintered. Their purplish hue is continued along the back border by Phlox subulata.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Also in the circle are snapdragons that were planted last October. I have never grown them successfully but this year they made it through the cold and now look poised to flower. Dark clumps of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ are putting out fresh new foliage. This penstemon self-seeds freely. The mounds of bright green foliage are white and pink Dianthus.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

A few days this week I took my coffee outside into the very early morning just as the birds awoke. Those first hours of the day are often the best time to appreciate this little garden’s peaceful offerings.

Not often do I photograph the garden from the position below, that is, standing behind the dogwood at the northwest corner and looking east toward the back of the house.

 

Looking east toward the back of the house. Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood).

Looking east toward the back of the house. Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood).

The brick foundation seems rather bleak and bare from this distance, but move back up close and one can see the first of the native columbine flowers are nodding about. In this border Aquilegia is underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm). Soon it will all fill in. I spotted our first hummingbird this week and this area is a big attraction for them.

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) underplanted with Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Garden View With Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Returning to the dogwood corner, I could not resist sharing a few more views. Phlox subulata looked pretty waterlogged on this morning, but has since recovered.

Garden View from behind Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Garden View from behind Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Meditation Circle And Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and 'Bride'

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) and Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ and ‘Bride’

Close by the dogwood is where the Anemone coronaria are planted. Since last year only one survived I am happy this area is so colorful. Maybe someone will be able to help solve a mystery. I am curious as to why the centers of some of the white “Bride” flowers look so different.

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ With Purple-blue Center

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ With Purple-blue Center

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Sadly the newly purchased Gardenia jasminoides ‘Summer Snow’ fell victim to a late freeze. It was supposed to be a hardier variety but the entire shrub turned brown. Fortunately I was able to return it for a refund.

Pine pollen is in full force, coating everything with a fine yellow dust. Not even the huge storms this week could tamp it down. This will go on for several more weeks.

On a happier note, elsewhere in the garden Irises are gaining inches each day and a few fat buds have appeared. And Peonies, baptisia, clematis and more are making promises for a beautiful spring.

Wordless Wednesday—Blue Flowers

There were two blue surprises in the shady part of the garden yesterday.

Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ (Woodland phlox)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Silver Heart’ (False Forget-Me-Not)

In A Vase On Monday—April Allure

 

In A Vase On Monday - April Allure

In A Vase On Monday – April Allure

Late on this April afternoon I am joining Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, a weekly challenge to fill a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden.

I wondered all weekend what might work in a vase for today, knowing blue-violet Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’ would be my first choice. I had not imagined finding such a large and varied collection of blooms as I did. These flowers inspired me to create a formal classic round design.

Anemone coronaria 'Mr. Fokker'

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Camellia x 'Koto-no-kaori'

Camellia x ‘Koto-no-kaori’

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

For this week’s container I affixed floral foam to a 6-inch shallow plastic dish. Once the design was completed the shallow dish was placed atop the actual vase. The cream-colored ceramic urn, imprinted with “Vintage 4,” lends a traditional flair to the design and the extra height helps provide proper proportion.

The arrangement is held in a small shallow dish.

The arrangement is held in a small shallow dish.

 

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

I am happy with the arrangement, although there are always things to tweak. After seeing photographs of the arrangement I realize too many of the flowers are vying to become the focal point, taking away the emphasis from Mr. Fokker. I really like the pure bright white of the Thalia daffodil, Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’ and spiraea, and think it would help the balance of the design to bring the white further down toward the base. I like the green tones of the older hellebores, serving almost as foliage, while the fresher pinkish ones echo the hue of the camellias.

It is wonderful to have enough flowers for a mixed arrangement this week. Spring is welcome to hang around a while.

Materials

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)
Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’
Camellia x ‘Koto-no-kaori’
Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Please visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Early April Trio And A Test

Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’

During yoga practice today the teacher said to focus on your passion, what makes your heart sing. Immediately I formed a picture of my early spring garden.

We have had several ideal days for gardening and I have tried to take advantage of the opportunity they bring. Sometimes that means working, weeding, planting, but sometimes it means sitting quietly, noticing the warm sun, the soft breeze, the gentle sounds.

Three plants in particular are enhancing the garden this week with their flowers. One is Phlox subulata. ‘Emerald Cushion Blue’ is blooming in the front side garden. Out back in the main garden ‘Emerald Cushion Blue’ is paired with the darker ‘Purple Beauty’ where together they are creating mounds of color at the front of  the western border.

Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’

Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’

Nearby, and at long last, a few Anemone coronaria have survived and blossomed. The white anemone ‘Bride’ opened three or four days earlier than blue-violet ‘Mr. Fokker’.  Still no sign of dark pink ‘Admiral’ but I am delighted to see these.

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Bride’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Anemone coronaria ‘Mr. Fokker’

Just as I realized with some sadness the King Alfred and Tete-a-Tete Narcissus are beginning to fade, another favorite sprang up with striking, pure white flowers: Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil).

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus 'Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

Narcissus ‘Thalia’ (Thalia Daffodil)

 

Botanical Test

The test is one mentioned on the JC Raulston Arboretum blog, cited there as an April Fool’s  entry. In fact it is a very tricky botanical knowledge quiz, apparently an annual spring tradition of Irina Kadis, Arnold Arboretum’s Curatorial Assistant. If you enjoy this year’s quiz, annual quizzes from Spring 2006-2014 are also available.