Tag Archives: NCBG

Phlox And Other Delights

Monday at the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) my husband and I enjoyed one of our favorite plantings, a wildflower display of Packera aurea (Golden Ragwort) and Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox). Both are eastern North American natives. He is partial to the Golden Ragwort while I prefer the phlox. Together they make a great display, much more vivid in person.

Packera aurea (Golden Ragwort) and Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox)

Packera aurea (Golden Ragwort) and Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox)

A couple of Eastern Blue Phlox are blooming in my own garden. They have been difficult to establish but this year they finally seem settled.

Growing at pbmGarden: Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox)

Growing at pbmGarden: Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox)

There were still plenty of Trillium and May-Apple, Spreading Jacob’s Ladder was fresh, sweet shrub looked and smelled delicious. At every turn was something new to admire. If you have time to linger, click an image below to start the slideshow.

Native Spring Ephemeral

Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily)

Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily)

A quick scouting expedition for early spring ephemerals on Saturday, February 27 proved rewarding for my husband and me.

Nodding bud of Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily)

Nodding bud of Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily)

Native to southeastern United States, Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily) is coming into flower at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.

 

Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily). Native to southeastern United States

Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily). Native to southeastern United States

Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily)

Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily)

Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily)

Erythronium umbilicatum (Dimpled Trout-lily)

Mid-February, Briefly Feeling Lucky

NC Botanical Garden

NC Botanical Garden

On Friday, to celebrate Darwin Day, my husband and I attended a lunchtime lecture entitled “The Evolution Of Biodiversity: History or Science” at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Charles Darwin, circa 1871, by Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875)

Charles Darwin, circa 1871, by Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875)

There were snow flurries during the talk but by the time we walked to the car only the cold remained.

We did not take time to explore the garden that day, but as we hurried back to the parking lot, we admired the light on the grasses fronting the parking spaces.

NC Botanical Garden

NC Botanical Garden

NC Botanical Garden

NC Botanical Garden

Upon returning home I noticed a camellia on the side of the house was blooming. It has been too cold. How is that possible? Well, the days are lengthening and, before it turned cold this week, it actually had been very warm.  Three flowers were open. Because of cold weather this camellia failed to bloom at all last winter. Tonight’s low is predicted to be 15°F.  Who is feeling lucky?

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’   Synonym: Camellia japonica x Camellia saluenensis

I have been taking this winter one day at a time. Even so, winter is passing by quickly. In a couple of weeks a friend and I will travel to Virginia for the hellebore festival at Pine Knot Farms.  Making plans around here in February is usually a sure-fire way to invite an ice storm into town, but definitely this year we are feeling lucky that we will make it.

Looking ahead, April is promising to be a great month. I already have tickets for some  Art In Bloom events at the North Carolina Museum of Art early in the month. The Chapel Hill Garden Club’s biennial spring garden tour takes place the last weekend in April, featuring seven private gardens. I am already signed up to be a garden guide at one of the gardens for the spring tour.

And, not everything special is a garden event. Also in April our daughter is coming to visit from the west coast.  March will be busy but I am feeling lucky.

Gardens, Birds and Friends

Great Blue Heron, Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Great Blue Heron, Sarah P. Duke Gardens

My husband and I had the good fortune to host a quick visit from Christina and her husband this week and it was such a great experience.

The weather was more than a bit challenging, as we are in the middle of a serious heat wave. Maximum temperature records are flying out the window, including here in the Piedmont area where we live. The average temperature at this time of year is 85°F (29.4°C); however, yesterday was a sunny, hot, humid 100°F (37.7°C) day.

Our guests were real troopers as we tried to catch some of the garden highlights in this area. We started humbly with a look around pbmGarden. The meditation circle, Christina said, is what first drew her to my blog, so it was a treat to see her and her husband navigating the labyrinth.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Next up we toured Duke Gardens in Durham and though we did not cover all 55 acres, we managed to see quite a lot of the specialized gardens. Christina’s husband was quite interested in seeing North American birds and were able to spot American robin, red-bellied woodpecker, Eastern bluebird, brown thrasher, crow and blue jay, among others. An Eastern towhee was audible but never stepped out where we could spot it.

While cooling off at water’s edge we encountered a variety of ducks, watched a family of Canada geese and admired a stately Great Blue Heron. All the birds seemed eager to pose.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck and Canada Geese

Across the water in the distance we could see a focal point of the Asiatic Arboretum, a red Japanese-style arched bridge, which we later crossed.

The Red Bridge, Sarah P. Duke Gardens

The Red Bridge, Sarah P. Duke Gardens

The White Garden showcased beautiful hydrangeas.

White Garden, Sarah P. Duke Gardens

White Garden, Sarah P. Duke Gardens

As time ran short we had to scrap plans for Niche Gardens, a retail nursery for native and unusual plants. But before it closed for the day we managed a brief stop at nearby North Carolina Botanical Garden, where we saw a sampling of milkweeds, ferns (including southern maidenhair), carnivorous plants and trumpet vines. We admired the enormous leaves of  Magnolia macrophylla (Big-leaf Magnolia), a staff member explained to us about vining spinach that grows all summer and Christina was able to get a close-up look at a bee-covered Vitex angus-castus tree. Our bird list for the day grew to include American goldfinch and mourning dove.

There were a thousand more places I wanted to share and a thousand more things to say, but all too soon it was time to say good-bye. Thanks Christina for stopping in.

 

 

Wordless Wednesday—Fairywand and Copper Iris

Late morning at North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Chamaelirium luteum (Fairywand)
Bunchflower Family – Melanthiaceae (formerly in Lilaceae)
eastern North America

Chamaelirium luteum (Fairywand)

Chamaelirium luteum (Fairywand)

Chamaelirium luteum (Fairywand)

Chamaelirium luteum (Fairywand)

Chamaelirium luteum (Fairywand)

Chamaelirium luteum (Fairywand)

 

Iris fulva (Copper Iris)
Iris Family – Iridaceae
eastern United States

Iris fulva (Copper Iris)

Iris fulva (Copper Iris)