Spring Beauty (Claytonia)
I first got interested in gardening with native plants about 20 years ago, when we lived in Chapel Hill and my husband was in graduate school. We lived only a few miles from the Botanical Garden and I remember the displays of Rudbeckia fulgida, Joe Pye Weed and Summer Phlox. Then we moved to Pennsylvania for three years, where there was not as many flowering trees as we have here in central NC, but the local parks had astounding numbers of wildflowers. Like the mountains in NC, the ground in western PA doesn't dry out in summer like it does in the piedmont and coastal plain of NC. In PA we saw large colonies of May Apple, Trillium, Bloodroot, Blue-Eyed Mary, Geranium, Yellow Violets and Virginia Bluebells in the spring, and Showy Milkweed, Blue Vervain, Monarda, and I don't know how many kinds of sunflowers and asters in the spring and fall. Then we moved back to NC and to our farm, and with it being "heavy land" as the locals say, we have a lot of wildflowers here too, many of which I've transplanted into the garden. Natives aren't the only plants I grow in the garden, but they have a special place.
Here are more pictures from the Garden that I took last April.
20 years ago I didn't know that hothouse Geraniums weren't really geraniums at all, or that we had native Geraniums. Just personal preference but I much prefer Geraniums to Pelargoniums.
These charming bells belong to American Bladdernut. Dirr is rather dismissive of it
in his Manual but it's very attractive in April.
The Paul Green Cabin, where the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author of The Lost Colony did much of his work. This cabin was moved from its original location to the Garden in 1991. The flowering tree in the foreground is Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia).
This Sweet Betsy bush (Calycanthus florida glauca) is easily 15 feet high. It has the
sweet fruity fragrance that Sweet Betsy is famous for, and when it's in full bloom
its perfume carries a good 50 feet.
Trillium leaves and newly emerged fern
A spread of Scorpionweed between the Totten Center and the Herb Garden. The orange-
flowering shrub to the left in the background is Florida Azalea (Rhododendron austrinum).
I love that azalea, even as it leans out from the shade of a Possamhaw (Ilex decidua). With its spectacular blend of colors, it looks like Flame Azalea (Rhodondron calendulaceum), but it is very sweetly fragrant.
Birdsfoot Violet, growing in the Coastal Plain section. Garden staff does controlled
burns of this section of the Garden every few years.
We have a lot of Green and Parsley Leaf Hawthorns growing
on our place, but none quite have the character of this
Blueberry Hawthorn (Crataegus brachyacantha).
The lovely and fragrant Coast Azalea (R. atlanticum). The scent is a lot like R. austrinium,
but more cotton candy and less spice.
Pinxterflower or Piedmont Azalea
White Dwarf Crested Iris
Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans)
Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis)
Southern Wood Fern
Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum)