Thursday, February 12, 2009

The NC Botanical Garden, or Another Favorite Garden Center

My second favorite local garden center, while not a commercial venture, has still served as a source for many plants in my garden. The North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill has intensively cultivated display gardens as well as trails through oak-hickory forest that has native azaleas, Rhododendron, mapleleaf viburnum, Hepatica, spring beauty... In exchange for membership, the Garden sends out a set of 8 seed packets in the mail (you get to choose among 50 species), and there are almost always plants for sale.

I took these pictures in Chapel Hill last April. This
magnificent trumpet honeysuckle was already in full bloom.

The blue Virginia bluebells are my favorite, but I like these snow white bluebells too.
The combination of the fresh slightly bluish leaves and the snow white flowers is very lovely.

Fern-leaf scorpion-weed (Phacelia bipinnatifida) carpets the mountains section of the Garden. I have tried to get this lovely reseeding biennial started in my garden but have not yet succeeded. It superficially resembles Jacob's ladder (Polemonium reptans) but the flowers are more lavender/ purple.

The first time I've seen vernal iris (Iris verna). I have read that vernal iris have the fragrance of violets; since I do not have any English violets in the garden, I don't know what violets smell like anyway, but I could not detect any fragrance at all. However, the colors are so vibrant and beautiful the iris is well worth growing anyway, in addition to I. cristata.

Many more pictures to follow... :)


  1. Wait a minute these are not blooming now are they?
    Lovely post with so many gordeous flowers.


  2. I like that Scorpion weed too. I hope you get it started. Be very happy you don't have violets in your garden-they love the grass:( Does your Botanical Garden also have plants sales? I have yet to visit our local one on the plant sale days, but have it is good.

  3. Hi Tyra,

    No, I took those pictures last April. In just 2 more months, all of this will be in bloom again!...

  4. Hi Tina,

    lol, I do have violets. The two violets we have here on our farm are the Marsh Violet and the Early Blue Violet (V. palmata). V. palmata looks a lot like a solid-colored Birdsfoot Violet. We didn't have the Common Blue Violet here, but I transplanted some from my husband's grandmother's garden! I love them, I have to admit, and I don't care how much they spread. I'm too busy trying to escape from the Trumpet Vine and Japanese Honeysuckle that entwines around my ankles if I stand still long enough to weed!

    Our Botanical Garden does sell plants, from spring until late fall. They have a big plant sale early spring, which I haven't attended because it's a zoo, and then after that they have plants out and a cash box for people to pay on the honor system. They sell some really nice plants, like Spicebush, Mapleleaf Viburnum, Iris brevicaulis, and Trout Lily.

    I think I need to be more careful not to cover the Scorpion-Weed seeds. They have self-sown over a large area in the Botanical Garden and are supposed to be easy to get started.

  5. Hi Sweetbay:)
    What a lovely display of some of the gorgeous blooms from the Botanical Gardens!
    I really love the VA Bluebells, fact, I used to have some but I didn't notice them last year. They may be gone for good...which reminds me, perhaps I should get some replacements!
    I'm starting to think about the Botanical Gardens in my area too, and all that our area has to offer.
    Beautiful photos!

  6. Lovely! I like your mention of where you like to get plants.


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