Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Virtual Tour – Up Close

Last week was the native plant garden tour and I quickly published a blog with some pictures of the garden overall. This week is about showing some close-ups of the plants that were blooming during the tour.

Mouse-eared coreopsis (C. auriculata)

First on the scene was a patch of mouse-eared coreopsis (Coreopsis auriculata) that was big and lush and full of blooms! It could not have been a better beacon of native hospitality. I’m very much a fan of this plant so it was good to show it in style.

Yellow trillium (Trillium luteum)




In the same area there were plenty of other blooms: red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), purple beardtongue (Penstemon smallii), and the rain lilies (Zephyranthes atamasca) were still going.

In the shady area behind the sunny group, yellow trillium (Trillium luteum) and foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) were blooming.

Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Rain lilies (Zephyranthes atamasca)

The piedmont azaleas (Rhododendron canescens) were finishing up but still gave a sense of what they offer in terms of beauty and fragrance. Other blooming shrubs included the red buckeyes (Aesculus pavia) near the street, Florida anise (Illicium floridanum), several hawthorns (Crataegus sp.), paw paws (Asimina triloba) and the American smoke tree (Cotinus obovatus) by the driveway.

Piedmont azalea (Rhododendron canescens)
Hawthorn (Crataegus triflora)

















American smoketree (Cotinus obovatus)

While 3 species of viburnums were heavily budded, none were far enough along to have open blooms. Long past blooming, the Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia) was instead sporting tiny fruits, a treat in itself. The alternate leaf dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), also known as pagoda dogwood, was putting on a good show to the left of the front porch.

Cornus alternifolia (view from inside the house)
Around the side, perennial blooms included green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianum), scorpionweed (Phacelia bipinnatifida), the tiny star-shaped blooms of woodland stonecrop (Sedum ternatum), more mouse-eared coreopsis and columbine plus a sweep of golden ragwort (Packera aurea) that had spread from two small plants I got when the garden tour was at Charles’s house. I gave away some during my tour too! 

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

My friend Marcia had given me some extra blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium), which I do have naturally, and that was blooming on the path into the woods, a space that has been largely yielded to the deer. Not much was blooming in the woods unless you happened to find the adder’s tongue fern, but it is always a nice, peaceful stroll to the creek.

Baptisia alba


Inside the protective pool fence, plants celebrated their ability to live unmolested by large herbivores: bluets (Houstonia caerulea), hairy phlox (Phlox amoena), green and gold, white baptisia (Baptisia alba), Carolina catchfly (Silene caroliniana), valeriana (Valeriana pauciflora) – a gift several years ago from Sheri - and Robin’s plantain (Erigeron pulchellus).

The whole sunny border is crammed with plants, overstuffed with the joy of deer-free gardening.

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)

Valeriana pauciflora









At the back of the pool area, umbrella magnolia (Magnolia tripetala) tried to offer a few blooms but the rain the night before gave it pause and the flowers never fully opened. Still the leaves on it and the adjacent bigleaf magnolia (M. macrophylla) offered a lesson in identification as well as growth habit.

Around the yard, my attempts at using native plants in containers were showing signs of success: blooms in some while lush growth in others hinted of summer blooms to come. I take my lessons in container gardening from expert friends like Debbie, Marcia and Sheri. It’s time to do an update on my earlier post.

It’s been nice to enjoy the garden in the week since the tour. Spruced up and blooming nicely, it’s a celebration of how beautiful native plant gardening can be. Thanks for stopping by, in person and via the blog.

1 comment:

  1. Ellen, your native garden is an inspiration!

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