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Hi, I’m Daricia.

I believe that spending time with plants is one of the very best things you can do for your mental and physical well-being.

Whether hiking through the woods of a national park, or gardening in containers in the city, there is no better medicine than a good relationship with the green world. Just two hours a week of this sort of interaction with nature has been shown to substantially increase one’s health and psychological well-being.

Here on callicarpa.org you will see plants that you recognize from the woods and fields around you and probably some that you don’t — I hope to introduce you to those. You might want to try growing some of them in your own garden, but even if you don’t you will be able to call your green friend by name when you see them. It’s the first step toward eliminating plant blindness.

Add to the biodiversity of your yard and neighborhood with useful native plants like spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and pawpaw (Asimina triloba).  These can be satisfying replacements for the limited crape myrtle and nandina palette of so many Carolina yards. Spicebush and pawpaw are beautiful woodland plants that support native wildlife as well as giving humans the lush green garden beauty they want. And for the interested, they can be sources of food and medicine as well.

A landscape attractive and nourishing to birds and butterflies is attractive and nourishing to us, too.

Our garden is in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is hot and humid here in the summer and fairly moderate in the winter (daily high around 30-60 degrees Fahrenheit, average minimum around 15-30,  zone 8a). Ornamentals originally planted in the 1960s are slowly giving way to native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and herbs as we continue to choose a more naturalistic landscape.

You can read about my garden and see a few pictures, here: Oakleaf Woods.

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