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Different Flowers From the Same Garden

mcgill rose garden mural

“We are all different flowers from the same garden”
McGill Rose Garden, Charlotte, NC


Isn’t the light pretty just before the sun sets? My deciduous azalea, ‘My Mary’, has been beautiful this year, but now she’s nearly bloomed out. Looks like she decided to wear Fuchsia earrings as her going away outfit.

On the way in is a white peony at her feet. The buds have burst; there must be a million petals. I posted about it years ago when it was a total surprise — all my peonies prior had been pink. Now it has many blooms every year and it may be my favorite of all.

Baby sweetshrubs and spicebushes have leafed out, and painted buckeyes are coming along, in pots for now. I was really excited when some Georgia holly seedlings I planted in January 2017 started sprouting this spring, just when I was about to give up and compost that soil!


A little project between our porch and the storage room was to add some stone and under plant a Japanese maple we have there. I like the idea of native ground covers so I had already put green-and-gold in that spot a couple of years ago. I recently added the spiderwort, though, and I do like how they look together.

Once the oak trees have dropped all their pollen we will finish with the gravel, which will make a bit of a service area back behind the tree. Can you see all those pollen strands all over the ground? It was a big blooming year for the oak trees. In some spots we had clumps of spent catkins six inches deep.


On the windowsill, I’ve been amazed by my fall blooming cactuses — the Christmas, or Thanksgiving, cactuses (Schlumbergera truncata hybrids) — which have not stopped blooming since November. They aren’t showing any signs of slowing down yet, either.

On the other hand, I got all my amaryllis bulbs into dormancy either way too late or not at all. Only the butterfly amaryllis (Hippeastrum papilio) sent up a big, fat bud and bloomed anyway. I jumped up and down over that.


I had a birthday recently and my daughters took me to the McGill Rose Garden in Charlotte. It was such a nice time together, and the roses (and the baby grandson) were wonderful.

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Thursday, I visited the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens, specifically Susie Harwood and The Mellichamp Native Terrace, and posted about it on the blog of the Southern Piedmont Chapter of the North Carolina Native Plant Society.

Also there is a post I wrote about the book, Grow Native by Lynn Steiner, which I like and recommend.

If you’re local, check our meeting schedule and join us sometime. The Native Plant Society would love to have you.


There are a few new posts in the Folium: Gelsemium sempervirens, Antennaria howellii, and Paulownia tomentosa .

A neighbor asked me what the tree with lavender blooms was in an empty lot near us. Paulownia blooms this time of year, frequently along road sides and in empty lots. The leaves can look a lot like catalpa, which is what you might guess if you didn’t know otherwise, but the flowers of paulownia are purple, catalpa has white or yellowish flowers. And the leaves are in opposite pairs along the stems, not whorled like catalpa. Paulownia is common here (a potentially invasive exotic), catalpa is not. It’s not difficult to tell them apart once you know these things.

I stopped in the coastal plain town of Fair Bluff, NC, last week and posted a few pictures in the Field Notebook: Wildflowers Along the Railroad Tracks


The Garden in Every Sense and Season by Tovah Martin, Houseplants for a Healthy Home by Jon VanZile, Growing Heirloom Flowers by Chris McLaughlin, are all brand new or soon-to-be released. All are beautiful.


A little Rishellany:

Fellow introverts and sociophobes might appreciate this guy’s “cheat code for life.” Laugh, then try it and tell us about it.

Wildflowers Along the Railroad Tracks

Dollar General behind the tracks in Fair Bluff, NC

On a meandering trip back from the coast recently I stopped at the library in Fair Bluff, NC, and popped out of the car for a minute to stretch my legs. There’s a railroad track just across from the library, and because I can never pass up a chance to scope out the wild plants along the tracks, I went that way first.

spiderwort along the tracks in Fair Bluff, NC

Something dark purple amid the tiny, pale wildflowers there caught my eye. Dozens of clumps were scattered along the tracks.

spiderwort fair bluff nc

Spiderworts!

magenta spiderwort fair bluff nc

A few of the clumps were more magenta than purple.

spiderwort rr fair bluff nc

I’m not sure if any of these are native or whether they’ve naturalized here, but I enjoyed seeing them.

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