A Sunny Saturday

It was a beautiful spring day.  Both Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham and the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh had their spring plant sales, and I picked up a few interesting bits and pieces, some native and some exotic:  Polygonatum humile (dwarf solomon’s seal), Trillium vaseyi (sweet wakerobin), Trillium recurvatum (bloody butcher), and Osmanthus ‘Jim Porter’ (holly-leaf tea olive).  At Raulston’s used book sale, I also snagged a nice clean copy of The Vascular Flora of the Carolinas for just $5.00 to replace my old copy that is falling apart.  This is an invaluable resource, but it isn’t really a field guide; it would probably break your toes if you drop it.

Here are a few iPhone snapshots from the garden today:

A small native Vaccinium, perhaps narrowleaf blueberry (Vaccinium tenellum), that is common in the surrounding woodland.  Here, it is growing under hickory trees on the dry slope beside the greenhouse.
At night, the flowers of Fothergilla ‘Mt Airy’ smell exactly like Nyquil cold medicine. This witch alder is sometimes sold as the dwarf Fothergilla gardenii, but its size suggests a hybrid between F. gardenii and the larger F. major.
Leucojum aestivum, the summer snowflake, starts blooming in late March in North Carolina.
It’s hard to capture the airy, delicate beauty of wild columbine flowers. Although Aquilegia canadensis is native to the piedmont, these grew from seed that I brought from our old house when we moved. Every year, I scatter seed in a new part of the garden, and there are now hundreds of plants.
Tiny bluets, Houstonia caerulea, have self-seeded all over the lawn and the mossy woodland path. None of my snapshots today look any good, so I’ll cheat and post a picture from this time last year.

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