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:

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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.
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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.
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Leucojum aestivum, the summer snowflake, starts blooming in late March in North Carolina.
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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.
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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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