About

I’m Nick, an avid gardener and amateur naturalist living in the central piedmont of North Carolina, USA.  I’m more of a plant collector than a landscaper, so expect lots of pictures of individual plants, carefully cropped to hide the weeds and piles of old flower pots.  When not digging in the garden, I work as a researcher in a developmental neurobiology lab so I can afford truckloads of mulch.

Why “Sweetgum and Pines?” 

Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) are southeastern species that are ubiquitous in our part of the piedmont, and they immediately leapt to mind when I tried to think of plants that define this region.  Both are fast-growing and are often the first trees to take over abandoned fields.  They can be weeds in the garden, sprouting in lawns and flowerbeds, but given time and space they become magnificent forest giants.  Among its other claims to fame, sweetgum is one of the host plants for caterpillars of the fantastic luna moth (Actias luna), and it has some of the finest autumn color of any deciduous tree.

A few Introductory posts to give you some background on my garden and the North Carolina piedmont:

Germinating the blog

Setting the scene

Defending the land