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Tis the season. Every time I go to my favorite local nursery, Campbell Road in Cary, shoppers are stuffing these shrubs in their cars.

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Good choice. Beauty Berry takes shade, has a nice airy form, looks great in my woods and shrub borders. It can be cut back to the ground in spring or left to go wild.

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And then there is the big selling point–fall berries. Even after all our recent rain, my beauty berries still have stunning, neon-colored fruit. And they will for weeks to come. This long season of interest another big plus.

Beauty Berries seed for me–which means I have more than a dozen in my garden and always a few to give away to friends.

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Most of my plants originally came from another favorite nursery–Camellia Forest in Chapel Hill. They’re having a Fall Open House this month. I think I’ll go buy some more beauty berry.


When Melissa’s Grandma said, “All I want is iris,” I found myself digging Black Gamecock from a good third of the front bed last night.

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Is this a good time to move Louisiana Iris? Of course not. It’s going to be 90 degrees next week, after all. So if you’re a member of the Iris Society, stop reading RIGHT NOW.

But I am a sucker for grandmas in general–Evelyn in particular (because co-blogger Melissa loves her so much). And Louisiana Iris are about as sturdy as Southern Grandmas. If you cut back the foliage and DON’T confuse them with their surface-loving, bearded cousins, you should be able to move them successfully any time.

What's going into this big hole in the front bed??? Stay tuned.

What’s going into this big hole in the front bed??? Stay tuned.

Plus, I was over Black Gamecock in the front bed. They bloomed well for a few years, but this year, they had spread too far and needed dividing.

The Spring blooms were over and done.

Outta there! I like to move things when the spirit or grandmas move me. What about you? Need any Black Gamecock? I’ve got plenty to share–
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If you read my post about my summer from hell and how the garden got me back in the game of life, this is sort of a follow up. Today would have been my friend Susie Steiner’s birthday.

Those bulbs co-blogger Chris made me buy and plant — well, I bought some called Susie.  I needed to do something after she passed.  Since I didn’t live in her hometown and couldn’t go to the private funeral. I needed some way to create closure. I learned through this process that funerals are not for the dead, they are for the living.  They are for the support from others. They are a way to come to grips of a new realty without someone.  I always thought I wouldn’t have a funeral.  I didn’t want the attention. But now I see the real purpose…

Anyway, when a funeral is not an option for whatever reason, you need a way to accept, remember and move on.

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I chose a daffodil.  They are one of my favorite plants.  They are special because they don’t grow just anyway…they don’t grow in California as I have noted before.  <Strike another win for NC.> To me they SCREAM spring, life and hope.

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This daffodil I picked is BOLD, vibrant and confident just like its namesake, Susie.  I sawit now blooming around my graden during early spring and it reminded of all my amazing memories with her.

In loving memory my friend!

melissa


Isn’t that just how it happens…you give a plant to someone as a gift and then theirs rocks sooooo much better than yours.

Let me introduce to my dad’s badass Edgeworthia Chrysantha ‘Snow Cream’.

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Every time I go to my parents house I turn green with envy.

It just rocks!

It’s in the perfect location. Dappled sunlight, slightly elevated for great drainage. It is definitely a show piece.  Luckly my dad is a humble dude.

I love this plant. It has this modern sculptural look in the winter after it drops its leaves.  It’s a little alien looking if you have never seen it before. And yes, the blossoms are upside down.  It is uber fragrant, almost overwhelmingly sweet.  It’s so interesting.

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The best part…it starts the blooming process in the winter. That’s when I know spring is almost here.  It has these furry little buds that transform into this amazing bouquet of petite flowers. It’s originally from Japan, but it loves our climate here in NC.

If you are looking for something extraordinary, go for the Edgeworthia. Maybe yours can compete with my dad’s one day.

Happy Gardening!

melissa


It’s all happening! Spring that is.

Here are my absolute favorite early spring blooms!

1 – Daffodils

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I haven’t met one I haven’t liked.  My yard is exploding with these fragrant, happy spring gems.  Talk about the value of delayed gratification – you plant these little bulbs in the fall around Thanksgiving, and they are usually some of the first flowers to bloom.

2 – Forsythia

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Enjoy them now, because they don’t last long.  Forsythia is one of those plants that will be growing at the gates of hell. Hardy and delightful.  Bright yellow and with delicate attitude.

3 – Red Bud

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These little purple pearls make me smile every time I see them.  Often when you go for a walk you can see them popping in the woods.  A little dappled color among the barren deciduous forest.

4- Witch Hazel

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This one isn’t so common, but I find it to be a true delight. So danty…I have a pair in my yard because the awesome little old lady said they needed a happy home to live….it was one of the best plant decisions I made.

5 — Spyria Bridalwreath

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They call it a fountain of flowers.  It is wild and wonderful.  Thanks Kathy for this amazing pass-along plant.  Such a spring joy!

What are your top 5?

Happy Spring!

m

A long-time gardener and a passionate beginner share the dirt on their NC gardens-

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