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As the garden winds down outdoors, I treasure having bits of it inside.

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Case in point–this homage to mother nature on a table in our dining room window.

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Cuttings from tender plants are rooting in water.

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Annual Celosia is dropping seeds on a china plate. I’ll plant these little black seeds next spring.

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I found this wooden knot on a walk a few years ago. It makes a wonderful stand for my vintage metal salt shaker birds.

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These little connections to the natural world make me feel better at a time of year when days are short, often wet and gloomy.

Next on my list: Boxwood in vases and bowls of Nandina berries for the holidays.

What about you? How do you enjoy bringing the outside IN?

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It’s hard to find a prettier picture this time of year than early daffodils under a Carolina blue sky. And you can bet the bulb companies know this. Their catalogs are full of stunning close up photos.

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But in the landscape, it’s a very different story. It takes a ton of bulbs to make a splash in our Apex (NC) woods.

So I’m really happy that all the work and money I’ve spent on daffodils over the years is finally paying off.

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Of course there have been some casualties along the way. None of the double daffodils I planted survived more than a few years. Ditto–the late season varieties. Our woods leaf out too early for them to store energy for the next year.

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But a few varieties have proved to be big winners for me, returning year after year, and blooming their hearts out without any care. My daffodil stars are:

February Gold
Ice Follies
Thalia
Hawera

What about you? I’m always looking for new daffodil varieties to light up the woods here in zone 7-B. What are your daffodil stars?


I’ve been out of the garden way too long and it shows. I was getting crabby. So right after our (way too busy) Christmas, I took a walk around the paths and found that the new year had already arrived in our Wake County woods.

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There’s always a rogue Early Sensation Daffodil that blooms before the others. It promises hundreds more ahead.

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This little pink Camellia is bridging the gap between the fall bloomers and the japonicas of spring. The tag is long lost. I’ll have to ask my friends at Camellia Forest Nursery in Chapel Hill for an ID.

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Also from Cam Forest, Prunus Mume in bud.

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Many years ago, I started the Wintersweet with seed ordered from England (and I’m still bragging–sorry). This is a favorite fragrant plant. It seeds a lot, if you want one.

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Our Grandmothers grew another fragrant beauty with a fitting name, Sweet Breath of Spring.

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And Grandmas loved Quince. This is Texas Scarlett in bud.

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Bear’s foot Hellebore is one of my favorite green blooms. These will hang around for MONTHS–no fooling–which is one of the coolest things about winter flowers–they last.

So what’s blooming in your garden. Get out there, find out and let us know.

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

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