Thursday, May 15, 2008

Niche Gardens in Chapel Hill and Reynolda Gardens in Winston-Salem

2008 March 19, 20

while my daughter was in charleston on a class trip, i took the opportunity to visit chapel hill, raleigh, and winston-salem. after a stop in downtown pittsboro for lunch, i went on to niche gardens in chapel hill.

niche is packed full of native plants, which are their specialty. it's a small place but there is an incredible amount of diverse plant material, so it still takes quite a while to take it all in. of interest is their use of inexpensive materials like pvc pipe as arbor or trellis.

i learned that native plants are best suited for native fauna, which, for some reason had never occurred to me. so if you want to feed native birds, native plants are much better than exotics. ie. Cornus florida (native dogwood) as opposed to Cornus kousa (japanese dogwood).

a few purchases:  kolkwitzia, some agastache, a couple of fall daisies and native columbine. i wanted so much more but refrained.

reynolda gardens is in winson-salem at wake forest university.  in a word:  gorgeous! there were blooming weeping cherries all over the place and thousands of naturalized daffodils in the woodlands on the way down the drive to reynolda house. the greenhouse was full of blooming orchids and nearly every other houseplant you've ever seen. i was told the peonies are incredible in may and there were a number of rose bushes which will bloom then, too.

reynolda village was few feet away from the garden. there's a bookstore with many selections by local authors, and there are several good lunch stops.

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