Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Carolina's Bloomers

One of the reasons we were anxious to go back to North Carolina in June was to see the mountain laurel and rhododendrons. And we did!

At the lower elevations, the rhododendrons were finished, but up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, there were plenty in pink, white and purple varieties.

100_2999

100_3001

The mountain laurel was even more prevalent and seems to grow right out of the rocks.

100_3003

100_3016

Their blooms look like small, open parasols.

100_2866

In places, you could look across at a mountainside that appeared to have large pale rocks all over it. A closer look showed that it was covered in mountain laurel.

100_2986

Less subtle is the flame azalea. Most were bright golden orange to peach but we saw a bright red orange one way up on a rock wall, too high up to photograph well.

100_2861

100_2862

A variety of insects are drawn to these flowers. Here is a honeybee...

100_2868

...and a swallowtail butterfly, each enjoying the sweet nectar on a warm day.100_3013

We enjoyed seeing many other wild flowers and garden flowers as we drove.

100_3019 These included daisies, clover, sweet william, poppies, hollyhocks, foxglove, queen anne's lace, larkspur, huge peonies, primroses, violets, spiderworts, irises, naturalized orange daylilies and roses of all colors. Check out these purple roses growing on a hill above the farmhouse.

100_2984

Along I-26, are mass plantings of flowers that were just stunning. Interestingly, when we looked at plants in nurseries and farmer's markets, we went into sticker shock. The price per container was much higher than we are used to in Tallahassee.

When we visited the arboretum in Asheville, there was a rose show in progress and we bought a pale pink antique climbing rose that the seller thought would do well here. He said he grew it in New Orleans so that sounds about right for us.

The quilt garden that we visited in April was now as shown in marigolds and red and blue salvia :

100_2919

Having come for the flowers, we saw the flowers ---and in more variety and abundance than we ever expected.

1 comment:

lesle said...

I am very much enjoying your photos, in this post as well as the others.