Friday, September 27, 2013

North Carolina Woods, Florida Style

Have to be honest here. Despite loving the 365-days a year gardening and the sunny winters, I'm not a tropical girl at heart.  I love my native North Carolina and Scotland roots. And hiking through the woods and mountains, whether it's North Carolina, Scotland, or Florida, is my ultimate pleasure.  There's something about foggy mornings, refreshing rain, and the fragrance of forest decay that re-energizes me.

Hiking along Rufus Morgan Trailhead, Franklin, NC.
So, in my backyard I have a pseudo-forest growing. I have substituted subtropical ornamental plants, shrubs, and trees, that give the ambiance of walking a Smokies’ mountaintop.  The landscape grows without me (because I don’t have time) and when I get a chance to walk outside, I love seeing the surprise of flowers and greenery especially after a few days of rain or even during a misty sprinkling. 

I almost missed my surprise this week though.  Blooming through the thickness of Florida native pipestem, Agarista populifolia, loropetalum, and candelabra flowers of Whitefeldia elongata,  the mountain sprite flowers of toad lilies, Tricyrtis ‘Dark Beauty’ have been blooming for awhile and I didn’t notice them for the thickness of the shrubs.
White Candles, Whitefeldia elongata, Toad lilies, Tricyrtis,and Pipestem, Agarista populifolia
Love them! Just made my day.  Toad lilies will grow in Zones 5 – 9.  They will do well in shade, rich, moist soils, and don’t mind being ignored. They aren't inexpensive but they do multiply easily.

You can get the White Candles at your local nurseries and my favorite catalog and North Carolina nursery, Plant Delights in Raleigh, has a wonderful selection of tricyrtis for your backyard. They even have them on sale right now.  You'll love these forest beauties.  Delight in your candles and tiptoe through the toad lilies with me.  

1 comment:

  1. I love toad lilies! I have mine between zones 4-5, but in a sheltered position and it does fine. There happen to be quite a few toads in that patch of garden, too. Coincidence? I think not! Shade gardens are lovely. I have a lot of moss growing quite well and am making progress with my ferns and hostas. They all started as babies.