Monday, April 8, 2019

FAQ: How many plants will I need?

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Q. I'm planning a landscape project. How many plants will I need?

A. Here are some general spacing guidelines applicable to many species for planting bare root plants, 2-1/2" pots, 3-1/2" and 4" pots, 4-1/2" pots and Quart-size pots.

Bare root plants should be spaced 4" to 8" apart. If 4" apart, you'd need 9 per sq. ft. If 6" apart, you'd need 4 per sq. ft. If 8" apart, you'd need 2.25 per square foot.

2-1/2" pots should be spaced 8" to 12" apart. Again, if 8" apart, you'd need 2.25 plants per sq. ft. If planted 10" apart, you'd need 1.45 plants per sq. ft. If planted 12" apart, you'd need 1 plant per sq. ft.

3-1/2" and 4" pots should be spaced 12" to 18" apart. Again, if 12" apart, you'd need 1 per sq. ft. If 15" apart, you'd need 1 plant per 1.56 sq. ft. If 18" apart, you'd need 1 plant per 2.25 sq. ft.

4-1/2" pots and Quart-size pots should be spaced 18" to 24" apart. Again, if planted 18" apart, you'd need 1 plant per 2.25 sq. ft. If planted 24" apart, you'd need 1 plant per 4 sq. ft.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

FAQ: What is the advantage of plants in 3-1/4 inch pots over 2-1/2 inch pots?

Asiatic jasmine in 2-1/2 inch pot and 3-1/4 inch pot

Q. What is the advantage of buying plants in 3-1/4 inch pots over 2-1/2 inch pots, or vice versa?

A. The advantage has more to do with your circumstances and choice than with the pot sizes themselves. The better choice is subjective.

I'm including a picture of Asiatic Jasmine - Trachelospermum asiaticum - in a 2-1/2 inch pot (left) and 3-1/4 inch pot (right). Beside the obvious difference in pot size, you see a larger plant and larger root mass in the 3-1/4 inch pot. You should expect that the larger plant will establish itself and spread faster than the smaller one.

But there are other considerations for you: time and money. If you have a lot of area to cover, and your budget is limited, you might do better with plants in 2-1/2 inch containers. Sure, it'll take a little longer to achieve the desired coverage, but you'll have more money left in your pocket.

However, plants in larger containers may be planted farther apart. Then it'll take them a little longer to fill in the space. Soooo, you might end up spending the same if you buy the larger plants, and increase the spacing.

On the other hand, the difference in time to achieve coverage might be negligible, depending upon their actual rate of growth. That depends on many factors: climate, soil, care.

Large plants are more noticeable in the landscape from the get-go. If that matters to you, go with the larger plants.

If I had all the money I wanted, I'd install the larger plants cheek-to-jowl, and get instant coverage. But I don't. So I, as you, would make my decision based upon the present circumstances. What do you have more of? Time or money? How would you compromise?

Dear Reader, I'd like to know what you think. How have you handled these kinds of decisions? Let us know in the Comment section. I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Better Homes and Gardens Promotes Some Of My Favorite Easy-To-Grow Perennials

Naturalized Daylilies

Better Homes and Gardens published a very helpful gardening article a few years ago promoting some of my favorite easy-to-grow perennials. I enjoyed it so much that I want to share some excerpts with you.

Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea

First on their list was Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). "Hot, sunny weather won't stop coneflower from producing armloads of flowers from early summer until fall. This purple-flowering native is a snap to grow... ...The nectar-rich flowers will also attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden."

Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'

Second was Coreopsis. "Equally at home in containers or the landscape, Coreopsis is a must-have perennial for novice and experienced gardeners. This cheerful plant puts on a nonstop flower show from late spring to fall..."

Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum'

Black-Eye Susan (Rudbeckia) was also praised. "The more you cut the bold daisylike flowers of black-eyed Susan, the more blooms these prolific perennials will produce. Susan thrives in full sun and can tolerate drought. It’s also a bee and butterfly favorite."

Hemerocallis 'Autumn Red'

Daylily (Hemerocallis) was honored. "Talk about easy! With daylilies, all you have to do is plant them in a sunny spot and stand back. After that, these rugged perennials need very little care..."

Catmint (Nepeta), of course, is favored by cats and their fawning humans. Better Homes noted, "Also called catmint, Nepeta is so easy to grow. Sporting graceful stalks of blue, white, or pink flowers in the spring, Nepeta will quickly rebloom if you cut the plants back after the first flush of flowers fade. The flowers are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. Nepeta also has fragrant foliage..."

Sedum 'Lemon Ball'

Sedum made the list. How I do love sedum! "Stage a colorful fall finale in your garden by including a generous supply of sedum. ...Sedums are prized for their showy, nectar-rich flowers that feed hordes of hungry insects in the late summer and fall. And, when not in flower, you can still enjoy the plants’ brightly colored fleshy foliage."

Heuchera 'Palace Purple'

Heuchera is hot nowadays. It seems growers can't get enough of coming up with new colors. Better Homes said, "Do you remember the scene in the movie The Wizard of Oz when the entire landscape magically goes from black and white to color? Well that’s what will happen in your own shady backyard when you let Heuchera steal the show....Heuchera makes an excellent groundcover or container plant."

Achillea 'Coronation Gold'

Yarrow (Achillea), storied in legend and song, was mentioned. "Some perennials seem to thrive on neglect. Yarrow, for example, blooms its head off even in poor soil or during times of drought. The plant's fragrant, ferny foliage supports a midsummer explosion of gorgeous flowers... It's deer- and rabbit-resistant, too." All true!

Better Homes and Gardens listed several more perennials worth your attention. Be sure to read the entire article and view the slideshow. Easy-To-Grow Perennials.

What do you think? Do you have some easy-to-grow perennials you'd like to rave about? Let us know in the comment section. We'd love to hear from you.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Strolling Around To Discover Deer Resistant Plants

Big honkin' buck captured by my game cam

I'm frequently asked about deer-resistant plants. A customer who lives on Skidaway Island, Georgia declared that "deer eat absolutely everything" in her yard. (I'm sure they don't, for I've explored Skidaway Island since my youth, and the island is far from denuded.) Of course she wanted to know what deer won't eat.

The first thing anyone needs to understand is that very hungry deer will eat practically anything. They're almost proverbial billy goats. They won't eat tin cans, but goats don't either.

I was on Kiawah Island working on another project. Kiawah is much like Skidaway, so, inspired by her query, I decided to take a stroll to see what plants deer hadn't touched.

Viburnum odoratissimum

The first ornamental shrub I spotted was Viburnum odoratissimum, aka Sweet Viburnum. There was nary a nibble from it. V. odoratissimum is native to Asia. It is evergreen, grows to about 20' high, and as wide, and is at home in USDA climate zones 7-9. I don't know why it was untouched. Perhaps it smells better than it tastes.

Palm frond

Then there were palms. Lots and lots of palms of various species. Some were native; some were not. Palms are wonderful ornamentals, from the lowly Serenoa repens - aka Saw Palmetto - to the stately Roystonea regia - aka Royal Palm. Palms are typically considered to be for tropical to semi-tropical climates, but the Rhapidophyllum hystrix - aka Needle Palm - is cold-hardy to zone 6a. I suppose palms are deemed inedible by deer because they are stringy and hard to chew.

Persea borbonia

Redbay - Persea borbonia - was untouched even though deer reportedly like it. I didn't spy any damaged by ambrosia beetle, either. Redbay isn't often used as an ornamental, but it could be. The leaves are fragrant when crushed. It's a small, evergreen tree. Folks used to use the leaves for seasoning. American Indians used the leaves as a medicine to induce vomiting. I would guess that deer know of that effect, so avoid it unless needing an emetic.

Ilex vomitoria berries

Moseying along, I came upon a stand of native Yaupon holly - aka Ilex vomitoria. It was unmolested, perhaps because it is also a strong emetic. A beverage of the leaves will make you vomit. It appears, however, throughout the South as an ornamental shrub or small tree in compact, multi-stemmed, and weeping forms. The berries are very appealing.

Cycas revoluta

Sago Palm - aka Cycas revoluta - is practically ubiquitous in these parts. It's native to Japan, but you'd think it was native to the Southeastern United States. It's not a palm. It is a cycad, related to the deer-resistant native Zamia integrifolia or Coontie. No wonder deer don't eat it; it's poisonous.

Farfugium japonicum

Farfugium japonicum - aka Ligularia, Ragwort, Leopard plant, Leopard's Bane - has grown in popularity in recent years. It's a fine perennial plant for partial shade to full shade. It was obvious to me that deer don't like it, perhaps because they somehow intuit that the plant contains tumorigenic alkaloids. Glossy, evergreen leaves - sometimes spotted - are gorgeous. The yellow flowers are mighty attractive and daisy-like. It's in the  Asteraceae family.

Juniperus conferta

Soon I spied some juniper ground cover - Shore Juniper (Juniperus conferta). It's an ideal choice for a coastal garden because of its salt-tolerance. Deer will eat junipers, especially Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana). You can see evidence of that as you travel along interstate highways. But Shore Juniper has awl-like foliage which can put a hurtin' on the tongue.

Daniella tasmanica

Daniella tasmanica (Variegated Flax Lily) was uneaten. I don't know if it's supposed to be deer-resistant, but it certainly appeared so. It appears with growing frequency in perennial borders.

Cortaderia selloana

Cortaderia selloana, commonly known as pampas grass, was untouched. I understand exactly why. The sharp leaf edges will discourage anyone or thing from intruding. It's a stately grass, and certainly deserving of a place in the large landscape. It tolerates a wide range of temperatures, and is requires very little maintenance. Good thing, too. It's too sharp to handle without gloves, long-sleeves and trousers.

Illicium parviflorum

I saw some Illicium parviflorum - Yellow Star Anise - that had been abused, but not by deer. It's a fine shrub, and grows to a large size. The leaves are fragrant when crushed. Unfortunately, these individuals were planted in a hedge, expected to remain compact, and the foliage had been chopped up by a hedge-trimmer. Large-leaved plants do not look good when eaten up by a hedge-trimmer.

Yucca spp.

Yucca had not been touched. Understandably so. The sharp-pointed and fibrous leaves render it inedible for deer. It's a fine ornament, though, especially when in bloom.

Loropetalum chinense

Loropetalum chinense is a fairly new introduction to the landscaping community. It seems that new ones are released every year. It is known to be deer-resistant. This planting was no exception.

Eleagnus spp.

One of my least favorite landscape shrubs was undisturbed by deer - Eleagnus. I've hated it since I was a child. My mother made me prune hers into large globes, and I swear I could hear them growing as I walked away. I must say, however, that I did enjoy eating the fruits when no one else seemed to care. I've seen Eleagnus planted beside highway overpasses and in cloverleafs, probably to stop runaway traffic. They'll do that, for sure.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) was ignored by hungry deer. Though considered by some folks to be a nuisance vine, it makes a nice ground cover. It also covers stone walls very well. The scarlet fall foliage is gorgeous.

Afternoon shadows were lengthening. It was time for my saunter to end. I hoped that my impromptu discovery hour turned up a few plant choices for my friend to consider.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019

FAQ: Are there any special requirements for bare root?

Asiatic Jasmine - Trachelospermum asiaticum - Bare Root

Q. Are there any special requirements for bare root? Want to purchase but need to know what I’m getting into.

A. Good question. Since there is no soil around the roots to provide protection, they must not be allowed to dry out. When the plants arrive, set the bundles upright in the box. Protect the package from exposure to wind, sun, freezing temperatures. Keep slightly moist.

When planting, do the same. A few minutes exposure can be damaging.

Have the soil prepared and the holes "punched" in the ground before you begin. Cover the roots after planting each one. Water well after planting to set the soil in contact with the roots.

Do not allow synthetic fertilizer - especially dry granules - to contact the plants above or below the soil line.

That about covers it.

I hope this helps. If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask. If you have anything to add, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know in the comment section.

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Friday, February 8, 2019

National Garden Bureau Announces: 2019 is the Year of Salvia nemorosa!

Salvia New Dimension Rose by Kieft Seed - Year of the Salvia - National Garden Bureau

National Garden Bureau (NGB) announces 2019 as the Year of Salvia nemorosa! Salvia nemorosa is a hardy salvia that thrives in most gardens. Popular varieties you might have heard of include ‘Mainacht’ (MayNight), ‘Caradonna’ and ‘Ostfriesland’ (East Friesland). Those are all great selections, but new ones are now available. Look for ‘New Dimension’, ‘Bordeau’ ‘Salute’, ‘Swifty’, the Fashionista™ series and Salvia ‘Blue by You’.

In addition to the article by NGB, you should also read my article, The Saving Graces of Sage, for lots of great info.

Have you grown salvia in your garden? Plan to? We'd love to hear what you have to say about it. Tell us in the comment section.

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Eastern Monarch Butterfly Population Increases

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)


"The yearly count of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico, released today, shows an increase of 144 percent from last year’s count and is the highest count since 2006", according to The Center for Biological Diversity. "That’s good news for a species whose numbers had fallen in recent years, but conservationists say the monarch continues to need Endangered Species Act protection", it continues.

"Today’s count of 6.05 hectares of occupied forest is up from 2.48 hectares last winter. The increase is attributable to favorable weather during the spring and summer breeding seasons and during the fall migration. Monarchs have lost an estimated 165 million acres of breeding habitat in the United States to herbicide spraying and development", the report, Eastern Monarch Butterfly Population Rebounds, states.

“This reprieve from bad news on monarchs is a thank-you from the butterflies to all the people who planted native milkweeds and switched to organic corn and soy products,” said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center.

But let's not be lulled into complacency by the good news. They expect it's only temporary. The crisis must continue, and as Stanford economist Paul Romer said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Expanding on the principle, Rahm Emanual noted, "And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

So, if you never thought you could let your yard grow up in weeds, you can now. In my recent article, Got Milkweed? Feeding Hungry Monarch Butterflies, I recommended milkweed, in particular. Throw caution to the wind along with milkweed seeds and let them grow!

If you receive a threatening notice from your not-so-friendly HOA or local municipality, assume a more sanctimonious posture, and declare that you are saving the monarchs!

Got thoughts? Share them with us in the comment section.

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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Got Milkweed? Feeding Hungry Monarch Butterflies.

Credit: Kenneth Dwain Harrelson under GNU Free Documentation License

It's winter. Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) from the eastern U.S. are vacationing in Mexico, hanging around in trees and soaking up the sun. They've been doing this for a long time - no one knows how long - so it has become a family tradition with them. It won't be long, though, before the weather begins to warm and they'll head back north to feed and breed.

Aside from lepidopterophiles and passersby enjoying their beauty, few cared much about their habits. But that has changed. It is believed that Monarch populations are diminishing, so saving their species has become a cause célèbre

Everyone seems to be getting in on the act. Botanical gardens are establishing butterfly gardens with favored enticements, especially milkweed. "Enlightened" homeowners are letting their yards spring up with weeds, ostensibly to save the monarch. (Neighbors might think they're just lazy.)

Butterfly friendly landscape with milkweed

If you'd like to "save the monarchs", or just spend less time weeding, and mask your sloth with altruism, consider including milkweed in your landscape. There are several native species to choose from:

Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) grows in dry, sandy soils and likes lots of sunshine. It can reach 3½ feet in height. Leaves are shaded with pink. The fragrant flowers are pink to purple, and bloom in early to mid-summer. In addition to monarchs, they also attract hummingbirds, bees and other species of butterflies.

Mountain or Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) grows on moist, shady areas in cooler climates. It grows to 6 feet in height. Flowers are white and green.

Eastern Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata var. pulchra) prefers wet areas such as bog gardens. Its stems are 2-6 feet in height. The pale to deep pink flowers open July through September. In addition to monarchs, it attracts other buttefly species and nectar loving critters. 

Fourleaf Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) likes full to partial sun and dry soils. Soil pH should be a bit on the high side, so add a little lime. Fragrant flowers are cream to lilac. It grows to 2.5 feet.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a common roadside flower. Clumps of branching stems reach 2.5 feet in height and bear large clusters of wildly brilliant orange blossoms that attract all sorts of nectar-lovers. It flowers mid- to late summer. Some cultivated varieties display mixed yellow and orange flowers.

Red-ring Milkweed (Asclepias variegata) likes sunny areas with dry to moist soils. It is an impressive plant, producing white, snowball-like flowers on purplish stems to 3 feet tall. The "red-ring" refers to a thin, colorful ring that surrounds the middle of the flower. It also attracts a host of nectar-loving creatures. Flowers appear May to June.

Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) thrives in dry to moist soils in sun to partial shade. Note that soil pH should be near 7.0.  Slender, branched stems produce whorls of long, narrow leaves and loads of small flower clusters from June through September. The flowers are white to pale green, sometimes with a hint of purple.

For those of you who contend with pesky deer, you'll be pleased to know that deer hate milkweeds because of the irritating, milky latex which most produce. (Thus, the name, "milkweed".)

If you would like to learn more about monarch butterflies in your area, contact your state department of natural resources or one of the organizations linked below.

Do you have questions? Contact us at goGardenNow.

Comments? Please post in the comment section. We'd love to hear from you.

Here are the web links:

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
California Department of Fish and Game
Colorado Department of Natural Resources
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Washington State Department of Natural Resources
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Butterfly Houses at
Butterfly Feeders at
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation  

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Friday, January 25, 2019

All America Selections Announces the 2019 Winner - Nasturtium Baby Rose

Photo credit: All America Selections
Here it is! Great news straight from All-America Selections.

Exciting news! The last nasturtium AAS Winner was back in the early days, in the 1930’s. Now it’s time to introduce a wonderful rose colored nasturtium perfect for today’s gardens. Baby Rose is a petite-flowered, mounding variety with healthy, dark foliage ideal for containers and small space gardens. AAS’ expert judges praised the uniformly compact plants that sported flowers with consistent coloration. Their compact habit means less “flower flopping” with their blooms remaining upright throughout the season. The rose color is uncommon in nasturtiums and contrasts beautifully with the dark-green foliage. Bonus: both the leaves and flowers are edible!

When was the last time you planted nasturtiums? Ever?

Have questions or comments? Tell us in the Comment section below. We love hearing from you.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A New Gardener's Questions About Composting

Q. I don't know if you've covered this in your blog, but should I be composting even if I don't keep a vegetable garden? If so, what composter do you recommend?

A. Sure. Whether growing vegetables or flowers, the soil and plants benefit from composting.

There are all kinds of composting devices, and sometimes no device at all; just a pile.

Compost usually needs to be turned occasionally to aerate the pile, thus allowing decomposition to occur.

Some folks simply select a site near the garden and begin dropping grass clippings, kitchen scraps, raked leaves, etc. until they've formed a pile. Then they take a garden fork in hand and begin turning their pile over after it's a few weeks old and reached a certain height, taking a forkful of compost and turning it upside down in a spot next to the original pile. Then, each forkful is turned over onto the new spot. Eventually the compost that was on top of the first pile is at the bottom of the new pile. Then another new pile is begun where the old pile once was, so two piles are created. If this method is followed again and again, several piles can be created over time. Finished compost from the oldest pile is eventually added to your garden.

Almost all devices are designed in some fashion to allow for the compost to be turned. Some are not. There are box-shaped compost bins with openings at the top to drop in the material, and doors at the bottom to shovel the finished compost out.

Others are in the shape of barrels designed for turning. The barrels may be mounted on stands that are outfitted with rollers and handles. Compostable material is dropped through a door or opening, then the barrels can be cranked to turn the compost around inside. One design involves a barrel that is mounted on low rollers. The gardener then kicks the barrel occasionally to roll the barrel over and aerate the material inside.

Choose the method that works best for you. I like the easiest method available.

If you have a lot of wildlife in your area, bear in mind that some - e.g. bears, raccoons, opossums and such - might be attracted to your compost pile. In that case, you might need to figure out some way to keep them out. A quick search of the internet should turn up some ideas.

I hope this helps.

If you have questions about composting, please add them in the comment section below.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Behind A Garden Wall: Edith J Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University

Edith J Carrier Arboretum entrance

In 1964, James Madison University Botany Professor, Dr. Norlyn Bodkin, began using a wooded area of the campus as a convenient place for faculty and students to do botanical field studies. Meanwhile, Dr. Bodkin conceived the idea of establishing an arboretum in the woods. After many years of planning and promoting, it was finally opened to the public in 1989. It was named the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum to honor the wife of then University President Ronald Carrier.

I recently visited for the first time. Follow me to see what grows behind the garden wall.

Upon entering, a trail to the right leads to a labyrinth on a hill. I gave it a miss.

The best place to begin your visit will be at the Frances Plecker Education Building. Maps, a library, exhibits are available. A fair portion of the arboretum is in view of the terrace.

View from the terrace

Visitors with limited time, small children in prams or having physical challenges will enjoy the accessible trails around the pond and to the pavilion.

Exhibits along the way include:

Monarch dinner menu
  • Viette Perennial Garden - donated by André Viette, noted horticulturist, featuring daylilies (Hemerocallis), irises (Iris) and peonies (Paeonia) in seasonal bloom;
  • Drury Planting - Includes weeping bald cypress (Taxodium distichum 'Cascade Falls'), bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla), Japanese maple (Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood', redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'),  dogwood (Cornus florida 'Cherokee Sunset'), and spirea (Spiraea x bumalda 'Dolchica', flowering from April to June;
  • Smith Shale Barren - "Perhaps the most unique of the arboretum’s gardens, this man-made shale barren is the only one of its kind in a public garden in Virginia and displays over a dozen strict endemic perennials that make their home in extreme conditions: harsh, direct and prolonged sunlight and high temperatures, in flower March to July";
  • Wetlands Garden - featuring aquatic and bog plants typical to that environment;
  • Hall Garden - featuring a large green ash tree (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), bluebells (Hyacinthoides spp.), Jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisaema triphyllum), ferns (Pteridophytes) and foamflowers (Tiarella cordifolia), yellow magnolia (Magnolia x 'Butterflies') and various native shrubs; 
  • Monarch Waystation - "A pollinator garden providing habitat for a variety of insects, including butterflies like Monarchs, that require host plants for caterpillars and nectar plants that support the nutrient needs for their migration", including a handy menu for the hungry pilgrims to make their selections.
Those who have more time, or are not confined to a paved pathway, will enjoy other trails through the woods to visit:

  • Fern Valley (which needs no explanation);
  • Dale Hybrid Azalea Experimental Planting - best viewed from April to July;
  • MacDonald Azalea and Rhododendron Garden - best viewed from March to July;
  • Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society Native Azalea Garden - also best viewed from March to July;
  • Wood Wildflower Garden - flowering April and May;
  • Bodkin Oak-Hickory Forest;
  • Herb Garden;
  • Sycamore Flat - a wildflower meadow and swale with stream and native plants.
Swinging bridge over the stream

My favorite is the Children's Garden. I love to teach kids about plants and nature. This area in the oak-hickory forest features whimsical sculpture and novel exhibits to make the educational experience easy and fun.

Fun things to do in the Children's Garden

The Carrier Arboretum is easily accessible, only 3 minutes from Interstate Highway 81 at Exit 245 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Whether you live in the area, or are just passing by, I hope you'll visit throughout the year. Something interesting is always "in season".

Return to, or see more photos from the Edith J Carrier Arboretum!

Sculpture (Some are for sale!)

Meandering stream

Woodland walk


Making good use of a rotting tree trunk

Sculptured benches

Educational station to explore tree roots

Entrance to Children's Garden

Whimisical sculpture from tree roots

Red twig dogwood

Carrier Arboretum banner

Edith J Carrier Arboretum entrance

Arum italicum

Fragrant Edgeworthia chrysantha