By Kaitlin Henderson
Photos by Beth Hall
Photos by Beth Hall
As we prepare for tomorrow's 2014 Fall Plant Sale, we thought you might like to see another preview of some of the plants we'll be offering. It's one thing to see them in their plant pots -- even more fun to see them out in Duke Gardens, where you can get a better idea of how they could enhance your own garden. So have a look below at some beautiful plants that grow well in this region. The sale is from 9 a.m. to noon, with a member preview sale at 8 a.m. (and you can join on site). Parking is free.
The first plant, pictured above, is a fun one that I featured on this blog earlier - the pink velvet banana. It’s a hardy tropical banana plant that’s deer resistant. It grows in full sun to partial shade, and grows up to 8 feet tall and wide. It produces white flowers and pink fruit, which makes a great tropical impression in your garden. You can find it already growing here in the Doris Duke Center Gardens.
The osmanthus is a great ornamental evergreen that you can see in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. It has holly-like, variegated leaves and is deer resistant. It grows up to 3-5 feet tall and wide and has an amazing fragrance when in bloom.
The purple-leaved elderberry above is a gorgeous ornamental shrub that gets up to 8 feet tall and wide. In the late spring to early summer it produces deep pink or purple flowers over its dark purple leaves. You can find some in the Historic Gardens to get an idea of what it looks like.
Chinese sedum is an evergreen ground cover that grows in sun or shade. In the summer, it produces small yellow flowers. It’s great for path edges or garden borders. Here in the Gardens, it’s abundant in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum.
This is Mexican spiderwort, a deciduous perennial with beautiful purple accents. You can find it in the Historic Gardens. Its leaves are green-purple in color with purple spots. The purple-white flowers bloom throughout summer. It likes full sun to light shade and grows 1-1.5-feet tall and wide.
Taratian asters are great pollinator perennials. They grow 3-4 feet high and are spreading, so they're perfect in the back border of gardens. Purple and yellow flowers emerge in the fall, which you can catch now in the Historic Gardens. They need full sun to partial shade.
The American Beautyberry is native to the southeast U.S. (including here in North Carolina) and you can see plenty of them in the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. It's a large deciduous shrub that likes full sun and will grow up to 8 feet tall and wide. In the summer it produces small lavender-colored flowers, which give way in the fall to the bright purple berries you can see now. They're great wildlife plants - birds love to eat the berries.
This beautiful plant is also very popular for a practical reason: the tea camellia is used to make tea! It's native to China but grows very well here, as you can see in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. It gets 6-8 feet high and wide, with white and yellow flowers in the fall. It's very versatile, growing in full sun to full shade.
White wood aster (Eurybia divaricata) is another plant local to this area of the U.S. It grows best in woodland shade settings and makes a fantastic border or path edge. In the fall it has numerous dainty white flowers, which you can see in the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants.
The Japanese aster produces these cheerful, light purple flowers with a bright yellow center in the late summer through fall. They grow 1-2 feet tall and are wonderful border plants. You can check them out in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum.
This stunning and unique looking flower is the hardy ginger lily. The orange-peach flowers bloom in the late summer to fall. The plant gets up to 4 feet tall and likes to be in full sun to part shade. It adds a beautiful tropical accent to any garden, as you can see in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum.
The spotted toad lily has a fun name and an equally fun look. You can see it growing in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. The uniquely shaped purple-pink flowers bloom in the late summer to fall. Its leaves have subtle purple spots. It grows to 1-2 feet tall and prefers woodland-like environments, shady and moist.
Now that your appetite is whetted, we hope to see you Saturday morning to see these plants in person and take some of them home to your own garden! For more information, check out our previous blog post on the plant sale and our plant sale preview video. Duke Gardens' curators and horticulturists will be there to answer any questions you have about the plants and growing them. You can become a Duke Gardens member anytime before or during the sale to get access to the 8 a.m. preview sale, to get first dibs on the plants you want. Enjoy!
Kaitlin Henderson is a student in Duke's Graduate Liberal Studies Program. Beth Hall is Duke Gardens' Paul J. Kramer Plant Collections Manager.