Returning to Nantahala

phoebe nest

We returned to Nantahala about a week ago and settling in has been a bit overwhelming thinking of blogging in real time because so many plants are in bloom that I really don’t know where to begin…

Sometimes when we return we find that birds have found the quiet house perfect shelter and have built nests.  Phoebes had built a nest on the drain pipe outside our bedroom window that gives to the backyard.


Oh, how upset she gets when we walk out to the balcony or out the back door.  She flies off immediately and waits patiently on the branch of a dogwood nearby.

But the phoebe nest is not the only new thing around here.  Adam came by with news of spotting a pink lady slipper in need of rescue  Shall we try yet again to establish a plant in our garden?  Our two groups of yellow lady slipper are doing well in the Native Garden and in our sample shade bed as well as the two groups on the ground next to which I have planted a label so that we can monitor it better.  Adam also commented on the abundance of rain on the mountain which explains why the False Solomon Seal has re-appeared in attractive drifts on the property.

Groundcovers must love the rain also.  The robin plantains, lyre-leaf sage, and hawkweed flowers billow in the breeze in little drifts of color.  And why had I not noticed Hawkweed before?  But I hadn’t! There it is, covering the banks leading to Northwoods prompting me to clamber up to take photograph the flowers and then rush back to the house to try to find out what on earth I was photographing.  As usual, I found it in my old reliable – The Official Field Guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society which is absolutely the best resource for my little corner of Western North Carolina.  By the way, the edition I have is selling for a BIG price, but the second edition by Horn-Carthcard et al. is to appear soon.

Of course, the discovery of yet another ground cover help me make up my mind on how to proceed on blogging about our native plants…I will begin from the ground up and next feature those flowering plants that cover the property in green the rest of the year…hawkweed_2

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