It’s extremely hot and dry in the mountains of North Carolina. Temperatures nearing 100 degrees are expected this week-end.
As recent as four or five years ago, we thought temperatures in the 80’s were extreme. They caused us to head inside and turn on the fans! There was no air conditioning at the homeplace then — it was not an absolute requirement in our little mountain town.
Now, we all wilt after mid-morning. But Mom’s perennials — most of them the tough, old-fashioned kind — don’t seem to be suffering. They’ve adapted to the increasingly brutal temperatures, lack of water , and sandy, dry soil that is prevalent on this small acreage. Some plants are native; some are not. Yarrow, balloon and blanket flower, daylily, lamb’s ear, lavender, and tickseed co-exist and weave together without benefit of a design or color scheme — just my input over time and the loving stewardship of my parents who bought the property over sixty years ago.
American historian Derek Clifford sums up my feelings as a daughter who loves this piece of land and the plants that thrive here:
“Gardens cannot be considered in detachment from the people who made them.”
Some color combinations are just happy coincidence. I’ve always liked the yellow-and-purple color palette. Mom just instinctively knew this grouping would work.
There are groups of these charming balloon flowers along the edges of several beds. I want lots and lots of them for my garden in Tennessee! The blue is so pure and works with white, yellow, orange, and some shades of pink and red.
This area must thrive on neglect because that’s what it gets. The colors and plant combinations are different from one year to the next – no human intervention involved.
The yellowish-orange daylily buds are a nice touch to this color and textural combination. The daylilies were a gift from a vendor when I was doing a student internship at a nursery long ago. Then (over twenty years ago), I knew the plant’s name, but the tag has long-since disappeared, along with my memory of what it said!
There are lots of out-of-the-ordinary plants on this property, but I have a special feeling for the old-fashioned ones that have remained because of their beauty, toughness, and non-invasive nature. They touch me, and remind me that time with my family, and with this land as it now exists, is precious indeed.