For our May 2017 meeting we met at the garden of two of our favorite botanists, Audrey and Larry Mellichamp. Over many years they have collected plants and added them to their suburban lot, creating a green sanctuary that reflects their deep knowledge and love of the plant kingdom. Many of the plants are native to North Carolina, but there are also those that earned inclusion with some sort of particular charm, ie. a stinky titan arum.
I hope you were there, but if not, here’s a bit of what you missed. If you were there, enjoy it anew through the photos!
Spigelia marilandica was so happy and plentiful, it could be considered a signature plant for this garden.
Red buds have a surprising reveal — yellow!
Orange kitty doesn’t seem to mind dozens of people invading his territory. He regards us all with an air of nonchalance.
Stones outline this lush bed of mixed perennials.
A few wire hanging baskets, repurposed, provide critter control. Don’t you love the natural edging, too? It’s perfectly in keeping with the overall native plant theme.
Audrey greets visitors and answers questions about the garden and the plants, and occasionally quizzes someone — in other words, me! — about the correct pronunciation of Oenothera. (I’m a former student of hers!) I think I passed the test.
A concrete morel is a charming garden surprise.
Amorphophallus species are found mostly in Asia, but this gorgeous, smelly plant looks right at home amid the penstemons and Itea.
Around back Larry enjoys chatting with visitors on the deck.
The shady slope behind the house is packed with woodland plants. Larry gave us a tour.
Harper’s Ginger (Hexastylis speciosa) is flowering underneath those light green leaves.
Purple Flowering-raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
Native Climbing Hydrangea (Decumaria barbara)
A young Bigleaf Magnolia is on its way to flowering glory. These are just a few of what must be dozens of species (or more?) on that slope.
It wouldn’t be a Mellichamp garden without carnivorous plants!
Their daughter Suzanne Mellichamp is the artist/potter who provided the adorable clay pitcher plants.
Thanks to Beth for the hard work and the smiles — the t-shirt/plant sale was a big success!
Thank you very much to Lisa Tompkins for photos 1, 11, 14, 15!
Thank you especially to the Mellichamps for allowing us to visit your beautiful garden — what a rare treat!