two days later

5.4.24 ~ North Carolina Botanical Garden

Two days after we visited the columbo it was raining. Grateful for the rain, which we do need, I still had a gut feeling that the columbo might be blooming. We grabbed the umbrella and made a quick dash to the botanical garden. At the top of the flower stalk it was still mostly buds, but a few purple-speckled, greenish flowers with yellow stamens were opening!

Most of the images of the columbo found online show it standing straight up. But the top of this one is bending over, as if all those buds were too heavy.

American columbo
with raindrops and orbs

Still in a rush to get out of the rain, I couldn’t help noticing a mountain laurel starting to bloom…

mountain laurel

There are many times I do wish I had a waterproof camera! There is so much beauty to be found in a garden on a rainy day.

26 thoughts on “two days later”

    1. You’re welcome, Eliza! Perhaps next year another one of the columbo rosettes planted at the same time will send up a flowering stalk…

  1. How I love the mountain laurel! But yes, the columbo is pretty, too — and how wonderful that your hunch paid off. I wonder why it’s bent at the top. Do you think it got that way over winter?

    1. I’m partial to mountain laurels, too. The folks at the botanical garden concede that the columbo is a little floppy but it’s being visited by bees so it’s probably healthy. This flower stalk didn’t come up until spring. For years, the plant was just a rosette of leaves flat on the ground.

    1. Tracy, I visited your lovely blog but couldn’t leave a comment or subscribe to it. šŸ™ Are WordPress and Blogspot incompatible?

  2. Iā€™m glad that you back out to check on it to get the first glimpse despite the rain. ā˜”ļø I suspect Tim assisted you with an umbrella. The flower is very pretty and is what I expected. šŸ‘

    1. Tim is a wonderful umbrella assistant. I think the flower looked very pretty in the rain, and I hear it straightened up overnight yesterday. Not sure when we’ll get back there… šŸ˜•

        1. Haven’t been able to get back yet, but I hear it’s still blooming. Fingers crossed!

  3. Barbara, you are lucky to see so many pretty Spring flowers at your botanical gardens … this flower, also dainty. Our botanical gardens is still devoid of color and when I visited last week, they had one concrete planter filled with annuals and that was it. I think they were concerned about frost and having to cover too many annuals to survive it. I have to change my mindset about the rain as I’m pretty sure I am not made of sugar last time I looked!

    1. I remember how bleak and barren this botanical garden felt in the winter and how lucky I felt that spring comes so early here, especially since I have no seashore to visit nearby. I’m sure your botanical garden will be springing back to life soon. Winters are definitely longer up north there. I remember in Connecticut we couldn’t put annuals out until Memorial Day weekend. I’m thinking of investing in a good raincoat since I now have the urge to get out in it more often.

      1. I always waited until Memorial Day as well. I’ve not heard from the landscaper, my neighbor said “I bought a rototiller – how about I rototill it and plant some wildflower seeds. I truthfully wasn’t keen on it because I tried a “wildflower carpet” years ago and it was sparse and didn’t look good – thankfully it was the backyard. As to walking in the rain, there was a walker at the Park who walked rain or shine – she no longer walks there as she takes care of her mom and can’t leave her alone, but she said “change the channel on the mindset of walking in the rain – there’s nothing nicer.” My reasoning always was that after years of taking the bus in rain, snow, sleet – you name it, I was not eager to start that again, but I’ve got rain boots and have “rain shoes” which are walking shoes made for walking in the rain. So perhaps I will try harder. Between the construction everywhere where I go and Dearborn is off limits for me this Summer, not only due to major construction to get there, but there are protests daily about the war, so I will stay away for this year … I don’t want to overdo the Ford Estate posts and the Interpretive Center and grounds were rustic, overgrown, so there are tick worries and coyotes roaming in there … tabled ’til 2025.

        1. I think I could get used to walking in the rain again. When I was younger I used to enjoy it more. But I’d have to leave my camera behind! Maybe instead of a wildflower jungle you could plant some kind of groundcover that doesn’t need mowing. I love the moss somebody planted around our condo. There isn’t one lawn here and no lawn mowers to shatter the peace. Although, we do have electric leaf blowers to deal with all the pine needles that pile up on our roofs! I hope you can figure out a good place to go walking while all the construction and unrest is going on. I keep returning to the botanical garden because it feels safe with no dogs allowed and so many pretty things to look at and photograph. I have to try harder to get myself out in the unfamiliar woods at the land conservancies.

          1. I really wasn’t keen on the wildflower jungle as it’s too close to the side door, the only door I use to go in/out of the house. Too easy for a mouse to hide and then zip inside when I’m carrying in groceries or my arms are loaded down. I looked at these alternatives you sent me – thank you. I like the idea of several of them, including the moss, like you have at your place. It seems every weekend, especially since we have had so much rain in April and May that all day long it is the droning of mowers and yard equipment. Pine trees would be a nuisance in the gutters and roofs, but I equate them with forests and peaceful. There is a house that I pass when I walk to/from the Park and it has a triangular property and it’s a large, long lot. The people moved in about three years ago and over the last few years, he has added so many amenities … hot tub, gazebo and patio and a second patio with benches surrounding a large cement firepit. So, now he is doing more landscaping. Over the weekend, he planted about 30 arborvitae and then mulched the gardens with black mulch. It looks very nice. I remember how you said they would grow fast. I just heard on the news how last year, our hottest Summer on record, will be surpassed this Summer and we will be dealing with wildfire smoke. I guess it’s good the landscaper never called me as I contacted them before their hot Summer prediction, but I sure did admire this guy’s handiwork. I’m sure he did it all himself as I saw a lot of bags of mulch still stacked up in the corner.

          2. Wow — 30 arborvitae! Your neighbor will soon have plenty of privacy! I like the idea of lots of mulch. You can add to it every other year or so and not have to worry about weeding so much. Of course, April was the hottest one on record and if I heard the news anchor correctly, the past 11 months have all been the hottest on record. Very, very, sobering. “On Friday, parts of New Delhi reported up to 47.1 degrees Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit).” It makes one wonder how hot it will get…

          3. Yes and it looks terrific Barbara. I am toying with the idea of contacting the nursery/landscaper, despite my being angry they didn’t contact me. My neighbor’s idea of rototilling and tossing in wildflower seeds may look kind of haphazard. I didn’t contact them today as we are having some storms today, Monday and Tuesday afternoons and severe weather Wednesday. I thought for now, I may just do the side and then reserve him for next Spring. Given the prediction for the hot Summer, I think that is best. I didn’t know New Delhi was that hot … that is just terrible.

          4. Perhaps one step at a time is the best approach, so you don’t get overwhelmed. As the saying goes, little by little, a lot gets done. šŸ™‚

          5. Yes, that is the best way. I hard an ad for Lowes this morning for their mulch. I was all fired up to do this little side garden myself and have the supplies delivered. It’s only 25 feet long by 10 feet wide at the top, 3 feet wide for most of it. Then I went out to walk … I realized I’d have spade some of it to even it off, lay down landscape fabric. The heat wave doesn’t encourage getting out in the heat and humidity much.

  4. Eliza Waters sent me a link to your columbo post. I stopped by Friday and saw it also. Your photos are thousand times better than my iPhone ones and I’m happy to see how pretty the flowers really are. Welcome to NC. I live in Chapel Hill. /Susie

    1. Welcome, Susie, and thank you for liking my columbo photos! Maybe I will bump into you at the botanical garden one of these days. Are you a native North Carolinian? Almost every one I meet has moved here from elsewhere. We came from Connecticut about a year ago, to live near our grandchildren in Carrboro.

      1. Yes, I grew up in NC and except for one year have lived in Chapel Hill since coming for college. Are you in the CH garden club by any chance? I’ve not been able to attend for a lond time but do recommend it.

        1. No, I’m not in the garden club. My gardening days are way behind me! But I do enjoy visiting the wonderful botanical garden since moving down here. I used to live on the CT shoreline so this garden has taken the place of my beach as my go-to place.

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