February Blooms at Tryon Palace

It’s February! I’m both horrified and grateful that we’re already part way into the second month of this year. January was tough with all the snow and ice- unfortunately, we’re seeing the after-effects of such cold temperatures on many of our plants. Everything I’ve read has said to be patient and hold off pruning back that winter damage, so I’ll reiterate that information. Most plants should be pruned after they bloom, so try to hold off pruning your winter plants til late March and your spring plants til May or June. We advise waiting to prune because if you take all the leaves or branches that may show winter damage, you may be sacrificing where the new buds would grow!

This coming week we are looking forward to ~8000 little green plant babies coming in so we are excitedly clearing out and cleaning up the greenhouse and nursery. These plants will fill our gardens from spring to fall, and some will even be for sale at our Spring Plant Sale April 13 & 14. Our kitchen garden early spring crops are starting to go in and in the next month, we’ll be adding quite a few additions to our gardens. Late winter is a great time to start designing and researching what to add to your garden so you’ll be ready when the plants are available!

Bryce Lane will return for our February 17 garden lecture!

Our 2018 garden lecture series continues, Saturday, Feb. 17 with a lecture from Bryce Lane, three-time Emmy Award winning television personality, on “Landscaping in Small Spaces: Big Ideas for “Little” Gardens”. From plant selection, to landscape design, to installation, he will talk about how to promote and educate gardeners about gardening in small spaces. This lecture is free and begins at 10 a.m. in Cullman Performance Hall at the North Carolina History Center.

Our first garden behind the scenes tour on February 27 at 2pm will feature a few new additions to the winter landscape as the crocus and an assortment of daffodils continue to bloom. It’s also a great time to show off some of our more unusual winter bloomers!

Dr. Lucy Bradley will present our March 10 garden lecture

Another date to add to your garden calendar- the March 10 Tryon Palace garden lecture series will feature Dr. Lucy Bradley, NC State Extension specialist and professor, presenting “You can have your yard and eat it too!” The lecture will focus on how to incorporate edible plants into a home landscape. This lecture is free and begins at 10 a.m. in Cullman Performance Hall at the North Carolina History Center.

If you’re interested in a long term “behind the scenes” venture, we are looking for volunteers for pruning, planting, raking, mulching, watering, weeding. It’s a great way to learn some gardening tips and tricks, especially for our area! If you’re interested in volunteering with us, please contact me at (252) 639-3560 or hadley.cheris@ncdcr.gov.

We hope to see you soon! Happy Gardening (and stay warm!!),

Hadley Cheris, Tryon Palace Gardens and Greenhouse Manager


Violas have traditionally smaller blooms and leaves- they are also the original form, with pansies being bred later. This variety is called "Honeybee"-- can you guess why I picked it!
  • Annual Phlox (Phlox drummondii) mix
  • Dusty Miller ‘Silver Dust’
  • Dianthus- Super Parfait Raspberry, Zing Rose
  • Ornamental Kale- Bor Scarlet, purple leaves
  • Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) various mixes
  • Sweet William (Dianthus) Telstar Mix
  • Violas: Sorbet: Black Jump Up, Honeybee, Phantom; Penny: Mix Jump Up, Purple Picotee
  • Pansies: Delta Mixes: Apple Cider, White Blotch; Matrix Mixes: Orange, Solar Flare, Blue Frost; Frizzle Sizzle Mix; Panolo Jewels n Jazz


Crocus are a great early burst of color. Their short stature also makes them a fun surprise!
  • Bears foot Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) yellowish
  • Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) white
  • Cape Leadwort (Plumbago capensis) blue
  • Carnation (Dianthus sp.) various
  • Creeping Veronica (Veronica umbrosa) blue
  • Crocus (Crocus sp.) yellow, white, purple
  • Daffodils, Jonquils (Narcissus sp.) yellow, white
  • Hellebore (Helleborus X orientalis) pink, white
  • Ornamental Grass (Miscanthus sp.) red seed head
  • Paperwhite Narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus) white
  • Poet’s Laurel (Danae racemes) orange berries

Trees and Shrubs

The delicate blooms of the Flowering Apricots are a sure sign of spring in the Carraway garden.
  • Camellia (Camellia japonica) cultivars: (MANY MAY NOT BE BLOOMING DUE TO WINTER DAMAGE)

‘Pink Perfection’ pink, double

‘Professor Sargent’ deep rose, double

‘Debutante’ clear, light pink

‘Lady Clare’ carmine rose, semi-double

‘Alba plena’ white with pink cast

‘Lovely Surprise’ pink

‘Dr. Tinsley’ pink, semi-double

  • Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) yellow
  • First Breath of Spring or Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) white
  • Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume) pink
  • Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) apricot pink, red
  • Fragrant Winter Sweet (Chimonanthus praecox) yellow
  • Himalayan Sweetbox (Sarcococca hookerana) white, black drupe
  • Hollies (Ilex sp.) white
  • Leatherleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytophyllum) white
  • Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus) pink to white
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) purple
  • Tea plant (Camellia sinenses) white/yellow
  • Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorium) yellow
  • Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) yellow to reddish brown

Wildflowers/ Bee Food

  • Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) lavender
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) yellow

Berries and seeds: Bird Food

  • Hollies (Ilex sp.):

Yaupon (I. vomitoria) red, yellow;

Winterberry (I. verticillata) red;

Dahoon (I. cassine) red;

Dwarf Burford Holly (Ilex cornuta) red berries

  • Nandina (Nandina domestica) red, yellow
  • Japanese Fatsia (Fatsia japonica) green to black
  • Poet’s Laurel (Danae racemosa) orange-red

Kitchen Garden:

Crimson clover is a great bee forage and a wonderful nitrogen- fixing winter cover crop
  • Cover crops- crimson clover, mustard, rye, white clover
  • Beets, carrots, celery, lettuce, mustard, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, peas
Created By
Hadley Cheris

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