February Blooms at Tryon Palace

Happy February! While we’re getting a cold start to the month, I’m actually excited- it’s been unseasonably warm resulting in some early blooms and even MOSQUITOS (I know- I was equally displeased)! This cooler weather break should get us back on track to the late winter/ early spring deadline. Fear not those of you warm weather fans- you’re starting to see glimpses of spring in your gardens- we’ve got lots of little bulbs starting to peak out and debate their entrance. Our Camellia japonicas have hit an almost perfect bloom this year- make sure to stop by Stanly and Jones House Gardens to pick your favorite! The winter honeysuckle and fragrant tea olive have been absolute garden workhorses this winter with both dainty flowers and amazing fragrance.

This month, we are looking forward to ~1500 little green plant babies coming in so we are excitedly clearing out and cleaning up the greenhouse and nursery. These plants will be for sale at our Spring Plant Sale April 3& 4. We’re also getting ready by planting herbs, perennials and heirloom veggies that will soon grace our gardens and maybe even your yard! 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!

Join us for a great lecture from Bryce Lane February 8!

Our 2020 Garden Lecture Series continues, Saturday, February 8, with a lecture from Bryce Lane, three-time Emmy Award winning television personality, on “Of Quilts and Gardens: How Gardening Weaves Us Together”. This talk shares how gardening connects people and fosters special relationships, recounting personal gardening stories that inspire us to continue in this wonderful craft! This lecture is free, thanks to a sponsorship by Mitchell Hardware, and begins at 10 a.m. in Cullman Hall at the North Carolina History Center.

Join us for a showing at 10am March 14!

Another date to add to your garden calendar- Our 2020 Garden Lecture Series continues, Saturday, March 14, features a free showing of “The Biggest Little Farm”. The movie focuses on a couple and their journey to turn an old farm into a profitable living, and the challenges they face as they attempt to farm with nature. After the showing, Hadley Cheris, Tryon Palace Gardens and Greenhouse Manager, and Jennifer Knight, Craven County Master Gardener, will lead a discussion on how to incorporate some of these ideas into your own garden and better protect your landscape. There will also be a sneak peek of the plants available at the Tryon Palace Spring Plant Sale. This lecture is free, thanks to a sponsorship by Mitchell Hardware, and begins at 10 a.m. in Cullman 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,

Hadley Cheris, Tryon Palace Gardens and Greenhouse Manager


Believe it or don't: Gazanias actually can overwinter AND BLOOM in ENC providing cheery color in the grey of winter!
  • Annual Phlox (Phlox drummondii) mix
  • Dianthus- Super Parfait Raspberry, Zing Rose
  • Dusty Miller ‘Silver Dust’
  • Flowering Kale “Nagoya Rose”, “Songbird Mix”
  • Gazania ‘Tiger Mix’, ‘Pink Shades’, ‘Colorado’, ‘Sunny Side Up’, ‘New Magic’, ‘New Day Yellow’
  • Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) various
  • Sweet William (Dianthus) Telstar Mix; red, white, pink
  • Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’
  • Violas: Sorbet: Fire, Blueberry Sundae, Raspberry Sundae, Jump Up Mix; Colormax: Lemonberry Pie, Colormax Mix; Penny: White Blotch
  • Pansies: Delta Mix Apple Cider; Matrix Mixes: Coastal Sunrise, Sunrise


Creeping phlox, mountain pinks or thrift- whichever name you pick, this tough plant blooms low and early!
  • Bears foot Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) yellowish
  • Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) white
  • Cape Leadwort (Plumbago capensis) blue
  • Carnation (Dianthus sp.) various
  • Creeping Veronica (Veronica umbrosa) blue
  • Daffodils, Jonquils (Narcissus sp.) yellow, white
  • Hellebore (Helleborus X orientalis) pink, white
  • Leopard plant (Farfugium japonicum) yellow
  • Mountain pinks (Phlox subulata) pink, lavender, white
  • Ornamental Grass (Miscanthus sp.) red seed head
  • Paperwhite Narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus) white
  • Poet’s Laurel (Danae racemes) orange berries

Bulbs, Corms, Rhizomes

Poppy anemones, crocus and Algerian iris are some of the earliest blooming bulbs.
  • Algerian Iris (Iris ungularia) blue
  • Crocus (Crocus vernus) various
  • Daffodils, Jonquils and Paperwhites (Narcissus sp) yellows, white
  • Paperwhite Narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus) white
  • Poppy Anemone (Anemone coronaria De Caen) various
  • Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) white, green
  • Snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) white

Trees and Shrubs

Cornelian Cherry is a unique dogwood family member that grows to about 15 feet in a wide low tree form!
  • Camellia (Camellia japonica) cultivars:

‘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

  • Camellia (Camellia sasanqua sp.) white & pink
  • Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) yellow *TOXIC TO HONEY BEES*
  • Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) yellow
  • Chinese Mahonia (Mahonia fortunei) yellow
  • First Breath of Spring or Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) white
  • Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume) pink
  • Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) apricot pink, red
  • Fragrant Osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) yellow **Smells AMAZING**
  • 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
  • Tea plant (Camellia sinenses) white/yellow
  • Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorium) yellow
  • Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) yellow to reddish brown

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

Bee Food/ Wildflowers:

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

Kitchen Garden:

Cover crops are wonderful for your garden's health but they can also be beautiful- like these fava bean blooms!
  • Cover crops- crimson clover, mustard, rye, white clover, fava beans
  • Beets, carrots, lettuce, mustards, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, fava beans, artichoke, cardoon, brussel sprouts, cabbage, collards
Created By
Hadley Cheris