Between the mountains and the sky of North Carolina
is a mansion
with a view of a lovely lake in the valley below.
I have rocked on the porch
and climbed the stairs to wander its rooms and peek out its windows
and think of a time, when a man with a vision
could see it to its fruition, by age fifty one.
I had the great pleasure of visiting a local garden club meeting this week.
Their group was a delightful mix of flower folks.
The room was surrounded by vases of flowers from their gardens.
The meeting was at the new Lake Norman State Park Visitor’s Center. If you are local, it is a great place for mountain biking, swimming, hiking, camping and boating. I always see wildlife as I pass through this lovely park.
I attended this particular meeting because there was a guest speaker from the North Carolina Department of Transportation Roadside Environmental Unit.
Derek Smith gave an informative and entertaining program about the NC Wildflowers on North Carolina Roadsides. I wanted to take photo of each slide, but there was no need. We were given a fabulous booklet of all the flowers and a packet of seeds. My kind of party favors!
I am so proud of my state for having such an environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing program. All the plantings are funded by the purchase of customized license plates.
The plantings include about one third annuals, one third perennials and the last third native wildflowers. There are meadow mixes and pattern plantings that include stripes, checkerboards, stars and even an outline of our state.
There is some good science involved in this program. Density planting keeps down the weeds and flowers are pollinator friendly. Compost is added to deficient soils.
These plantings provide a much needed corridor for pollinators to travel on. Trucks aren’t the only traffic along our highways. Bees, birds and butterflies use these plantings as rest-stops between fields and farms.
Next time you are passing through North Carolina, look for these beautiful and functional plantings.