Jun 162017

imageThe Watauga County Democratic Party’s famous Kazoo Band will perform again this year in the Boone July Fourth Parade celebration. The Kazoo Band has been offering virtually the only live music in the parade for many years, performing patriotic and traditional pieces of Americana. Kazoo Band leader Marjory Holder will have kazoos enough for everyone who wants to join the band. No training or musical ability is required. If you can hum, you can play the kazoo.

The Boone July Fourth parade will step off at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4, from the Watauga County Human Services parking lot on West King Street. All riders must be on the float by 10:30 a.m. The parade will conclude at Legends parking lot on Hardin Street, though the float will return riders to the Human Services parking lot after the parade.

Kazoo Band members are urged to wear their Watauga Democratic Party T-shirts or any combination of red, white, and blue. A sun hat and sun screen is also recommended. There will be water available on the float.


Jun 132017

imageReprinted from the High Country Press:

The Watauga County Annual Community Plant Sale took place last Saturday at the former Aunt Pymm’s Table Antiques location on Old U.S. Highway 421 S. in Boone. All proceeds from the sale benefited the Watauga County Democratic Party.

Each year hundreds of people attend the sale that is operated by dozens of volunteers. Pam Williamson, one of the sale’s organizers, said that somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 plants were sold and an estimated $25,000 was raised.

“It was huge,” Williamson said. “We were left with nothing but a couple of pots of asparagus.”

Just a few of this year’s “Featured Plants” included American Tupelos; heritage Nicotiana; Outhouse Hollyhocks; rare and specialty grafted Japanese Maples; Old Timey Snowball Bushes; Rain lilies; Old Spice Sweet Peas; Peruvian Daffodils; American Beauty Berries; Balsam; Hopi Dye Sunflowers; vegetable plants for container growing; and much more.

The sale also featured “Outdoor Garden rooms,” with vintage or modern garden furniture and accessories for sale as well as container gardens and herb baskets.


May 012017

What you see below is but a fraction of what we will have for sale. This listing is separated into several different sections below: “Garden Flowers,” “Fruit,” “Vegetables and Herbs,” “Trees and Shrubs,” “Dwarf Asiatic Lilies,” “Tall Asiatic Lilies,” “Dwarf Oriental Lilies,” “Tall Oriental Lilies,” and “Dahlias.” Some plants will be in very limited supply. We’ll also have a large number of designer container plantings, miniature gardens, “broken pot” gardens, and garden accessories. Bird Houses — made by us! — will be the special featured items this year.

Garden Flowers


A Job’s Tears necklace

Job’s Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi) — A member of the grass family and tropical in origin, so use this very unique grain in a container as an annual or plant it beside your pond and watch for the grain to form. (In the southernmost United States — zones 9 and 10 — Job’s Tears have naturalized in some places, but that’s not going to happen in our mountain environment.) The grain that Job’s Tears produces — and which gives us its common name — are large, white, hard pearls (“tears”) that are often used to make jewelry and (especially) to make rosaries in Asian countries (which this most unusual plant comes from). The cultivated variety of Job’s Tears is an edible grain crop in much of Asia and is often sold in Asian markets as “Chinese pearl barley,” though it’s not a barley at all. The seeds of Job’s Tears are notoriously difficult to germinate, so you should at least praise us for our diligence in getting our small supply up and ready for the 2017 Plant Sale. It is by far the rarest and oddest thing you’ll encounter all summer! It’s a beautiful ornamental grass that would love to spend the summer beside your water feature (in as much sun as you can find for it). And you can use it to recite your prayers for less global warming while you’re at it.


imageCleome “Clio Magenta” (Cleome x hybrida) — A traditional cottage garden flower from the Victorian age, but this hybrid has no thorns (yay!) and is more manageable in size, compared to your great-grandmother’s Cleome — topping out at 18 – 36 beautiful inches (rather than 5 or 6 feet). The flowers are also highly fragrant, something else your great-grandmother might find amazing about this Cleome. Cleome is native to Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil, so it does best with lots of sunshine and will appreciate hot, dry conditions (global warming is this flower’s best friend!). Its tight, upright, shortish habit makes it perfect for container plantings or for massing in your perennial borders for a pop of color. Cleome is often called “spider plant” because each flower’s long stamens resemble a very long-legged spider. “Clio Magenta” is a sterile hybrid, so it will not seed in your garden for a billion little Cleome seedlings next spring. When it’s gone, it’s really gone. And did I forget to mention that it’s deer resistant.


Phlox “Sugar Stars” (Phlox drumondii) — An annual flower perfect for your cutting garden! This plant’s abundant, highly fragrant blooms are an enchanting shade of silvery violet with pretty dark purple streaks. Perfect for sunny borders, and it will make it through dry spells with flying colors. (See a color photo here.)

Phlox “Cherry Caramel” (Phlox drumondii) — Another annual phlox that will add an unusual splash of color to your sunny border and is perfect for cutting and vase-loading all summer long. Very fragrant blooms in an unusual range of colors, from creamy buff outer petals (“caramel”) to the deep cherry inner core. They do not stop blooming all summer. In fact, the more you cut them, the more they bloom. (Does that make them masochists?) (See a color photo on our Facebook page.)

image“Royal Ensign” Morning Glory (Convolvulus tricolor) — They call this a “dwarf morning glory.” It is most unusual for the Convolvulus genus because it is not a climber. It’s a bushy, mounding, flowering annual perfect for spilling over the sides of containers or for brightening up your perennial border. Let’s focus on those blooms, shall we? The two-inch trumpet-shaped blossoms are tri-colored, with deep blue in the large petals (rare cobalt blue) and a yellow throat, those two colors separated and highlighted by a white collar that provides a stunning contrast. This flower has been cultivated since the 17th century, but it’s totally new to the Watauga County Annual Community Plant Sale. Better get some while the getting is good!





image“Bella” Flowering Maple (Abutilon x hybridum) — Also known as Chinese bellflower, but we prefer the genus name Abutilon to the wholly misleading common name of “flowering maple,” since this annual flower has almost nothing in common with a maple tree (other than the shape of its leaves). “Bella” blooms in a wide variety of charming colors: pale pink, pink, rose/mauve, coral/apricot, pale yellow, white/near white. The blooms themselves are large and resemble somewhat the generous blooms of Hibiscus. “Bella” is a superior container plant, and some enterprising gardeners we know bring their Abutilon containers in during the winter and place them in a sunny window, and then take them back out again, come spring. You may do that too, if you please (and assuming you have a sunny window during the mountain winter), or you can plant your “Bellas” in the front of your perennial border for an enchanting, but charmingly ephemeral, splash of color.




image“Cerise Queen” Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) — Cherry-pink mounds of blooms on compact plants is the hallmark of this variety of yarrow. It desires a sunny spot and can withstand drought like a camel and even thrives in poor soil. Did you know that the genus name — Achillea — comes from the Greek thug Achilles, who dragged poor Hector around the walls of Troy? Achilles got shot in the heel by an arrow, and his wound was treated with a plant — yarrow, supposedly. And hence the salve “Wounded Warrior,” one ingredient of which is supposed to be yarrow. (Ain’t mythology grand! Ain’t pharmacology grander?) This is a perennial garden bloomer and will spread, so you’ll have some to share with the neighbors in a couple of years. It makes a great cut flower and will prolong its bloom if you do cut it regularly. It’s deer resistant too, fragrant, and is also used as a dried flower.



“Queen Sophia” Marigold (Tagetes patula) — One of the annual, specialty Marigolds we’re featuring this year. Features dark orange petals rimmed in golden yellow. Wow! Leaves and flowers are edible, and you also get all the other beneficial by-products of having marigolds among your vegetables — a natural pest repellant. (See the photo here.)

“Cottage Red” Marigold (Tagetes patula) — Another outstanding annual. This red-flowered Marigold has yellow margins around the edges of the petals, making it a stand-out in any sunny spot. It will bloom for you until frost next November! (See the photo here.)

“Choca Mocho” Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) — This species (like the Marigolds above) is native to Mexico and is said to be extinct in the wild. A wonderful cutting flower with maroon-to-dark-chocolate flower heads that will stand out in your perennial beds. Another of our special annuals. (See the photo here.)

imageSweet Four O’Clock (Mirabilis longiflora) — Four O’Clocks are natives to the American Southwest and Mexico, where they’re perennial (or reseeding annuals), but for our colder climate, you should treat these as unusual and attractive annuals. They produce a profusion of trumpet-shaped flowers (up to 4 1/2 inches long … wow!) that are exotically fragrant. The flowers are famous for opening only when the clock strikes four — or, in other words, in the middle of the hot afternoon, when their fragrance will sit heavy on the humid summer air and intoxicate you into doing something foolish (like turning off the TV and going outside). Like Thomas Jefferson, who was sent seeds of Sweet Four O’Clock in 1812 and grew them at Monticello (and you know what Thomas Jefferson got up to at four o’clock on some afternoons!). Caution: If you have skin sensitivity, don’t be handling this plant. All parts of it are toxic, and picking the flowers may cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals.



“Silver Edge” Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica) — Siberians bloom after beaded irises, and their sword-like foliage makes a nice bit of texture all summer long in your perennial beds. “Silver Edge” sports exactly what you’d expect — a delicate silver lining around the edges of the light-purple petals. Simply stunning. Because Siberians are resistant to juglone, the toxic emission from walnut tree roots, they grow very nicely under walnuts, and they are deer resistant. Attractive to hummingbirds. Will thrive in a sunny spot but can tolerate some shade. (See a photo here.)

image“Sarah Bernhardt” Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) — Much like the famous stage actress whose name they honor, these are bosomy, double-flowered peonies totally “in the pink.” Even after they bloom out, their glossy green foliage provides a compelling backdrop for other flowering perennials and a nice tropical texture for your high-summer garden. The blossoms are famously fragrant, just like Miss Bernhardt after her bath in sweet-scented oils. Peonies are known as “investment plants” for a good reason: they persist year after year, and grow greater and more dramatic, just like a good stage actress. Plant them in any border, along a driveway, near water — they provide their own spotlight and never fail to enchant. A note on staking: Most of the great-flowered peonies require some support because as they age their huge flowers grow heavier and heavier. We recommend a “grow-through” grid that will allow the developing buds to ascend and then prevent their flopping in a rain. The heavy foliage will hide the grow-through. And don’t freak out about the little ants crawling over the buds, They actually serve a vital purpose and help the buds to open. Deer resistant.

“Edulis Superba” Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) — “Edulis Superba” is every bit as venerable as “Sarah Bernhardt.” It’s been a feature of cottage gardens since 1824, but it features a “hotter pink” than “Sarah Bernhardt.” (It’s maybe like the stage actress started moonlighting as a saloon torch-singer.) Wonderfully fragrant, a marvelous cut flower, its glossy green foliage is beautiful all year long. It’s considered one of the most robust peonies. Don’t plant your peonies too deep. They prefer to be rather shallowly buried and will develop a pronounced crown. Deer resistant. (See a photo of “Edulis Superba” here.)

imageIndian Hyacinth (Camassia esculenta) — This is a late-spring flowering, perennial bulb, native to the American Northwest. The Lewis and Clark expedition noticed the Nez Perce Indians roasting and eating the bulbs, and since they were hungry too, the Lewis and Clark expedition ate their weight in them. They also managed to bring back a few for President Thomas Jefferson to inspect and plant at Monticello. They will thrive best with siting in good sun (though we’ve had a patch growing for years in mostly shade). Their natural habitat was open prairie. The bulbs produce dramatic, rich, dark purple blue flowers with startling yellow stamens. They will naturalize into the landscape, if left undisturbed.




image“Camellia” Balsam (Impatiens balsamina) — Yes, this is a form of Impatiens, but an older and more neglected form. These were called “Lady Slippers” in the Victorian and Edwardian ages, and then they fell into under-use in gardens. We’re bringing them back with two different varieties (see the next listing below). Beautiful rose-shaped blooms in many colors: pink, lavender, red, rose, and white. Short bushy plants have large bright green leaves. Very easy to grow. A must for fans of Victorian cottage gardens. You can extend the flowering season of balsam by dead-heading or snipping back the main stem after it blooms. Balsam is a near cousin of our native Jewelweed or Touch-Me-Nots and will bloom about mid-summer.

“Peppermint Stick” Balsam (Impatiens balsamina) — Very much like the “Camellia” Balsam above, except the blooms are distinctively spotted red and white. (See a photo here.)


image“Hot Cakes” Stock (Matthiola incana) — Stock is another of those Victorian cottage garden faves that have become under-utilized today. They are known for their excellent fragrance and were often used for “hand posies” that delicate ladies might carry around with them and inhale when presented with a disagreeable odor. (Victorian streets were not known for their pleasant fragrance. Neither were some Victorian men!) Sometimes called “Gillyflowers,” Stock is a classic annual garden flower, ideal for containers but also well suited for sunny spots among your vegetables and in your perennial borders. Good for cutting, as it will continue to bloom forever if you keep cutting it.



imageDenver Daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) — This is a hybrid black-eyed Susan, short-lived compared to regular black-eyed Susans. It really should be considered a “persistent annual” in our mountains. But what an annual! Flowers for months on end, on a compact, bushy plant. An outstanding cut flower. Deer resistant. Bred from the native Rudbeckia hirta species, crossed with R. “Prairie Sun,” expressly for the 150th anniversary of the founding of the city of Denver. In 2008, Denver gave away “Denver Daisy” seed in schools, banks, and other offices all over the city. “Denver Daisy” sports enormous 6- to 8-inch blooms with outstretched petals of purest yellow. At the base of each petal is a dab or two of dark red, creating a halo around the chocolate-brown cone. Stunning in cutflower bouquets and a huge draw in the garden (butterflies and bees, not to forget the songbirds who’ll feast on the dried seeds in late fall and early winter). A must-have for the sunny border.



“Outhouse” Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) — Back by popular demand in 2017! Grown from seed, these classic, tall, single-flowered hollyhocks will become the instant stars of any perennial border. Outhouse hollyhocks come in mixed colors, from pink, white, red and burgundy, and are the classic Victorian ladies, with big blossoms decorating the tall, taller and stout stalks. They were traditionally grown next to outdoor privies, not because they had a fragrance to counteract human realities (because they have little to no fragrance) but because they took the mind off what was about to be encountered within those precincts. (See a photo here.)

“Dwarf Queeny” Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) — Compact form, 2-3 feet high, ideal for bedding use, small enough to grow in pots! Huge, fully double blooms held all along the stems. Contains the full range of hollyhock colors: purple, red, rose, pink, salmon, yellow and white. (See a photo here.)

imageCupid’s Dart (Catananche caerulea) — True blue flowers are often difficult to come by in the perennial garden, but these relatives of daisies fill the bill! Good as cut flowers or dried, these lovely perennials will form non-invasive clumps in your perennial beds. Native to the Mediterranean region, the flower was supposedly used by the ancient Greeks as a key ingredient in a love potion, hence the common name “Cupid’s dart.” There was actually a hint of threat in that name, since anyone infected with the juice of this flower could not resist a would-be lover’s advances. (We will not say anything if you want to experiment using the plant in your own ad hoc love potion, but we recommend that you choose your victim carefully, as the Church frowns on divorce.)




image“Hot Papaya” Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) — Plant breeders have gone a little bit nuts producing new varieties of our native coneflower, and “Hot Papaya” may be the most daring yet. This dazzling new cultivar was developed by a hybridizer in The Netherlands. These magnificent blooms are the first ever orange-red double coneflowers. The color stays true and doesn’t fade. The fragrant flowers are borne on strong stems and are excellent for cutting. Attracts butterflies to a wide range of landscape settings. Spent blooms will provide browse for over-wintering finches, and the seed heads can add to winter interest in your garden.




“Mystery Rose” Chinese Forget-Me-Not (Cynoglossum amabile) — Attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds, “Mystery Rose” is an annual that will grow in sun or part shade. These old-fashioned cottage garden plants are extra tall (to 3 feet) and bear long spikes of delicate flowers in a comforting soft mysterious shades of pink. Excellent for cutting. It is said to reseed, so it may well be a “persistent annual,” but you never know for sure with our mountain winters. (See a photo here.)

“Star of Fire” Masterwort (Astrantia major) — Volumes of dark purple-red pincushion flowers with burgundy bracts, rise on dark purple stems, with a backdrop of rich green leaves; great on streambanks or in a moist border (it will resent drying out); cut back after flowering for a second flush. Wants full sun to part shade (it’s usually described as a “woodland” perennial). Excellent cut flowers. Attractive to butterflies. (See a photo here.)

imagePrzewalski’s Leopardplant (Ligularia przewalskii) — Site this exotic perennial from northern China very carefully: It wants to be always in moist soil (Number One!) and it prefers shade (Number Two). It will grow in sun, as long as the soil is always moist, but the huge, showy leaves — one of its glorious features for any cottage garden — will tend to wilt in the afternoon sun. This is one of the stand-out plants for foliage texture. Deeply cut, large leaves form a large but compact mound over time; it has sometimes been called “Elephant Ears” (which is just wrong, getting it confused with Colocasia) and sometimes “Dragon Wings,” which is much more appropriate when I think about the many dragons I have known on Game of Thrones. But it’s not just foliage that makes this perennial a must-have for the garden! It puts up long spikes of bright yellow flowers, like other Ligularia species. Clumps may be divided in early spring every three or four years, and you’ll have specimens to share with friends or donate to the Watauga County Annual Community Plant Sale.




imageZinnia, Benary’s Giant Purple — Rich violet purple double flowers composed of many overlapping petals. Sturdy and long stemmed, perfect for bouquets. This Zinnia just doesn’t stop. The hotter it gets (hello, global warming!), the more it grows and blooms. Keep it dead-headed, and you’ll have big cuttable blossoms all summer long and right up until frost. This is one amazing annual that every perennial border needs, just for bragging rights.

Verbascum, “Wedding Candles” — Verbascum, with their characteristic tall spires of blooms, like a drier rather than a wetter situation. Perfect for rock gardens or other sites with very good drainage. They want sun, of course. See a photo here.

Verbascum, “Southern Charm” — Southern Charm’s color is said to be “sophisticated,” meaning surprisingly unconventional — each little bloom on the tall bloom-spikes features dusty rose or apricot, with fuzzy, purple eyes. A collector’s must! See a photo here.

Lupine, Russell Mix — Produces a wide range of beautiful colors. See a photo here.

Geranium (Pelargonium), “Brocade Cherry Night” — These are hothouse Geraniums, so you’ll need to treat them as annuals in your garden. (True Geraniums are a different species altogether — actually Geranium. The Pelargoniums resemble them in leaf shape, but that’s about it. All the Pelargoniums have a strong fragrance when the leaves are crushed, a feature totally absent from true Geraniums.) Striking foliage with large semi-double blooms of cherry pink makes Geranium Brocade Cherry Night an AAS Winner in 2016. See a photo here.

imageStrawflower, Tall Double Mix (Helichrysum bracteatum) — The popular everlasting flower. To dry, pick flowers when lower 2-4 rows of petals are just beginning to open. Remove foliage, bunch loosely, and hang upside down in a warm, airy place.

“Tom Thumb” Dwarf Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum humile) — So much more versatile for the cottage garden than the full-sized Solomon’s Seal. Treat this dwarf as a most charming and unexpected ground cover for shade areas. An extremely hardy perennial for our mountain climate. Beautiful in the woodland garden, combining well with ferns and Hosta of all kinds. Deer resistant. Native to Japan.

“Silver Edge” Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica) –Dusky mid-blue petals with a fabulous silver edge — that’s the bloom — above strap-like foliage. The silver edge makes this Siberian iris stand out in the garden like no other. Thrives in damp areas where it will achieve its maximum potential. This is an award-winning variety much prized by iris connoisseurs. Deer resistantSee photo here.


image“Empress of India” Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) — How many wonderful garden flowers owe their names to Queen Victoria? This one certainly does, as Victoria was the first monarch of Great Britain to achieve the honorary title of “Empress of India” (bless her heart!). So this is an old, Victorian variety of Nasturtium which produces opulent ruby-crimson, single flowers against dark compact leaves. Superb for hanging baskets and mixed plantings in kitchen gardens. Flowers are totally edible and will add crimson “zing” to any salad. Perfect as companion plants for cabbage, cucumbers, and herbs. Helps in repelling whitefly and cabbage caterpillars. These annuals are native to South America, but the Watauga Annual Community Plant Sale is very friendly to immigrants!

Cosmos “Fizzy Rose Picotee” (C. bipinnatus) — We had to order these new and wonderful Cosmos seeds from England.  Semi-double, rosy-white flowers with an eye-catching ruby edging. Just too cool! See a photo here.

“Sweet William” Dianthus (D. barbatus) — The one, the only, the classic cutting flower for any and every perennial border. It’s called “sweet” for a good reason — the heavenly fragrance! Variety of colors are possible. See a photo here.

image“Hulk” Aster (Callistephus chinensis) — Yeah, you’re not even gonna believe these enormous flowers from outer space! Somebody apparently got a regular Aster angry, we reckon, and “The Hulk” emerged. This unusual aster cousin gives the illusion of green with green bracts (which are not petals actually) surrounding a yellow and white central disk. There could not be a more ideal garden flower for cutting (plus it’ll scare away any mice in your house and possibly your mother-in-law). Each blossom is commonly 4 – 4 1/2 inches wide. This is an annual, so give it some space and a spotlight to wow your friends (not to mention your mother-in-law).




imageBoneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) — One of our great Eastern native wildflowers, very under-utilized in gardens. There are two theories about the common name “boneset” — one, that it was commonly thought to aid the healing of broken bones, and two, that it was used as a diaphoretic in the treatment of an 18th century influenza called “break bone fever.” Take your pick, but proceed with caution if you’re planning to self-medicate with Boneset, because all parts of the plant are toxic to humans. Still, the white blooms of native Boneset will set off any garden room with a splash of light. The species name, perfoliatum, refers to the identifying feature that the leaves on the stem appear to be pierced through by the stem, like shishes on a kebab. Boneset grows naturally in moist environments but will actually tolerate dry shade, given enough time to establish itself. Not a mile from the Williamson house, Boneset is growing and blooming profusely down on the South Fork of the New River.



imageHeucherella “Buttered Rum” (H. ) — If Mr. Heuchera (a.k.a. Coral Bells) got together with Miss Tiarella (a.k.a. Foamflower), got married and had a child, we would call it “Heucherella.” In fact they did get together (in a botanical laboratory, but even so), and the cross-breeding has produced a wonderful addition to any woodland or shade garden. This particular Heucherella is just so yummy — “Buttered Rum” is an evocative name to describe the rich, creamy, gold-to-rosy-red, maple-leaf-shaped foliage. Scrumptious! Attractive to butterflies and tolerant of dry shade. White flower spikes (very much like Heuchera blooms) will shoot up from the mound of foliage in early summer and will attract hummingbirds.

Indian Pink (Spigellia marilandica) — Our all-time favorite East Coast native wildflower. We’ve offered these hard-to-find perennials for the last several Community Plant Sales, and we’ve taken a solemn vow never to leave them out of our annual frolics. See a photo here.




Strawberries — “Cavendish,” and trays of mixed varieties

Blueberries — “Blueray”

Raspberries — “Latham” red raspberries; “Anne” yellow raspberries; “Bristol” black raspberries

Blackberries — “Triple Crown” thornless blackberries

American Plum (Prunus americana) — A thicket-forming shrub or small tree with short trunk, many spreading branches, broad crown, showy large white flowers, and red plums. American plum is a small, understory tree with fragrant, white flowers in showy, flat-topped clusters occuring before the leaves in spring. The fruit that follows ripens to a shiny, bright red in August or September. The short, crooked trunk – with scaly, black bark – supports a graceful, open crown. Fall foliage ranges from electric red to pale yellow. The plums are eaten fresh and used in jellies and preserves, and are also consumed by many kinds of birds.


Vegetables and Herbs


Asparagus, “Purple Passion”

Peas, “Tom Thumb”

Peas, “Desiree Dwarf Blauwschokkers”

Bronze Fennel

Carrots, “Parisian”

Tomatoes, heirloom varieties


Arugula, “Roquette”

Beans, “Mascott” green bean

Beans, “Purple Teepee” dwarf

Beans, “Red Runner”

Lettuce, “Harris Blend”

Lettuce, “Red Wing”

Lettuce, “Siamese Dragon Stir Fry”

Lettuce, “Rocky Top”

Lettuce, “Heirloom Cutting Blend”

Swiss Chard

Kale “Dwarf Siberian”






Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris)

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Chocolate Mint

Trees & Shrubs

“Tangerine Dream” Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) — The early French botanist Andre Michaux, who botanized in North America in the late 1700s (including around these parts), discovered and first named this plant, describing it as new to science. The vernacular name, “flame” azalea, derives from not only the fiery color of the flowers but also the expanded, unopened buds, which suggest the flame of a candle. One of the most spectacular flowering shrubs of the Appalachian Mountains. A deciduous shrub up to 10 feet high and 15 feet wide with clusters of large yellow to orange flowers, this unusually colored azalea lights up woodland or wayside like a bush afire.

image“Henry’s Garnet” Itea, Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica) — Virginia sweetspire is an erect, rounded, broad-spreading, deciduous shrub with arching branches. Typically grows 3-4′ (less frequently to 5′) tall with a similar spread. Features fragrant, tiny white flowers borne in cylindrical, drooping racemes (3-6″ long) which cover the shrub with bloom in late spring to early summer. One of the best-performing blooming shrubs for any garden and a native to Eastern U.S. The Williamsons’ Itea is growing in considerable shade but never fails to bloom profusely.

Snowball Viburnum (Viburnum opulus) — One of the greatest large-growing shrubs for any landscape. Snowball Viburnum produces large white pompoms of flowers in spring that slowly fade to gentle shades of pink with age. These flowers are sterile and do not form the bright red fruits typical of the species. In autumn its soft green maple-leaf like leaves flush red orange and also purple. This fall coloring adds another reason to love this shrub. This heirloom cultivar was being grown in its native Europe early in the 16th century, and obviously made the crossing to North America with the earliest European settlers.

PeeGee Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora) — Another “must have” for any perennial garden, but give this shrub plenty of space. “Grandiflora” is a fast-growing shrub that can reach 25 feet tall, but it’s very tolerant of heavy pruning. Large, sometimes giant white flower heads reaching 6 to 18 inches, will turn pinkish with age. Blooms on current season’s wood. They are splendid as fresh cut flowers  or even greater (in some minds) as a dried flower. Hydrangea paniculata is one of the most cold-hardy species and will make an incredible show at the end of summer, when everything else has faded away.

imageMock Orange (Philadelphus) — You simply cannot beat mock orange for beauty of flower and the incredible fragrance of its blossoms in spring! It’s under-utilized in our mountains, and there’s no excuse for that neglect. Extremely hardy and immune to the harshest Boone winter. Fast-growing and very adaptable. It can tolerate some shade but will bloom best in sun. Mock Orange will produce its beautiful white blossoms, with that orange vanilla scent, on last year’s wood, so never prune this shrub until after it blooms.

“Miss Kim” Lilac  (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula) –Hardy, yet performs in southern regions, with excellent powdery mildew resistance. Great for border accent or mass planting. Deciduous. This lilac species hales from Korea and is sought after for its large, highly fragrant blossoms in spring. Blooms later than other common types, so it’s less susceptible to our late mtn frosts. Compact and upright in habit, prefers average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade, but best bloom is in full sun. 4-7′ tall with a similar spread. Lavender to ice blue, sweetly fragrant, single flowers are arranged in dense, terminal clusters.

image“Nannyberry” Viburnum (Viburnum lentago) NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE — Native to the U.S. Northeast and Midwest, this Viburnum is a large shrub or small tree that can grow to 30 feet as a single stem tree. (As a multiple-stemmed shrub, you can expect a max height of about 18 feet.) Nannyberry is actually one of the largest of the Viburnums. It is admired for its compact habit, its lustrous foliage which insects rarely disfigure, its beautiful and abundant flowers, its handsome edible fruit and its brilliant autumnal color. It readily adapts itself to cultivation, and is one of the best of the small trees of eastern America for the decoration of parks and gardens in all regions of extreme winter cold. (Can you spell “B.O.O.N.E.”?) The common name “Nannyberry” derives from an observation made by early settlers, that nanny goats loved the fall fruits but billy goats wouldn’t touch them. (All you goat-herders keep that in mind!)

imageButton Bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE — One of our native species, under-utilized in American gardens. It’s actually a member of the coffee family of trees (not kidding!). Button bush will max out at around 12 feet high, so it’s perfect for home gardens. It’s often sought out for rain gardens, as it likes wet feet. Flowers are showy (they look like a golf ball turned into a white pin cushion) and are very fragrant. The eventual fruits are very striking, providing winter interest. It’s said to be adaptable to every kind of soil and to sun or part shade, but it won’t tolerate drought or too much dryness. Keep it well watered until it gets established or site it on the edge of your pond. The fragrant flower heads are very attractive to bees and butterflies. Flower heads mature into hard spherical ball-like fruits. The glossy green foliage will give any water feature a lush, tropical air.

imageSweetshrub, a.k.a. “Carolina Allspice,” “Bubbybush,” “Sweet Bubby,” etc. (Calycanthus floridus) NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE — One of the most common native shrubs in the uplands of the eastern U.S., always found around old homesites in these mountains. As its many common names suggest, it was always valued for the sweet fragrance of its mahogany-colored blooms, which in full sun can achieve the fragrance of a ripe cantaloupe. Sweetshrubs are often planted near entrances, or other outdoor living areas, to take full advantage of the fragrance. Calycanthus tends to grow broader than it is tall, especially if it’s sited in full sun. The broad spread is partly due to a suckering habit that can be controlled by yearly pruning. With sweetshrub you also get spectacular fall foliage color, with the leaves turning a brilliant golden yellow.



imageBlack Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE — The common name “Tupelo” comes from the Native American Creek language, meaning “swamp tree,” and it was common in the Eastern U.S. in moist woods and along water. But the Williamson Black Tupelo is sited in some of the driest part of their garden, so Black Tupelo is obviously very adaptable. The Williamson Black Tupelo has also been carefully pruned into an “umbrella” shape, proving that it’s also tolerant of human meddling. It’s a small tree by any standard and belongs in more home landscapes. We prize it for its glossy green, tropical-looking foliage. It does flower, but the flowers are tiny and inconspicuous. The resultant fruit is said to be a very important food source for robins. If you have a deer problem, protect your sapling during the first year, as deer are particularly attracted to young foliage. One of the last trees to leaf out in spring, and one of the most beautiful in autumn.


Red Bud (Cersis canadensis) NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE — Certainly one of the best of our native species for the small home garden and for providing that desirable pop of hot spring color. In our mountains, the Red Bud bloom usually follows hard on the splashing bloom of Forsythia, for a continuity of color. It blooms all along otherwise bare branches, producing a stunning effect of dead nature suddenly bursting with the blood of life. An “understory” tree in the wild and hence perfect for part shade.

Hazelnut (Corylus americana) NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE — A medium to large nut-bearing shrub which can be pruned to a tree form, if you’re ambitious and have time on your hands. The nuts are sought out by squirrels, deer, turkey, woodpeckers, pheasants, and other animals. The male catkins are a food staple of ruffed grouse throughout the winter. The nuts are edible but are smaller than the commercially cultivated Corylus maxima, commonly sold as “filberts,” but you can certainly shell and eat them, if you’re ambitious and have time on your hands. It has a tendency to sucker, producing a distinctive clump that becomes a haven for all sorts of wildlife. It needs good sun to produce an abundance of nuts.

imageBeauty Berry (Callicarpa americana) –As a folk remedy, it has been claimed that “fresh, crushed leaves of Callicarpa americana … helped keep biting insects away from animals such as horses and mules.” A chemical compound isolated from the plant, callicarpenal, was effective as a mosquito repellent. All well and good, but we grow it as an ornamental because of the striking clusters of little, brightly-colored berries that ripen and shine in the fall. The berries ripen in September through October and are a favorite among wild bird species including cardinals, mockingbirds, finches, woodpeckers, and more. Beautyberry is commonly planted in landscape designs to attract wildlife because of the food source the berries provide and the cover animals get from the shrub itself. The genus name “Callicarpa” comes from Greek meaning “beautiful fruit,” and the Greeks knew what they were talking about.

imageSpicebush (Lindera benzoin) NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE — One of our American natives that is deer resistant! As its common name suggests, it’s a wonderfully aromatic plant. Crush the young leaves in your hand, and you’ll be offering a fragrant sacrifice to the goddesses of the garden. Tiny aromatic blooms appear along the branches before the leaves appear in spring. The fruits that develop from those flowers — small, hard seeds that look like Allspice pods — were used by early European settlers as a substitute for … wait for it … Allspice (duh!). Hence, “Spicebush.” Got it? A tea can also be brewed using the aromatic leaves and twigs. Every bit of Spicebush is aromatic, and you’ll want to pinch a leaf and crush it every time you walk past. Did I forget to mention that it is the preferred food for the black and blue spicebush swallowtail butterfly larvae?





Dwarf Asiatic Lilies

"Tiny Ghost"

“Tiny Ghost”










"Tiny Sensation"

“Tiny Sensation”








"Tiny Padhye"

“Tiny Padhye”









Tall Asiatic Lilies










"Summer Breeze"

“Summer Breeze”







"Black Out"

“Black Out”








"Strawberry and Cream"

“Strawberry and Cream”








"Double Sensation"

“Double Sensation”











Dwarf Oriental Lilies (highly fragrant)

"Sunny Bonaire"

“Sunny Bonaire”










"Sunny Keys"

“Sunny Keys”









Tall Oriental Lilies (highly fragrant)












"Pink Romance"

“Pink Romance”


















































"Arabian Night"

“Arabian Night”










"Lindsay Michelle"

“Lindsay Michelle”










"Alauna-Clair Obscur"

“Alauna-Clair Obscur”































"Sunny Boy"

“Sunny Boy”










"White Perfection"

“White Perfection”





















"Grand Prix"

“Grand Prix”











Apr 142017

By Thomas Sherrill, in the Watauga Democrat:

BOONE – The Watauga County Democratic Convention was held on Saturday [April 8], with over 100 people filling the Watauga County Courthouse to elect leaders and listen to speakers.

The convention concluded with nine resolutions being adopted and approved, ranging from favoring Watauga County intervention in the Maymead asphalt plant lawsuit to welcoming a diverse population in Watauga County to imploring President Trump to release his tax returns and calls for an investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.

Matt Wasson

Matt Wasson

The keynote address was made by Matt Wasson, director of Appalachian Voices, whose speech was titled “Rolling Back the Enlightenment: Inside the Conservative War on Science.”

Wasson told a story about Kentucky mining and its effects on the local streams and how toothless legislation led to the coal mining companies providing fake reports on the effect on the local waterways.

Wasson said that he used to be non-affiliated, but is now a Democrat, “as I’ve come to the conclusion that’s there’s only one right side on this debate.”

Political Director Pam Williamson spoke about the party’s success in the recent election.

“We tweaked some things, had some really great candidates, looked at things very strategically and got all the votes we needed to win plus more,” Williamson said.

“My sister was trying to tell me that it was Wake County who put in Roy Cooper; I’m sorry, it was Watauga County who put in Roy Cooper,” she said.

Williamson also noted flipping the County Commission and winning the county for Sue Counts and Hillary Clinton and “keeping the school board in progressive hands.”

Williamson said the time for negotiation and compromise with the Republicans was over.

“Here’s my idea of compromise. Either impeach Donald Trump or haul him off in handcuffs for conspiracy against the United States of America,” Williamson said.

imageWilliamson also spoke of the plant sale, which she called their most important fundraiser and implored people to sponsor plants.

“The more people that participate, the lower the prices,” Williamson said.

Christine Behrend, director of operations and data, spoke about “exporting the Watauga model,” which would provide Democratic party training for surrounding “red counties,” which includes using data models, canvassing, field work and registering people. Behrend noted that several counties have expressed interest.

Chairwoman Diane Tilson spoke about the progressive movements Democrats have historically been involved in.

“We are Democrats. We have social security and public education because of Democrats; we have clean water and clear skies because of Democrats; we have National Parks and protected wildlife because of Democrats; we have safety nets for our children, our disabled and our elderly because of Democrats; Democrats have fought for racial equality, marriage equality, gender equality and diversity, and we will continue to fight for everyone to choose what bathroom they will use,” Tilson said.

Apr 012017

Annual Community Plant Sale

Master Plant List

Updated for 2017


For the FULLY ILLUSTRATED guide to some of our FEATURED PLANTS this year — perennial flowers, shrubs & trees, fruit, lilies, dahlias, and collector day lilies — pending … direct link will be posted soon.

This is a partial listing, as plants are added on a daily basis. This list also includes cultivars that have been ordered from commercial growers and seeds sown. Sometimes those do not come through.

This list is alphabetized mainly by common name, with some cross-referencing to botanical names.

Details about the Sale:

imageOne day only! June 10, 2017, starting at 7 a.m. (sorry, no sales earlier than that … DON’T EVEN THINK OF ASKING!). Prices start at $1 and range upward, depending on the genus, the age and size of the plant, and its rarity. Availability of many of the species listed below will be extremely limited.

 This year’s theme — “Return of the Natives.”

Once again, we’ll be selling a fine selection of outdoor furniture and garden accessories as well as a group of specially made birdhouses (made by us!).

The price list for the cultivars below won’t be developed until just before the sale, but most perennials sell for $1-$3, annuals $1, trees & shrubs & very rare plants may go as high as $15/$20.

Ron and Suzanne Joyner of Big Horse Creek Farm in Ashe County will also be on hand with a selection of two-year-old heirloom grafted apple trees.

WHERE: Home of Pam & Jerry Williamson (“Aunt Pymm’s Table Antiques”), 375 Old 421 South, Boone NC 28607.

The Williamson gardens will be open to the public.

All proceeds go to support the Watauga County Democratic Party.


Visit us on Facebook:



NEW IN 2017 ABUTILON, “Bellvue Mixed” and “Bella Select”

ACANTHUS, Spiny Bear’s Breeches, both mollis and spinosus

Agapanthus "Blue Donau"

Agapanthus “Blue Donau”


AGERATUM, “Blue Hawaii 5.0”

AKEBIA, Chocolate vine

ALLIUM, flowering onions, various cultivars


ALSTROMERIA, perennial

NEW IN 2017 ANEMONE “Wild Swan”

ARBOVITAE, Thuja standishii x plicata, “Green Giant”

ARTEMISIA vulgaris,“Oriental Limelight”; ARTEMESIA ludoviciana, silver king wormwood

NEW IN 2017 ARGULA, “Roquette”

ASARUM, see Ginger

ASPARAGUS, “Purple Passion”

ASTER, Eurybia divaricata star wood aster; New England aster; NEW IN 2017, China aster, Callistephus chinensis, “Hulk”

ASTILBE various cultivars, various colors; NEW IN 2017, Amethyst Astilbe

ASTRANTIA, see Masterwort

AZALEA, Rhododendron calendulaceum, flame Azalea, “Tangerine Dream”

BABY’S BREATH Gypsophila paniculata, “Festival White”; NEW IN 2017 Elegans alba grandiflora

BALSAM “Peppermint Stick”

NEW IN 2017 BAPTISIA, false Indigo, “Twilite”

NEW IN 2017 BEAN, “Mascotte” green bean; “Purple Teepee” dwarf; runner bean, “Sunset”

NEW IN 2017 BEAUTY BERRY bushes, Callicarpa americana

BEEBALM, Monarda, “Jacob Cline”; NEW IN 2017, Monarda hybrida “Bergamo”

BEGONIA, RHIZOMATOUS, various cultivars; B. semperflorens, “Nightlife Mix”

BELLFLOWER, spotted, Campanula punctata; BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND in 2017 “Pink Octopus”

BETTONY, Stachys officinalis

BLACKBERRIES, “Triple Crown” thornless

BLACKBERRY LILY, Iris domestica

BLACK COHOSH, Cimicifuga racemosa atropurpurea, a.k.a. Actaea racemosa

BLACK MONDO GRASS, Ophiopogon planiscapus

BLACK-EYED SUSAN, Rudbeckia hirta; BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND IN 2017, “Denver Daisy”; NEW IN 2017 “Little Henry”

NEW IN 2017 BLACK-EYED SUSAN VINE, white “Susie” series; “Arizona Dark Red”

BLACK GUM TREE, see Tupelo Black Gum

BLEEDING HEART, wild, Dicentra canadensis, “Squirrel Corn”



BLUE FESCUE, Festuca ovina var. Glauca

BLUE LYME GRASS, Arenarius glaucus

NEW IN 2017 BOLTONIA, “Snowbank”

NEW IN 2017 BONESET, Eupatorium perfoliatum


NEW IN 2017 BUTTONBUSH, Cephalanthus occidentalis

CALENDULA, NEW IN 2017 “Touch of Red”; “Frost Princess”

CAMASSIA esculenta

CAMPANULA, see Bellflower

CANARY VINE, see under Nasturtium

CAROLINA SWEET SHRUB (a.k.a. “Carolina Allspice,” “Bubby Bush”)

NEW IN 2017 CARROT, Parisian

CATMINT, Nepeta racemosa, “Early Bird”

CATNIP, Nepeta cataria

CELANDINE POPPY, Stylophorum diphyllum

CENTAUREA montana, Mountain Bluets

CHAMELEON PLANT, Houttuynia cordata

CHARD, rainbow, “Five Color Silverbeet”

CHIVES, Allium schoenoprasum

Chrysanthemum "Garland Daisy"

Chrysanthemum “Garland Daisy”

CHRYSANTHEMUM “SHEFFIELD,” hardy Chrysanthemum; Chrysanthemum parthenium dwarf; “Global Warming” Chrysanthemums; NEW IN 2017, Chrysanthemum coronarium, Garland daisy; mini chrysanthemum


CIRCLE FLOWER, Lysimachia punctata “Alexander”

CLEMATIS, “My Angel,” small-flower Clematis

NEW IN 2017 COCKSCOMB, dwarf, “Coral Garden Mix”


COLEUS (different cultivars), Solenostemon scutellarioides

COLUMBINE, Aquilegia canadensis (various colors)

CONEFLOWER, “Hot Papaya”; Rudbeckia subtomentosa, “Henry Eilers”

CORAL BELLS, see Heuchera

NEW IN 2017 CORALBERRY, Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

NEW IN 2017 CORN, “Golden Midget”; “Painted Mountain”

CORNCOCKLE, “Milas Mixed”


COSMOS, “Xanthos”; NEW IN 2017, C. bipinnatus, “Fizzy Rose Picotee”; “Cupcakes White”

CREEPING JENNY, Lysimachia nummularia “Aurea”

NEW IN 2017, CRESS, Persian cress

CROCOSMIA, “Lucifer”; “Jenny Bloom”

NEW IN 2017 CUCUMBER, “Patio Snacker”

NEW IN 2017 CUPID’S DART, Catananche caerulea var. Alba

NEW IN 2017 Cymbalaria muralis, Kenilworth ivy


DAHLIAS: NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE “Arabian Night” (decorative); “Lindsay Michelle” (cactus); “Alauna-Clair Obscur” (cactus); “Party” (single); “Peter” (ball); “Sunny Boy” (ball); White Perfection” (dinnerplate); “Vancouver” (dinnerplate); “Grand Prix” (dinnerplate); “Peter” (miniature ball)

NEW IN 2017, DAME’S ROCKET, Hesperis matronalis

DAYLILY, Hemerocallis, named cultivars: ; plus unnamed (unknown) varieties


NEW IN 2017 DIANTHUS superbus “Rainbow”; Sweet William Dianthus

DRAGONWORT, Persicaria bistorta “Superba”

ECHINACEA, see Coneflower

NEW IN 2017 ELEPHANT EARS, Colocasia

ENDIVE, “Frisee”

EPIMEDIUM, see Fairy Wings

NEW IN 2017 EUONYMOUS americanus, strawberry bush (a.k.a., “Hearts a-Busting”)

EUPHORBIA, see Spurge

FAIRY WINGS (a.k.a. Bishops’ Mitre), Epimedium, various cultivars

FENNEL, bronze

NEW IN 2017 FENUGREEK greens

FERNS, Ostrich • Sensitive • Wood • NEW IN 2017 “Ghost” fern; NEW IN 2017 Autumn ferns, Dryopteris erythrosora


FILIPENDULA rubra, Queen of the Prairie; F. ulmaria, Meadowsweet

FOAM FLOWER, see Tiarella

FORGET-ME-NOT, Brunnera macrophylla, “Langtrees” and other cultivars; NEW IN 2017 “Mystery Rose” Chinese forget-me-not


NEW IN 2014 FOUR O’CLOCK, wild, Mirabilis longiflora

NEW IN 2017 FOXGLOVE, “Summer King”; “Rusty” Digitalis ferruginea gigantea

GAURA lindheimeri “Summer Breeze”

GERANIUM maculatum, “Espresso”; G. oxonianum, “Claridge Druce”; G. macrorihizum (bigfoot cranesbill); G. sanguineum “Max Frei”; G. platyanthum, “Wooly”; “Johnson’s Blue” Geranium; Geranium “Dusky”; also see Pelargonium, hot-house geranium

NEW IN 2017 GILIA tricolor (annual), Birds Eyes

GINGER, Asarum (various cultivars, both native American and Asian)

The "Boone" Gladiolus

The “Boone” Glad

GLADIOLUS dalenii,” Boone” (1920’s heirloom); Gladiolus combo, “Jester”/”Manhattan”; G. acidanthera, “Peacock”; Gladiolus “Prins Claus”

GOLDENROD, Solidago “Gold Spangles” variegated

GRASS, Miscanthus sinensis zebrinus Zebragrass; Imperata cyclindrica “Rubra” Japanese bloodgrass; Dwarf Mondo grass; Black Mondo grass

NEW in 2017 Hazel nut shrubs Corylus americana

NEW in 2017 HEAL-ALL Prunella vulgaris

HELLEBORUS, see Lenten Rose


HEUCHERA, NEW IN 2017 “Fire Chief”; “Obsidian”

HEUCHERELLA, NEW IN 2017 “Buttered Rum”

NEW IN 2017 HIBISCUS, Russian, Kitaibelia vitifolia

NEW IN 2017 HIBISCUS cannabinus, Kenaf

HOLLYHOCK, Alcea rosea, “Outhouse Hollyhocks”; NEW IN 2017 “Dwarf Queeny Mix”

HONEYSUCKLE, BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND IN 2017 Lonicera sempervirens, “Major Wheeler”

HORSERADISH, Armoracia rusticana

HOSTA, MINIATURE “Electrocution”; also unnamed green, gold, white variegated varieties

HYDRANGEA arborscens, “Annabelle”; H. paniculata grandiflora (“Pee-Gee”); NEW IN 2017 Hydrangea serrate “Beni”

HYPERICUM calycinum, St. John’s Wort

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND in 2017 INDIAN PINK, Spigelia marilandica

IRIS, Louisiana, “Ann Chowning”; I. sibirica, blue Siberian Iris; I. sibirica, white Siberian, “Snowcrest”; I. sibirica “Caesar’s Brother”; Iris, “walking” (house plant), Neomarica gracilis; I. pseudacorus, yellow flag; NEW in 2017 I. sibirica, “Silver Edge”; NEW in 2017 Iris “Carl Amason”; Bearded Iris “Grand Canyon”; see also Blackberry Lily

ITEA virginica, Virginia sweet spire, “Henry’s Garnet”

JADE TREES, Crassula ovata (house plant)

JAPANESE MAPLE TREES, Acer palmatus and A. japonica, several different collector varieties

NEW IN 2017 JOB’S TEARS, Coix lacryma-jobi

NEW IN 2017 KALE, dwarf Siberian

KENILWORTH IVY, see Cymbalaria muralis

KERRIA, a.k.a. EASTER ROSE, Kerria japonica

LADY’S MANTLE, Alchemilla mollis; dwarf Lady’s Mantle

LAMB’S EAR, Stachys byzantina

LAMIUM purpureum, purple dead nettle

LENTEN ROSE, NEW IN 2017 “Ballerina Ruffles”; “Wedding Ruffles”; “Snow Love”; Helleborus orientalis (unnamed cultivars)

LESPEDEZA, bush pea

NEW IN 2017 LETTUCE, “Heirloom Cutting”; “Harris Blend”; “Parris Island Cos”; Mizuna “Red Streaks”; Siamese Dragon Stir Fry Mix; Red Wing Mix; Rocky Top Mix

LIGULARIA, “Desdemona”; NEW FOR 2017 L. przewalskii, “Przewalski’s leopardplant”

LILAC, old-fashioned; Syringa pubescens subsp. patula, “Miss Kim”

LILY OF THE VALLEY, Convallaria majalis

Asiatic LILIES: NEW AND BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND FOR THE 2017 SALE “Tiny Ghost” (dwarf); “Tiny Sensation” (dwarf); “Tiny Padhye” (dwarf); “Vermeer”; “Summer Breeze”; “Black Out”; “Strawberry & Cream”; “Double Sensation”

"Stargazer" Lily

“Stargazer” Lily

Oriental LILIES (highly fragrant): NEW FOR THE 2017 SALE “Sunny Bonaire” (dwarf); “Sunny Keys” (dwarf); “Stargazer”; “Pink Romance”; “Fleeting Romance”; “Thalita”; “Cassandra”; “Zirconia” (trumpet); “Regale” (trumpet)

NEW in 2017 Regal LILIES

LILY, see also Rain Lily

NEW in 2017 LIMNANTHES douglasii, Poached Egg

 LOOSTRIFE, FRINGED, Lysimachia ciliata “Firecracker”

LUPINE, dwarf “Pixies Delight”; “Russell Mix”

NEW IN 2017 MAGNOLIA virginiana, sweetbay magnolia; M. stellata, Star magnolia


MARIGOLD, “Crackerjack”; NEW IN 2017 Mexican marigold, Tagetes lucida

MASTERWORT, Astrantia major; NEW FOR 2017, “Star of Fire”


MEADOW RUE, Thalictrum aquilegifolium

MEADOWSWEET, see Filipendula ulmaria

MEXICAN SPOTTED BAMBOO, Polygonum cuspidatum

MINT, Chocolate

MOCK ORANGE trees, Philadelphus

MONARDA, see Bee Balm


MONKSHOOD, a.k.a. ‘Wolfsbane,’ Aconitum napellus

NEW IN 2017 MONKEY FLOWER, yellow, Mimulus luteus, “Queen’s Prize”


NEW IN 2017 MORNING GLORY, dwarf, Convolvulus tricolor “Ensign Mix”; “Chocolate White Edge”; “Kikyozaki Mixed”

MOUNTAIN BLUET, see Centaurea montana

NASTURTIUM Tropaeolum, “Empress of India”; Canary Vine, Tropaeolum peregrinum; NEW IN 2017 “Sahin’s Paso Double”

NEW IN 2017 NICOTIANA mutabilis, flowering tobacco; dwarf, “Starmaker Lime”

NEW IN 2017 NIGELLA, “African Bride”

NEW IN 2017 OKRA, “Cajun Jewel Dwarf”

 OREGANO, GOLDEN, Origanum vulgare “Aureum”

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND IN 2017 OXALIS deppei, “Iron Cross”

PACHYSANDRA, Pachysandra Terminalis “Japanese Spurge”; NEW IN 2017, P. procumbens, Allegheny pachysandra

PAINTER’S PALETTE, Persicaria virginiana var. Filiformis

PAPAVER, see Poppy

PARSLEY, Italian

PEA, “Tom Thumb”; NEW IN 2017 PEA, dwarf Blauwschokkers, “Desiree”

PELARGONIUM, hot-house Geranium (annual), NEW IN 2017 “Brocade Cherry Night”

PENSTEMON, Penstemon Digitalis “HUCKSTER RED”; NEW IN 2017 “Dark Towers”

PEONY, NEW IN 2017 “Edulis-Superba”; “Sarah Bernhardt”

NEW IN 2017 PEPPER, “Ashe County Pimento Sweet Pepper”

PERIWINKLE, Vinca minor


"Cherry Caramel" Phlox

“Cherry Caramel” Phlox

PHLOX, PURPLE GARDEN, Phlox paniculata; NEW IN 2017 “Cherry Caramel,” annual Phlox; “Sugar Stars,” annual Phlox; white perennial Phlox “David”

PLUM TREE, American plums, Prunus americana

PLUME POPPY, Macleaya cordata

POPPY, California; NEW IN 2017 breadseed, “Hens and Chicks”; Corn poppies, “Shirley Single Mix” and “American Legion”

QUEEN OF THE PRAIRIE, see Filipendula rubra

NEW IN 2017 RADISH, “French Breakfast”

NEW IN 2017 RAGGED ROBIN CAMPION, Lychnis flos-cuculi

RAIN LILY, Zephyranthes

RASPBERRIES, “Anne” yellow; “Bristol” black

REDBUD TREES, Cercis canadensis

ROSE CAMPION, Lychnis coronaria

NEW in 2017 RUBARB

RUDBECKIA, see Black-Eyed Susan

RUSSIAN SAGE, Perovskia atriplicifolia

SAGE, see Salvia

SAINT JOHN’S WORT, see Hypericum

SALVIA coccinea, NEW IN 2017 “Summer Jewel”; S. officinalis, culinary sage; S. sclarea, Clary sage

NEW IN 2017 SASSAFRAS trees (2-3 foot),

SEDGE, BROAD LEAF, Carex siderosticha variegata; PALM SEDGE, “Oheme,” Carex muskingumensis

SEDUM, Hylotelephium telephium ‘AUTUMN JOY’; other various cultivars

SHASTA DAISY, NEW IN 2017 Leucanthemum “Broadway Lights”

SILVER KING WORMWOOD, see Artemesia Ludoviciana

NEW IN 2017 SINNINGIA tubiflora, dwarf hardy Gloxinia

SNAKEROOT, CHOCOLATE, Ageratina altissima

SNOW-ON-THE-MOUNTAIN, a.k.a. BISHOP’S WEED, Aegopodium podagraria “Variegatum”

SNOWBALL BUSHES, see under Viburnum

SNOWDROPS, Galanthus

SOLOMON’S SEAL, DWARF, Polygonatum humile “Tom Thumb”; variegated Solomon’s Seal

NEW in 2017 SOURWOOD trees, Oxydendron

NEW IN 2017 SPICEBUSH, Lindera benzoin

SPIDERWORT, see Tradescantia

SPINY BEAR’S BREECHES, Acanthus spinosus and A. mollis

SPURGE, Euphorbia dulcis (purple)

STOCK, Matthiola incana NEW IN 2017 “Hot Cakes”

STRAWBERRIES, NEW IN 2017, “Cavendish”

STRAWFLOWER, Everlasting, “Tall Double Mix”; NEW IN 2017 STRAWFLOWER, Acroclinum, “Double Giant Flowered”

NEW IN 2017 SUNFLOWER, “Firecracker”; “Spot Cola,” dwarf; “Hopi Dye”

NEW IN 2017 SWEET PEA, “Nimbus”; “Oxford/Cambridge”; “Knee Hi”; “Old Spice Mix”


SWEET WOODRUFF, Galium odoratum

SWISS CHARD, see Chard

TANSY, Tanacetum vulgare “ISLA GOLD”; and common Feverfew

TASSLE FLOWER, Emilia coccinea

NEW IN 2017 THELESPERMA burridgeanum, Burridge’s greenthread

TIARELLA, NEW IN 2017 “Candy Striper”; “Oakleaf”

TOAD LILY, VARIEGATED, Tricyrtis macropoda “Tricolor”




Native Blue Vervain

Native Blue Vervain

NEW IN 2017 Verbena hastata, native Blue Vervain

VERBASCUM chaixii f. album, “Wedding Candles”; Verbascum “Southern Charm”

VERBENA-ON-A-STICK, Verbena bonariensis

VIBURNUM BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND in 2017 Snowball Bushes, Viburnum opulus roseum; NEW IN 2017 Nannyberry, Viburnum lentago

VINCA, see Periwinkle

VIOLETS, various cultivars including “Sorbet”; NEW IN 2017 Viola walteri “Silver Gem”; NEW IN 2017 Viola “Coconut Swirl”

VIRGINIA SWEETSPIRE, see Itea virginica

NEW IN 2017 WHEAT, black ornamental

WOODRUFF, see Sweet Woodruff

NEW IN 2017 YARROW, “Cerise Queen”; fern-leaf yarrow

ZINNIA, purple and carmen rose; giant purple


Mar 312017

imageMatt Wasson, program director for Appalachian Voices, will give the keynote address at the Watauga County Democratic convention on April 8 on the topic “Rolling Back the Enlightenment: Inside the Conservative War on Science.”

Matt Wasson moved to Boone in 2001 as the new executive director of Appalachian Voices, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the land, air, water, and people of the Appalachian Region. Since 2001, Matt has served the organization in many other capacities including editor of The Appalachian Voice newspaper. As the current director of programs, Wasson provides long-range vision and oversees the organization’s response to major pollution events like the Dan River Coal Ash spill in 2014.

Wasson received his B.S. in zoology from the University of Washington and Ph.D. in ecology from Cornell University. Beginning with his dissertation research on the impacts of acid rain on birds, Wasson has worked on all aspects of the “coal cycle” — from mining, transportation and combustion of coal to the disposal of power plant waste. A nationally recognized authority on mountaintop removal coal mining and coal economics, Matt frequently testifies before Congress and state legislative committees and is a contributor to high-profile media outlets including Huffington Post, Grist and Climate Progress.

The 2017 Watauga Democratic convention will convene at noon on April 8 for potluck luncheon in the lobby outside Courtroom No. 1 in the Watauga County Courthouse. The convention program will begin at 1 p.m.


Mar 162017

By Lisa O’Donnell, Winston-Salem Journal:

imageMarch 16, 2017 — About 20 people braved the cold and wind in Clemmons Wednesday to send a message to U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th, that they are not happy with the proposed replacement to the Affordable Care Act.

Christy Robinson of Winston-Salem said the American Health Care Act, a plan put forth by House Republicans last week, would leave too many people without health insurance.

“If there needs to be tweaks to the ACA, we are for pursuing those options, rather than racing to repeal it with a subpar plan that is inadequate,” Robinson said.

She is a member of Women of Action, a newly formed group of Winston-Salem women who joined a rally at Foxx’s district office in Clemmons.

Indivisible Piedmont NC, a grassroots advocacy group, organized the rally. For the past several weeks, the group has presented its concerns to Foxx’s office.

It did the same Wednesday, meeting with a Foxx staff member, and it added some sign-holding on a sidewalk that runs along Clemmons Road.

Sherrod McDaniel, a Lewisville resident and member of Indivisible Piedmont NC, said they represent the 40,000 people in the Fifth District signed up for the ACA, also known as Obamacare, as well as 550,000 recipients of ACA in the state.

“We are not going to let this go,” she said. “We are going to keep pushing.”

Foxx backed the AHCA in a speech on the House floor on March 7, saying it includes common-sense reforms that will give people more choices while lowering costs.

Beyond dissatisfaction with the AHCA, people at Wednesday’s event repeated their demand that Foxx come to her district for a town hall-style meeting.

“She needs to know that we are looking for her to be responsive toward us,” said Anne Peterson of Elkin, who added that it feels as if Foxx is dismissing her and others with Indivisible Piedmont NC.

Foxx is not currently planning a town hall meeting, spokeswoman Sheridan Watson said on Wednesday. Watson released this statement from Foxx:

“It is important to use many different ways to gather information from North Carolinians on their concerns,” the statement said. “There are ample opportunities for constituents to tell me what they think on any issue: in person, in letters, over e-mail, on the phone, etc. I typically return home every weekend and attend several public events so I can hear from people directly.”

Several members of Indivisible Piedmont NC plan to protest U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s speech Friday at the annual Forsyth County Republican Party’s Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner.


Mar 062017

Letter to the Editor, High Country Press:

imageHigh Country Forward, a grass roots community group, sponsored a Tea and Cookies event on King Street on Saturday that reminded me why I love living in Boone. Nearly one hundred people filled F.A.R.M. Café and patiently listened for two hours as citizens spoke with civility, passion, and concern about the issues facing the nation, state, and high country.

Before the meeting, attendees socialized with tea and cookies. The lack of civility in the last election cycle was a common conversational theme. Boone residents lamented the lack of a moderate voice to speak for the high country. Democrats, independents, one disillusioned Republican, and a Libertarian all spoke with me. A retired teacher, a physician, an Iraq war veteran, a Vietnam veteran, a high school student, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, grandfathers, fathers, and sons addressed the crowd about education, health care, jobs, and national security.

Unfortunately, they had to speak to a photograph of Virginia Foxx as she declined to attend the meeting.

If she had attended, Ms. Foxx would have learned that high country citizens depend on the ACA to cover them, that many people with chronic conditions could not be treated without the ACA, that some people will die or go bankrupt if it is repealed. She would have heard that parents are concerned that their special needs children will not receive the education and care they deserve if The Every Child Succeeds Act is repealed. She would have seen that citizens care about educating all children. She would have discovered that people have questions about the voucher system. She would have understood that Boone citizens care that hungry children get a nutritious meal in school—maybe their only meals of the day. She would have noticed that her constituents want her to be a representative for the entire high country, not just the ones who nod and agree. Her constituents want to hear a public statement not just of what she supports, but why she supports it.

Virginia Foxx gave HFC the vaguest of statements which were printed and distributed to attendees and read aloud. She has an entire office in Washington, DC. Surely some of her staffers can research the issues and provide her with facts that go beyond the ideological talking points she e-mailed. Representative Foxx has said that she prefers to answer each e-mail and question she receives individually. That seems like an inefficient use of her time and tax-payer funds. She could have answered 100 citizens, taken follow-up questions, and gotten to know some people who care about her positions.

High Country Forward is a group of local citizens who began meeting after the November election. We are non-partisan and care about the future of the high country and its residents. None of us are professional politicians. We all live and work here, send our kids to school here, own our homes here, pay taxes here, belong to churches here, and want to make the high country the best it can be for everyone. Someone will probably claim that the event was a partisan stunt. Although an emerging Democratic opponent of Foxx spoke briefly at the end of the meeting, HCF reiterated that she was there as a citizen, had not been invited and that the meeting was not a campaign event. As one of the organizers of the event, I know that is true.

I have never been prouder to be an American or to call North Carolina home than I was on Saturday.


Mareva McDaniel

Boone, NC

Feb 082017

imageThe schedule, including dates, times, and locations for the 2017 annual Watauga County Democratic Party precinct meetings, is copied below. If you do not know your precinct, write and include your full name and your residential address. Precinct meetings are open to Democrats and to Unaffiliated voters who wish to allign with the Democratic Party.

Bald Mountain Three Forks Bapt. Assn., 513 Hwy 194 (Jefferson Rd.), Boone. 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

Beaver Dam Bethel Elementary School Media Center. 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

Beech Mountain

Blowing Rock American Legion bldg., 333 Wallingford Rd, Blowing Rock. 4 p.m., Sunday, March 5. Contact

Blue Ridge 1419 Deerfield Rd., Boone. 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

Boone 1 Boone Town Council Chambers, 1500 Blowing Rock Rd., Boone. 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

Boone 2 Boone Town Council Chambers, 1500 Blowing Rock Rd., Boone. 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

Boone 3 Roess Dining Hall, Appalachian State University (entrance nearest the elevated walkway over Rivers St.), Boone. 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 6. Contact

Brushy Fork Boone Town Council Chambers, 1500 Blowing Rock Rd., Boone. 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

Cove Creek Western Watauga Community Center, 1081 Old US Hwy 421, Sugar Grove. Thursday, March 2, 6 p.m. Contact

Elk Stewart Simmons Fire Dept.. Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m. Contact

Laurel Creek Western Watauga Community Center, 1081 Old US Hwy 421, Sugar Grove. Thursday, March 2, 6 p.m. Contact

Meat Camp Three Forks Bapt. Assn. bldg, 513 Hwy 194 (Jefferson Rd.), Boone. 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

New River 1 Boone Town Council Chambers, 1500 Blowing Rock Rd., Boone. 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

New River 2 Three Forks Bapt. Assn. bldg, 513 Hwy 194 (Jefferson Rd.), Boone. 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

New River 3 Three Forks Bapt. Assn. bldg, 513 Hwy 194 (Jefferson Rd.), Boone. 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact


Stony Fork Three Forks Bapt. Assn. bldg, 513 Hwy 194 (Jefferson Rd.), Boone. 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 7. Contact

Watauga 643 Schaffer Road, Boone. 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 1. Contact

Jan 262017

By Grace McEntee, Cove Creek Precinct, Watauga County:

imageI could have left for Washington from Boone, but I wanted to go with my two sisters, so I drove to Alabama where the three of us boarded Birmingham Bus #2 — completely full of marchers — for the 13-hour trip to D. C. (going back over most of the route I had just come down).

We parked at RFK Stadium, where buses of marchers were pulling in every minute. As we walked toward the march’s starting point, down the sidewalks of residential D.C., drivers passing by tooted their horns, waved, and shouted supportive words. Residents came out, often bringing their young children, to wave and thank us for coming. One woman handed out bags of cookies to us. Not a single person made an unsupportive remark or gesture.

Despite arriving early, we never made it to the pre-march rally, where the speakers were. There were far too many marchers — thousands and thousands of us were backed up into any and every empty street we could find. The overflow crowd took up block after block after block.

The three of us ended up crowded like sardines on a street alongside the National Museum of the American Indian. We stood there, shoulder to shoulder to shoulder, for two hours, waiting for the march to begin. There was no place to sit or get indoors on that chilly day. Port-a-john line waits were often an hour long. No food venders were around. As lunchtime came and went, we ate snacks we had in our pockets.

Amazingly, everyone stayed cheerful, patient, and considerate.

The creativity of the signs that marchers brought with them helped keep us in good spirits. Many bore messages supporting our country’s diversity, demands for equality and social justice, or environmental concerns.

Many made their points with a great deal of humor. Among my favorites: “Where do I begin?”; “Resistance is fertile”; “And you thought I was nasty before?”; “Putin played his Trump card”; “A woman’s place is in the Revolution”’; “OMG GOP WTF”; “We are the granddaughters of the witches you could not burn”; “I can see Russia from the White House”; and “Dear World, we’re sorry.” Pink “pussy hats” abounded.

March time came and passed. Finally, word got to us that the crowd was far too big for the planned march route, and we were to take our part of the march wherever we could. So off we went to streets around the National Mall.

For the next hour or two marchers walked the streets, chanting, showing off our signs, merging at intersections, and winding our way through our country’s capital, often shouting out the powerful reminder: “This is what democracy looks like!”

The lack of police presence was striking. I saw only half a dozen officers other than those directing traffic. The only “incident” I witnessed was when a policeman asked a woman who had shimmied up a light post to come down. “I’m concerned for your safety,” he said. So she came down, with the officer cupping his hands to give her a safe last foothold as she neared the ground.

I also witnessed marcher after marcher thanking the officers directing traffic at pedestrian walkways. Civility abounded. Several officers thanked us for coming. And on the way back to the bus a minister and his parishioners stood by the sidewalk to invite us to use their church restrooms if needed, and to offer us bottles of water.

I had no idea what to expect from the Woman’s March on Washington. Would there be violence? Would the tone be full of bitterness, hate, or despair? None of my worries materialized. Some of the speeches I heard once I got home channeled the anger that many felt during a particularly divisive election, but if I had to pick one word to describe the tone of the day it would be joyful.

There was a palpable optimism and joy in the air — along with a sense of resolve and a newfound confidence that ordinary citizens could find ways to influence government officials, even those with immense wealth and power, to pay attention to the needs and concerns of their constituents. All of us went home knowing there would be many lost skirmishes in the days, months, and years to come, some of them heart-breaking. But all of us also came home with a new sense of purpose, a new commitment to action, and a new network to keep us motivated and organized.

© 2016