A Quilt Garden, Dreaming of Flowers in Winter

I’ve been saving this post for a couple of months to give us some flowers to see in deep winter.  These pics are from my visit to the NC Arboretum last spring for the Lego Exhibit.  There is so much to do and see there, that you cannot do it all in one post.  One of my favorite things at the NC Arboretum is the Quilt Garden. The staff changes this every year, so it is different each spring. The Quilt Garden is a grid of planting squares surrounded by concrete strips. It gives the impression of quilt blocks surrounded by sashing. There are even cornerstones in the sashing made of stone. Last spring the quilt blocks were butterflies.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

There is a viewing balcony you can walk up to see the garden from a higher view.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

A close up view of one of the butterfly blocks.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

And here is the other block.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The same small purple flower was used as the ‘background’ in both blocks.  I think it is a dianthus. These are Agearatums.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

It is a lovely place to sit and just enjoy being outdoors. It is relatively quiet here too, depending on the number of visitors at the time.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

All over the Arboretum are gorgeous flowers in the spring and summer.  Their pots of mixed flowers are such an inspiration for my veranda pots.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

This bromeliad garden was in full bloom.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

This rooftop garden was a surprise. The hydrangea bush next to it has a multitude of blooms.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Springtime means lots of pollinators are out in abundance.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

This fascinating little guy is a Hummingbird Moth. This was the first one I have ever seen, and there were dozens of them on these purple flowers – perhaps a variety of impatiens.  Phlox!

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Beautiful isn’t it?  I entered this photo in the State Fair photography contest, but it didn’t get a ribbon.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Here’s another hummingbird moth on a different flower.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

There are wonderful hiking trails on the property, and we had a nice walk in the woods that day too.

Arboretum Hiking Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Of course, I took about a hundred pictures!! There was just so much beauty everywhere. Something about walking in the woods, with green everywhere is just so relaxing.

Arboretum Hiking Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Occasionally you’ll come across a real surprise too, like this giant mushroom. It was a bright bit of yellow color in an otherwise mostly green landscape.  I love the moss behind it on the tree trunk.

Wild Mushroom at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Heading back to the car, we kept going by lovely masses of color.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

I love white flowers. I think these are a variety of stephanotis.  Phlox!

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

One last stop, the Mason bee garden.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Mason bees are non-aggressive, solitary bees that make their homes in holes in trees or bark, or wood. You can actually attract them to your garden with a bee house made of wood tubes.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Purple petunias were almost done.

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

Here and there you can see the mountains surrounding the arboretum through the hedges. The statue is of Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., who first thought of an arboretum as part of a plan for the Biltmore Estate gardens.

Quilt Garden at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

These red beauties were in a huge pot near the visitor’s center.  I should have taken a picture of the identification card, I am not sure what these are.  But the red color was just vibrant! (Update – Salvia)

NC Arboretum Flower Trails ~ From My Carolina Home

The NC Arboretum is definitely a place to visit, in many different times of the year.  The early spring is really beautiful with all the bulbs in bloom, and I hope to get there this year at the right time.

My amaryllis is making good progress now! This picture was taken Saturday, and I should have a bloom soon. Looking at it this close kind of reminds me of the plant in Little Shop of Horrors, LOL!!

Amaryllis bulb year 4 a

Are you dreaming of flowers and springtime?  Is there an arboretum near you?



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28 thoughts on “A Quilt Garden, Dreaming of Flowers in Winter

  1. Shirley

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures reminding us that spring will be here again! Are the mystery red flowers Salvia?

  2. johnsonkae

    Someone beat me to it…I was thinking those red flowers were Salvia also. Beautiful pics of a beautiful arboretum. I’m SOOOO ready for spring, & it’s almost here in the PNW. On a walk yesterday I saw little snowdrops in bloom, & crocus starting to pop up!

  3. What a great post. Is the arboretum at the Biltmore Estate? If not where is it? The red flowers at the end are probably salvia. Earlier picture of black centers and yellow petals are black eyed Susans, state flower of Maryland. I’ve never been much of a gardener or even plants — I try to put in things that will take care of themselves and come back yearly. It would be lovely to have some solitary, nonaggressive bees around. But I’ll work at bringing in birds first. Great post.

  4. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole,

    Simply beautiful butterflies. Now I want a block like it on the side of my house that has a little hill and get sun all day and best of all I can sit on the patio and look at it all day and do some of my hand sewing in the early mornings and late afternoons. Thanks for the great inspiration. Have a lot of moss in the front yard so could use that as a pathway. Loved the shed with the moss roof and rocks. Do you remember the town the arboretum is in? I remember reading about the Lego Exhibit but I didn’t copy any of the info. down. I wish I had someone to go to all the beautiful gardens we all have around us and enjoy Gods beauty and enjoy the fresh air, someday I might find a good man again but right now I’m a happy widow with too much material to sew. My morning is almost gone and the grocery store is calling so will say bye for now, Have a fun day,

  5. kathyinozarks

    Good morning-everything is so beautiful! I was thinking spring-summer too and posted on my fb page I should do this on my blog too–loved those butterfly blocks very awesome

  6. Pat Evans

    Lovely photos. I’ve heard of the NC Arboretum, but I’m never in NC during garden season. The little bluish purple flowers in the butterfly blocks may be ageratum, the magenta flowers with the hummingbird moth are phlox, the white flowers could be flowering tobacco (nicotiana), and the red flowers toward the end are indeed, salvia. I’ve visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens and the Denver Botanical Gardens and both were very impressive. There was a Chihuly glass exhibit at Denver when I was there and I had to keep reminding myself to look at the flowers and plants because the glass was breathtaking.

  7. Hello Carole! I had written one of my normal responses and something went wrong with the posting of it. So sorry, I am not going to go there again…..LOL…..aren’t you the lucky one! I truly did love all of your spectacular photos, you are becoming a Professional in just a short time! I am going to try the information on the wood bees, that would be great for in my flowers. Wouldn’t it be really awesome Carole, if we could have these professionals just come and get our flower gardens all set up to bloom year around and just get us going then we would be able to take over after that and add to our hearts content! Create our own much smaller quilt butterfly garden and just so much more. Of course, I would have to have hubby build sturdy enough fences for my puppies and kitty cats (yeah right like that would ever happen) could not get to them. Or how about your new Pet Turkey’s…which we have not heard about in awhile and I do not remember the finale for sure names, or did I miss all of that? Look I may not have written any of the same, yet I still wrote a whole lot. LOL. So off I go….Have a great day!

    Almost forgot…..I finally remembered to post a photo in Flickr of my quilt top for the Scrap Dance Waltz! I absolutely love how it turned out Carole! Thank You so much for such a beautiful pattern!!! I will try really hard to post pictures this time of Scrap Dance Two Step! But tell me what you think of the Waltz?

  8. Rosemaryflower

    Beautiful. What a nice adventure. I love walking through gardens.
    You took a lot of great pictures. I feel like I was right there.
    I hope you are enjoying a little bit of sunshine today.
    We have had clouds for a few days but the wind picked up again and now we have sun!

  9. Sharon Schipper

    The purple with the butterfly blocks are Ageratums. Dianthus are like little carnations. First I thought they were asters, but asters have different leaves and not “fuzzy” . I know I’ve seen these red ones before! maybe red salvia? http://www.englishcountrygardensusa.com/annuals.html
    I have my tomato tower back from my daughters, and I’m thinking some day lilies as well, some of the newer that bloom all summer. That’s about as far as I’ve thought, but wait until the seed catalogs show up, and the local nurseries are all opening March 1~~ we’re thinking this false spring we’re having right now won’t last because it’s still snowing big time up higher…
    sharon in colorado

  10. Mary Jean Cunningham

    Oh, how lovely! Now I have another entry on my list of places I want to visit! My favorite garden around here is Longwood Gardens – I never want to leave when I’m there and wish I could just move into one of the conservatories. Your photos are so nice and so much fun to look at – it’s wonderful to get a tour of those beautiful gardens right from my dining room – thank you!

  11. Jann Olson

    Yes, Carole; I saw that someone else identified the first flowers as Agearatums. They grow as an annual here. I often use them in my pots. The other purple and white look to be phlox and I think the last one is Salvia. No matter, they are all gorgeous! I especially love the butterfly quilt garden. Would love to see it in person! Thanks for sharing with SyC.

  12. Thank you for sharing, what a beautiful place. …love the quilted garden. Lovely to see some of the beasties that are in the garden. Love the mason bee house too.

  13. Linda

    Beautiful, beautiful arboretum –in a beautiful setting. Just the thing I need during this daily overcast/rainy season. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

  14. Cheryl Buchanan

    Thank you for identifying the Hummingbird Moth. I have those here on the butterfly bushes outside my office window at Town Hall in Banner Elk. Have tried for years to identify it, but am most happy to hear it’s name. Thanks Carole.

  15. You really find the neatest places! I do remember the Lego exhibit you shared but this is just as captivating! What beautiful flowers and what a creative way of landscaping them! Thanks again for linking up to Take Me Away! You are always so inspiring!

  16. This arboretum is fabulous! I love the quilt garden with it’s butterfly design. The rooftop garden is unique too. I know it was wonderful to see it all in person.
    The other flower the moth is on is a penta, I believe. The first time I saw a hummingbird moth I was amazed. He loves our penta’s too! Thanks for sharing this. If I am in the area I would enjoy touring.

  17. Beautiful photos of the NC Arboretum. We had a wonderful visit to Asheville for Thanksgiving 2015. We tried to go to the evening Christmas lights there, but they were sold out. I had never heard of a hummingbird moth…thanks for sharing!

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