Gail’s Garden in North Carolina

Today we’re visiting Gail Bromer’s beautiful garden at the top of the continental divide in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina:

For much of the year foliage takes center stage in my garden. I love having a mix of colors and textures to enjoy.

The fog is rolling in from lower on the mountain to meet this garden. While some folks are not fond of creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zone 3 – 9), I like the contrast it brings. Here it’s seen with a dwarf Brandywine split leaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zone 5 – 9), Gaity euonymous (Euonymous fortunei ‘Gaity’, Zone 4 – 9), Cavatine pieris (Pieris japonica ‘Cavatine’, Zone 5 – 8), Old Gold juniper (Juniperus x pfitzeriana ‘Old Gold’, Zone 4 – 9), a purple gazing ball and a metal frog sculpture.

stone steps through a sloped garden bed

Hardscape also brings a wonderful element to the garden. These stone steps went in a couple years ago to replace the wooden ones. The steps had to be placed in a wider arc which gave us an opportunity to create terracing along the side and a wonderful planting area for a combination of small shrubs and annuals. An azalea (Rhododendron hybrid) and other small shrubs have a place along with a featured annual early in the season.

bronze foliage plant growing inside old tree stump

A bronze coleus (Coleus scutellarioides, Zone 10 – 11 or as annual) stuck in the top of an old tree stump gives a splash of color along this woodland path.

a shrub with dark colored foliage in front of a shrub with bright yellow foliage

Fall is coming. The Bloodgood maple (Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’, Zone 5 – 9) here is seen with the yellow foliage of a bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora, Zone 4 – 8), and a large metal heron sculpture.

close up of Bobo hydrangea in bloom

This fairly new Bobo hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bobo’, Zone 3 – 8) is still beautiful as fall begins.

dark foliage plant in the middle of other foliage plants

The lace cap hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zone 5 – 9) in the center is surrounded by Chamaecyparis ‘Vintage Gold’ (Zone 5 – 8), and Golden Pacific juniper (Juniperus conferta, Zone 6 – 9).

close up of bright pink azalea bloom

I was fortunate to be asked to rescue some specialty deciduous azaleas. They were propagated lovingly by tissue culture and moved to the mountains of North Carolina to wait for the time and place to be planted. As it happened not all of those plants found homes.

close up of pink azalea bloom

I was happy to bring some home and shared many with area gardeners. Unfortunately most of the plant tags had fallen off.

close up of white azalea flowers with pink spots

I did get some blooms this year, but haven’t yet identified them. I know they are from the balds of North Carolina or are from the Strickland and Sommerville collections.

large azalea in bloom

I am so thankful that these plants were shared with me. I’m like a kid at Christmas eagerly waiting to see each one bloom for the first time . I have no idea what wonders await!


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