News from the preserves, parks and backyards of Princeton, NJ. The website aims to acquaint Princetonians with our shared natural heritage and the benefits of restoring native diversity and beauty to the many preserved lands in and around Princeton.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
The Princeton Shopping Center isn't as colorful as it was during a gardener's long tenure, when love, experience and work ethic dependably combined for a glorious show of annuals and perennials year after year. The re-landscaping features low-maintenance masses of mostly native shrubs.
Here's one that's attractive and easy to grow, but rare in the wild. Dwarf witch-alder (Fothergilla gardenii)--now in bloom at such places as the Princeton Shopping Center, in Marquand Park along Lovers' Lane, on the Princeton University campus, and my front yard--is native to the southeastern U.S., where it is said to grow on high ground in swampy areas of the coastal plain.
A taller version, the Mountain Witch-Alder (Fothergilla major), grows in mountain ravines and along streambanks in the southeastern U.S.
The green on the right, contrasting with the Fothergilla blooms, is inkberry (Ilex glabra), a native evergreen holly that, like the Fothergillas, I've never seen growing in the wild.
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