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Southern maidenhair fern

by Tony Avent illustration by Ippy Patterson I’m not sure why gardeners are so attracted to maidenhair ferns, but odds are the plant’s romantic common name – which aptly describes its dainty foliage – has something to do with it….

Pig butt arum

  by Tony Avent illustration by Ippy Patterson It’s not until you come face-to-face – or perhaps I should say nose-to-nose – with a pig butt arum that you realize it isn’t a grand horticultural April Fool’s prank. Indeed, I…

In the Arboretum

by Gibbons Ruark We walked the balmy path decades ago That now we walk again this afternoon. Too soon to say the spring is gone, too soon. The Carolina Wren says this is so.


by Liza Roberts photographs by  Nick Pironio Donna and Jim Belt believe in wabi-sabi, a Japanese concept of beauty that celebrates imperfection. When the former Tokyo residents moved into a downtown Raleigh condo, they combined earthiness with refinement, symmetry with…

Bird’s-Foot Violet

by Tony Avent illustration by Ippy Patterson At some time in most gardeners’ lives, they become enchanted with violets. Some with well-behaving violets, and others with the less-stellar members of the clan. I, for one, have always had a tenuous…