In My Cary Garden: April 20

Story and photos by Hal Goodtree

Cary, North Carolina – I like the idea of a Cary gardening column being an almanac of what grows in our town and when. So, this week, here’s what’s blooming in my North Carolina garden.

Chives and Alliums

Chives, garlic, onions, leeks and shallots – they’re all part of the allium family. Many alliums bloom in this part of N.C. at this time of year.

In my garden, we grow humble, 6″ garlic chives in a pot. They are blooming right now in a sunny spot and come back year after year. My chives need almost no care whatsoever. I barely water them. They’re also nice is omelets, salads and stir fries.


Dianthus covers about 300 species of flowers, mostly shades of pink. Mine are low-growing perennials that die back in the winter. Carnation is in the dianthus family.

Dianthus puts on a happy show in spring, then retires gracefully to the back of the garden. I have them in a sunny bed that’s only moderately watered.


When I think of indigo, I think of blue, like the color of blue jeans. It’s true, wild indigo can have deep blue flowers.

But wild indigo, a native to the North American prairies, can come in white and yellow too.

My indigo (Baptisia leucantha alba, White Wild Indigo) grows in a pretty dry bed in the shade under a plum tree. The cascading white flowers are very showy and long-lasting. The stems have a distinctly blue-green color.


April is the season for Clematis here in the Piedmont.

Clematis must love North Carolina, because it thrives in conditions from full sun all the way to partial shade.  A vining plant, Clematis explodes in April with 4″ flowers that cover the entire plant.

Different varieties have slightly different bloom times and flower sizes. They generally come in shades from pure white to pinks, blues and purples.

Easy to grow in Cary, Clematis blooms profusely in the spring and is a great way to add vertical interest to your garden. This picture is from my neighbor’s house up near the mailbox in full sun.


Also blooming in my garden this week are azaleas.

Azaleas are a most Southern of plants, with azalea festivals up and down the region. No need for me to tell you, dear readers, about the importance and beauty of azaleas in Southern gardens.

What’s Growing In Your Garden?

Cary garden pictures and gardening stories are always welcome –

2 replies
  1. Diane Carnes
    Diane Carnes says:

    Thanks, Hal. I loved this article and hope for more to come even though I’ve moved to Apex. I’m not a native North Carolinian (grew up in Michigan) and I can use any help I can get! Also, thanks for the book recommendation, Matt.

  2. Matt Young
    Matt Young says:

    Nice, Hal.
    There is a book signing today, April 21 at 7 PM at B&N in Cary.”The Successful Gardener’s Guide – North Carolina”. Good handbook recently written by multiple local NC authors and backed by NC State research. Highly recommended.
    – Matt Young, Managing Ed.

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