Left: A century plant
blooms at Juniper
Garden, just south
of Raleigh. Opposite
page, top to bottom:
Normally only found
in the mountainous
region of the state,
picea rubens, known
as red spruce,
thrives on an elevat-ed
slope at JLBG.
The crevice garden
such as palms, cacti
and agaves, among
One such myth-busting experiment is the crevice garden,
where all the plants grow in pure gravel two to three feet deep
without any soil.
“Because if they had any soil they would die,” he says.
“They are so sensitive to moisture; these are things from the
Middle East, the Mediterranean, areas like that. We even dug
plants out of our native soil, shook the dirt off, put them in our
crevice, and they are growing as good or better as they did in
the native soil.”
The conservation of plants is a constant theme.
“There are 434,000 species of plants on earth today; 36.5
percent of those are endangered or threatened with extinction,”
Avent says. “Think about those numbers. That’s why conserving
these plants is critical. They can’t get up and move, we have to
move them ourselves to a habitat and spread them around. The
more we can spread them around the world, the better chance
that plant has to survive somewhere.”
Gardeners, explorers and plant lovers will also enjoy the
nursery, which suggests several specialty themes such as a
Chocolate Garden, with plants that smell like chocolate or are
chocolate colored. Another, the Night Garden, suggests plants
that will perfume the night air and create sound as the wind
blows through them.
Like Willy Wonka, the garden does not welcome misbe-having
animals due to the
nature and fragility
of its one-of-a-kind
plants. Visiting rules
and suggestions can
be seen at JLBG.
org or PlantDelights.