Middle South

February, 2012
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Helleobre Days at Piccadilly Farm
Piccadilly Farm will hold its 20th Annual Hellebore Days on Friday and Saturday, March 2nd & 3rd, from 10 am to 4 pm. The free event, which has been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, welcomes the arrival of spring with a mass display of colorful hellebores in shades of white, pink, rose, burgundy, and purple. The celebration weekend also begins Piccadilly's brief retail season, with regular hours (10-4) each Friday and Saturday through the end of May. Hellebores and other shade perennials are available, along with many choice conifers, shrubs, and small trees.

Piccadilly Farm is located at 1971 Whippoorwill Road in Bishop, Georgia, south of Athens near Watkinsville. For more information, contact Dr. Sam Jones at 706-769-6516.


Wildflowers and Plant Communities
As a wildflower lover and rookie naturalist, I'm especially excited to recommend a highly-touted new book, Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont (The University of North Carolina Press, 2011) is an exceptional overview of regional natural history, written and photographed by Timothy P. Spira, an outdoor enthusiast and professor of botany at Clemson University.

Spira's book offers an original and insightful perspective. Rather than arrange plants by flower color or family characteristics as others do, his work uses a holistic method that organizes trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants by natural communities. It doesn't take long to realize what good sense this exacting approach makes, as grouping plants by their habitat mimics how we experience them in nature.

An overview of 21 major plant communities is provided, outlining their distinctive features and offering a list of characteristic species. A photo key of 760 plants, also arranged by community, illustrate plants that are usually encountered within each ecosystem.

Detailed descriptions provide extensive information on 340 species, including 65 trees, 75 shrubs and woody vines, and 200 herbaceous plants. The book also includes a glossary of botanical terms, a section of line drawings of basic plant structures, and a list of natural areas to visit, which make the book even more helpful to a novice like me.

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