EDITOR’S INTERPOLATION: Back when stegosauruses roamed West Virginia, I was Charleston Gazette Feature Editor in the state’s capital city. It was a demi-god-like posting in the state’s teensy media scene, which allowed me to do possibly foolish things, such as publish wildman and -woman columnists. Like, say, Barry Glick of Sunshine Farm and Gardens. To say Barry is passionate about flowers and growing things is like saying Garfield likes lasagna. He lives for it. I’m happy to begin re-publishing Barry with an occasional column called “Glickster’s Pix.” He’ll offer guidance on growing or appreciating familiar and not-so-familiar growing things. As his website’s ‘About’ page puts it: “I envision Sunshine Farm & Gardens to be a bridge between the most knowledgeable people in a particular genus of plants and the home gardener.” He also promises “idiot-proof plants.” I’m all in. Welcome to WestVirginiaVille.com, Barry. ~ Douglas John Imbrogno
By BARRY GLICK | Glickster’s Pix
THE PLANT: Packera aurea
THE DISCUSSION: Scratching my head here, trying to decide what I appreciate more about Packera aurea, the flowers or the foliage? I’ve come to the conclusion…
Now, about the merits of this West Virginia native plant: the evergreen, supple and bright green foliage of Packera aurea has always provided islands of life for me during those brown winter months when EVERYTHING else is dormant.
This would be enough of a reason in itself to grow Packera aurea.
But the black buds on their black 12–24-inch stems pop open into brilliant yellow, daisy-like, 1-inch diameter flowers. And they stay open for a long, long time. The foliage provides a wonderful, evergreen groundcover while the flowers are bright harbingers of all the other woodland blooms to follow.
Till our next horticultural excursion: Peace Out!
Barry Glick, a transplanted Philadelphian, has lived in Greenbrier County, WV, since 1972. His mountaintop garden and nursery is a mecca for gardeners from virtually every country in the world. He writes and lectures extensively about native plants and Hellebores, his two main specialties, and welcomes visitors with advance notice. He can be reached at email@example.com, www.sunfarm.com, or 304.497.2208.