Early Spring Flowers & Orchids At Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden #DSBG

2014 March 19

I gotta admit.
I feel a little bit lied to.

The Carolinas deceived me. I was expecting a light winter. And you know… WARM weather by now!

I migrated to the South from the tundra last year. Specifically from the mountains of Oregon where the summers are cool and the winters are harsh. Spring doesn’t hit till it’s summer everywhere else. Forsythia takes its sweet time and only releases its yellow enthusiasm if we are lucky in April or even May!

In other words. I’m STARVED for spring color down here in the Deep South! I seriously figured I would be dancing around in blossoms and blooms by late February!

Guess what? NO.

Snow Day in Carolina goodncrazy carissa rogers photographyIt snowed here this winter. Not once. TWICE. The second time shutting down the whole southern half of the United States of SOUTH for 3 days. SNOW Days for DAYS. Seriously people? THAT WAS THE DEAL? I moved coast to coast on the condition that winter stays back in OREGON.

My daffodils were sneaking up out of the soil by mid-February. But they didn’t bloom till WELL into March. (My neighbor’s Daffs bloomed earlier if their homes faced East.. mine of course doesn’t.) But I’m not seeing a lot of tulips or other early bulbs & blooms yet either. The flowering plum trees are almost spent and the flowering pear – White Snowball Trees—are in full swing down here. I’ve seen American Redbud the last few days, Star Magnolia and Tulip Magnolias have been out since February too. And I almost crashed my car yesterday when I drove past a grove of what I think are Peach Trees because they are SOOO close to bursting their blooms. –FINALLY!


Camelia red flower bloom Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden DSBG.org

Oh! Plus I had the extreme joy of finding out the hard way that I have two Camellia bushes in my backyard… dude, these babies try to bloom in December? What are they THINKING?

In that frame of mind I drove over to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden—DSBG.org— to see what was blooming in early March in the Charlotte area.

I knew about DSBG.org Welcome visitors Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardenthe Orchid house so if nothing else I’d have an indoor venue filled with the color I was craving this early in the season! And it didn’t disappoint.

I had so much fun being there alone; just me and my camera. Yes the garden won’t be in full color until Mid-April (when they are sure hard frosts are in the past). BUT. There was enough gorgeous scenery and a few early blooms to keep me happy.


DSBG.org trellis vintage photo

I especially loved trying to capture the beauty of the huge trellis walkway. Imagine a wedding here?! WOW.

Paper Bush flower in bloom early march DSBG.org fragrant bloom no leaves

And I found the most amazing and loudly fragrant little white bell shaped flowers on a small bush.

They were almost rude they were so smelly. I stopped dead in my tracks until I could find where the smell was coming from? It reminded me of gardenia maybe? Holy BEE Magnet! I worked hard to get a great close up with those bees. But they were too skittish. I think they were worried about their double chins or something? It took me several days of internet searching but I finally figured out the name of this plant.

May I introduce you to the rowdy & disruptively fragrant:  Paper Bush. If you plant this bush just know that you won’t be able to simply saunter past, it will insist you stop to smell the… flowers. It’s rude that way. It has no leaves yet either. Naked and it just doesn’t care.

Other plants in bloom at the DSBG.org in March:

  • Flowering Quince
  • Several types of Lenten Rose
  • Camelias
  • Daffodils, Crocus and Grape Hyacinth
  • And don’t forget the demanding Paper Bush
  • Orchids – Year Round

DSBG.org orchid collage goodncrazy

Shall we talk Orchids? Oh my YES. A giant building. So fun to photograph! Except for the orchid colored Orchids? I could not capture the true color and vibrance of that flower to save my lens? Lower right flower. What the heck? I think there’s a conspiracy among the orchids?

Oh well, the orange orchids BLEW me away instead. So there… purple orchid.

DSBG.org orchid conservatory botanical garden

I can’t wait to take my family back to #DSBG after it’s in full bloom— with picnic treats of course. It’s located south & west of Charlotte in Belmont, not far from my house. Cost to get in is $12 for adults and ages: 4-12 are $6. Membership rates exist as well.

Head’s Up: There is a Peter Rabbit event Saturday March 29th.
DSBG Peter Rabbit Event March 29thThe event is free with Garden admission. Photos with Peter Rabbit will be available as well as catered food you can purchase, or bring a picnic and enjoy the day with your family.


Disclosure: All photos are my own except Peter Rabbit here. He is courtesy of DSBG.org. I was hosted at the garden by DSBG as well. They were kind enough to feed my need for early blooms.

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7 Responses
  1. March 19, 2014

    When we first moved into our neighborhood almost 7 years ago, we received a year membership as a gift with our home purchase. We have renewed every year since then. It is my happy place. When my mom moved here she got a membership too, so it has been wonderful to share it with her. I think June is my favorite favorite month there.

    • March 19, 2014

      I’m DYING to see it in just two weeks from now, much less in JUNE! YAY!

  2. Kristen permalink
    March 20, 2014

    Ha!! I love your honest and hilarious post. “It’s rude that way. It has no leaves yet either. Naked and it just doesn’t care.”. I have lived in Charlotte most of my life and have yet to go to DSBG. I want to!
    Twitter: theplayfulmom

    • March 20, 2014

      You made my day.. THANK YOU!! 🙂

      I had more fun writing the post than taking the photos.. wait… no I LOVED taking the photos! 🙂
      And WHAT? Let’s do DSBG together!! A Mom Date! 🙂

  3. March 21, 2014

    I can’t believe I’ve lived here my whole like and still haven’t made it to DSBG. The pictures are beautiful. I hope their plants made it ok through our ice earlier this week. It has caused havoc on my stuff at home 🙁
    Twitter: mamamommymom

    • March 21, 2014

      It’s close to my house kinda on your way.. come see me on your way over! 🙂

  4. March 22, 2014

    We LOVE DSBG and my oldest has a field trip there next month too. I could totally smell those flowers on the rude paper bush. I would love to smell them and probably sneeze a little too. Amazing pictures, I really felt like I could touch the beautiful flowers.
    Twitter: mommybknowsbest

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