November in the Tryon Palace Gardens

Time to put the gardens to bed. Time to plant the spring bulbs and pansies. Time to start prepping for holiday decorating. Time to start planning the gardens for next summer! 

The gardeners have started cleaning away the dead and dying summer annuals and mums, as well as cutting back perennials in preparation for planting spring bulbs and winter annuals. The Kellenberger Garden was first to display pretty little viola faces. For now we have been enjoying the pansies and violas in the nursery yard. It is hard to decide which cheery whiskered blooms are our personal favorites this year. This morning it was the yellow and blue pansies on the far end of the yard but after lunch those deep purple and blue denim jump-up violas were really cute. 

We were all caught unprepared by the earlier cold snap in October. The citrus, tender perennials and specimen plants have since been moved to the hobby house, which is now toasty with its new skin and insulating air layer. We’ve chosen which plants to save for stock and which ones to say goodbye to, and which to take cuttings from for home gardens and the grounds. 

It is also time to be planning for the next plant sale! Recently we had the greenhouse heaters checked and closed up the top vents. The first week in November the winter poly will go on the hoop house. After that we will finish crowding everything possible into the houses and the micro climates in the nursery yard. Secretly I hope now that I do all of this winter prep we will have a mild winter and the Prunus mumes will bloom at Christmas, and the camellias until April. I’ve also ordered 150 pounds of ice melt. Surely that will keep the ice and snow away and we can fall over those bags in the storage shed for the next three years. 
Between the placing of the mums in the gardens and the Fall Heritage Plant Sale our gardeners were selecting and ordering annuals for next summer, as well as perennials and color bowls for the spring sale. Already I am stressing over how to make it all fit in the greenhouse until the weather breaks next spring.  

Hadley and I have been prepping the bees for winter. They did not enjoy the gray, wet days of September any more than we did and were rolling out of the hives once the sun broke to go in search of pollen and nectar. We have been diligently feeding them sugar water and checking their winter stores. We have good strong hives now so fingers crossed. They have enjoyed the asters and swamp sunflowers these past few weeks. 

In mid-November holiday decorating will begin. The guys have been cleaning the shop and moving tables around to make room for the dozens of bins and boxes that will come out of storage. A shipment of garlands and wreaths will explode in our shed space soon and the yard outside the grounds building will be full of containers of cut greens from magnolia, cedar and pine. 

It has also been a time to enjoy the first camellia blooms in the Carraway and Stanly Gardens, to watch the amsonia foliage in the front bed of the Disosway turn from green to yellow to bronze, and to watch the shoreline along the Trent River for the winter birds that call our corner of New Bern home for the winter. 

Happy Gardening, 

Freda Pyron, 
Gardens and Greenhouse Manager, Tryon Palace


  • Ageratum/Mistflower (Conoclimium coelestinum), blue
  • Asters (Aster frickarti & Symphyotrichum sp.), blue, pink
  • Blanket flower (Gaillardia puchella), red and yellow
  • Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), yellow, orange, butterfly larva on chewed leaves
  • Candy corn plant (Cuphea micropetala), white, orange, yellow
  • Cape leadwort (Plumbago capensis), blue
  • Carnation (Dianthus sp.), various
  • Cigar or cigarette flower (Cuphea ignea), red, purple, white. Bees love it! 
  • Clara Curtis mum (Chrysanthemum rubellum), pink
  • Confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis), white to pink
  • Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia numularia), yellow foliage
  • False sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), yellow
  • Four O’Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa), fuchsia, yellow, pinks
  • Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri “Whirling Butterflies” & “Sparkle White”), pink, white
  • Ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium), white
  • Golden rod (Solidago sp.), yellow
  • Japanese anemone (Anemone japonica), pink
  • Lantana (Lantana camarara), yellows, orange, lavender, pink
  • Lion’s Ear or dagga (Leonotus leonurus), orange
  • Mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea), blue
  • Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha), fuzzy purple
  • Patrinia (Patrinia scabiosaefolia), yellow
  • Salvia greggi (Salvia greggii), red 
  • Salvia “Hot Lips” (Salvia microphylla), red and white  
  • Salvia “Indigo Spires” (Salvia farinacea X longispicata), indigo
  • Sedum (Sedum X), yellow
  • Swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius), yellow
  • Tatarian aster (Aster tatarica), blue
  • Toad lily (Trycirtis hirtaa), purple
  • Turk’s cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummuondii), red


  • Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sumpervirens), native, red and yellow
  • Hyacinth bean or lablab vine (Dolichos lablab), purple bloom with purple seedpods
  • Morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea “Grandpa Ott”), purple
  • Morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor), blue with white throat


  • Annual phlox (Phlox drummondii), mix
  • Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), orange, yellow
  • Dusty Miller “Silver Dust,” gray
  • English daisy “Bellissiama Mix” (Bellis)
  • Forget Me Nots “Mon Amie Blue” (Myosotis)
  • Gomphrena (Gomphrena globosa), purple
  • Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia), red and orange
  • Old-fashioned petunia (Petunia integrifolia), magenta
  • Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus), “Sonnet Mix,” “Montego Sunset”  
  • Violas: Sorbet Delft Blue, Penny White Blotch, Admire Mix Maxi, Penny Clear Yellow, Penny Primrose Picotee, Penny Denim Jump Up
  • Pansies: Matrix Mixes: Coastal Sunrise, Ocean Breeze, Red Wing, Morpheus; Delta Cool Water Mix

Trees & Shrubs 

  • Azaleas, Encore (Rhodendron Hybrid) “Autumn Amethyst” (lavender), “Autumn Angel” (white), “Autumn Chiffon” (pink)
  • Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), purple berries
  • Camellia (Camellia sasanqua sp.), white and pink
  • Camellia (Camellia sasanqua “Setsugekka”), white
  • Camellia (Camellia sasanqua “Yuletide”), red
  • Chinese mahonia (Mahonia fortunei), yellow
  • Climbing rose “Old Blush” (Rosa chinensis), pink 
  • David Austin Roses
  • Dogwood berries (Cornus florida), red
  • Fatsia (Fatsia japonica), white
  • Fragrant osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans), yellow
  • Knock Out Roses (Rosa “RADrazz”)
  • Leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum), white
  • Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica), cream 
  • Pomegranate (Punica granata), coral, orange with fruit
  • Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia), leaves and nuts beginning to fall 
  • Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), white, lavendar
  • Tea plant (Camellia sinenses), white
  • Winterberry (Ilex verticilliata), red berries

Kitchen Garden 

Hyacinth bean or lablab (Dolichos lablab) purple blooms and seed pods; Winter crops: broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, beets, cabbage, carrots, cardoon, artichoke, collards, turnips, spinach, onions, Swiss chard, mints, cardinal basil, oregano, thyme, salad burnet, pineapple sage, “Munstead” lavender, leeks, parsley, arugula