TRAVEL: TO EDENTON, NORTH CAROLINA

We took a short road trip to coastal North Carolina. Actually, we stayed on Albemarle Sound in the town of Edenton, North Carolina. While it is “coastal” it’s not directly on the ocean.. Several years ago we had been there, very briefly, when the temperature must have been close to 100° so we didn’t spend much (any?) time walking outside. We thought it was time to give the town a second look!

Edenton nc waterfront

This is probably THE most photographed view of the town of Edenton, NC. The view looking out to Albemarle Sound with the clumps of trees in the water is dramatic and eye-catching.

Take a look at this map to orient yourself:

map of Edenton North Carolina

For this trip we chose to stay at a Select Registry hotel:

The Inner Banks Inn

Here is the story with our room: take a look at the website and you can read all about it.
President and Mrs. Reagan stayed in this room! As did Dolly Parton. No, not at the same time! Well, how could we resist such a notorious room?
The bed was SO HIGH they did actually have a stool on one side which was very helpful.

Edenton NC hotels

The Inn was lovely. The entire staff was very helpful and the room was enormous and comfortable. If you take a look at the post I wrote about our stay in Southport, NC. and scroll down a bit you can see some of the things I look for in an Inn and what I consider important. Well, one of those things is a rug in the bathroom. I know, it’s a small detail! But I cannot tell you how many Inns and hotels never, ever have a rug. It is rare. (Ok, this is a bit of a rant!!) Anyway, the Inner Banks Inn had a nice white rug in the bathroom. Nice detail, y’all.

Their restaurant,  The Table, served fresh local fish, vegetables and meat. We sat outside after dinner enjoying the soft air and star filled skies.

Breakfast was served on the terrace. And then….I used one of their many bicycles to explore the town. This is one of my favorite ways to see any town and is always good for taking pictures.

Slide show of scenes around town:

 


 

Edenton is old…the court house is the oldest in the state having been built in 1767 and still in use. In fact, the present N.C. State Supreme Court came to the Edenton Court House several years ago to hear a case…and they all stayed at The Inner Banks Inn.
The population is just over 5,000.
One of the main industries in the early town was the textile mill: see the last slide above for a sign for the present museum. The Cotton Mill was built about 1900 and operated for almost 90 years. Today the main building has been converted to luxury condominiums; the mill workers houses have all been renovated and are charming!

Our weather has been warm but very nice which made for perfect sight seeing in and around Edenton. If you are anywhere in my area and looking for a quick getaway, I recommend this town. We have stayed at numerous Select Registry inns and have always found them to be good… some are more pricey than others (this was very reasonable) but they DO pay attention to detail!

 

Have you experienced these Inns? Do you have any others to recommend? Would love to hear comments.

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FRIDAY FLOWERS: LET’S TALK ABOUT IRIS

I always think of iris blooms as being so fleeting. They just do NOT last long, either in the garden or as cut flowers.

But then again, they are SO lovely that of course, I must grow them.

 

This is one of my very favorite iris in my garden: it was given to me by a friend who had lived here.

Louisiana Iris  and this is ‘teddy bear’

All iris will bloom prolifically for a few years…although the first year you may not get flowers. But after that, and for about four years, the flowers will be wonderful. After about four years (I have found) the rhizomes become large and crowded and the iris need to be divided.

Here are my helpful hints to divide iris:

  1. Use a fork to dig up the iris. You don’t really need to be TOO careful…they will be fine.
  2. Wash them off. Be sure all foliage is cut back to about 5″ above the rhizome.
  3. Often you can simply snap the rhizomes to separate them. Or, use a sharp knife to divide. Sometimes you will get up to 4 new “clumps” from one original, and sometimes only 2.
  4. Be sure to look them over. Discard any that are soft or mealy or seem infected.
  5. Lay them out on newspaper for a few days, keeping them dry.
  6. Replant! Remember, keep them shallow. Plant with the top of the rhizome on about a level with the soil. Planting too deep will discourage growth. Do NOT put mulch on top.
  7. Many people plant each rhizome about one foot apart. I plant mine much closer… sometimes as close as 6″. I will plant 3 or 4 rhizomes in a sort of clump and then allow more room between clumps. I like the way several are close together when they bloom; but this is a personal choice.
  8. Water them well. Remember: deep, less frequent waterings are always better than shallow and more frequent.
  9. Best time of year to do this is August or September. I’ve done it in late winter and almost never have flowers that season.

 

The one thing that is tricky about iris, and transplanting and dividing them, is how to label them. I’ve tried tying string right near the bottom with a label but somehow it always comes loose. And plastic plant markers tend to get trampled or lost over the season. So, I have found the best thing is to take pictures…lots of them!

Do you have any helpful comments or ideas about dividing iris? We would all love to hear!

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FRIDAY FLOWERS: WHITE GINGER LILY

Today is all about the
White Ginger Lily
or
Hedychium Coronarium
or
Butterfly Ginger Plant

Just how beautiful is this?
And, its scent matches its beauty!! It is sweet, and tropical, and reminiscent of honeysuckle.

 

 

These ginger lilies grow by spreading rhizomes, disappearing in the winter and re-emerging in late spring.
By August (in my Zone 7b) the plants are about four feet high and the vertical flowers start to emerge. What a sight! And what a scent!

The plants will easily and happily over-winter in Zone 7b and south of that. But don’t despair! If you are north of that you can easily dig up the rhizome and store for the winter. Just the way you handle dahlias…
Believe me, it’s worth it. Grow them in full sun and both you and the plants will be happy!

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