The first thing that I did, gardening wise, when I moved to Minnesota from Georgia was to try all of the plants that I had grown to love in the South in the North — hoping beyond hope that perhaps someone had made a mistake when listing the hardiness zones of these plants. The result was a mess of dead lacebark elms, Japanese maples, and butterfly bushes. One plant that I did find could live, albeit just barely, was the beautyberry — a purple fruiting shrub that would survive as a perennial in Minnesota, just barely getting up to my knee — just enough to tease me.
Today I’m giving a few talks in Blacksburg VA and visiting fellow GP Holly Scoggins. She runs the Hahn gardens here and has some truly beautiful specimens of many plants that I covet, beautyberry among them. I am so jealous of people who live in the South and can grow this stuff to its full potential!
In this photo I share a beer with a large, lush beautyberry. I think it might have been more impressed by a higher caliber beer.