Bird-Friendly Communities

Governor's Western Residence Blooms

In early 2017, North Carolina’s First Lady Kristin Cooper reached out to Audubon North Carolina with an exciting opportunity—the chance to help establish a bird and pollinator-friendly garden at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh.
 
The original Victorian garden at the Executive Mansion, planted by Dottie Martin, had become overgrown over the years with privet (Ligustrum) hedges and lost much of its original color and vibrancy. Audubon played a lead role in designing and fundraising for the refreshed garden, which now benefits pollinators, birds and other wildlife.
 
After the bird-friendly garden in Raleigh was revealed last fall, the First Lady and Governor invited Audubon to refresh the Governor's Western Residence in Asheville as well! 
Ben Skelton holds out one of his garden plans for the Governor's Western Residence. Photo: Sharon Bruce/BCDC Ideas

Once again, Ben Skelton, owner of Skelton's Landscaping Service and New Hope Audubon Society Bird-Friendly Habitat Certification team volunteer, created the design for the bird and pollinator-friendly garden, drawing from Audubon North Carolina’s Bird-Friendly Native Plants list.

Thanks to volunteers from Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society of Asheville and the Western Residence ground crew, 500 individual plants - 30 total species of beautiful native flowers, shrubs, and grasses - were added to the front and back gardens of this idyllic residence!

Take a "live" tour with our Field Organizer Kim Brand here.

Volunteers, ground crew, Skelton Landscaping team, and Audubon NC staff wrap a full day of planting. Photo: Sharon Bruce/BCDC Ideas

A complete list of the nurseries involved and the plants they provided for the Western Residence is available below.

Consider adding any or all of these species to your own bird-friendly garden!

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA 
(For full availability, visit their websites)

Carolina Native Nursery – Burnsville, NC

  • New Jersey Tea, Ceanothus americanus
  • Green & Gold, Chrysogonum virginianum
  • Bee Balm, Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’
  • Penstemon digitalis, ‘Husker’s Red’
  • Phlox divaricata, ‘Blue Moon’
  • Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida
  • Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium
     
Greg Walker of Skelton Landscaping holds Sisyrinchium angustifolium, also known as Blue-eyed Grass. Photo: Sharon Bruce/BCDC Ideas

Southeastern Native Plant Nursery – Candler, NC 

  • Mountain Sweet Pepperbush, Clethra acuminata
  • Shrubby St. John’s Wort, Hypericum prolificum
  • Spiraea tomentosa
  • Blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum (3 different cultivars)
  • Mapleleaf Viburnum, Viburnum acerifolium
  • Southern Arrowwood Viburnum, Viburnum dentatum ‘Blue Muffin’
     

Painters Greenhouse – Old Fort, NC

  • Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa
  • Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
  • Joe Pye-Weed, Eutrochium dubium ‘Little Joe’
  • Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis
  • Fireworks Goldenrod, Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’
  • Aromatic Aster, Symphotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies'
     

Red Root Native Nursery – Barnardsville, NC 

  • Dwarf Crested Iris, Iris cristata
  • White Wood Aster, Eurybia divaricata
     

PIEDMONT NORTH CAROLINA
(For full availability, visit their websites)

Hoffman Nursery – Rougemont, NC (sells wholesale only; home gardeners may purchase via a landscaping or landscape-design company)

  • Seersucker Sedge, Carex plantaginea
  • Creek Sedge, Carex amphibola
  • Texas Sedge, Carex texensis
  • Pink Muhly Grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris
  • Shenandoah Switch Grass, Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’


Cure Nursery – Pittsboro, NC 

  • Swamp Sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius ‘Mellow Yellow’
  • Blue Mistflower, Conoclinium coelestinum
     

Plantworks – Rougemont, NC (sells wholesale only)

  • Moss Phlox, Phlox subulata ‘Fort Hill’
  • Moss Phlox, Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’


 

Skelton Landscaping plans for the Governor's Western Residence - front yard. Photo: Skelton Landscaping

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