Thursday, October 27, 2011

Flower Power! Seeds for Salvo

Lance leaved Coreopsis
NCDOT is  proud to be teaming up with local master gardeners on the Outer Banks to help bring back plants and flowers on Hatteras Island that were destroyed by Hurricane Irene.

One of our most popular and nationally-recognized highway beautification efforts is our wildflower program. It began in 1985 and has become an integral part of what we do to make our highways  more attractive. Wildflower beds are installed and maintained across the state by NCDOT's Roadside Environmental personnel in each of the fourteen highway divisions.

We're taking some of our seed stock, plus some trees and donating it to the Seeds for Salvo initiative -local master gardeners are sharing seeds from their own gardens to help replace batters plants and flowers on the island.

We talked with Derek Smith, who heads up our wildflower program to get the 4-1-1 on what NCDOT is contributing.

NCDOT donated: 
We donated these specific species because: 
  • They are North Carolina natives 
  • They are seasonally appropriate - they are meant to be planted in the fall 
  • They are low-maintenance 
Planting/maintenance tips: These plants were chosen partly because they are fairly self-sustaining once established. Just plant them in the fall, and you don’t even have to water them! The sumac will take a few years to mature. The wildflowers should bloom in the spring. The frost this winter will burn the top greenery off the daylilies, but the root mass will stay underground; b/c these plants are perennials they will come back year after year.

Is this something we typically do after storms or disasters? Smith can’t remember NCDOT doing this type of donation before. It's the result of a special request which came down from Clair Sutton, Dare Master Gardener alumni, in conjunction with Sen. Stan White’s office. Homeowners, businesses and the local Garden Club will plant NCDOT’s donations around Dare County.

The seeds will be available at The Boathouse Food Pantry in Salvo on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon until all are taken.

For more info, contract Clair Sutton in Kitty Hawk at

Outer Banks Sentinel story

NCDOT Wildflower Index

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