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CoastLine is a variety news show, which airs Wednesdays from 12pm - 1pm on WHQR.Every week, we’ll look into issues that matter in the Cape Fear Region. Host Rachel Lewis Hilburn will interview expert guests and invite you to join the conversation.

CoastLine: Spring planting in a not-quite-post-pandemic season (amid a plant shortage)

The exuberance of spring is axiomatic, but as every spring has its own theme, so does the spring of 2021.  New life and longer days and warmer air and the riotous generosity of nature explode in stark contrast to the rigid stricture of six feet apart, masks, disinfectant, solitude.  We are in a not-quite-post-pandemic planting season. 

Gardening is often a solitary activity, and it’s outdoors, so regardless of whether a fourth wave of Covid spurred by younger people catching the variants is on the way, gardening is a safe and productive activity.  Perhaps that’s one reason that "both the U.K. and the United States saw a gardening boom in 2020,"  according to The New York Times, "with sales of seeds way up and nurseries overrun on weekends."

And that might be why there seems to be a shortage of plants this year.


Tom Ericson, co-owner, The Transplanted Garden, Wilmington, NC

Editor's Note:   The host incorrectly states during this recording that palm trees are "not really native" to North Carolina.  We received this correction from a listener:

"The Cape Fear region does in fact have two species of native palms.  Sabal minor (NC native, SC to VA border), and Sabal palmetto (NC native to BHI), both of which Tom recommended... There seems to be a common misconception that the slew of non-native Asian azaleas, camellias, gardenias, hydrangeas, & crape myrtles are perfectly at home here in the greater Wilmington area, while NC native Sabal species (because they are palms) are foreign and out of place."

- In defense of the often misunderstood Sabals