Williamsburg in Virginia is one of those magical places that I heard about when I was a tyke, but have never been to. My parents went there as newlyweds, as they were considering relocating to Vienna, which is also in Virginia, near Washington. Well, Woodland Gnome of Our Forest Garden happens to be there, and sent me some seedlings of the native American beautyberry that I have been wanting to grow for a very long time! They arrived on Thursday. I retrieved them yesterday. As I prefer, they are what grows wild there, rather than cultivars.

1. Packages in the mail are so much fun! This package came all the way across North America, from Williamsburg in Virginia! That is farther than Ilwaco! Heck, that is farther than Oklahoma!

2. Hand written notes attached to such packages demonstrate impeccable cultural refinement. Oh my, I do not write such notes because it seems to me that no one appreciates them anymore.

3. Beautyberry seedlings in a six pack are the first of the species that I ever met! They looked neater after I set the six pack within another for added integrity, and rinsed the potting media off.

4. There are cuttings also! I have not processed these yet, but should do so in the morning. The foliage remains firmly attached, so will stay with these cuttings until they defoliate for autumn.

5. Berries that are attached to the cuttings might contain viable seed. They will likely be sown in the same cans that the cuttings get plugged into. If there are many, they will get separate cans.

6. Butterfly ginger is a major bonus in the package. It is another species that I had been wanting, but had not yet procured. If its bloom is white enough, some of it may go live at the Cathedral.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Williamsburg!

    1. Yes, it seems that those who are familiar with it take it for granted, like Joy Pye weed, goldenrod and Indian paintbrush. I am completely unfamiliar with it. I have seen cultivars of it in mail order catalogs, including some most intriguing sorts with white berries, but wanted the common species as it grows in the wild. Now I have it here!

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  1. I found Beautyberries in the woods around by house. The color knocked my socks off. I agree that a package like that must feel like Christmas. And it has gingers! I have been to Williamsburg as a child and adult. I recommend going as an adult. It was boring for a child.

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    1. When I research Williamsburg online, I find that the buildings there, which might have been there for centuries, still look like they did in the pictures in a book about Colonial Williamsburg that my parents brought back in the 1960s. There is nothing like that in California. The home that my Pa built in Montara was a modern reproduction of a home in Massachusetts, and a nearby home was a less modern reproduction of a home in New York. I suspect that there are similarities of style with homes in Williamsburg. I know that the style is very different from most homes here.

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      1. Actually, Rhody is terrified of kittens. He does not seem to realize that they are baby cats. He likes Darla and other cats, but not many cats would have fit into that box.

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    1. Since this is a chaparral climate, they will at least need to be in an irrigated landscape. Three streams and two creeks flow through our landscapes. We will likely put some of the beautyberry on the banks of at least one of the streams.

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    1. Some sources cite that they are toxic. Others explain that they are not toxic if cooked, and that they make palatable but bland jelly. I will try making jelly with them eventually, but do not expect it to be remarkable. It is one of the few plants that I want to just look pretty in the landscape. No fruit production is necessary.

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