Sunday, May 31, 2020

Police Use Of Force Project, Police Scorecard Project, Campaign Zero Project

I’m taking a break from the garden posts today because I’m so angry, disgusted, and heartbroken by what is going on in our country, and has been going on for my entire life.

This weekend I and two writer colleagues had a virtual writing retreat on Zoom and we used a lot of our time processing what’s played out over the past few days. It’s horrific to see the videos of police attacking and assaulting U.S. citizens. I applaud the few who have joined their community protests, who have listened and supported, but the vast majority of police officers being documented by professional and citizen journalists are being brutal, vicious, and totally beyond the pale of what anyone could think is reasonable.

In an effort to find something in the way of a solution to all this, I came upon these projects and I want to share them.

The first is the Police Use of Force Project.

Please check them out here: POLICE USE OF FORCE PROJECT

The second is the Police Scorecard Project.

You can check them out here: POLICE SCORECARD PROJECT

The third is Campaign Zero Project.

You can join this movement here: CAMPAIGN ZERO

It is well past the point when our country should have rooted out racism in law enforcement (and in general). All people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by law enforcement officers. Every child should grow up with the knowledge that they can expect protection and safety from police officers. Every adult should walk or drive knowing they can look to police officers for help and assistance.

I’m a white woman who grew up in a small, southern, racist town. I was cared for from the day I was born until I went to college by a beautiful, loving, black woman. From the time I was old enough to understand what was going on, I have struggled with the issue of racism. I can honestly say that in my lifetime I have never been hurt by a black person. I can’t say the same about white people.

I do not know what the answers are, but I do think we should all commit to educating ourselves about racism in our country, about human behavior and how our brains work, and about how we can, in our daily lives, do small but powerful things to change the fact that we are not all able to move about as free citizens. We are not all able to have a sense of safety in the world.

As a psychotherapist who studied child and human development, a sense of trust and safety is a basic need. We are a country of people who have not had our basic needs met. We need mass healing.

We must all figure out how we can assist with this. We must begin with ourselves.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 48: Stokes’ aster (Peachie’s Pick) + some garden/farm photos

The unidentified plant suddenly came to me yesterday - it’s Stokes’ aster, Peachie’s Pick variety. It’s really pretty and I had forgotten this particular variety was in my garden!

These beauties are nestled in among the coneflowers and I also see three, make that four, spiky prickly weed thingies growing in there. They get tall and harder to pull so I need to get out there today and get them out. (Benefit of taking photo from above is you can see weeds easier!)

These are just starting to pop and this spot will be a mass of blooms soon. The asters tend to be long-blooming plants. I think this one is a bit early and partly why I didn’t remember what it was!

We’ve had a busy weekend on the farm, with lots of fun sightings of the critters we live with here.

My husband got a good photo of this black snake - I’ve seen one near Delphine, he saw one near the barn, now this one. Could be it’s the same snake, or could be more than one. Either way, I’m more than happy to share the outdoors with them. They help with mice and I think they’re beautiful. Plus, they lived here first.

 My daughter reports that this is a female anole. I thought I had captured a young dinosaur in action. A very curious creature and I’m happy she’s enjoying the garden.

Here’s a video of the milkweed yesterday afternoon. It’s a busy buffet for native bees.

I’m not seeing the honeybee girls up in the pollinator beds yet. They have so much blooming in Poplar Folly and Arcadia I think they’re working that area for now. As we move into summer the pollinator beds near the house will get busier, and lucky for the bees, honey and native, I have planted many things for them that bloom on through the season. 

Here are a few more photos of interesting garden finds this weekend.

This is what the baptisia do after they finish blooming. I love this feature in the garden and it’s food for wildlife as well. 

Here are a couple of photos showing the goldenrod plants I moved early on. A few of them wilted totally after transplant but they have all recovered nicely with some pampering. I didn’t quite finish the fenceline because it got hotter and I felt they would not make it. I’ll finish it off in the fall, when they can use the winter to grow their root systems without all the watering I’ve had to do with these.

I moved one rattlesnake master and forgot to take the photo of how it’s doing. I thought for sure it was a goner as it too wilted badly and then bunnies ate the leaves completely down, but I noticed yesterday it has sprung back and is thriving. I’ll move the rest of the babies in the fall.

And finally, more info on the Stokes’ aster:

Stokes’ aster ‘Peachie’s Pick’

Stokesia laevis ‘Peachie’s Pick’ (Stokes’ aster ‘Peachie’s Pick’). While this specific cultivar is of horticultural origin, Stokesia laevis is a native North American wildflower. It is also a member of the Asteraceae family.

The genus name honors Dr. Jonathan Stokes, a 18-19th century English physician. The cultivar name pays homage to the woman from Mississippi who discovered the plant, Peachie Saxton.
Stokesia laevis grows up to 45.72 cm (1.5 ft) tall with a 45.72 cm (1.5 ft) spread. Plants grow best in full sun with well-drained, sandy soil, but Stokesia laevis can also tolerate filtered sunlight and drought. The main killer of ‘Peachie’s Pick’ is wet soil in the winter, so it is very important to keep it well drained. It may also be helpful to use a layer of mulch in winter to protect against the cold.
This Stokes’ aster cultivar is best planted in small groupings throughout USDA Zones 5-9. The flowering stems tend to flop less than other Stokes’ asters, but their tall height leaves them susceptible to some reclining, especially after a strong thunderstorm. Stokesia laevis is a compact growing aster with fluffy, cornflower-like flowers (up to 7.62 cm across) colored lavender-blue. Especially if deadheaded, ‘Peachie’s Pick’ can bloom from midsummer to early fall. The stems originate from a rosette of oblong-lanceolate medium green leaves (up to 20.32 cm long). Stokesia also invites butterflies and bees to the garden!
Botanical NameStokesia laevis ‘Peachie’s Pick’
Common NameStokes’ aster ‘Peachie’s Pick’
USDA Zone5 thru 9
Light RequirementFull Sun
Season(s) of interestsummer, fall, winter
Height and Spread1-1.5ft x 1-1.5ft (30-45cm x 30-45cm)
Flower ColorBlue, Purple
Attracts WildlifeHosts Caterpillars of Butterflies/Moths, Attracts Pollinators, Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores
Additional InformationNot Native to the US Midwest. Slaevisnative to southeastern North America.
Location in Lurie GardenNorth Dark Plate, Northwest Light Plate​

Monday, May 25, 2020

November Hill farm journal, 101 (bee hives!)

We had some sunshine after last week’s daily rain but then shifted back to rain yesterday with a late afternoon thunderstorm. Today it’s overcast but thankfully not raining! Time to dry out a little bit so the daily routine can get back to normal.

Saturday morning it was dry and not too hot, and our honeybee nuc delivery from western NC went off without a hitch. I coordinate an annual bee nuc purchase and delivery for our county, bringing in VSH honeybees with terrific genetics and sweet natures. 7 Stands Farm is a family-owned business and they are wonderful to work with.

I got home with two new nucs and my husband helped me get them down to Arcadia. We opened the nuc box entrances so they could fly and start to settle in. Late Saturday afternoon we went down to install them into their permanent hive boxes. The bees were super busy when we opened the first nuc up and since our smoker wouldn’t stay lit and husband was getting a little bit agitated himself, I decided we should give them the entire day and overnight to settle in. We closed everything back up and called it a day.

Yesterday, Sunday, we went down at 11 with a well-lit smoker and got rolling. Things went perfectly. These nucs are thriving, with many bees packed on the five frames. We decided to go ahead and put a second hive box on both, and we fed all three colonies with 1:1 sugar syrup with some Honey Be Healthy added, since our main nectar flow is now over. Bees need nectar to build new comb, and 1:1 syrup closely resembles nectar. They need new comb in order to build out their frames to grow new brood, store the pollen to feed them, and to make and store honey for the winter. That’s the life cycle of the honeybee, and why we won’t be taking any honey from these colonies this year. They’ll need all they can make for their own survival.

After making a decision to put the new hive boxes in my potager, I changed my mind the day before the nucs arrived. While the potager is at the end of the paddock and fenced off from horses and donkeys, if for any reason we needed to move the hive after putting bees in it, we’d have to do a gradual move through the back pasture, through Poplar Folly, and finally down into Arcadia. It could be things would go fine in the potager, but there’s also a chance the bees would have bothered the horses. So we moved the hive boxes Saturday morning and all three are in Arcadia, well away from the herd and, honestly, in a little bit of heaven down there right now with all the things blooming. They can and do fly up to the pollinator beds by the house. I think the decision to keep all the hives together is the right one.

So, here they all are.

Echo is the hive we installed the end of March. They were able to to take full advantage of the nectar flow and have built out their brood box and have a great start building out the second hive box. They stayed busy in their usual foraging routine yesterday while in the literal center of the installing activity. Thankfully we have plenty of room to space these hives out so they weren’t really bothered by all the new bees flying around!

Artemis hive was the agitated one on Saturday. They were very focused on us as we opened up the nuc and getting in our faces more than is usual. They never bumped me but with agitation spreading to my husband, it felt like a bad combination. Yesterday, with more time to settle in and my husband and I both well-rested and ahead of the heat of the day, things went perfectly. I’m happy they’re in their new home and hope they use the syrup to get rolling with comb building. Thankfully the inkberry hollies are now in full bloom, so along with all the wildflowers in Arcadia, the pollinators I’ve planted in Poplar Folly, and the pollinator beds coming into full bloom at the house, they have plenty to forage as well.

And finally, Hegemone. They are in the spot where I had the two hives last year. I’ve been keeping an eye on the area for the past few months after big rains, insuring that we’re not seeing a lot of water run-off. I’ve done some work uphill from the area to address the run-off, and it’s paying off. There is one dry stream bed that flows when we get huge rainfall in a short period of time, but it’s well in front of the hive and shouldn’t bother them at all. These bees have been super active since we got them off our truck, finding a way out of their nuc box before we even opened it. Even today they’re still flying about, but they’re in their new and spacious home now and can hopefully finish settling in today and get to work foraging.

We had a little drama yesterday early evening, after the deluge, when our county bee group posted an email about a swarm report (we get a lot of calls from the community when people find swarms of honeybees, which we love, because instead of people killing them, we can send out experienced beekeepers to collect the swarms and install them in hive equipment) that was less than a mile from November Hill. I had a moment of paranoia that one of our nucs had swarmed and husband ran down to check on them. They were fine. Whew! I am not an experienced beekeeper and have not yet collected a swarm, so I’m glad we didn’t have to yesterday!

Several people were going to coordinate to get someone over to the swarm before nightfall. We’re lucky to be in a county with a large number of experienced beekeepers, many of whom are certified and have gone on to meet requirements for journeyman and master beekeeper. We also have a very active beekeeping association, so we have a lot of support in general.

I’m glad the bees are home and we can help keep them happy and healthy as we move toward summer, then fall, and into winter.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A few rainy day photos in lieu of native plant posts

It’s been raining all week and still have another day to go, so I’ve not been out much. I took a peek this morning from the front porch and ran down during a break in the rain to take a few photos of some flowers getting ready to come out. The echinacea seem like they’re just waiting for a bit of sunshine to really pop.

The milkweed are slowly coming out. That is a stunning echinacea bloom to be standing tall on the right.

 These are ??? - what are they? I’m going to have to wait until the flowers come out and identify them.

 Here they are from above:

On a different note, about six months or so ago I stopped buying dishwashing liquid in plastic bottles. I got a lovely wooden dish brush and a block of white soap that is finally down to a sliver. Both came packaged in nothing but brown paper, compostable or reusable as wrapping paper.

When it came time to reorder, this olive oil soap was back in stock and check it out! Perfect for November Hill, good for the environment, a pleasure to use when washing hands and dishes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

November Hill farm journal, 100

Wow - 100 farm journal posts!

The heart of November Hill is the house, but the barn is so close behind the house I count it as part of it.

This week we’re having a multi-day rain event, which hasn’t happened in awhile. We need the rain but having it stretched out over 5 days is not my idea of a good week. But I’m rolling with the weather since I cannot control it!

I reorganized who is where in the barn this week. They come in for the day now and I’ve moved Keil Bay into the double stall open to barn aisle + big barnyard. This is the “special” place to be and was originally given to Salina and the donkeys when she got older and needed special attention. 

Keil would say, if he could talk, that he has always been deserving of special attention (and I assure you he has gotten it). Now that he’s 31, he gets the barn aisle during the spring/summer seasons. The barn aisle is coveted because you get the full fan effect there, and you get to survey all the stalls, plus have access to the big barnyard. It’s where the humans enter the barn, so any time one of us goes out, Keil can get to us easily. 

Cody has moved into what was, years ago, “his” stall - on the house side of the barn. That stall opens into the rear shelter and the little barnyard, which is also an active area for the humans when doing chores. 

Apache and Rafer have moved to the far side of the barn, with their end stall open to the dirt paddock. It’s not quite as spacious as it used to be for the donkeys, who went right through the rubber fencing into the arena and on through to the back pasture. Now that we have the board fencing between dirt paddock and arena, they are thwarted.

Redford is allowed to be a “floater.” He’s a good citizen and is rewarded by getting his choice of roommate for the day. Rafer and the pony have become super bonded and they sometimes leave Redford out, so he often chooses to hang out with Keil or Cody, and any time one of us is at the barn and he wants to switch places, he is allowed to. 

The only downside to this plan is that Keil Bay is, and I say this with all affection, a total slob. He drops manure up and down the barn aisle, not bothering to move so much as an inch from where he happens to be standing. The others helpfully go out to their own dedicated manure pile areas, keeping their stalls and shelters clear and making muck duty super easy. With Keil I have to literally muck around his hooves. This has always been the case, and it always will be, so all I can say is that is just who he is. The King.

Otherwise the vegetable garden is doing really well, the pollinator beds are too, bees are good, dogs and cats are good, and while I’m always playing catch up with my various projects, I’m good too. I had a lazy day today, stayed in PJs until 4 when I had a webinar on developing a pitch deck for TV series projects, and now I’m listening to the rain fall and wondering where all the hours went. It’s too late to take a nap and too early to go to bed.

I think I’ll get out the dog brushes and work on Bear Corgi. He is a fluffy and while wonderful in every way, his coat is a grooming nightmare!

Here’s to sunshine before Saturday, when the two bee nucs arrive!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Milkweed ready to pop!

Just now:

We have rain moving in for the next several days - I hope it gives everything a good watering without messing up the blooms of the milkweed and other things getting ready to come out. This is going to be a big bright orange focus in my front pollinator bed when it peaks!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The sweet bay magnolia’s first bloom ever!

This is one of three sweet bay magnolias I planted last fall. Two have buds, and this one has this new bloom as of yesterday!

The flower almost fills my hand, and has a beautiful, sweet, but not overpowering scent. I’m so glad I planted these native trees!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Bloom update

This is the sweet bay magnolia (get it? in honor of the Sweet Bay = Keil Bay) and its very first bloom as of yesterday. Two out of three of the trees I planted last fall are getting ready to bloom this spring and this is the furthest along. I’ll check it today and post the bloom when it happens.

And I’m enthralled with the sundrops. They get more and more interesting as they mature. An entire new batch of flowers are coming in, and the contrast in colors between the bright yellow, maroon stems, and new buds is absolutely gorgeous.

If you want something really interesting with this bright yellow pop, I highly recommend these. I also caught a bee enjoying the pollen.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 47: boneset (+ a little miracle)

I was happy to see this for sale last fall at the NC Botanical Garden, and I bought 3 plants and put them in my shady bed. They’ll have late summer white flowers which will be quite nice in the bed. They’ve overwintered well and are growing nicely!

The little miracle:

The second hazelnut tree that I thought was dead has suddenly put out leaves! I’m very happy to see it and glad that I didn’t buy a replacement (the feed store had a few but they sold out before I snagged one online!). I’ve put small mounds of compost around each of the trees to give them some extra nourishment this spring as they grow.

More info on boneset:
Eupatorium perfoliatum (Common boneset)
Brundage, Stephanie 

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Eupatorium perfoliatum L.

Common Boneset

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: eupe3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Tiny, white flowers are arranged in fuzzy clusters top the 3-6 ft. stems of this perennial. Hairy plant with dense flat-topped clusters of many dull-white flowers. Paired leaves, united basally, are perforated by the erect stems. 
As suggested by the Latin species name, the stem appears to be growing through the leaf. To early herb doctors, this indicated the plant would be useful in setting bones, so its leaves were wrapped with bandages around splints. The dried leaves have also been used to make a tonic, boneset tea, thought effective in treating colds, coughs, and constipation. Upland Boneset (E. sessilifolium) is somewhat similar, but its leaves are not fused at the base.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 46: eastern bottlebrush

This is a native grass that I put in to give some texture to the shady bed. The front portion of this shade bed is on a slope and while we have trenches and culvert pipes in this area to carry the water where it can easily disperse, during big/fast rain events this area gets hit. All of the shade garden plants can handle water but the grasses are especially good and their roots will drink up some excess and also anchor the soil.

I’m excited to see that the bottlebrush is coming up all over Poplar Folly. When the fencing was put in back there we also had the underbrush cleared and we kept it quite controlled last spring/summer. This spring I’m letting it grow to see what is coming up. The surprise is that many native plants are growing, as well as a few we do not want and will try to clear, including poison ivy and Japanese stilt grass.

I have something to share about poison ivy. In NC and this larger region you can find huge poison ivy vines that have grown to the very tops of our large trees. From the ground you mostly see the characteristic “hairy” vine, but up top the poison ivy blooms.

There’s research speculating that poison ivy blooms are a major source of early spring nectar for honey (and native) bees!

This really put a spin on my thinking about removing it, but given that I have had two bad reactions for two years running, even when being very careful, I don’t think I can let it grow. The other issue is that our dogs have daily farm romps and if we allow the vine to go, they will inevitably brush past it and bring it in on their fur.

So, one task coming up is gloving up and pulling this out by the roots, putting it in a big garbage bag, and taking it to the dump. Not my favorite thing to do, because even when I try to be careful I seem to get it on my skin somehow. The Zanfel that works so well after any exposure is not available online right now (or wasn’t when I last checked) so I’m hoping as soon as I get some I can get this done. Usually if you pull it all up at the start of the season you don’t see it for the rest of the year.

But back to bottlebrush:

The reason it’s called bottlebrush isn’t yet apparent on these early growth plantings, but it’s a wonderful grass that is very distinctive.

More info:
Bottlebrush Grass

Common Name
Eastern Bottlebrush Grass

Scientific Name
Elymus hystrix L. var. hystrix


Plant Family
Poaceae (Grasses)

Garden Location
Upland & Woodland


Prime Season
June to August

Eastern Bottlebrush Grass is identified by the characteristic seed head. The stem, up to 5 feet long, is normally very upright and can persist into the fall. This is a warm season grass, flowering in Summer.
Leaves: The leaf blades are blue-gray, 1/2 inch wide (8-15 mm), are evenly distributed and are held horizontally from the stalk but the lower leaves can flop. The area of the leaf auricle and ligule is usually brown to brownish-black. Ligules are short - 1 to 2 mm. Auricles are 0.5 to 3 mm.  Sheaths are usually smooth and often purplish.
The inflorescence is raceme-like, 2 to 4 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches long, with a central rachis slightly angled at the nodes. The rachis has two spikelets attached to each node. These will spread widely apart at maturity. 
Spikelets: Spikelets are are 10 to 18 mm long long and held almost horizontally when mature, usually 2 per node, rarely 3. These diverge strongly when mature, each containing 2 to 4 florets but only the lowest are functional. There are 3 anthers. Glumes are very narrow and awn-like or lacking entirely. The lemmas are straight, 8 to 11 mm long, with or without hair depending on the variety, and gradually tapering to a rough, straight, rarely curving, awn that is 10 to 40 mm long.
Seed: The seeds have a bristle tip (awns), thus making the raceme, with the spikelets spreading horizontally, resemble a bottle brush.
Varieties: There are two defined varieties. The variety in the Garden, E. hystrix var. hystrix has hairless lemmas (there is a chafe-like scale or husk, on the lowest bracts of a grass spikelet called a "glume" and the lemma is a small chaffy bract inside and above the glume). The other variety, var. bigelovianus, has hairy lemmas. E. hystrix hybridizes with many eastern species of Elymus and hybrids may be found.

Habitat: Bottlebrush is very shade tolerant grass and also drought tolerant. It will grow in dry to moist soils of good quality. While full sun is acceptable, the plant does well in the light shade of a wooded understory. The plant will self-seed and in the fall the foliage can take on a chartreuse color. As the seed readily scatters and self seeds, care should be taken where it is planted in a home landscape. 
Names: An older scientific name for this plant is Hystrix patula. The genus Elymus is taken from the Greek elyo, meaning 'rolled-up', being a name for a type of grain where the lemma and palea are tightly rolled around the seed. The species, hystrix (and the older genus name for the plant) means bristly. The author name for the plant classification - 'L.' refers to Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), Swedish botanist and the developer of the binomial nomenclature of modern taxonomy.
Comparisons: Other species of Elymus found in the Garden are Quackgrass, Elymus repens and Wild Rye & Canada Wild Rye,  Elymus sp. & E. Canadensis.

See bottom of page for notes on the Garden's planting history, distribution in Minnesota and North America, lore and other references.

Eastern BottlebrushBottlebrush Grass grouping
Above: The erect stem and flower head of Eastern Bottlebrush. While Bottlebrush is quite shade tolerant it does  better in full sun.
Below: The small ligule and auricle of the leaf. This area can be brown to brownish-black in color. The leaf sheath can have a purplish color.
Eastern Bottlebrush Grass auricle Bottlebrush grass ligule
Below: Stem nodes are swollen, whitish, and can have a purplish coloration beneath. In the 2nd photo the inflorescence is emerging from the stem.
Below: 1st photo - There are usually 2 spiklets at each node. These begin to diverge and spread horizontally as soon as the inflorescence is free of the sheath. 2nd photo - Upper leaves are held ascending to horizontally from the stem.
Eastern Bottlebrush Grass spike Leaf
Below: The seed panicle at flowering time - divergence of the two spikelets at each node of the rachis already developed.
Bottlebrush grass panicle
Below: Details of the seed head of Eastern Bottlebrush. Note the divergence of the two spikelets at each node of the rachis. Several have already fallen away in this photo. Photo ©Phoebe Waugh
Bottlebrush seedhead


NotesEastern Bottlebrush is indigenous to the Garden. Eloise Butler catalogued it on Sept. 6, 1907 using the older name of Hystrix patula. Additional plantings were made by Gardener Cary George in 1987 and by Susan Wilkins in 2009.
Eastern Bottlebrush is found in the states and lower Canadian Provinces east of the Great Plains and as far south as Oklahoma. In Minnesota E. hystrix is found in most of the state, but the variety hystrix is only found in 11 counties, mostly near the Dakota Border.
Eastern Bottlebrush is one of nine species of Elymus found in Minnesota. The others are mostly all native species of rhy grass. The lone exception is the non-native Quackgrass.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 45: hoary skullcap

This is another plant I’ve put into the shady bed. It’s come up nicely and I’m looking forward to seeing flowers!

More info:
Scutellaria incana (Hoary skullcap)
Cressler, Alan 

Scutellaria incana

Scutellaria incana Biehler

Hoary Skullcap, Downy Skullcap

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Normally 1.5 to 3.5 feet
Flower: Flowers in 6 inch spikes
Fruit: Dark
Size Class: 1-3 ft. 

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep 

Monday, May 11, 2020

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 44: native wild ginger

Last spring in a native plant studies class we did some work with propagation and I came home with some tiny sprigs of native wild ginger. I tended them until they rooted and then planted them in the fall. I wasn’t sure these tiny bits would live through the winter, but they did - there are now three in the shade bed and they should multiply until there’s a much larger “patch.”

The leaves are lovely and so are the blooms (not sure I’ll see that this year, we’ll see).

More info:


Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
The beauty of wild ginger lies in its heart-shaped leaves, which in some species are dark green, shiny and mottled with cream. The flowers are small, jug-shaped, lie on the ground and are pollinated by ants and ground beetles.  Prefers moist, rich soils and does well in shade.  They struggle a bit in the hot humid weather of the south.  Divide plants in the spring.  Leaves and roots smell like ginger when crushed but this plant is unrelated to culinary ginger.
Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems.  Slugs and snails can damage foliage.  Rust can sometimes cause isssues.