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A Multifaceted Book

Mindful of both the sponsor of the book, The Garden Club of North Carolina, as well as the book's intended audience; Wells provides ample advice for gardeners throughout the text and image descriptions. He also makes the case for trying to conserve the natural beauty of the state, commenting on the harmful effects man often has on the environment.

Pink mountain sabatia
Sabatia angularis (L.) Pursh

In the key to wildflowers that Wells presents after his narrative tour of the state, he provides readers with a wealth of information on each plant they are likely to encounter. The Key for the sabattia this reads:

"Erect branching perennials, 5-30 in. high, with very attractive rose-pink or white flowers borne solitary or in an open cluster on the upper part of the plant; petal number widely variable in the genus (4-12); petals united below, the tubular part of the corolla being differently colored, giving the flower a central 'eye'; stigmas 2, but only one cell (cavity) in the ovary; leaves opposite, the blades varying around lance-shape. About 9 species chiefly in moist soil and bog lands, mostly in the coastal plain. Summer."

Foam flower
Tiarella cordifolia L.

Throughout the text are helpful gardening tips The caption for this image provides the reader with helpful advice for selecting proper wildflowers for the home garden: "For moist rock gardens nothing can surpass the foam flowers."

"No gardener could surpass the work of wild nature in the high mountains in creating a park-like aspect."

"Where rhododendron turned into dollars and rocks. It will take two thousand years or more to replace naturally this shrub where the soil is removed with the plants."
Mountain rhododendron
Rhododendron catawbiense Michx.

Conservation is a constant theme in the book. By juxtaposing an image of a lush rhododendron and a bare mountain lane, Wells is able to address the dangers of overzealous garden transplanting.

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