Archive for Public Service Announcements

Garden Bloggers Buffa10 – Will I see you there?

Plans are being made for Garden Bloggers meeting in Buffalo!  This going to be so much fun.  Will I see you there?

This will be my first Garden Bloggers meet-up.  I missed the first two and I don’t want to miss this one. Nearly 40 have said they will be there so far.  Check it out!

Buffa10 Bloggers Meet-Up, 2010;

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum

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Raleigh’s Plant a Row for the Hungry – update

09 NEW PAR Logo smsmaller

Plant a Row for the Hungry – Community-wide Campaign Kickoff

July 28, 2009 – This report for Jason at the Raleigh Foot Shuttle, “The Plant A Row for the Hungry (PAR) program is doing great! Over 2000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables have been donated by local green thumbs so far. The Food Shuttle thanks everyone who is doing their part to fight hunger in the Greater Triangle. And it’s never too late to get started! Check out our PAR blog at plantarow.wordpress.com. Thanks again!”

Logan Trading Company, in partnership with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, is launching a Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) campaign to encourage all gardeners to grow a little extra produce to donate to the hungry and homeless.

interfaith_2color_revisedPAR is a national campaign begun by the Garden Writers Association in 1995. The first annual Raleigh PAR campaign will run from June 13 to September 26, 2009.  Food donations can be brought to Logan Trading Co. every Saturday from 9am-12noon or to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Monday – Friday 8AM-4PM.  Donations of seeds, gently used gardening tools, canned and dried foods are also welcome.

It may be hard to imagine, but the face of hunger in the Triangle isn’t just homeless people in our downtowns. It is the face of an elderly neighbor choosing between food and medication. It is the working parent who earns too much to qualify for food stamps so she goes without in order that her children are fed.  It is the middle class family dealing with job loss and relying on the local food pantry for donations.  Everyone can do something to help alleviate hunger in their community.  Donating as little as one pound of fresh produce – a few tomatoes or a couple of squash – can supplement up to four meals for a person in need.

Logan Trading Co. is an independent, family-owned garden center dedicated to fostering happy, healthy and beautiful communities.


giftcardContact: Leslie Logan

Tel: (919) 828-5337 or Cell Phone: (919) 418-2967

Email: leslieatlogans@gmail.com

Website: Logan Trading Company

Comments (3)

JC Raulston Arboretum Seaonal Celebrations – host a party in your home to help raise money for the JCRA!

The JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

Seasonal Celebrations

Friends Hosting Friends!

Anytime in 2009

Hmmm, host a garden party and when your guests ask, “What can I bring” just tell  them to write a check to the JC Raulston Arboretum. What a great idea.  This can happen anywhere, anytime!

We started this last year and called it a Summer Solstice Celebration.  Problem was, how could we go to a party and have one at the same time?  Plus, there were others who wanted to open their garden in winter or spring or a holiday, or…you get the idea.

So, for 2009 we will host parties anytime!  You pick the date, we will all celebrate!  We will gather friends to host a party – many parties – across the state to celebrate the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.  This celebration is to raise money for the Arboretum.

The party concept is the same, it can be any party of the host’s choosing – it could be for cocktails, tapas, pizza, or more…it could be burgers, chicken, fish, and so’ mores… it could be cloth napkins, silver, and china galore… your home, your garden, your style, your taste…you set the time, menu, décor and pace.

Each host will ask their friends for a donation to attend.  This set amount is up to the host.   These parties will be in cottage gardens, patio gardens, rose gardens, and future gardens – each venue unique to the friend hosting the event, thus each donation unique to those attending!  Invite your book club, garden club, neighbors, or choir!  Maybe even your doctor, dentist, or secret desire!  Delight with friends and host an event.

The JC Raulston Arboretum will provide invitations to the host.  The host underwrites the party receiving a gift-in-kind tax deduction.  The guest receives a tax deduction for their donation.  The money raised will go to the JC Raulston Master Plan.
JC Raulston Arboretum

Call Anne Porter today to sign up to host a party at 919-513-3463 or e-mail her at Anne_Porter@ncsu.edu or Helen Yoest at Helen@GardeningWithConfidence.com

Helen's Haven hosted a Seasonal Celebration in 2008

Helen's Haven hosted a Seasonal Celebration in 2008

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Plant a row for the hungry – Raleigh, North Carolina

09 NEW PAR Logo smsmaller

Plant a Row for the Hungry – Community-wide Campaign Kickoff

Logan Trading Company, in partnership with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, is launching a Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) campaign to encourage all gardeners to grow a little extra produce to donate to the hungry and homeless. The PAR campaign will be announced at Logan’s on Friday June 12th at noon by Mayor Charles Meeker. The kickoff event will be on Saturday, June 13th from 10am – 5:30pm at Logan Trading Co., 707 Semart Drive in downtown Raleigh. It will include activities for children, talks on growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables, and special give-aways.

interfaith_2color_revisedPAR is a national campaign begun by the Garden Writers Association in 1995. The first annual Raleigh PAR campaign will run from June 13 to September 26, 2009.  Food donations can be brought to Logan Trading Co. every Saturday from 9am-12noon or to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Monday – Friday 8AM-4PM.  Donations of seeds, gently used gardening tools, canned and dried foods are also welcome.

It may be hard to imagine, but the face of hunger in the Triangle isn’t just homeless people in our downtowns. It is the face of an elderly neighbor choosing between food and medication. It is the working parent who earns too much to qualify for food stamps so she goes without in order that her children are fed.  It is the middle class family dealing with job loss and relying on the local food pantry for donations.  Everyone can do something to help alleviate hunger in their community.  Donating as little as one pound of fresh produce – a few tomatoes or a couple of squash – can supplement up to four meals for a person in need.

Logan Trading Co. is an independent, family-owned garden center dedicated to fostering happy, healthy and beautiful communities.


giftcardContact: Leslie Logan

Tel: (919) 828-5337 or Cell Phone: (919) 418-2967

Email: leslieatlogans@gmail.com

Website: Logan Trading Company

Comments (2)

Plant a row for the hungry – Raleigh, North Carolina

09 NEW PAR Logo smsmaller

Plant a Row for the Hungry – Community-wide Campaign Kickoff

Logan Trading Company, in partnership with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, is launching a Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) campaign to encourage all gardeners to grow a little extra produce to donate to the hungry and homeless. The PAR campaign will be announced at Logan’s on Friday June 12th at noon by Mayor Charles Meeker. The kickoff event will be on Saturday, June 13th from 10am – 5:30pm at Logan Trading Co., 707 Semart Drive in downtown Raleigh. It will include activities for children, talks on growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables, and special give-aways.

PAR is a national campaign begun by the Garden Writers Association in 1995. The first interfaith_2color_revisedannual Raleigh PAR campaign will run from June 13 to September 26, 2009.  Food donations can be brought to Logan Trading Co. every Saturday from 9am-12noon or to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Monday – Friday 8AM-4PM.  Donations of seeds, gently used gardening tools, canned and dried foods are also welcome.

It may be hard to imagine, but the face of hunger in the Triangle isn’t just homeless people in our downtowns. It is the face of an elderly neighbor choosing between food and medication. It is the working parent who earns too much to qualify for food stamps so she goes without in order that her children are fed.  It is the middle class family dealing with job loss and relying on the local food pantry for donations.  Everyone can do something to help alleviate hunger in their community.  Donating as little as one pound of fresh produce – a few tomatoes or a couple of squash – can supplement up to four meals for a person in need.

Logan Trading Co. is an independent, family-owned garden center dedicated to fostering happy, healthy and beautiful communities.


giftcardContact: Leslie Logan

Tel: (919) 828-5337 or Cell Phone: (919) 418-2967

Email: leslieatlogans@gmail.com

Website: Logan Trading Company

Helen Yoest

Gardening With Confidence

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Garden Art – The Larkspur Party

PhillipsBHGShoot May82008 (20)

The Larkspur Party

6401 Litchford Road

Raleigh, NC 27615-7520

Saturday and Sunday June 6th and 7th, 2009

Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and

Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

No early birds please

For more information, please visit Larkspur Party

or by calling

Frances Alvarino at 919-623-1458 or write her at Alvarino@larkspurparty.com

Please be patient for a reply, she is probably out in the garden.

Below is an updated version found in the Spring issue of Triangle Style Magazine, 2008.

The Larkspur Party

Beyond bunnies – accenting your garden with art!

As with everything in nature, the turn of one event is the signal of another.  When the Forsythias are blooming, we know that winter is breaking free; when the azaleas are blooming, we know spring has arrived.  And when the Larkspurs are blooming, we know a wonderful event will soon be upon us.

The Larkspur Party, now it is 14th year, will happen once again June 6th and 7th featuring 28 regional artists.  The artists’ work is spaced comfortably throughout the gardens of Frances Alvarino, the event organizer, artists and gardener, who opens her garden for all to enjoy.  Frances says, “The Larkspur Party is named after an especially beautiful flower in bloom, it is a chance for us to share the happiness our garden brings.  It also allows regional artist to display and sell their work.”

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Gardens are ever changing; plants will wax and wane through their cycle of growth and production.  Adding garden art as accents to the garden keeps the look constant even in the absence of foliage or flowers.  A great place to find garden art is at the Larkspur Party.  This is an annual event most gardeners and garden art enthusiasts anticipate.  Whether it is a comfortable stroll through the gardens, an opportunity to chat with the artists and admire their work, or even to take home a treasure, this event is a huge draw.  One quick stroll around will also tell you these artists are making garden art that is beyond concrete bunnies.

RonRaleighYoest 085cWalk a little more and you will meet Beth Jimenez & Amelia Lane with Lasting Impressions and their art creating concrete leaves in greens, reds, and yellows.  They also have planted containers made from this same material as well as planted containers made from hypertufa.  Be sure to ask them about the hypertufa classes they offer. Beth and Amelia definitely take their cues from nature.  All their concrete leaves are patterned from real plant leaves, such as Hostas, heart shaped Hoya Santa, giant Tetrapanax, Calla Lilies, and others.  They even offer a 10% discount to members of the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.  Not a member?  Just ask and they will help you learn more.

Bill Wallace will also be there demonstrating his craft during the party.  Bill turns wood into bowls; most defiantly more than a mere bowl, but rather beautiful works of art.

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Before you actually see Lisa Oakley, a learned glassblower, you will probably she her art first as you look up to admire her artfully arranged fantastic glass balls and ornaments.  Then your eye will come down to reveal her work in vases, bowls, platters, as well as, necklaces, bracelets and earrings all made from furnace-pulled glass beads.

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What would a garden party be without plants for sale?  Eugene Warren will return selling a variety of perennials.  John Martin & Jeff Bottoms, who grow most of their plants from seed and by propagation, will also be there selling unusual plants so be sure to come early to get the best selection.  John and Jeff will have their garden open this year for the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour, also benefiting the JC Raulston Arboretum

You will also find porcelain ceramics, stoneware pottery, functional earthenware, and ceramic vessels.  There will be birdhouses, basketry, gourds and sculpture.  Deb Leonard’s who owns Wise Old Birds will once again grace the gardens.  Deb’s ‘Wise Old Birds’ are sculpted in stoneware clay and according to Deb, “The inspiration for these sculptures has come from my enjoyment of the fascination in watching the different birds that visit our yard.”  This wise of bird has several gracing her garden!  You will also find birdbaths, butterfly-puddling dishes, and potheads, err; you may need to come see these for yourself.

Karen Harris of Raleigh has attended the Larkspur Party for many years saying, “Every friend I’ve taken to the Larkspur Party has been excited about the uniqueness of the artwork and have asked to go back with me year after year.  I particularly like to see what new items Francis has created and always learn something from the way the artist’s work is displayed in the garden setting.  Overall, it’s just a fun place to be in June.”  You will be able to see how Karen displays her acquisitions when she and her husband Ted open their garden for the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Tour also benefiting the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University in September.

Tuck the accent in among the plants – garden art speaks best when whispering in the shadows of foliage and flowers.

Oh, and you will not miss the Larkspur.  These delightful purple, pink, and white reseeding annuals return each year just like the garden artists and their art… or at least we hope they will for many more years to come.

The Larkspur Party

6401 Litchford Road

Raleigh, NC 27615-7520

Saturday and Sunday June 7th and 8th, 2008

Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and

Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

No early birds please

For more information, please visit www.larkspurparty.com or by calling

Frances Alvarino at 919-623-1458 or write her at Alvarino@larkspurparty.com

Please be patient for a reply, she is probably out in the garden.

By

Helen Yoest

Gardening With Confidence

Comments (5)

Gala in the Garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum

jcraraleighyoest-11

This is a much anticipated event and a great way to spend an afternoon in the garden.

On Sunday, May 3, 2009 from 3 – 7, the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University will once again hold it’s annual Gala in the Garden

Enjoy music by the Southern String Band, gourmet hor d’ oeuvres including a special dessert reception and bid on a variety of unique plants and other special items in a silent auction

The proceeds from the event will benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum, a working research and teaching garden of North Carolina State University. Tickets are $60.00.

For more information, please visit JC Raulston Arboretum

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Raleigh spring plant sale – a perennial event

plantsaleraleighyoest-4

A Perennial Favorite

Spring Plant Sale Held

On the Grounds of the NC State Fairgrounds

There are certain things in nature that just make sense. Like the early morning being the best time to water the garden, it also best time to be in the garden! It also makes sense with the arrival of spring, plant sales abound. For North Carolina gardeners, the mother of all plant sales is at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds each spring just when Carolina Gardeners are itching to plant.

This mega plant sale has no official name, but rather it is made-up of five non-profit gardening and civic concerns. Independently, but coordinating the date of the weekend, each sets up at the NC State Fairgrounds to sell plants as a fundraiser for various interests, primarily horticulture interests.

This annual event started in 1980 when a younger Tony Avent (owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh) suggested to his garden club, the Gardeners of Wake County, to hold an event – an azalea sale – to help raise money for scholarships for horticulture students at NC State. With Tony’s connections, as well as others in the garden club, they were able to offer many more varieties of azaleas than were currently available in local nurseries. This helped feed the wants of local gardeners and newcomers to the Triangle.

Over the years, other gardening concerns and a civic organization joined the plant sale with each selling a specific plant species so as not to complement each other and to attract a larger group of plant buyers. The first to join in the mid 1980’s was the Wake County Junior Master Gardeners 4-H Program selling Rhododendrons and Camellias. In 1990, the Pilot Club, a civic organization to help people with brain-related disorders and disabilities, joined selling germanium, other annuals and hanging baskets. In 1996, the Raleigh Garden Club, looking for a venue to also raise money for scholarships and to provide donations to other horticulture related activities, approached Betty Cook, then president of the Gardeners of Wake County.  The two garden clubs negotiated an arrangement allowing the Raleigh Garden Club to sell plants along side the Gardeners of Wake County as long as they sold plants that did not compete with their agenda – azaleas.  The Raleigh Garden Club focuses on native perennials and ground covers, as well a less common new plants and forgotten favorites. The latest to join this mega plant sale is the Herb Society of Wake County.

The common thread for this annual event is to raise money to aid the community. According to Carol Norden, who is in charge of the Wake County Junior Master Gardener 4-H program and chair of the plant sale on their behalf since1996, “We see approximately 60 young people a year; from all over Wake County and some from Johnston County. Our program is very diverse and includes youth of all abilities, ethnicity, and school situations (public, private, charter, and home-schooled.)”

In 2008, the Gardeners of Wake County were able to support six bachelor’s degree candidates in NC State University’s Department of Horticulture Science.

This annual event takes the entire year for planning and preparation. “If we added the hours spent on the sale and paid them a minimum wage our sale would not make a profit. Volunteers do make a difference.” Say past President Anne Clapp.

The azaleas sold by the Gardeners of Wake County, come from 5 nurseries offering some 6,500 azaleas for sale with 120 varieties including deciduous and Encore. Plant varieties are presented for sale in the flower show area of the Fairgrounds with signage showing a photo of the plant in bloom along with growing information. Recently, they began selling gardenias, as well.

Raleigh Garden Club members setting up before the sale

Raleigh Garden Club members setting up before the sale

The perennials come from nurseries but also from divisions from member’s gardens.  Each year, The Raleigh Garden Club plant sale committee ensures accurate handling of inventory and labeling.  Plant information is entered into a spreadsheet by common and botanical name, bloom color and season, size, light and moisture requirements, and landscape value such as deer resistance, drought tolerance, southern heirlooms, native plants and plants to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

There is also a wealth of information to be had from the member volunteers on-site who will answer your gardening questions. Members and volunteers at the plant sales are a variable who’s who in the gardening community and they are also just like us, buying plants!

Inevitability, not all the plants sell. Many of those that don’t sell are donated to various community concerns such as Habitat for Humanity. Again, there is the consistent common thread to aid the community.

Each group is passionate about the plants they sell, as well as, the concerns for which the money is raised. Mark you calendar for this most unique plant sale, support good causes, and enjoy a happy spring.

The annual plant sale is held the 3rd week in April. At the flower show area of the North Carolina Fairgrounds, Gate #6 at Youth Center Road, Raleigh.

2009 dates are:

Friday, April 17th from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 18th from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, April 19th from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The GWC also offer a 20% discount to club members on the “members only” sell day on Thursday, April 16th from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

With a cost of an annual membership of a mere $15.00 or $25 for two people at the same address, it is worth becoming a member just to take advantage of this sale.

To learn more about the Gardeners of Wake County, please visit Gardeners of Wake County

To learn more about the Herb Society of Wake County, please visit Herb Society of Wake County

To learn more about the Raleigh Garden Club, please visit Raleigh Garden Club

To learn more about the Wake County Junior Master Gardener 4-H Program, please visit Junior Master Gardeners Kids

To learn more about the Pilot Club, please call Betty Moore at 1-919-787-7467

By Helen Yoest

Gardening With Confidence

Leave a Comment

Raleigh spring plant sale – a perennial favorite

plantsaleraleighyoest-4

A Perennial Favorite

Spring Plant Sale Held

On the Grounds of the NC State Fairgrounds

There are certain things in nature that just make sense. Like the early morning being the best time to water the garden, it also best time to be in the garden! It also makes sense with the arrival of spring, plant sales abound. For North Carolina gardeners, the mother of all plant sales is at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds each spring just when Carolina Gardeners are itching to plant.

This mega plant sale has no official name, but rather it is made-up of five non-profit gardening and civic concerns. Independently, but coordinating the date of the weekend, each sets up at the NC State Fairgrounds to sell plants as a fundraiser for various interests, primarily horticulture interests.

This annual event started in 1980 when a younger Tony Avent (owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh) suggested to his garden club, the Gardeners of Wake County, to hold an event – an azalea sale – to help raise money for scholarships for horticulture students at NC State. With Tony’s connections, as well as others in the garden club, they were able to offer many more varieties of azaleas than were currently available in local nurseries. This helped feed the wants of local gardeners and newcomers to the Triangle.

Over the years, other gardening concerns and a civic organization joined the plant sale with each selling a specific plant species so as not to complement each other and to attract a larger group of plant buyers. The first to join in the mid 1980’s was the Wake County Junior Master Gardeners 4-H Program selling Rhododendrons and Camellias. In 1990, the Pilot Club, a civic organization to help people with brain-related disorders and disabilities, joined selling germanium, other annuals and hanging baskets. In 1996, the Raleigh Garden Club, looking for a venue to also raise money for scholarships and to provide donations to other horticulture related activities, approached Betty Cook, then president of the Gardeners of Wake County.  The two garden clubs negotiated an arrangement allowing the Raleigh Garden Club to sell plants along side the Gardeners of Wake County as long as they sold plants that did not compete with their agenda – azaleas.  The Raleigh Garden Club focuses on native perennials and ground covers, as well a less common new plants and forgotten favorites. The latest to join this mega plant sale is the Herb Society of Wake County.

The common thread for this annual event is to raise money to aid the community. According to Carol Norden, who is in charge of the Wake County Junior Master Gardener 4-H program and chair of the plant sale on their behalf since1996, “We see approximately 60 young people a year; from all over Wake County and some from Johnston County. Our program is very diverse and includes youth of all abilities, ethnicity, and school situations (public, private, charter, and home-schooled.)”

In 2008, the Gardeners of Wake County were able to support six bachelor’s degree candidates in NC State University’s Department of Horticulture Science.

This annual event takes the entire year for planning and preparation. “If we added the hours spent on the sale and paid them a minimum wage our sale would not make a profit. Volunteers do make a difference.” Say past President Anne Clapp.

The azaleas sold by the Gardeners of Wake County, come from 5 nurseries offering some 6,500 azaleas for sale with 120 varieties including deciduous and Encore. Plant varieties are presented for sale in the flower show area of the Fairgrounds with signage showing a photo of the plant in bloom along with growing information. Recently, they began selling gardenias, as well.

Raleigh Garden Club members setting up before the sale

Raleigh Garden Club members setting up before the sale

The perennials come from nurseries but also from divisions from member’s gardens.  Each year, The Raleigh Garden Club plant sale committee ensures accurate handling of inventory and labeling.  Plant information is entered into a spreadsheet by common and botanical name, bloom color and season, size, light and moisture requirements, and landscape value such as deer resistance, drought tolerance, southern heirlooms, native plants and plants to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

There is also a wealth of information to be had from the member volunteers on-site who will answer your gardening questions. Members and volunteers at the plant sales are a variable who’s who in the gardening community and they are also just like us, buying plants!

Inevitability, not all the plants sell. Many of those that don’t sell are donated to various community concerns such as Habitat for Humanity. Again, there is the consistent common thread to aid the community.

Each group is passionate about the plants they sell, as well as, the concerns for which the money is raised. Mark you calendar for this most unique plant sale, support good causes, and enjoy a happy spring.

The annual plant sale is held the 3rd week in April. At the flower show area of the North Carolina Fairgrounds, Gate #6 at Youth Center Road, Raleigh.

2009 dates are:

Friday, April 17th from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 18th from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, April 19th from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The GWC also offer a 20% discount to club members on the “members only” sell day on Thursday, April 16th from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

With a cost of an annual membership of a mere $15.00 or $25 for two people at the same address, it is worth becoming a member just to take advantage of this sale.

To learn more about the Gardeners of Wake County, please visit Gardeners of Wake County

To learn more about the Herb Society of Wake County, please visit Herb Society of Wake County

To learn more about the Raleigh Garden Club, please visit Raleigh Garden Club

To learn more about the Wake County Junior Master Gardener 4-H Program, please visit Junior Master Gardeners Kids

To learn more about the Pilot Club, please call Betty Moore at 1-919-787-7467

By Helen Yoest

Gardening With Confidence

Comments (4)

Plant Delights Nursery – E newsletter

aventraleighyoest-59

Dear PDN’ers:

Happy first day of spring! I know parts of the country are still covered in snow, but at least the calendar now makes it official. It’s been a roller coaster late winter as we opened for our Winter Open House to 70 degrees F, followed the next day by 36 hours of rain, then 2″ of snow, then consecutive lows of 16 and 15 degrees F…then back to 70 degrees F. How would you like to be a plant? Unlike humans, who can go inside on bad weather days, our plants are stuck to fend for themselves…pretty impressive, if you think about it. On the good side, this has been the first winter in six years we’ve gotten meaningful hardiness data on many of our trial plants…especially agaves. Damage on agaves may take more than a month to show up after the plant has been affected by cold, so don’t get too excited when your plant looks great the morning after. Conversely, don’t fret over the older leaves turning black, as this is normal. The older leaves on an agave lose winter hardiness, while the new younger growth remains fine. Although I haven’t been able to confirm our theory, it appears the sugars (plant antifreeze) produced in the leaves tend to migrate from the older to the newer growth, leaving the older leaves more susceptible to winter damage.

We are also trialing a number of clumping bamboos including many in the genus borinda. All of the borindas have lost their foliage at 9 degrees F, including B. boliana which showed absolutely no damage at 12 degrees F, and despite West Coast reports of 0 degrees F tolerance without leaf burn. All plants in the genus bambusa also lost their leaves, but this was expected based on past experience. It will take a few months to determine if any of these will resprout from the canes or if they will need to be cut to the ground.

We’ve had several folks ask how our Wollemia nobilis fared in the cold this year, and the answer is fine. One plant showed a bit of foliar damage, but the other ten or so we’ve planted are untouched. The big problem with Wollemias is excess summer moisture, so be sure your soil drainage is impeccable. We’ve seen extensive foliar damage this winter on plants that haven’t shown any in recent years, one being the hardy cycads. Both C. taitungensis and C. panzhihuaensis had complete leaf frying this winter, but both are fine at the base and will resprout in late spring. I like to leave the damaged leaves until the new leaves begin to emerge, but that’s strictly a personal preference.

We’re actually having a very late spring as some plants are more than a month later than normal…which is a good thing. That being said, we’re in that time of year when other plants insist on waking up too early, followed by more cold weather. We’ve already had several days in the 70s this winter and sure enough, here come the early emerging Arisaema ringens out of the ground. That would have been fine if our temperatures hadn’t decided to drop back into the low teens. Podophyllum versipelle also peeked it’s head above ground, but we expect it to get blasted at least 2-3 times each spring. To deal with early emerging plants, we use spunbound polyester row covers we cut to fit over each plant. The plants are covered with the row covers, then topped with a large container. Row covers vary in their thickness and consequently their amount of temperature protection. Typically a 1.5 ounce fabric provides 6-8 degrees of protection while 3 ounce material provides 10+ degrees of protection. Even the best row cover isn’t much good below the mid-20s F. If you have the option to throw some shredded leaves over the row covers, that will provide added protection. The covers should be removed as soon as the weather permits. We store the cut row cover pieces during the summer so that they can be reused…many for over a decade.

We added a few special plants to the web right before open house including some of our special Arum italicum seedlings. We have been growing these from seed to select special forms, then subsequently propagating our selections by division. In doing this, we wind up with far too many excellent seedlings that aren’t unique enough from each other to introduce them all. This year we decided to offer these as a seed strain we call PDN Clouded Forms. They are different from the typical Italian arums in that instead of having marbled vein patterns, they have a silver center often flecked with green. At Open House this winter, I had a couple of folks comment about their arums spreading by runners to other areas of their garden. This is an oft perpetuated garden myth, since arums, like me and my bad knees, have no ability to run. When arums are allowed to set seed, birds can pick up the seed and deposit them anywhere throughout your garden. This is the only way arums can spread. If you get to the point where you have enough arums, simply cut off the flowers or developing seed between the time they flower in early May and the time the seed ripens in July. We hope you enjoy some of these special selections.
http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/page10.html

Related to arums is probably the strangest plant we grow, a plant known by the monikers, Pigs Butt Arum or Dead Horse Arum…Helicodiceros muscivorus. This unusual Mediterranean native emerges in late winter and flowers in early spring before going dormant for the summer. The three-dimensional foliage is strange enough, but the flowers that resemble (and smell like) a pig’s rear end, are truly bizarre, making a great gag gift for your gardening friends or a perfect way to get a non-interested child to pay attention to plants. We’ve only got a small number available this season, so get them while they last.
http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/Detail/08667.html

One of the plants I seem to continually talk about in spring is ipheion and the related nothoscordums. If you haven’t grown these, they are small bulbs that make a stunning late winter/early spring show, then go dormant in the summer. This year, we are offering for the first time, the white flowered Ipheion uniflorum ‘Greystone’ from NC’s Norman Beal. I. ‘Greystone’ has smaller flowers than the white flowered I. ‘Alberto Castillo’, but makes a much more compact clump and for us has had heavier flowering. Nothoscordum sellowianum (used to be an ipheion) makes a short 1″ tall fast offsetting clump topped, starting in February, with small bright yellow goblet-shaped flowers. Unlike most nothoscordums, this one is sterile, so you’ll need to divide it if you’d like to share. We have this growing in our full-sun rock garden and I can’t say enough good things about this gem.
http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/Detail/08519.html
http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/Detail/06448.html

As we head into spring, we routinely check our garden soils for nutrient levels and soil pH. Before we mulch, we prefer to add any soil amendments if needed. If our soil needs phosphorus, we use rock phosphate and if the soil need potassium, we use Greensand…a natural source of potassium. If you need to raise the pH of the soil, either calcitic lime or dolomitic lime will do the trick. If our soil test shows a high magnesium reading, we opt for calcitic lime. If you garden in an area with a high pH that you need to lower, then Flowers of Sulfur will do the trick. Once these are applied, then you’re ready to mulch. Timing of mulch application can be a real time saver for weed prevention. There are basically three groups of weeds; winter annuals, summer annuals, and perennials. Mulching isn’t of much use in preventing perennial weeds, but it can work wonders for many annual weeds….especially if they require light for germination, which many do. Some winter annual weeds start germinating in fall, while others germinate best in late winter. Two most popular annual weeds in our climate are chickweed and henbit. A good mulch applied before they sprout works wonders on their control.

We’ve been asked by a number of customers to compile a list of plants resistant to deer, since these have become the number one pest of gardeners nationwide. We’ve hesitated to put together a list because we don’t believe any plant is completely deer resistant and deer tastes, like human tastes, vary greatly. That being said, we spent quite a bit of time compiling our list from available research as well as observation from ourselves and our customers. Please keep in mind deer resistant plants may still get a nibble until the deer realizes it isn’t one of their favorites…even some humans eat things that many of us consider inedible…i.e. liver or tripe. Our list of deer resistant plants as well as a list of plants to attract hummingbirds have been posted at http://www.plantdelights.com/Tony/deer-resist.php
http://www.plantdelights.com/Tony/hummers.php We welcome your input on additions or deletions.

In the “in case you missed it” category, you’ve got to check out the Floral Bras, compliments of the Quilters of SC that give a whole new meaning to sex in the garden. Actually, the bras will be on tour throughout South Carolina until fall, at which time they will be auctioned to benefit breast cancer patients. If you have a female gardener in your life who is hard to buy for, check these out.
http://www.quiltersofsc.org/artfullbras/artfullbras.htm

In the “where are they now” category, many plant collectors will no doubt remember Stephen Burns, formerly of the Vine and Branch Nursery in NC. Stephen was J.C. Raulston’s go-to grafter for the odd and hard to graft woodies in the 1980s. Stephen and his wife Rhonda closed the nursery in the late 1980s and moved to SC, where he worked for years at Gilbert’s Wholesale Nursery. From there, Stephen was called to the ministry, where he still works today. http://restorationchurch.org/our-staff

The botanical garden world was surprised to hear of the impending retirement of Missouri Botanical Garden director, Dr. Peter Raven, who announced he will be stepping down from his post at the end of July 2011. Peter has been the director at Mobot (as it is called in botanical circles) since 1971 (40 years in 2011). The news was such a surprise because most of us think of Peter as an ageless iconic figure that we all assumed would outlast the garden. Anyone with even a passing interest in plants has benefitted knowingly or unknowingly from Peter’s legacy of work. Peter’s devoted years to researching and publishing Floras of all the world’s plants including the current Flora of China project, which would probably never have happened without Peter’s vision and drive. Peter is married to the former Dr. Pat Duncan, an NCSU Horticulture Department graduate and former classmate of mine. You can read more about Peter and his list of accomplishments, awards, and philosophy at the links below http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_H._Raven
http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0312-interview_peter_raven.html

Thanks to David Theodoropoulos for alerting us to a great on-line seed germination reference. This publication from The International Board for Plant Genetic Resources is used by worldwide seed banks to assist them in germinating a wide range of unusual plants. This is not a homeowner guide, but one for scientists that requires a bit of seed germination knowledge to use properly and the information is amazing. http://www.bioversityinternational.org/publications/Web_version/52/

If you’re in the greenhouse or nursery business, you are probably too familiar with the Modine family of heaters, which are the top brand of heaters in our industry. When we got started in the business, we checked out other heating options, which at the time were limited to Reznor and from our research didn’t offer a dramatically better option. It wasn’t that Modine was a bad heater, but in greenhouse applications, the heaters didn’t have a very long life span, both due to the nursery moisture and fertilizer salt residue. I actually wrote to Modine several years ago expressing my concern and asking if they would work with us to develop a cover that would help protect the heaters in the summer when we removed our overwintering greenhouse covers. Unfortunately, they didn’t even choose to reply. After decades of going through a warehouse of Modine parts, Bob Stewart of Arrowhead Alpines told me about the L.B. White brand of Guardian heaters. The White heaters are actually designed for hog production and not greenhouse use, but the beauty is their use in hog production is far more degrading than in a greenhouse. Not only is the cost about half of a comparable Modine heater, but the operation is much simpler, the heat output is variable, and the heater is far more resistant to degradation in outdoor conditions. The White heaters are also ventless, meaning you will not need the standard heat losing vent stack that you typically see extruding from the greenhouse sidewall. If you live in an area where the temperatures drop below the 20s and the heater will run continuously, you will need a small intake and outflow vent since the heater can actual suck all of the oxygen out of the greenhouse and extinguish the pilot light. If you’ve been looking for a different heater for your greenhouse, check out these heaters. http://www.lbwhite.com/index.asp?menuID=129

After 21 years, the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle and the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, the second and third largest flower shows in the country respectively, come to an end this year. Salmon Bay Events, which puts on both shows, is for sale by founders, Duane and Alice Kelly, who are retiring from the flower show business so Duane can start a new career as a playwright. Attendance at both shows has declined in recent years due to the economy. The Northwest Show has just ended and the final San Francisco Show will be starting soon. If you’d like to attend the last show, check out their website for more details. http://www.gardenshow.com/ For between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000, the shows can be yours, so if you know anyone looking to buy a flower show, give Duane a call.

My speaking schedule for the remainder of the season has been updated at http://www.plantdelights.com/Tony/talks.php I look forward to meeting you when I visit your region for a program.

As many of us in the mail order industry struggle for survival, we’d once again like to say a heartfelt thanks for those who have ordered this year… Thank you!

If you have gardening friends that would like to be added to our email list, just click on the link below and follow the simple instructions.
http://four.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/announcements
Please direct all replies and questions to office@plantdelights.com.

Thanks and enjoy
-tony


Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
email tony@plantdelights.com
website  http://www.plantdelights.com
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
“I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself…at least three times” – Avent

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