Sunday, April 27, 2008

It seems too much color in one spot is always an issue in my garden. Last week, I had issues with too much purple, this week it seems my butterfly nectar garden has too much green. I must have said it out loud because on Monday as we were leaving the driveway for school, Aster says I think we have too much green in the garden. Then again, it just may be that obvious even to a soon to be 7 year old!

Monday was a fine day of garden scouting, finishing a story for Fine Gardening magazine, potting up container gardens for the JCRA Gala in the Garden all the while, listening to the rain’s gentle fall.

We are official in spring planting frenzy time…everyone wants it now and I can’t be in two places at once. This is a hard act to balance, but somehow I will manage.

Friday was “take kids to work day”…err, it was a snow makeup day and with no snow to make up for, we have a 4 day weekend. Before heading out to my client’s garden, I got to play in my garden which I usually only get to do on Sunday. I choose to weed.

Everyone has a task they don’t like to do. For some it’s deadheading, others it’s pruning, and for many it’s weeding. I actually like to weed. It’s a good thing too, since I lead the Raleigh Garden Club team to maintain the Winter and Viburnum gardens. I will soon start caring for the Butterfly Garden…I got to get working on that…

With regards to weeding, I find it very satisfying…something I can do in the garden and not have to think. With so many maintenance rules with regards to when to prune, fertilize, deadhead (or not), plus watering needs, sun needs, and menacing animal needs, it is nice to be in the garden and not have to think. So what was that again? Do I need to be fertilize this and prune that, or was it prune that and fertilize this….with a weed, it always needs pulling – you don’t have to give it a second thought – just get it out!

Saturday was a blast – one of those magical moments in the garden of my friend Lisa Treadaway. She had her open house with Carol Stein, garden writer for the News and Observer, also a friend of mine, speaking on cooking with herbs. This was followed by a wine and cheese party in the herb garden. We were protected from the sun by the American Wisteria covered arbor. The breeze was light and the humidity was low. We also started cooking up some ideas of promoting the Piedmont with garden and story ideas. You will soon see one particular story idea for a column that was cooked that day!

Lisa Treadaway, Helen Yoest, Carol Stein

Plants in the garden that are just coming up or just getting started include:



Buddleia Butterfly bushes.

Plants in the garden that are waxing include:


Mrs. G.G. Gerbing azalea

Bottle Bush

Hydrangeas – Oakleaf, Lady in Red, Lime Light, Endless Summer, Nikko blue all leafing out nicely


Herbaceous peonies (spp?)

Achillea yellow yarrow (spp?)

Clematis – added a new trellis to support it

Passiflora Incarnata Maypop is ready to pop! I have this strong-growing vine in my garden because it is the host plant for Gulf Fritillaries

Spice Bush (both Lindera spp. and Lindera spp.) These were a gift from the JCRA and make a nice addition to my garden because they are the host plant to Spicebush Swallowtail

Arisaema tripihyllum Jack in the Pulpit,

Plants in the garden that are peaking include:

Cross Vine

Verbena ‘Homestead Purple’

German Bearded Iris

Siberian Iris (blue spp.?)

Dwarf Iris cristata, Columbine

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

Hardy Orchid

Chrysogonum virginianum green and gold ‘Allen Bush’

Lavandula stoechas Spanish Lavender

Iberis sempervirens Candy Tuff

Pink Double Knock Rose

Cl. Rose Stairway to Heaven with a hundred blooms

Tree peony (spp?) white,

Sage blooming (spp.?)

Fringe tree (just added in honor of a friend)

Edgeworthia – all leafed out

Big leaf Magnolia – all leafed out

Salix ‘Scarlet Curls’ all leafed out and needing thinning

Dianthus (spp.?)

Campanula (spp?) – a white variety given to me by Annette Hunt from New Bern whose garden will be in Better Homes and Gardens 2010 Salvia macrophylla ‘Hot Lips’

Tradescantia (spp.?) – a volunteer,

Roses in bloom besides the Stairway to Heaven include, Fragrant Wave, Julie Child, Pristine, Sweet Valentine, Pink Pease, Rainbow Sherbet, Black Beauty, and Don Juan.

Plants in the garden that are waning include:

Hellebores (seeding)

Carolina jessamine




Lady Banks Rose

Dogwood (spp.?)

Mertensia virginiana Virginia Blue Bells.

On Thursday, we had a nice morning dew. I never stop enjoying the wonder of seeing a garden through children’s eyes. On the prostrate rosemary, there were spider webs covered with dew. Aster spots this and says to me as we are leaving for school, “Mom, see those spider webs that plant? At first I thought they were feathers, then I thought they were caterpillars, but when I got closer, I saw they were little spider webs covered with dew. Pretty neat don’t you think?” Yep, sure do!

Helen Yoest (Philbrook)


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