Sunday November 9, 2008 Puttering in Helen’s Haven

After my talk at Smith and Hawkins
After my talk at Smith and Hawkin

I wanted to do more in the garden today than I did, but my new webmaster has my new website to a point that he needs me.  That’s a relief.  So I must stop what I’m doing to respond, lest it will be delayed further.

I’m in the process of redoing my website to reflect my new business name – Gardening With Confidence.  It’s going slow.  He is really good, but he has a day job, also doing web stuff.   

I view programers like I view veterinarians…make my kid’s guinea pig better and spare me the details.  My new webmaster is good at that.  English is not his first language.  I find it ironic that he is telling ME that I need to clean up my copy and make it crisp.  What’s that tell you?  Yes, I say to him, I will or should I say yah-yah. 

Between the website and actually doing my day job – garden coaching – I can’t seem to write on my blog and worse, visit my faves.  I don’t even have a mechanism to list my faves…but I will SOON, my webmaster is seeing to that!

So, for my Sunday fun.

  • My Color Blend bulb order came in this week and they kept staring at me.  I find it daunting to plant spring blooming bulbs.  My own at least.  Fall is a very busy time for me.  I put in thousands bulbs around Raleigh the last 30 days, I just can’t get excited about putting in my own.  I gave myself a pep talk and managed to get something done.
  • I put in 100 Tommies, early blooming crocus.  These when into the front lawn.  I will add another 100 next year.
  • Planted 50 Little Fellas daffodils, mixed colors.  Only getting about 8″ tall, they might get lost, so I planted them on both sides of my entrance path.
  • Planted 100 Ipheion  Starflowers.   I love these.  There were everywhere in my old nieghborhood of Historic Oakwood.  We have a nice spread in the Winter Garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum.  I planted mine in my Red Bed around the path leading into the garden.
  • Planted 100 February Gold daffodils.  I wanted to make a WOW statement with these, so they are all planted near the street, some at the Red Bed’s base, some in the Mailbox bed, and the rest in the Rose Garden.
  • My intent each year is to increase my spring garden appeal.  As it is, I consider Helen’s Haven just a three seasons garden, summer, fall and winter.  Everyone is a gardener in the Spring, ‘cept me.  I guess my downfall is that I have to force myself to plant in Helen’s Haven in the fall since I’m so bushed.  This year I added more spring interest in addition to bulbs, but I will write about that at another time.
  • Mowed my new grass. 
  • It was also cut-back-the-Elephant-Ears morning.  I have several varieties and most were nipped bynovember-9-2009-055 the little frost we had 10 days ago; nipped just enough to make them look ratty.   If it weren’t for that, they would still be good looking.  New leaves were even emerging.  When a killing frost comes, they melt.  When this happens, they are gross to work with…mushy.  I like to get them before this happens, but not too early so I enjoy them for as long as possible.  Today I went at them.  I use a kitchen knife.   It is much easier to slice throuth them than to cut them with prunners.  The bases of mine are about 2 inches wide forming a “U” shape.  I use the take my pruners and slice through one side of the “U” and then slice through the other.  Then I got the idea of a mini machette.  The closest thing I had to that was a kitchen knife.  It works beautifully.  One slice, it is cut and has a nice neat edge.  They were down in no time.
  • I had every intention of root pruning my C. ‘Black Dragon.’  At this time of year, it is crowded out by the Elephant Ears ‘Rhubarb.’  After I cut the ‘Rhubarb’, I noticed it is very well placed and doesn’t need to be moved…it will just be a little crowded in mid-fall, but the rest of the year it is well sited. november-9-2009-061
  • When I was poking around the ‘Black Dragon’, I noticed a lone quince flower aleady blooming.  I like it when if see stuff like that.   
  • When I was planting the daffs in the Rose garden, I noticed Rainbow Sorbet looking good.  This is important because I noticed the same last week.  This rose seemed to need very little deadheading as opposed to some others.  As such, I did a test.  I purned it up last week and decided to see what happens to the blooms over a week – today.  I was amazed.  It looks as good then as it does now.  The bloom have transitioned in color, but still look fantastic.

    Rainbow Sorbet

    Rainbow Sorbet

  • I planted a fushia-colored Salvia in the herb garden.  There was no tag, I need to look up the variety.
  • I moved a dwarf Joe Pye Weed.  Even as a dwarf, it was too big for the spot.
  • I also planted a varigated Radicans Gardenia where there was a daylily.  It was in an area that didn’t get enough sun for the daylily, but I’m hoping it will be enough for the Gardenia.  This varigated variety was new to me, but KK was familiar with it…I was hoping to introduce something to him since he shows me so much; I should have figured he was familiar with it.
  •  I love a garden in the fall and the color she leaves all over the ground.  I just want time to stop, so I did the next best thing, I took some photographs, lots of photographs.
  • Filled the bird feeders.  Aster kept sneaking up on me like a stalker.  I was really getting good at it, so I put him to work and thought him to refill the “Dinner Bell” with mealworms for the Bluebirds.  He like that.  I liked not having to do it.

That was enough.  I wanted to call it a day, but a client called asking me to come over to place some plants she bought.  That was fun.  Also we went to see what was still at the Farmer’s Market.  I needed some dwarf mondo grass for Tuesday’s client.  Got it, happy to check that off my list.



  1. kk said

    Looking good! Nice pic.

  2. Thanks KK, good to hear from you! Are you getting this rain?

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