March 1, 2009 Puttering in Helen’s Haven


There was no puttering in Helen’s Haven today.  Saturday and Sunday was a wash!  It rained the entire weekend.  This was good.

As luck would have it, I had the opportunity to work in the garden on Thursday afternoon.  A photographer spent a few hours with me, taking photos of what kind of tasks can be done in the garden now.  The News and Observer, our local paper, is doing a story on what people can do with the extra hour of daylight daylight savings time brings.

I thought this was a great idea.  The story would get people thinking about what can be done in the gardens now.  Normal people don’t begin to think about working in the garden until spring arrives.  Unlike my crowd of six sigma gardeners who never actually stop gardening, the story would encourage folks to get out and get a head start of the spring – pruning, weeding, february-28-2009-057mulching, fertilizing, bed prep, planning, etc.

I like that there was some proactive encouragement in gardening.

Here is some of the fun I did to demonstrate what can be done in the garden one extra hour at a time:

  • Pruned the big Brown Turkey fig tree.
  • The fountain needs repainting.  Emptied the water from the fountain to get ready to paint.
  • Watched the fountain refilled with the weekend rain.
  • After Phil finished the steps, I wanted to add some boulders in 2 other areas of the Mixed Bed.  One area had a small retaining wall made from flagstone.  I removed these stones and was about to stack in the storage area when I got a bright idea. One day, hopefully next year, when the kids are done with their play-set, I plan to put in a greenhouse.  These flagstone would be ideal for the flooring.  As such, I placed the flagstone where I hope the Greenhouse will go one day.  Now I have a good visual of my future great space.
  • The back of our property is undeveloped property with a chain link fence.  I have reed fencing tied onto it to give it a much nicer look.  I’m actually glad the fence is there.  I like the look of reed fence and the chain link gave me the opportunity to use it.  Occasionally, an end breaks free.  So, I tied up this loose end of the fence.
  • Picked up leaves and sticks.
  • Cut back salvia leucantha.
  • Cut back iris winter burn.
  • Removed some garden art – looking to exposed.
  • Up-righted red gazing ball in Red Bed
  • Planted cotoneaster ‘Scarlet Leader’ I picked up in Greensboro.
  • Planted varigated euonymus in the back Crinum Bed.
  • Planted Asarum arifolium ‘Brunswick Stew’ in the Office Border.
Pine Knot Hellebore Farm, Clarksville, VA hybridus greenhouse

Pine Knot Hellebore Farm, Clarksville, VA hybridus greenhouse

Saturday, a group of us from the JC Raulston Arboretum braved the rain and cold and went to the Pine Knot Hellebore Farm open house in Clarksville, VA.  We saw license plates from all over.  It was a lot of fun.  Of course, I bought more than I should have, but I was also getting some for my friend kk.  I got two flats of stuff.


After eating all the cookies were could stand and warming up with a hot cup of coffee, we left there and went to Cedar Creek Gallery 1150 Fleming Road, Creedmoor, NC.  The gardens were designed by John Martin.  John’s garden whom he shares with is partner Jeff Bottoms, will be open in September for the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour, also benefiting the JC Raulston Arboretum.

A selection of John’s plants were also available for sale.  We all managed to limit ourselves to just one flat full of fun finds.

Between the two visits, here is what I managed to bring home:

Euculyptus globulus

6 Helleborus hybrids

Narcissus bulbicodium conspicuus

2 Helleborus x hybrids ‘Gold Finch’

Rancunculus ficaria mixed hybrid

Acorus ‘Ogar’

Helleborus foetidus

Carex x comans

Euronymus fortunei ‘Kewensis’

Varigated Sedum

Hesperaloe parviflora Red Yucca

Bellis perennis English Daisy

Narcisus ‘Tete Tete’

Black Shamrock

Now we have a threat of 6 – 9 inches of snow on Sunday evening.  This could differently put a dent in my plans to attend the Davidson Symposium, March 2 and 3.  If it so, I think I’ll take a break and make snow angels with kids.




  1. We did some more garden “puttering” on Friday with the warm weather. I still have a few more buddleia cut back.

    This cold weather (and snow?) will be short-lived as next weekend, we’ll be back out in the gardens on sunny days in the 70s! Yes! 🙂


  2. […] As luck would have it, I had the opportunity to work in the garden on Thursday afternoon. A photographer spent a few hours with me, talking photos of what kind of tasks can be done in the garden now. The News and Observer, .. Original post: March 1, 2009 Puttering in Helen’s Haven « Gardening With Confidence ™ […]

  3. […] View original post here: March 1, 2009 Puttering in Helen’s Haven […]

  4. Les said

    I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a rainy Feb 28th than at Pine Knot Farms. I have always wanted to go, but just can’t seem to make it work out. I hope the snow stays down there, and it melts as soon as you want it to.

  5. Kathy said

    Lucky you! No garden work possible here yet. Snow predicted for tomorrow. The ground has not yet thawed. If you try to pull a weed, you most certainly won’t get any root from the frozen solid ground. Still waiting to see the first snowdrop.

  6. Hey Kathy,

    I can’t relate. While we appreciate spring, I imagine you do so more. Or maybe, like everything else, it’s all relative.

  7. On yes, Les, well worth the trip. Probably 2.5 hours for you though. Now I have to wait to plant. Looks like we will be in the 70s again this weekend.

  8. […] March 1, 2009 Puttering in Helen’s Haven « Gardening With Confidence ™ […]

  9. I do not have hellebore’s and admire them passionately – looks like I need something new in the garden, right?

    Although your garden is at least accessible. Mine is still frozen solid – dusting of snow this AM – we just lost the 12″ of snow we had, but it’s not looking like spring any time soon.

    Wish us luck!

  10. kk said

    Thanks for scouting a few plants for me. I was way jealous of your field trip. One of my favorite things is to visit a nursery on a rainy day. Looks like you found a few gems on your jaunt. KK

  11. KK, I learn something new about you everyday. I did not know you like to visit nurseries on a rainy day. I never actually thought of it. In fact, if I didn’t commit to go with friends, I may have pulled the covers over my head and stayed home. I was really glad I went!

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