Sunday June 7, 2009 A week puttering in Helen’s Haven

Ah, the power of the internet.  Without it, I wouldn’t have a blog, wouldn’t have this ability to journal my week in Helen’s Haven and wouldn’t, no doubt, ever have had the opportunity to meet Tina Ramsey from Tennessee.

Tina Ramsey and Helen Yoest

Tina Ramsey and Helen Yoest

I got to know Tina through her blog, In The Garden, a group blog she writes with Lola, Dawn, and Skeeter.  Tina is also on Twitter @TinaInTenn, but she only occasionally tweets.  I, on the other hand, tweet often and  can be found at @GWConfidence.  But, I digress.  Tina is also a Garden Coach in Tennessee so we share that, as well.

Even though Tina and I never met before, we knew each other fairly well.  We knew each others gardens, trials and tribulations, but we also knew “who” each other was.  We are kindred spirits.  We share many of the same opinions and attitudes about gardening and life.  We got to know each other no differently than any other friend-making ways, sharing tiny bits of information until we started calling each other friend.  Its just the means of finding friends can different today with the internet.  And that was the case with forming our friendship.

With her husband and son and my three kids, we mused about the garden.  I must say, Roger was a great sport, he even acted interested as we chatted on.  I wasn’t too worried about her son getting bored since he fit right in with my three kids.

I plan to visit with Tina often through her blog.  Tina, know that I’ll stop by regularly to visit, but I just may not have time to stay for tea ;~) In other words, I may not leave a comment, but I keep in touch.   When my friend Beth finalizes our plans for the Tennessee tour, I will be sure to stop by for some tea then.

During Tina’s visit to NC, she also visited with Cameron, another blog friend from Chapel Hill.  Cameron’s blog, Defining Your Home Garden,is another blog I read.  Cameron and I have met, but we have yet to visit each others garden.  I hope that changes soon.

My next visit with a blog friend will be with Les Parks.  I got to know Les through his blog A Tidewater Gardener. I’m looking forward to this visit.  Les and I also have a mutual friend in Mark Weathington, Assistant Director at the JC Raulston Arboretum.  Mark told me it is a garden not to be missed.

When I visit with Les, not only do I get to see his garden, but also get to visit the nursery, and tap his brain for his knowledge of woodies (yes, I’m always the opportunists.)

TinaInTenn 021

Music to my ears this week was when my friend’s son, Brian, needed work for the summer.  I told Brian what I needed done, and he said “I can do that, my dad makes me do yard work all the time.”   Nothing I had on the list had a priority until I had some help; strong help.  So my fun this week was shared with Brian:

  • Took down the last rouge Ligustrum.  I think I told kk it was 80 feet tall.  That was a good exaggeration.  It felt like it though.  It was probably only 25 feet tall.  Big none-the-less.  Some of that monster fell over the neighbor’s woodland property behind me.  As I was over on the other side, one of the owners stopped by to see what was going on.  More music to my ears, and a major Hail Mary pass, he sees me cutting up the limbs and ask what I planned to do with the debris.  I told him I was loading it in the truck and hauling it off to the yard waste center.  To which he replied, “Why not just put it in our naturalized area and let it rot with the rest of the debris?”  Why not indeed.  Thanks, Owen!
  • Added two more Leylands to fill the void the Ligustrum made.  It will take a while for these to catch up with the others, but I no longer worry about this sort of thing.  It will happen when it happens.
  • Before the Leylands could go in, I had to moved a Hellebore and a Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  Hope they make it.
  • Dug out the spreading Forsythia.  Last week it was pruned back; this week bits were dug out.
  • Mowed.
  • Pruned roses.
  • Pulled more ivy.
  • Listened to the frogs, chased bunnies, watched the yellow finches on the feeder.
  • Added pine straw to the back woodland and crinum gardens to tidy up.  Pine straw is misbehaving causing trouble in Cary where pine straw is igniting causing devastating fires.   Flicking cigarettes and trash such as a bottle acting as a magnifying glass can easily ignite pine straw.  Think about it’s use.  Think about using an ashtray and a recycling bin.
  • Pruned the fig to clear the path.
  • Transplanted a yarrow from the Victor Garden to the front garden path.
  • Mended reed fence attached to chain linked fence.
  • Cleaned and filled birdbaths.
  • Fretted of the lettuce bolting.
  • Trim hollies.

My most exciting gardening news this week was cleaning out and hauling unused nursery pots to my friend’s nursery for their use.  I have held on to so many nursery pots hoping to use them.  But I had too many.  Too bad Raleigh doesn’t have the capability to recycle these pots.  The pots did spur this story Sex and the City Garden.

Aster still smiling after loading nursery pots

Aster still smiling after loading nursery pots

I had help loading them into Cosmo, my trusty Ford 150 pickup truck.  Aster is a good little worker.  Thanks buddy!



  1. It was a fun time with Tina and family here, too.

    That’s a lot of work Helen! Glad you had some assistance.


  2. tina said

    Awww, what a cutie! Your kids were all most sweet Helen and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. And believe it or not, Rog was interested! I have to agree with you though, he is a great sport and Jimmy too. Of course it helps having a nearly teenaged daughter around for him to talk to. The two younger kids provided the entertainment I think. They were really very sweet.

    I loved your garden! It is most splendid and while I was familiar with it already, pictures on blogs just don’t do enough justice. It will be a smashing hit on the Conservancy Tour this year. Do you know I failed to take enough pictures? I am especially upset about not getting the palm tree. Can you by chance send me one? I may use it in my post. I am actually doing two. One tomorrow and one on Wednesday.

    When you get your plans finalized do make sure to let me know. I would suggest trying to schedule it around the last weekend of the month as Nashville has an outstanding flea market, one of the best in the country actually. I’d be happy to show you all around too. ttyl and hugs to all!

  3. Les said

    I guess I better get to my weeding.

  4. Aster – you’re my hero! Will you please come and help me in my Chicagoland garden. It’s quite large now, and I need a strong hand to assist. 🙂

    Great blog – and a great point – as I see it community makes life worth living.


    Shawna Coronado

  5. Shawna you are very sweet!

  6. Joe Lamp'l said

    I can relate to the great “friends” and strong bonds I’ve formed over the internet with with people I’ve never met in person. And then there are a few that I have since met and I love that! For gardeners, the web has proven to be an awesome source for bonding with kindred spirits as you said.
    But best of all I love the the plastic pot recylcing you did for your friends nursery! Good for you. It would be too easy to simply toss them in the dumpster, but then again, I know you better than that!
    Thanks for sharing. Great post.

  7. Loved this post and learning more about Tina. So many garden bloggers out there that I admire and learn from. You sure know how to get it done in the garden Helen. I’m going to remind myself not to volunteer in your garden. You’d work me to death. Can’t wait to visit you and Cameron.

  8. […] to have Tina from In The Garden visit her in Chapel Hill and you can read about that visit HERE. It is loads of fun to meet fellow blogging buddies and I couldn’t wait to meet […]

  9. […] in garden blogging popularity.  Like Tina at In The Garden, who I met and posted about last Sunday June 7th post; I felt I knew Anna.  This is the power of the internet.  A place to make the world […]

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