Archive for June 21, 2009

J.C. Raulston Agave Blooms!


Agave Blooms

From Charlie Kidder, volunteer in the Xeric Gardens at the JC Raulston Arboretum since 2003 and is an absolute sucker for the sculptural quality of the all the agaves and their kin.  “My favorite has always been the Mescal barrel agave ‘J.C. Raulston’.  Its silvery-gray leaves are punctuated with purple-black spines and teeth, a very natty combination.  Looking straight down onto the plant–before the flower spike erupted, that is–revealed an almost hypnotic shape of interwoven triangles.

But now comes this agave’s great moment of glory, with its twelve-foot flower spike shooting up in just two months.  It’s a sight to make any guy envious!  But watch what you wish for, since flowering is the end of the agave’s life cycle.  Still, nothing like going out in style!  And even though the main agave plant will die shortly, a younger offshoot known as a “pup” will live on to beguile visitors in the future.
We generally leave agave flower stalks up even after they dry out for winter interest, but if you come out to the Arboretum soon, you can still see the dozens of yellow flowers that now top the candelabra.  You can spot it from the parking lot, against the dark green background of the holly hedge off to the south.”

From Chris Glenn, Programs and Educaiton Coordinator, JC Raulston Arboretum, “If you’ve been a Cuttings from the JCRA subscriber for a few years, you know I’m a big fan of agaves. I’ve shared their flowering here at the JCRA on a few occasions. Well, it’s that time again. Our Agave parryi subsp. parryi var. truncata ‘J.C. Raulston’ is currently in full flower. I’ve put together a photograph gallery of the plant’s flowering for you to enjoy this weekend. Better yet, come out and see it for yourself. It’s in the Xeric Garden behind the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. Tony Avent recently named this particular plant in honor of Dr. J. C. Raulston.”


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Sunday June 21, 2009 A week puttering in Helen’s Haven

I fell into a hole of my own doing.  Before I had the flea market gate properly installed, I tried installing it myself.   Others are made up of DNA, I’m made of  DIY.  Not unlike DNA failing, this time,  my DIY ability failed me.  Not deterred, I just got the right person for the job.  Problem was, I had to get rid of my mistake.

A piece of re-bar I intended to use to support the gate was buried to what appeared to be the center of the earth.  I worked on it.  I had Brian (my summer helper kid) work on.  I worked on it some more.  It’s still there.  I can’t seem to dig it out.  In the meantime, there is a hole in the ground with re-bar rising from the earth, surrounded by a chunk of concrete.   In between all these efforts, I passed through there with mail in one hand, yard waste cans in the other and I fell in the hole.  Ouch.  Nothing broken, legs scratched and bruised; mail muddy.  It could have been much worse.  This is chit worthy; I will ask hubby for a hand.

Crabs 002cLily and Aster were at the Y camp in Arapahoe, NC this week.  After my husband returned from dropping them off, he visited our friend TD.  We are usually rewarded with crabs after visiting.  As such, here are the remains of breakfast Monday morning.  You can take the girl out of Chincoteague, but not Chincoteauge out of the girl.

First thing Asters did when he returned from camp was to check on his cucumbers.  Looks like he will have a bumper crop.  They neighbors are very happy with his success too.

Asters garden 014

This is the week 20 of us  JC Raulston Arboretum volunteers open our gardens to the 172 volunteers plus JCRA  staff members.  It’s a casual tour, not meant to be gussied up, just open for a week so folks can go by.  It’s fun to do and to visit with other volunteer friends.

We’re having a heat wave.  Friday’s heat index was 100, Saturday’s 106.

Fathers day 008

My blogging friend from Tennessee told me not to blog about it, but how can  I not?  When Tina with In The Garden visits the garden of other bloggers, she sends a gift of a garden name marker.  Here is a photo of Helen’s Haven.  I just love it.  Most of my readers know I’m  all about naming the garden – click here Creating a Garden Name It seem all the more important to me; I had a name, but no sign.  Now I both.

Summer Solstice 022

With the summer solstice here, I reflected on the shortening of the days.  I feel a sense of sadness with the summer solstice.  Contrary, in the dead of darkness, the winter solstice is my happiest time.  Despite the dark and cold, at least during  the winter solstice, the days become longer again.  We and other hosts, celebrated with a solstice party at the home and garden of Jayme Bednarczyk and Phil Abbott.  Our party was to celebrate and raise money for the JCRA Seasonal Celebrations.  I’ll post about the party later this week.

Helen Yoest and David Philbrook

Helen Yoest and David Philbrook

Jayme and Phil’s garden will also be open for the 2009 Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour also benefiting the JC Raulston Arboretum Open Days Tour

Oh what fun we had in the garden this week:

I have a full week ahead including meeting 3 garden bloggers Les A Tidewater Gardener, Janet The Queen of Seafood and Racquel Perennial Garden Lover…this is gonna be fun!

Helen Yoest

Gardening With Confidence

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