Sunday, December 6, 2009 Puttering in Helen’s Haven

Weston Farms design

We finally had our killing frost – in the front gardens.  The front gardens are lower than the back by 16 feet.  As such, it is not unlikely this could happen; but it always amazes me when it does.

It was a quiet week in Helen’s Haven.  A cold kept me stuck inside most of the week, although I did get a chance to mow.  I even missed the launching of my friend, Bobby Ward’s new book, Chlorophyll in His Veins: J.C. Raulston – Horticultural Ambassador.  I still got to post about it and Bobby brought over a copy for me on Friday.  He was wise to stay 10 feet back.

For maintenance tips for the month of December, please visit This Month in the Garden – December

If working in the garden isn’t inspiration enough, try this as a pick me up – Fine Gardening – December Inspiration – ‘Tis The Season for Evening Lighting

At the Farmers Market, I visited Weston’s Farm store to see their Magnolia wreaths.  I hope to get to the farm next week or so.  Erin Weston does very good work and I like her style.  While there, they shared with me their  secret to keeping the Magnolia wreaths fresh looking.  I forgot to ask if I could share her secret.  I guess I better keep it to myself until I get permission to share it…in the meantime, I plan to try it,

Weston Farms design

I’ve been snipping greenery around Helen’s Heaven and around the neighborhood, with permission of course, to have conditioned prior to use in clients homes and businesses.    On Tuesday, I get to demonstrate creating holiday decorations for the Wake Forest Garden Club by using just snips from the garden.  I’l show uses with Leyland, Magnolia, holly, red-stemmed dogwood, and more.

In keeping with teaching how to create natural decorations, I have begun to post tips to decorating for Christmas around the home.  Here’s a tip Number of lights and ornaments for your Christmas Tree.

We have some cold weather now and for next week.  I’ll dress in layers and try not to complain…but just for the record, I don’t like cold weather.

Frost Angel

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening with Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum



  1. I tagged you with an Honest Scrap Award – see my 12/5/09 blog post at on how to follow up.

  2. Nell Jean said

    That Frost Angel is a hoot. I hope that’s as close to snow as I see here this winter.

  3. meghan said

    sorry to hear you were feeling bad helen. i hope you are on the road to recovery!
    i love, love and love some more that square magnolia wreath!! i had hopes of making a magnolia wreath this year, but i just used the cuttings for other arrangements. i don’t have my own big magnolia, so they came from a friends. i have a tiny “little gem” that my family gave me last year for christmas. Merry Christmas to you.

  4. Ahh, Meghan, if you are in Raleigh between now and Christmas, please call or stop by. Just us the street is the biggest, most magnificant Brown Bracken you have ever seen. I can get you all the cuttings you need. Big glossy dark green leaves, with a deep velvet-y brown underbelly – the best! H.

    • meghan said

      thanks helen!

  5. Janet said

    Magnolia wreaths are wonderful. If you find out how they keep them so fresh, please pass the info along!
    Hope you are feeling better. Being sick just before the Christmas season would put me into a panic about getting everything done.

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