Archive for In Print

Metro Magazine – Winter Interest Under Way for Umstead Hotel and Spa

Winter Interest Under Way For Umstead Hotel and Spa

In the winter, the garden is often thought of as the pause season until spring returns; an interruption in the time when a garden can be beautiful.  Often, the winter season isn’t based on the solstice, but rather, from first to last frost; too long a pause not to plan for the season.

With the fine weather we experience from the Triangle to the coast, we have the potential to garden year round.  No snow to compete with, we can add to the landscape so that our gardens can be just as interesting in winter as they are in spring, summer or fall.  What you do in winter, will also enhance other season’s appeal.

Even with a professional design, the winter interest aspects are often overlooked.  It’s never too late to evaluate your garden’s winter appeal.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa, in Cary, NC, recently did just that.  Landscape designer, Suzanne Edney, of Custom Landscapes, Inc., was brought in to evaluate and add winter interest elements to the 6 acres surrounding the Five Star hotel.

“My mission was to give a ‘sense of place’ by using cultivars and ornamentals that have characteristics of North Carolina plants,” says Suzanne.  Working directly with Ann Goodnight, Suzanne evaluated and added to the existing design.  What Suzanne found was many of the plants used in the original design were deciduous perennials, therefore, the landscape looked bare from December to April.  Suzanne’s design added to the ground plane and broke up a single plane of plantings.

This sense of place is an important factor for hotels of this caliber. As Suzanne explained, “When you arrive at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, you want to know that your are in NC, not in Italy or Miami or some other place.”

Plum yew, juniper, and Hellebores were some of the ground covers used in the design along with boulders to fill voids while giving the eye a restful place to pause.  Grasses were added to give movement, evergreen vines, perennials and shrubs such as Clematis Armandii, poet’s laurel, Fatsia, roof iris, Spirea, and Deodara Cedar were added for winter interest and to add rhythm to the design.

Implantation of the design began this fall and will continue through the winter.  It will be most interesting to visit often during this time to see how the transformation progresses.

Now and after the holidays is a great time to evaluate your winter landscape.  Plan on making your winter more interesting with plants and other elements such as boulders, benches, or accents.  You too will be enjoying your garden all winter long.

FOR MORE WINTER INTEREST

The JC Raulston Arboretum hosts an annual A Walk in the Winter Garden program in February each year.  Enjoy a winter garden themed presentation and tours and see what the winter garden has to offer.  Visit their Web site at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum/ for details

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

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Making a Hypertufa Trough – Better Homes and Gardens

Modeled after ancient stone troughs once used to hold water and feed for livestock, contemporary troughs are made from hypertufa.

Hypertufa troughs are easy to make, cool containers for use in any garden style.

Beth Jimenez and Amelia Lane, owners of Lasting Impressions, in Raleigh, NC, will show you how to make your own inexpensive hypertufa troughs at home.

Once you learn the secret to making these containers, you may not want to stop at just one; a grouping of containers of various sizes makes a striking garden collection.

For the full story, visit Better Homes and Gardens – Making a Hypertufa Trough

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

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Seasonal Wisdom’s Blog Post Helen’s Haven Winter Faves

Part IV: Favorite Winter Plants (North Carolina)

Helen Yoest in the back center with others from the Raleigh Garden Club after a monthly maintenance in the Winter Garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum

An excerpt from Seasonal Wisdom’s posting…

There may be a snow storm or two, but Raleigh, N.C. (Zone 7B) enjoys more moderate winters than the first three locations featured in this Favorite Winter Plants series. In fact, you can pretty much garden all winter long, reports garden writer and coach Helen Yoest. And she should know. Helen not only owns Gardening With Confidence™, she also serves on the board of advisors for JC Raulston Arboretum.  For the full story, please visit Seasonal Wisdom.

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

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Guest Blog Post @ Ecosystem Gardens- Helen’s Haven Wildlife Habitat

2008 JCRA Winter Tour 019

Helen’s Haven Wildlife Habitat

The birds take flight as I walk down the garden path; otherwise I’m alone. Light is low in the morning hours with scents in the air to attract me and the wildlife.

My garden, Helen’s Haven, is enjoyed by me, my kids, the wildlife. Helen’s Haven was designed with all in mind.

A garden full of color, scent, flower, texture, and wildlife is a way of life for my kids (8, 9, and 13); they don’t know any better. Often, they will ask why other kid’s from school don’t have gardens that are flush with flowers, why they aren’t luring lizards, or chasing fireflies in the cool of the early summer evening. It’s all in a days adventure with the Yoest family; we wouldn’t have it any other way….See the full story please visit Carole Brown’s blog post:  Helen’s Haven Wildlife Habitat

Copy and photos by Helen Yoest

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening With Confidence Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her Facebook page, the Gardening With Confidence fan page. Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum.

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In Print – Carolina Gardener – Handling Houseplant Pest

The November/December of Carolina Gardner is out. Included in this issue is my story on Handling Houseplant Pests.  Unfortunately, it cannot be downloaded.   Pick up a copy today!

Carolina Gardener is now of  Facebook.  It’s easy to become a fan…just click here to learn more and click on Become a Fan.

Handling Houseplant Pests

INTRODUCTION

There are many reasons to add houseplants around the home – to freshen the air, to bring calmness to a room, or to charm a corner.    But when houseplants fall prey to pests, their charm can be eluded.

If caught early, houseplant pests are easy to rid.  The best course of action is to not bring infested plants home, but if they are, treat them as soon as they are realized.

Before purchasing a new houseplant choose carefully.  Look under the leaves and at the stems for signs of pests.   For those houseplants at home, inspect regularly.  Most pests attack weak plants, so keeping your plants healthy and happy are also a must.

By knowing how to identify the most common pests before purchasing a houseplant and being able to identify a pest on an existing houseplant so that it may be treated quickly, is your best defense.

MOST COMMON HOUSEPLANT PESTS and THEIR TREATMENT

Most common pests include aphids, fungus gnats, mealy bug, spider mites, scale, and whiteflies.

Aphids

Aphids can be black, gray, orange, and green.  Their movement is slow.  At first glance, they appear to be motionless, but look closely, and you will detect very slow movement. Typically, they can be found in clusters on the undersides of leaves, on flower buds, at the growing tips, and where the leaves meet the stem.

To treat, simply take the affected plant and spray either under the tap for small plants, or in the tub shower for larger plants.  The water pressure will knock them off and they will go down the drain.  If the infestation is particularly bad, spray the houseplant with an insecticidal soap.

Fungus Gnats

These tiny black flies are often found flying around houseplants.  They are mainly a nuisance and won’t hurt the plant.  Getting rid of them is easy since they live only in overly moist soil.

If you have fungus gnats, it’s a sign of overwatering your plants.  To treat, simply water less often and they will disappear.  If they are particularly troublesome, unpot the plant, wash the soil from the roots, and repot with fresh soil.

Mealy bugs

Mealy bugs look more like a tuff of cotton than a bug.  Typically, mealy bugs are found adhering to the plant where leaves join the stem, and sometimes in the roots, as well.

To treat, moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe them off.  Repeat in a week or so in case any eggs were left behind.

For a severe infestation, spray the plant with an insecticidal soap. If you have root mealies, wash all the soil off the roots and repot with fresh soil.

Scale

A scale infestation is when the leaves look like they have scabs on their “skin.”

Scale attach themselves to the undersides of leaves and is protected by a hard outer shell, making insecticidal soap sprays useless.

To treat a light infestation, moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe down each leaf.  For more involved infestations, try spraying with Neem oil.  If an infestation is heavy and the plant has begun to turn yellow, disposal is the only option.

Spider Mites

These tiny spider-like insects are hard to see with the naked eye.  The first sign of infestation are white webs that appear between leaves and stems. They thrive in hot dry conditions.  Under watering creates an idea condition for spider mites.  Mist leaves regularly, especially in winter when central heating dries out the air.

To treat an existing infestation, give the plant a shower under the tap or in the tub, and repeat in a week or so.  If infestation is advance to where the plant is losing leaves, spray with an insecticidal soap.

Whiteflies

These tiny, moth-like insects rise above a moved plant in a great cloud before resettling.  They usually occur in large numbers and spread quickly from plant to plant.

Winged adults are the stage most commonly seen; however it’s the feeding of the immature nymph stage are what causes the damage to the leaves.  Whitefly nymphs are scale-like in shape, translucent color, and fairly immobile.  Feeding on the leaf undersides, whitefly nymphs are often inconspicuous and easily overlooked.

Getting rid of them is difficult.  To treat, spray every three days with an insecticidal soap.  If this doesn’t work, the plant should be disposed of.

The best defense against houseplant pest infestations is prevention and early treatment.  Keeping houseplants healthy by matching the plant with the right light and water, and avoiding the extremes, will give you and your houseplants many years of enjoyment.

Sidebar

To make houseplant insecticidal soap, add about 6 drops of a liquid detergent into a quart spray bottle.  Fill with water, shake.

Commercial products are also available.

Pick up a copy today!

Copy by Helen Yoest

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening With Confidence Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her Facebook page, the Gardening With Confidence fan page. Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum.

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Fine Gardening blog – October Inspiration

Tropical snail vine (Vigna caracalla)

Tropical snail vine (Vigna caracalla)

……As I travel down the herb garden path, my legs brush Rosemary grown wide from the summer sizzle.  The fragrance fills the fall air.  A memory of a delicious meal of roasted chicken seasoned with Rosemary comes to mind.  Reflecting for only moment until a butterfly catches my eye.  In a dance that appears to be a fickle flutter, the butterfly finds the most desirable lantana flower.  The musky scent of the lantana seems irresistible to the butterfly…..

Thought you might enjoy this piece for Fine Gardening Blog called, October Inspiration

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

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

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

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Fine Gardening blog – September Inspiration

Back Porch Labor Day 2008 054

…Reds dominate. Yellows generate. Purples empower. Grasses sway, with flags as flowers. Finches steady themselves as they feed on seeds. The box turtle moseys around the tomatoes eating what the birds or deer knocked to the ground. Life abounds. September was made for sitting on the patio to watch in wonder.

Thought you might enjoy this piece for Fine Gardening Blog called, September Inspiration.

Enjoy!

Helen Yoest
Gardening With Confidence

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