Archive for In Print

In Print – Triangle Gardener – Creating a Wildlife Habitat at Home

The September/October, 2009 issue of Triangle Gardener is out.  This issue features my story entitled Creating a Wildlife Habitat at Home. Triangle Gardener

David and Lara Rose putting up a screech owl box

David and Lara Rose putting up a screech owl box

Creating a Wildlife Habitat at Home

As the days grow shorter, we settle into a routine and feel the comfort of home.  Much of the wildlife does the same; but for some wildlife, home is down south.  Fall is a great time to create a wildlife habitat as these winged wonders look for food on their migration home.

Creating a wildlife habitat in your own backyard is simple to do and richly rewarding.  Your wildlife garden can be a container garden, window box, a corner carved out in a traditional landscape, or an entire suburban lot.

Engaging children in this activity helps create the next generation of gardeners and naturalists.

Providing food, water, cover and places to raise their young is all that is needed to create a wildlife habitat.    A walk through your property will reveal what you have already.  You may be surprised how little more you need.


To attract wildlife, provide the kinds of food wildlife need – either naturally or with supplements.  The more variety of food sources provided the greater variety of wildlife you’ll attract.  Various seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, nectar, sap, and pollen are all good food sources.   The use of regionally native plants is also recommended, providing 10 to 50 times more food to the wildlife’s likings.

Food can also be supplemented with feeders to hold seed, suet, and nectar.


A clean, reliable water source is a key part to creating a wildlife habitat.  Water is needed for drinking and bathing. Locating the water source within an easy view also makes it entertaining for the homeowner.  Providing water can be as simple as adding a birdbath.  Give multiple locations at varying heights to attract a variety of wildlife.  It is important to provide water year round, even in the winter and, of course, during times of drought.


Wildlife needs cover for protection against the elements and predators.  Having a place to escape the threat of pending danger attracts more to the garden.   A variety of plant life ranging in size, height and density with trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and ornamental grasses, will increase your chances of attracting more kinds of wildlife.


The cover provided also gives your wildlife a safe place for reproduction and nurturing wildlife young.  In a backyard, dense shrubbery or birdhouses provide safe areas for birds to nest.  Different animals have different needs, including certain wildlife requiring water to raise their young such as salamanders, frogs, toads, and dragonflies.

Sustainable gardening practices will also benefit your wildlife habitat such as controlling non-native and invasive species, eliminating or reducing the use of pesticides, use of mulch and reducing lawn size.

Take comfort in an awarding fall; invite the wildlife.


In 1973 the National Wildlife Federation, the nation’s leading conservation organization protecting wildlife and their habitats, began the Backyard Wildlife Habitat program.  This program provides a mechanism to certify backyard or community wildlife habitats.

For more information on the Backyard Wildlife Habitat program or to begin the easy to follow certification process, please contact or 1-800-822-9919.

The Backyard Wildlife Habitat program is a wonderful resource, whether you choose to certify your backyard or to use this information as a tool to make your garden more wildlife friendly.

National Wildlife Federations Top 10 recommended native plants for the southeast:

Black Tupelo (black gum), Nyssa sylvatica

Willow Oak, Quercus phellos

Sweetbay Magnolia, Magnolia virginiana

American Elderberry, Sambucus nigra ssp. Canadensis

Yaupon Holly, Ilex vomitoria

Sweet Pepperbush, Clethra alnifolia

Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata

Trumpet Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens

Climbing Aster, Ampelaster carolinianus

Narrowleaf Sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius

By Helen Yoest

Gardening Coach and designer

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In Print – Metro Magazine Raleigh area Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour

The August/September 2009 issue of Metro magazine featured The Garden Conservancy Open Days Tour.  Bernie Reeves, editor and publisher of Metro, has been very generous to the gardening community communicating this great gardening event.  Thanks Bernie!

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Tour 2009

Back Porch Labor Day 2008 054B

Cascading water, tapestry hedges, wildlife habitats.  Butterflies, birds and bumble bees.  Summer transitions into the fall.

The Garden Conservancy Open Days tour will be held once again in the Raleigh area.  For two days, six gardens will open to share with you a peak behind their garden gates; it is sure to pique your interest just in time for fall planning and planting.


The Thompson Garden

Garden of Kathleen and Walt Thompson

119 Ravenna Way


As close as the curb, delight begins.  Paths beckon you to enter; but do enter slowly, you will not want to miss a thing – not a plant, a vignette, an accent.  The thread-leaf Japanese maple will stop you in you espadrilles.  But do go on, there’s more to see.

Stop at the arbor to take in the view.  Revealed is a garden gently sloping with curvilinear borders and paths outlined with recycled concrete. This garden displays an excellent example of using recycled materials to create garden walls, paths, and edging.

Garden beds are planted with perennials, tropicals, and native plants. The sound of the pond provides a soothing respite and also attracts wildlife.  From the pond, continue on down the paths into the woods where your will be welcomed by the community lake.


The Paisley Garden

Garden of Julia Kornegay and Alfredo Escobar

5237 Leiden Lane


A groovy garden to be sure!  Paisley patterns presents well to the visitor allowing one to meander through the paths never far from the sound of water.  The stone-bordered pond, with a stream and waterfall, is at the heart of this garden.  The sound of water attracts wildlife and soothing all those who visit.

Paths carry the visitor around the paisley beds and into and out of the woodland gardens.

On a corner, one acre lot, Julia and Alfredo’s passion for plants and designed are well utilized.  Fashion forward design (or is it nostalgia?) has this couple presenting a front yard vegetable garden including tomatoes, potatoes, onions and a sweet English knot herb garden.

The borrowed landscape makes this property seem larger than it is.  With plenty of seating dotted throughout the gardens, take the time to sit a spell and enjoy the views.

Rose Cottage

Garden of Sharon and Jim Bright

115 N. Bloodworth Street


The journey through the gardens of Rose Cottage begins at the carriage step.  One step and you stop.  The home and garden’s quaintness is mesmerizing.  Antique roses, perennials, annuals, flowering trees and shrubs, plus pretty parterres define the space.  The hectic pace of life is slowed as one enters these gardens.

This new home, built to historic specifications, sits comfortable in Raleigh’s downtown historic district.  The gardens arose out of an old graveled parking lot, left barren by a house fire long ago.  The Bright’s transformed the grounds into a lush and tranquil oasis of color and fragrance.

Inspired my Monet, but realized with Sharon’s keen eye for color and Jims handiness, these gardens were created.

Be sure to venture to the very back to see the bountiful vegetable beds, a secret garden, a compost operation, and a little garden cottage that functions as a convenient shed.

Helen’s Haven

Garden of Helen Yoest and David Philbrook

3412 Yelverton Circle


Helen’s Haven is the garden I share with my family. The design took into account the needs of three young and active children. Even so, the stone path through the center on the main back border, built by Phil Hathcock of Natural Stone Sculptures, is often overlooked as a transition point when the kids are chasing an errant ball.  But that’s OK; this is their garden too.

Low Boxwood hedges were used to create a formal atmosphere to complement the formal architecture of this Georgian Colonial style home. These hedges also map out the space for the kids to play. Within these hedges are informal plantings of perennials and annuals to attract butterflies, birds and bees.

Helen’s Haven is a certified wildlife habitat and a certified Monarch Watch Station. Using waterwise design principles and watered with harvested rain, this organic garden demonstrates good environmental practices resulting in a colorful, lush garden.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens watching the butterflies alight and seeing enough birds to delight.



Garden of Jayme Bednarczyk and Phil Abbott

1025 Traders Trail

Wake Forest

The home and garden’s name is Entwined; aptly named by Jayme and Phil as their place of, “Hopeful dreams entwined with patience and time.”

These gardens were built at their pace of one passion at a time.  Amidst the trees, roses, and perennials, with drama directing one to the lake, turning back, a villa is revealed.  Strong European influences are present in the design decisions.  Terraced beds on this sloping land add to the drama of this home in the heart of the garden.

Falls Revival

Garden of Jeff Bottoms and John Martin

12160 Falls of Neuse Rd

Wake Forest

Seen from the road, is a tapestry hedge buffering the busy street.  On the other side of the hedge, in this historic valley of Wake Forest, sits a garden – a collector’s garden – with a foot in the past and an eye towards the future.  Nostalgia, tradition and modern design meld to make this garden shine.

A casual cottage-style garden with some very unusual plantings will pique your interest to want to know more and want to know where to find some of them.  You’re in luck; towards the back of the property is a nursery, with a wide range of exotic and unusual plants, many of which are found in the gardens as well.

During the tour, the on-site nursery will be selling plants and sharing proceeds with the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Post script

For the past 5 years, it has been a pleasure volunteering for the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour.  This year marks my last year leading this great tour and fund raising event.   I’m happy to announce the Garden Conservancy tour will continue on in 2010 under the direction of the JC Raulston Arboretum.  Please contact Anne Porter at the arboretum if you are interested in helping with next year’s tour at 919-513-3463.


The Garden Conservancy is a national organization with a mission to preserve exceptional American gardens for public education and enjoyment.  The Open Days Program serves as the primary educational outreach for the Conservancy.

Founded in 1989 by American gardener, Frank Cabot, the Garden Conservancy works in partnership with individual garden owners and public and private organizations, and uses legal, financial, and horticultural resources to help secure the future of hundreds of gardens across the country.  North Carolina is fortunate to have two Garden Conservancy’s preservation projects:  Montrose in Hillsborough and The Elizabeth Lawrence garden in Charlotte.

The Open Days tour allows proceeds to be shared with another non-profit.  Helen Yoest, regional representative of the Raleigh area tour, named the JC Raulston Arboretum as the shared benefactor.

Tickets can be purchased in advanced at The JC Raulston Arboretum by calling 919-513-3463 or directly through the The Garden Conservancy.  Tickets can also be purchased during the days of the tour at the individual gardens or at the Bobby Wilder Visitor’s Center at the JC Raulston Arboretum 4511 Beryl Road, Raleigh. Tickets are $5.00 per garden or a book of six tickets for $25.00.  Garden Conservancy members get a further discount of just $15.00 per book of six tickets.

Saturday, September 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and

Sunday, September 20, from noon to 5 p.m.

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In Print – Elizabethan gardens delight visitors

Virginia Dare

Virginia Dare

Metro Magazine

Here’s the originial copy:

The Elizabethan Gardens

By Helen Yoest

The Elizabethan Gardens is a unique American garden, with a definite nod to 16th century England.  Built on the site of the first English colony in the New World and staying authentic of the era, these gardens offer a wide appeal.

Horticulturists, nature lovers, history buffs, and culture seekers find their way to this historic site on the Roanoke Sound in Manteo, North Carolina.

Nestled under a canopy of Southern Magnolias, pines, dogwoods and ancient live oak trees, the garden was originally funded more than 50 years ago by the Garden Club of North Carolina and designed and built by M. Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel.

A visit to The Elizabethan Gardens is very much like touring a great English estate.  Ten acres of gardens are designed with a mixture of both formal and naturalized areas.

The formal areas include an entrance garden designed with desirable parterres of clipped boxwood and filled with annuals to reflect the seasons.  The Shakespeare’s Herb Garden is filled with culinary, medicinal and sweet smelling herbs.

Of particular interest is the Sunken Gardens with a magnificent antique fountain donated by The Late Honorable John Hay Whitney, former Ambassador to the Courts of St. James and Mrs. Whitney.

The fountain dictated the design of a formal parterre pattern of clipped boxwood and yaupon hollies.  Surrounding the fountain is a circle of eight Crepe Myrtles.  Each year, the trees are pollarded to maintain their size.  In doing so, the ends of each branch form gnarled orbs that have become individual works of art.  During the summer, their watermelon-colored flowers are simply striking.

The naturalized areas have you trod on ground softened by fallen leaves and pine needles with walls of azaleas and camellias.

A summer stroll will reveal many different types of hydrangeas.  Climbing hydrangeas grace the Gatehouse wall in the Courtyard.  The sweet scent wafts the area making it difficult to venture on.  Linger long enough to satisfy, but then be ready for the sight of lacecap and mophead hydrangea blooms beckoning you in blue.  Naturally pink cultivars also abound along with Oak leaf hydrangeas with their white blooms fading to a rosy pink.

Lining the Great Lawn are daylilies offering several weeks of great color and delight.  Perennial sunflowers, rain lilies, Stokes Asters, Gardenias, and coneflowers will also welcome you, as well as, the wildlife.

The natural paths will lead you to the octagonal shaped Gazebo.  Built to period specifications with a thatched roof over looking the Roanoke sound, it is also sighted at the perfect moment to rest.

As you journey back, you will meet Virginia Dare, or at least the artist’s rendition of the first child born to the new world, if she had lived.  Sculpted in Italy by American sculptor, Maria Louis Lander, in 1859, the statue stands at the place of the child’s’ birth, now a young woman looking towards the future.


The Elizabethan Gardens

Open year-round seven days a week

Closing times vary with season

1411 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954

(252) 473-3234

Self guided tour open 7 days a week year round

Be sure to visit the Gatehouse Gift shop offering unique items and plants propagated in greenhouses located on the gardens grounds.

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In Print – Dr. Dennis (Denny) Werner’s garden in Nature’s Garden

Dr. Dennis (Denny) Werner, plant breeder at North Carolina State University (think ‘Blue Chip’ and ‘Miss. Ruby’) and his wife Dr. Georgina Werner’s garden on the cover and featured in Nature’s Garden, summer, 2009 issue.

You are going to LOVE this! If you garden for wildlife, want little to low maintenance, and like to see what nature returns each year, pick up a copy today.


On the newsstands April 7th, Nature’s Garden features Denny and Georgina Werner’s garden. The Werner’s opened their garden in 2008 for the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour, also benefiting the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Left to right, James Baggett, Virginia Wieler, Denny Werner

Left to right, James Baggett, Virginia Weiler, Denny Werner

In the photo is James Baggett, editor of Country Gardens Magazine, photographer Virginia Weiler and of course, Denny. (Y’all, remember how much fun this was?) I’m the one taking the photograph and the story’s producer.

I believe we all look like our gardens; this garden looks just like Denny – BEAUTIFUL!


P.S. Check out Nature’s Garden and Country Garden’s blogs

Nature’s Garden Magazine Blog – Jane McKeon

Country Gardener – James Baggett – Country Gardens Magazine

Helen Yoest

Gardening With Confidence

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In Print – Triangle Gardener Industry Pros Profile of Gardening With Confidence


Industry Pros


Gardening With Confidence



Raleigh, North Carolina



Helen Yoest



September, 2001


Services offered: Garden Coaching. Gardening With Confidence will work with clients at any level. From an initial consultation offering design suggestions to a full design with installation and everything in between. Working with the homeowner, we can help you become a better gardener.


What Clients Want: Many clients come to us with dog-eared pages in magazines wanting a garden “just like that,” says Helen who is also a field editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Our role, as a gardening coach, is to assist clients in having the garden they desire.


Why Use a Garden Coach? Some of the more common reasons for hiring a gardening coach are to seek a second opinion – to have someone to bounce ideas off of, to make suggestions on how to reduce lawn size and where, to understanding the garden that came with their new home. We are also called upon to tidy up a garden to put a home on the market or to edit an exiting landscape, to add seasonal interest such as planting spring bulbs in the fall, winter blooming flowers, dazzling fallscapes, and summer longevity. We also style porches and patios.


Insider Tip: Helen has a popular gardening blog where she writes about gardening how-tos and maintenance tips. Her blog can be accessed through her website.


Contact information: 919.781.0199

Available free at a garden location near you.  Contact for a complete list

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In Print – Carolina Gardener – Urns: Elevate your Garden’s Status


Photo courtesy of Campania International

My story in the Spring 2009 issue of Carolina Gardener is out.  Unfortunately, I’m unable to link the story, just the magazine.

Here’s the intro…

Imagine traveling down a garden path.  You round a curve and come upon a large, shapely urn.  The urn is a focal point set in the garden as if it were a tree, a shrub, or a fine specimen plant.

Most garden designers will tell you, get the “bones” of the garden right and the rest will follow. The lines, hardscapes, paths, trees and accents should look as good in the winter as they do in a summer. Today the increasingly popular urns are just one more element to create interest and add year ’round appeal to your garden…

I hope you want to read more.  Pick up a copy today!

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In Print – Triangle Style Magazine – Caring for orchids in your home

Gardening With Confidence

Caring for orchids in your home


Oh, an orchid. They beg to be noticed. The long lasting blooms and simple care also make them oh, so desirable. With a little care, these flowering gems will give you many weeks of enjoyment.

There are several different types of orchids – each with their own unique growth habits. It is best to be prepared before purchasing orchids so you get the right variety for the right location in your home.

Cattleyas, Dendrobium, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, and Phalaenopsis are some of the easiest to grow and easiest to find orchid varieties.

Generally, most orchids require sufficient light to thrive. The ideal location is to place in an east or lightly shaded south-facing location. Paphiopedilum is the exceptions, preferring limited light making this an ideal houseplant.

Most orchids like to be watered about once every week allowing to dry-out between waterings. Paphiopedilum and Phalaenopsis are the exceptions, preferring to stay evenly moist.

Orchids like it warm and humid making the kitchen and bath ideal locations. They also want to be fed a fertilizer about twice a month, but only when they are not in bloom. So, for most of us who don’t plan to keep the plant after it finishes blooming, this care is not necessary.

Below are some specific orchid care requirements.

Cattleyas (kat-lee-uh) adapt to a wide range of indoor temperatures.

This orchid will thrive with lots of light and time to dry-out between waterings

Dendrobium (DEN-dro-bee-um) like moderate temperatures, lots of light, and time to dry-out between waterings.

Oncidium (on-sid-EE-um) like moderate temperatures, lots of light, and time to dry-out between waterings.

Paphiopedilums (paff-ee-oh-PED-ih-lum) are commonly known as Lady Slippers. They only require limited light to thrive. This is an ideal choice for a place in your home that will receive little direct light. They are also thirsty plants – keep evenly moist.

Phalaenopsis has been named America’s favorite orchid by the American Orchid Society. Very sensitive to cold so it is best to keep this orchid in a location where the nighttime temperature remains above 60 degrees. They like lots of light and like to stay evenly moist.

Few flowers match the quality, longevity, and enjoyment of an orchid. And the choices are oh, so easy.

By Helen Yoest

First printed Spring 2008 Issue of Triangle Style Magazine

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