Friday, July 29, 2011

Evening in the Garden with Chocolate & Roses

Evening in the Garden with Chocolate & Roses at Witherspoons

Friday, August 12th
6pm until 8pmCome enjoy chocolate and roses in The Gardens At Witherspoon. Listen to a talk on "Enjoying Your Rose Garden".

Special Rose Sale During Event

Please call Jennifer at 919-489-4446 or email

New Waterlily Competition at Duke Gardens

The IWGS has the international waterlily competition at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens each summer.
Featuring brand new waterlily hybrids from around the world.
Vote for your favorites starting in July at the gardens.duke,edu. or
Last years winner "wanvisa" is if full bloom this week and if you want one for your pond you can order from

Scrap a Go-Go

Fun times at the 20th Anniversary of the Scrap Exchange
Activities to delight young and old • free Make-n-Take area of Scrap Exchange materials • ocean-themed photo booth • carnival games • DJs spinning vintage tunes • outrageous costumes and costume contest • silent auction • the Sausage Wagon, Pie Pushers, PBR • & more $10 adults $5 ages 15 & under.
Tickets available for purchase at THE SCRAP EXCHANGE
923 Franklin St
*******NEW ADDRESS********

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I know with 100 degree weather it is hard to think about winter weeds.

Received today from Michelle Wallace Horticulture Agent Co-op Ext office in Durham

Preen for Garden Weed Control -- Just what’s in that stuff anyway?

Preen herbicide has long been used in home gardens for pre-emergence control of many annual weeds. The active ingredient, trifluralin, is labeled for use around many woody and herbaceous ornamental plants as well as many vegetable and fruit crops. Although, not the most efficacious herbicide, Preen controlled many of our most common landscape weeds including henbit, chickweed, oxalis, crabgrass, and annual bluegrass, without injuring landscape plantings. This product is still widely available in garden centers throughout the country. However, look closely at the label – the Preen you purchase today may not be the same product you previously used.

Today the Preen name is used to identify a diverse product line that includes preemergence and postemergence herbicides. Several Preen products contain 2,4-D for broadleaf weed control in lawns; these products should not be used in landscape beds. The active ingredient in Preen Weed Preventer for Southern Gardens is dithiopyr – the same ingredient found in the herbicide Dimension. This is safe on most ornamentals but should not be used around any food crops. There is Preen Mulch Plus Premium that contains isoxaben plus trifluralin (think Snapshot TG); not to be confused with Preen Plus Mulch Midnight Black that contains trifluralin (but no isoxaben). The isoxaben-containing mulch will damage pansies but the trifluralin-containing product will not. Confused yet? There is also Preen Brush Weed Killer that contains 2,4-DP + 2,4-D + dicamba; Preen Weed and Grass Killer that contains glyphosate (same ingredient as Roundup); and an organic product for vegetable gardens, Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer, that contains corn gluten meal. Many different active ingredients, all sold under the Preen name can lead to confusion.

So, if you go to the garden center to purchase Preen for weed control in your garden or lawn – READ THE LABEL. Make sure you purchase the right product for the right job.

Labels and material safety data sheets for the Preen products are available from the manufacturer’s web site at

Joseph C. Neal
Professor and Extension Specialist -- Weed Science
Department of Horticultural Science
262 Kilgore Hall
Box 7609, NCSU
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
919-515-9379 (phone)

Book Recommendations:

What do Master Gardeners do when they are not digging in the dirt? They write mysteries!
Joyce and Jim Lavene, Certified Master Gardeners, are a husband and wife writing team. Two of their series which I enjoy are The Potting Shed books featuring Peggy Lee, a botanist and the widow of a police detective, and the Duck, NC books with Dae O'Donnell, as the mayor of Duck, who has a talent for finding lost items. These books are published by Prime Crime. You get gardening tips, relationships -Peggy at 50+ still has "Oh, Mother" moments with her mother and she is adjusting to life as a widow. She is using her talents for another chapter of life.
Dae tries to deal with people who do not understand her talent, the boys who run her town and the incomers who see the town as theirs to exploit.
Rosemary Harris is also a Certified Master Gardener,plus she has been a volunteer at the Philadelphia Flower Show for the past 10 years! Her most recent book, is Slugfest featuring professional gardener, Paula Holladay. The murder takes place at a garden show held at the Javits Center in New York City. You know the writing is knowledgable with insights from her experiences. You many want to check out Pushing Up Daisies in paperback , if you do not want to buy Slugfest in hardback or cannot find it at your local library.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Yummy Day Trip.

Levering Orchards, in Ararat, Va , just 10 miles north of Mt. Airy, NC , has its roots in North Carolina. This is the largest cherry orchard south of New York state. It offers more than 40 varieties of cherries. Most are sweet but there are 6 or 7 sour varieties. You can pick your own cherries now or go later in the season and harvest peaches and apples. Take a trip into the Shenandohah, fill your spirit with the glorious vistas and fill your buckets and stomachs with these delightful gifts from nature. Pick what you want for use now or for later use. They have books, pies and even an outdoor theatre. No need to purchase tickets in advance. Check for updated information about what is ripe and what is happening on the farm. Take your family, make this a field trip for a group of garden club friends or other like minded individuals, go and experience the gifts of nature!

Rain barrels! we know about them – we have them – but

Check out the National Garden Club web site. there are many interesting and important items for you to look over. This is just one item of interest. The photo I took while at the Edison/Ford gardens last winter in Ft. Myers FL.

Rain barrels! we know about them – we have them – but did you realize your rain barrel water is not subjected to community watering restrictions and it has no additives such as fluoride or chlorine
In colder climes you don’t have to store them in the winter.. But will need to keep the faucet open.
Don’t buy. . .build! Building a rain barrel can be a fun family and/or grand parent project. Let’s get the children outside away from technology. Building a rain barrel will teach youth a valuable life lesson - one doesn’t have to "buy"-- build is equally as important. You can find plans to build a rain barrel on line.
Rain barrels don’t have to be plain and unattractive- paint it! Have children create garden art with their handiwork– nice touch if the barrel remains outdoors during winter.. The rain barrel art will add winter interest during those long winter days.
And did you know Algae is not a problem. Algae is natural.. Using the collected rainwater that has algae won’t harm you plants.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Natural Healing: Hair Repair

By Nancy Allison
November/December 2003 Herb Companion
We spike, tease, color and curl it. We heat, gel, straighten and spray it. We fret and fume over it, spend pots of money on it and weep when we lose it. It’s our crowning glory, a vital sign of health, youth and beauty. It’s our hair, and we want it to look great.

Take a Class, Make an Arrangement

There are always classes and interesting talks at both the Botanical Gardens and Sarah P Duke Gardens
I will try to remember to mention something every month about both places.

Controlling Exotic Invasive Plants
Date: Saturday, July 23 Time: 10 am - 12 pm
Instructor: Michael Kunz, NCBG Conservation Ecologist
This workshop targets the home land owner, and will be useful for home gardeners and land managers as well. Through classroom and field demonstrations, participants learn the tools and methods needed to effectively remove invasive plants. Students explore different techniques specific to particular situations and invasive species. Involves some walking outdoors on uneven terrain. Fee: $30 ($25 NCBG members)
Theo Roddy, presenter, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Set your own schedule! Sign up for one, two, three, or all four studios to continue working with Theo. Bring your own flowers and container and design a wonderful display for that special place at your home with Theo’s guidance.
Fridays, July 22, Aug. 19, Sept. 16, Oct. 21, 10 am.-noon Location: Doris Duke Center
Participant Limit: 15
Fee: $30; Friends $25. Register for two or three sessions, $25/$20 per session. Register for all four, $20/ $16.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Using the Olla to Beat the Summer Heat by Brandee Gruener

Keeping the vegetable garden hydrated during the heat of the summer is a challenge in the South, where the sun beats down for weeks, the rain barrels run dry and even heat-loving crops wilt under summer’s fiery breath. Water restrictions have even become commonplace in many parts of the region, making watering the garden even more difficult.

Water-efficient systems such as drip-line irrigation can make a big difference. But Durham, N.C., gardener Scott Belan found a cheaper and simpler solution by building an olla out of a humble clay pot. This watering solution satisfied Belan’s personal philosophy in gardening: Look to the cultures and climates that make the most sense for your surroundings.

FROM: July 2011 - State-by-State Gardening eNewsletter

Because water seeps through the walls of an unglazed olla, these vessels can be used to irrigate plants. The olla is buried in the ground next to the roots of the plant to be irrigated, with the neck of the olla extending above the soil. The olla is filled with water, which gradually seeps into the soil to water the roots of the plant. It is an efficient method, since no water is lost to evaporation or run-off.[2]
This irrigation technique was introduced to the Americas by Spanish settlers in colonial times. Agriculture and gardening specialists are teaching it, and olla use is making a comeback in New Mexico and the American West. The state's master gardening program is spreading the word. An olla factory has been founded in Albuquerque to produce the pots. It can be effective for homeowners to use in the desert climate.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gardening for a Lifetime How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older

Gardening for a Lifetime How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older by Sydney Eddison ($14.95) won the National Garden Clubs Award of Excellence. As we age it takes us longer to do some things, it hurts when we do the chores that formerly caused few, if any problems and we want to age in place. We do not want to leave our memories This was Mrs. Eddison's determination. Sydney Eddison's garden reflected the phases of her life, the plantings reminded her who had given her the plants, what was happening in her life at a particular time and those who helped her. She liked all that went into making her garden. So she looked for a simpler way to garden, to reduce the maintenance and

and keep her bliss. Following steps appropriate to many aspects of aging, Sydney Eddison stepped toward simplicity, she picked her garden battles and reduce some of her gardening dreams to a manageable size -containers. Available at MacIntyres Fine books in the Village Center, Fearrington

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cantaloupe Festival - July 16, 2011 from 10a.m to 4 p.m

Did you know there is a Cantaloupe festival held in Warren County by the Ridgeway Historical Society? Cantaloupe,which signal Summer eating goodness to me, are Ridgeway's reknown crop. . July 16,2011 from 10a.m to 4 p.m is the date. In addition to cantaloupe, brunswick stew, horse back rides, historic displays, arts and crafts are among the many offerings. It sounds like a nice day trip to discover the wide range of North Carolina crops close to home. Take your out of town visitors. Get a group of friends together and explore the richness of North Carolina.