Monday, August 29, 2011

Johnson County Community College- UPCOMING EVENTS

I get e-mails from Johnson County and their activities.  I thought some of these were great and wanted to share with you.

Our workshops and trips are already filling -- here's what's coming up for September!  Remember, reservations are needed!! Please call Lin Frye (919) 209-2052 or Minda Daughtry (919) 209-2184 to reserve your spot.  Reservations must be paid to confirm your seat.

September 2011

9/7 - The Gardens of AJ Bullard, Duplin County, NC
Arboretum Mobile Unit - 8:30 - 3:00 pm - $15.00 - Lunch on

AJ Bullard has been an avid plant collector for years.
He was featured in the June 2011 issue of "Horticulture"
magazine. From fruit trees to ornamental plants, his
gardens are filled with delightful discoveries, multitudes of
species variety, and unusual plants - all are sure to delight!

9/17 - Apple Festival, Historic Bethabara Park/Old Salem, Winston-Salem
Arboretum Mobile Unit - 8:30-5:30pm - $15.00 - Lunch
on Own.

Bethabara is the 1753 site of the First Moravian
settlement in NC. The festival will showcase unique crafts,
traditional music & food. Local orchards, handicraft
demonstrations, & colonial re-enactors highlight this
festival, as do horse-drawn wagon rides & colonial games.
Following lunch, we'll have a bit of time for a self-guided tour
of Old Salem Gardens. These gardens have been meticulously
restored to offer a glimpse of what early Moravian settlers
cultivated and consumed. Each garden has been restored and
planted to a specific date, and Old Salem Museums & Gardens
has one of the leading horticultural restoration programs in the

9/21 - Preserving the Bounty: Dehydration and Canning
Arboretum Brick Building - 6:00-8:30 pm - $25.

Foods are often preserved by freezing and canning, but few
consider dehydrating to avoid soggy vegetables and freezerburn.
Foods taste fresher, require less space, and are
more nutritional! Join Lin Frye as she demonstrates this
alternative preservation method. Participants will have an opportunity to sample
home-dehydrated foods and several recipes. We'll also discuss canning methods for
those who prefer this method of preservation.  Come hungry!

9/28 - UNC-Botanical Garden - Chapel Hill
Arboretum Mobile Unit - 8:00-3:00 pm - $15 - Lunch on

The North Carolina Botanical Garden is a "conservation
garden" that is designed to "inspire understanding,
appreciation, and conservation of plants in gardens and
natural areas and to advance a sustainable relationship
between people and nature." It features plants from the three
geographic regions of North Carolina, fabulous herb and medicinal gardens, and
much more.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to Create Floral Waters and Colognes

Feel free to experiment with your own combination of herbs and flowers. Rose and lavender flowers are easy to find blooming in the summer months. You also can try scented geraniums, sweet peas and gardenias.
• 2 tablespoons fresh rose petals
• 2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest

• 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
• 1 cup filtered or distilled water
• 1⁄2 cup vodka or witch hazel

1. Place flower petals, lemon zest and mint leaves in small saucepan. Pour water over ingredients and heat until just boiling.

2. Remove from heat and let sit until cool. Add vodka or witch hazel and pour into clean jar. 

3. Let the mixture sit for 2 weeks. Then strain out all solids using a fine strainer or coffee filter. Pour into a clean container.

Janice Cox is the author of Natural Beauty at Home (Henry Holt, 2002). To contact her, visit
Click here for the original article, Body & Soul: How to Create Floral Waters and Colognes.

Interesting facts

August 26: Women's Equality Day

Women's Equality Day is proclaimed on August 26 each year by the United States President to commemorate the giving of the vote to women. Every president has published a proclamation for Women's Equality Day since 1971 when legislation was first introduced in Congress by Bella Abzug. Let's tip our hats to Bella, the Lady of Many Hats.

August 28: Pepsi-Cola (originally an herbal drink to treat indigestion) got its name on this day in 1898.

2 more Garden Questions.

 Since the last blog I received 2 e-mails about garden problems.
We have questions but WHO HAS AN ANSWER. Send to me
or post in comments. If I get I will post on the blog.  As you see no last names but when you get the yearbooks at the Sept meeting you will beable to contact the person with the problem and help them privately.

As a transplanted "northerner" I am still having trouble with plants for drought (both shade and sun}.  Any suggestions?  Maybe we could make up a list to distribute to the garden clubs in our council?

Thanks for your help.

Lil W, Garden Makers

Can someone help ?

My garden in Durham has weathered the very hot summer this year, except for my lovely 3 feet wide daphne and my gardenia tree.  I tried to keep watering them but they have just withered and are looking very sad.  What other flowering shrubs should I try that will withstand both high temperatures and some snow in the winter ?
 June F, Forest Hills Garden Club

Classes at Duke Gardens

Please find below a listing of classes still available. Contact Sara Smith at 919-668-1707 for full information or to register.
with Jason Holmes, Curator of the Doris Duke Center Gardens
This class introduces you to spectacular plants that offer a distinct ornamentality. Sign up separately for each session to learn a new group of beautiful and useful plants, or take all three sections. We will continue the class throughout the year with new topics introduced seasonally.
Section a: Wednesday, Sept. 7, 1-3 pm. FOLIAGE TEXTURES FOR DESIGN IMPACT

Section b: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 1-3 pm. PENDULA AND ALTA: Weepers and Uprights

Section c: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 1-3 pm. VAREGATED EVERGREENS

Location: Doris Duke Center
Fee: $25; Friends $20. Enroll in all three sections at $60; Friends $54.
Participant Limit: 15
Home Horticulture Certificate Elective

with Jan Watson, Horticulturist, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Learn how to open and prepare a bed for planting, basic soil improvement strategies, selecting plants, and planting skills. Class will work at opening and planting a small bed to see theory in practice.
2 Saturdays, Sept 10 & 17, 9 am. to noon.
Location: Doris Duke Center
Fee: $115; Friends $90
Participant Limit: 15
Home Horticulture Certificate Required Course

with Bobby Mottern, MLA and Director of Horticulture, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Expand your palette of plants with information from this class. Each season this class covers another group of approximately 75 plants suitable for North Carolina gardens. You will learn identification skills and design use, and understand the culture of each plant. This session focuses on plants that shine in this season and late blooming perennial flowers.
4 Wednesdays, Sept. 14, 21, 28, and Oct. 5, 1-3 pm.
Location: Doris Duke Center
Fee: $110; Friends $90
Participant Limit: 15
Home Horticulture Certificate Required Course

with Beth Jimenez and Amelia Lane, Lasting Impressions Concrete Sculptures
Many who favor English gardens also admire their use of antique stone sinks as planting containers. Lacking an old stone sink can put a crimp in your plants! Learn to make a facsimile in this class using hypertufa. Ingenuity and a willingness to play in the mud are the only requirements. All supplies included; each participant will make his own planter.
Saturday, Sept. 17, 1-4 pm.
Location: Doris Duke Center
Fee: $60; Friends $50
Participant Limit: 20

with Jennifer Weinberg, Weinberg Photography
Autumn light hangs low in the sky with a golden hue. The light is unique to this time of year because the atmosphere is warmed, carrying more particulate matter, and diffusing the light to a warm shade. Learn to make the best of this seasonal light and the beauties of the autumn season.
2 Thursdays, Sept. 15 & 22, 6-9 pm. and Saturday, Sept. 17, 3-7 pm.
Location: Doris Duke Center
Fee: $110; Friends $90
Participant Limit: 15
Nature Photography Certificate Elective

See full descriptions at


NATURE'S SYMPHONY—watercolors by David Stickel

NATURE'S SYMPHONY—watercolors by David Stickel September 1 - October 30 / Reception: September 11, 2 pm

"As I study botanical life, I never cease to be amazed with the beauty, order and complexity of the natural splendor before me. One of the many challenges I respond to as an artist is to capture and portray these wonders in the watercolor medium. These images intrigue my artist's eye as they speak volumes to my heart."

David Stickel's work has received numerous awards and Best of Show honors. A Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society, he is currently a candidate for signature membership in the American Watercolor Society (AWS). One of David's painting, "Light Years," received one of the top awards in the 2011 144th AWS International Exhibition in NYC; it is his second piece to be selected for an AWS exhibition and traveling exhibit. His paintings have also been reproduced in several books and magazines. David Stickel's website.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another question on gardening. Amaryllis

I have a question regarding forcing Amaryllis bulbs.  No matter where I have lived nor what source I used to purchase Amaryllis for forcing at Christmas, the leaves and stalk always have an orangish-red fungus(?) appear.  This unknown disease spreads, causing splits to appear in the leaves and stalk.  Frequently the leaves and stalks break.  What is this?  I was told to dip the bulbs in a weak Clorox solution prior to planting, the problem still flared up.  No matter whether they are inexpensive or costly, this always happens.  Help.  What do I do?

Ardith P

IF YOU HAVE AN ANSWER please click on comment and answer the question for Ardith and also for the rest of us who now have the same question.  We still don't have an answer to the Gardenia or Camillia

We really want COMMENTS.  Please give us feed back to the articles or give us ideas of what you want mentioned on this blog.

George at Stone Bros has a video on Round UP

Check out the information available online from George at Stone Bros and Byrd. And remember to stop in the store for great items and wonderful conversations about gardening.

Stone Bros has a e-newsletter called The DIRT
go to their website and sign up.

Also they have articles on the Winner of their
Red Ryder contest
Dethach and Lime
and Yellow Jackets

The yellow box on the left has the
sign up for the newsletter.

Durham Garden Forum

All Durham Garden Forum meetings are eligible for
Continuing Education credit. Individual sessions cost $10.00;
membership (May-April) costs $25.00. All sessions begin
promptly at 6:30 at the Doris Duke Center at the Sarah P.
Duke Gardens and end promptly at 8:00 PM.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011: “Gardening on the
Edge: Latest Trends in Gardening” with Bryce Lane,
Professor, Department of Horticulture Science, NCSU.
Please note: preregistration is necessary. Please
call: (919) 668-1707 to register.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011: “Treating Your Garden
Like an Ecosystem” with Norm Christensen, retired Dean
of the Nicholas School for the Environment and Earth
Tuesday, November 15, 2011: “Art in the Garden”
with Jesse Turner, Landscape Architect.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011: “How Do Trees
Work?” with Alex Johnson, Certified Arborist and Urban
Forester for the City of Durham.

from the Master Gardener August Newsletter

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The rise of the ghost pipes

Until this last week, I'd never seen ghost pipes -- the rare, chlorophyll-less plants -- in person. These popped up at our home in Maine, and they seem to be lasting several days. Below you can see how they seem eventually to uncurl so the blossom faces upward.

-- Catherine Petroski for Town & Country

AN UPDATE: Labor Day Weekend -- we are about to head back to Durham and I wanted to report that the three clumps of ghost pipes are still here...all quite straightened out now, despite Irene's rains. Amazing that they last so long!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ardith has more mystery authors with a garden twist.
Alice LeDuc was and still is Susan Wittig Albert's botanical proof reader.  They both live in the same part of Texas.

Rosemary Harris

New York media executive turned gardener Paula Holliday, owner of "Dirty Business" a garden design and container maintenance goes on an all expense paid trip with her friend, Julie, to the Titan Hotel in Connecticut's wine country in The Big Dirt Nap.  (Didn't know Connecticut had one!)  The feature of the hotel lobby is a Titan Arum(corpse flower) which has a very strong odor like rotting meat  when it blooms.  Unfortunately, the person who decided to make the Titan Arum the focal point of the lobby was not aware of its pungent odor when he had it installed.  He thought it would be a great attraction because it was a Titan just like the hotel.
Soon after checking in, a corpse is found in the hotel dumpster, taking a Big Dirt Nap.  The deceased has Paula's card in his possession plus he was  seen talking to her.  So the police are suspicious especially when her friend from her television production days does not show up.

The first book in this series Pushing Up Daisies has Paula restoring the garden of a historic property inherited by the local historic society by an eccentric spinister.  Paula hopes this job will help get her fledgling business off the ground.  Instead she digs up a mummified baby.  The police have no interest in the case since it is an old secret.  Paula begins to dig up the dirt kept buried by the town after someone is killed byone of her garden tools and one of her helpers is arrested for the murder.

Susan Wittig Albert

Everyone is familiar with Susan Wittig Albert's series about Herb Grower and Shop Proprietor,China Bayles.  Now she has a new series involving a group of 1930s garden club ladies in Darling, Alabama.  The book is The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree. These ladies, who always try to look on the bright side and see that things are done right in their town, are bequeathed a house to use as their clubhouse.  Dahlia Blackstone, gives them a rundown house with an acre of garden and 1/2 acre vegetable garden, 2 cucumber trees and a ghost!  The ladies name themselves the Darling Dahlias after their town and their benefactor and proceed to put their new home in order and solve the mystery of the ghost.  It is a charming book that shows that resourcefulness of garden club ladies is not a new trait plus it reminds us that once before our country experienced severe economic problems.

How to Dry Herbs at Home

Fresh Clips: How to Dry Herbs at Home
By Samantha Collins
August/September 2011 Herb Companion
Preserve the flavors of your herb garden all year by using the ancient practice of drying.
Drying is believed to be the oldest form of food preservation. According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service, recently discovered food samples are believed to have been dried in Jericho about 4,000 years ago. Drying herbs removes excess water to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold—an easy and safe way to preserve herbs year-round.
Here are three ways to do it.
1. Hang Herbs to Dry
Hanging herbs to dry is probably the easiest method. This method works best with low-moisture herbs, such as dill, rosemary, summer savory and thyme. First, remove the lower leaves and gather four to six branches into bundles and tie them with a string. Then, place the bundles in a brown paper bag upside-down with the stems sticking out from the bag and tie. Next, punch holes in the bag to promote air circulation. In a dark, cool place, hang the bags for a few weeks.
2. Sun-dry Your Herbs
Sun-drying is another cost-effective way to dry herbs. Lay a towel on a hard, dry surface, such as a back porch or patio. Place the herbs on the towel while making sure the herbs are not touching each other. Bring the herbs inside at night to ensure the dryness of your herbs.
3. Dry Herbs in the Oven
Use the oven to dry herbs quickly and effectively. Place the leaves and stems of the herb on a flat baking sheet. Heat the oven to about 180 degrees and warm the herbs for two to three hours. Microwave ovens also may be used to dry herbs, although this method can cause herbs to dry too quickly and lose flavor. If you decide to try it, place the plant on a paper towel and microwave on high for about three minutes. 
When to Harvest Your Herbs
Every herb, root and berry has a different peak time for harvesting. Here are a few tips:
• Leaves should be clipped before the flowers of the plant have opened. Leaves often are the most fragrant at this stage. Gather flowers such as lavender when the plant first starts to open.
• Roots should be collected in the fall after the plant has begun to die. However, dandelion roots should be collected in the early spring.
• Seeds should be gathered in the fall when the seed starts to ripen.
• Harvest berries as soon as they are ripe, which is usually mid-summer to early fall.

Samantha Collins is an intern at The Herb Companion. 


At the end of each article is a little area like above.  See the word "comments"  click on it to make a comment. The screen will change and look like this (below)

The box is where you comment. You can identify yourself (recommended is first name and club name)
EX: Ardith P at HE  or you can leave it blank.  In the future when we have a contest and ask for comments this is where they need to be. I wish some of you would try it out.  This is our payment for doing this job.  We only know if you read, enjoy or prefer we discuss other issues.  If we don't know what you want we can't read your please comment to our articles.

Litter Sweep is coming

Is your club supporting Litter Sweep?  The information has been given to each president.  If you are interested let your president know so it can be put on the Sept agenda for your club meeting.

Winners of Summer contests

We have winners to our first contests with this blog. They will receive their copy of flower magazine at the first meeting of DCGC in September.

WINNERS of the summer issue of flower magazine

Brenda B of Forest Hills for her idea for the web link
Mary D of Town & Country for her photo of a polinator.

Agnes B of Croasdaile for her question about an ill plant.

and Lillian W of Garden Makers for her comments about the blog.

We will have more contests and need people to participate.

This is how our gift givers know we are reading so they feel good about giving us magazines, books and other things.

Ardith is working hard on interesting places to visit, things to do, books to read and prizes to give,  SO......please join in and let us know what are your interests, questions you might need answers to, places you have been that you recommend, interesting animals in your or a neighbor's yard. Remember the first priority is to share our activities as gardeners and garden clubs with each other.

You can e-mail Marcia at or call either Ardith or Marcia. Our phone numbers are in the new yearbook under Heritage.