Monday, October 31, 2011

Gardener's Treasure Discovered!

Recently we visited Kiefer Landscaping and Nursery on  2450 South Alston Rd,  Durham.   You should discover this hidden jewel before it closes for the winter. It will close November 21st and reopen in March.   It is a delightful place for an outing.   Something for everyone is here, especially children and it is the children we must interest in our Green and Growing World.  Container grown perennials, trees and shrubs are available, no annuals. The plants are available from Granville.

This is an environmentally conscious  business.  It is the type of enterprise we gardeners like to see thrive and grow.  It offers healthy plant stock at reasonable prices.  They recycle pots.  Organic fertilizers and pest control are used   Their own irrigation pond and wells located on the property are used to water their plants  They have water plants, koi in the fish house and everything necessary to create your own water feature or they will do it for you.  You can enjoy the different gardens as you get ideas for your home.  Stroll the observation deck, let the children enjoy feeding the koi as you get ideas for your own water feature or just enjoy the tranquil spot.  Identification plaques  take the mystery out of deciding what you what as you amble through the various sections.   A Deer Resistant garden demonstrates plantings which are not high on the "munchy list" of our four footed friends showing different options other than the usual.  A Bird and Butterfly garden demonstrates plants to bring color and motion to our garden by attracting birds and butterflies. I found a different array of shade plants in the Shade House.  They were not the standard ones I found everywhere.  They were healthy, good size plants, reasonably priced.

Kiefer 's design expertise is shown in the outdoor living space complete with fireplace, cooking and entertaining area. It gives you a sample of how they can enhance your homescape regardless of size, how you can more effectively use your outdoor space.  Their knowledge of soils, plants, construction techniques and landscaping materials is evident not just here but throughout.   Your garden club may want to schedule a field trip and hold its meeting here in this outdoor room while learning from Trish who offers different programs. Make arrangements to do just this by contacting her at 919.596.7313.  Check their website for more information and the end of season specials.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Garden Makers have fun

Garden Makers have fun replanting four large pots at the Carolina Theatre

l to r. Joan, Lil, Stacy, Judy and Ruth.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Johnston County Cooperative Events Nov-Dec

11/8 - Orchard Planting
Arboretum Grounds - 11:00-4:00 pm - FREE
We'll assemble on the Great Lawn of the Arboretum from 11:00 to 12:00 for the ceremonial planting of the orchard.  (In case of rain, we'll meet in the auditorium lobby.)
Volunteers will plant the remainder of 43 trees between noon and 3:00 in the orchard. The day will end with a public workshop on planting trees.  Workshop starts at 3:00.
The ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate our tremendous efforts toward winning an orchard.  Additionally, it will give you the chance to help spread the word about our wonderful Arboretum and the other good work done by the College in our community.

11/9 - Fruits and Berries with Shawn Banks, Johnston County Cooperative
Extension Service
Arboretum Mobile Unit - 6:30-8:30 pm - $15. From apples and
pears to grapes and blackberries, join Shawn as we learn about the
various species of fruits and berries that we can easily grow on our
own property. Shawn will also cover insect and disease issues for
fruit species covered.

11/30 - Soap Crafting 101 with Lin Frye
Arboretum Brick Building - 6:00-8:00 pm - $35. Back by popular
demand, this 'hands-on', class will discuss various soap making
methods, focusing on glycerin 'melt and pour' as participants create
their own soaps. Each guest will finish with two pounds of delightfully
fragranced, moisture-rich, unique soaps. Classes fill quickly.
12/7 - Wreath Making with Natural Materials
Arboretum Brick Building - 2:00-4:00 pm - $20. North Carolina
gardens, backyards and roadsides can be a virtual 'paradise' of
plant materials all suitable to create your own unique, interesting
and fragrant wreath. This 'hands-on' workshop will cover the most
suitable materials for wreath making, how to weave these materials
into attractive wreaths. Each participant will leave with a beautiful,
creative, and festive wreath ready for door-hanging.

Remember, reservations for each workshop are necessary.  Please contact Lin Frye (919) 209-2052 or Minda Daughtry (919) 209-2184 to reserve your spot today!

Lin Frye, Director
The Arboretum at JCC
(919 - 209-2052)

District 9 Flower Show

Sorry it is blurry I have more to learn.  Saved small so would work on blog and lost the clearity

Poinsettia Project Order Form

Just drag and drop to desktop and then print
All club presidents have a copy if you need more

Friday, October 21, 2011

REMEMBER Council Meeting is Tuesday Nov 1

The next Council meeting is Tuesday, Nov 1 at 10 am at the Hill House.  Come a bit early for some social time and a cup of coffee or tea.

See you there!!

"Giving a helping hand to Briggs Avenue Community"

Like many of the Durham area garden clubs, the Grove Park Garden Club has also designated its 2011-2012 charity the Briggs Avenue Community Garden. Club members are both rolling up their sleeves to work in the Garden, and also raising proceeds from their Grove Park car tag sale to donate.


Garden Club members Sara and President Jennifer use team work to stake up the thornless blackberry bushes.

Secretary Suzie takes a moment from her own yard toils to proudly show off her new Grove Park car tag.

Ardith's Jottings:

While most of us are reading gardening catalogs,  putting our gardens to bed for the winter, let me give you something to look forward to before they erupt with new life in the Spring and require our attention.

The Philadelphia Flower Show presents Hawaii in "Islands of Aloha" March 4 -March 11, 2012.  It focuses on the spirit, the dramatic landscapes and the fiery volcanoes of the Aloha state.  Everyone should see this show once in their life.  Check the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society website for additional information. Note:  Rosemary Harris, the mystery writing Master Gardener, whose recent  book Slugfest I reviewed earlier, has volunteered for the past 11 years at this show.

Another great show is the Boston Flower Show presented by Massachusetts Horticulture Society March 14-18,2012.  The theme this year is "First Impressions".  Carrying out that theme will be the host of HGTV' Curb Appeal.  Cooking demonstrations, flower demonstrations  and gardening workshops will be presented.  So if you are headed for New England, plan to visit this show.

Locally, well, its really in the extended local area, is the Maymont Foundation Flower and Garden Show February 9-12, 2012 at the Richmond Convention Center.  The ticket is a 2 for 1 special.  Not only will you see this Flower and Garden Show with outstanding landscape exhibits, the latest in horticulture and gardens, plus seminars and a Garden Marketplace that will make you want to buy everything you see, admission to the Richmond Home Show is included!  The Marketplace has flowers, plants, books, jewelry, tools, containers and wearables goodies for working in the garden and for going out to lunch with the ladies.   The Home Show will entice you and stimulate you with ideas to perk up your home for Spring and Summer.  A visit to this show is a great ladies day out event.

I am always looking for new containers- floral design is a passion. So I am delighted to discover  3 places that have some unusual items. While not necessarily floral containers, these are good sources for the different and the creative.  Check out Chiasso at and for gimmicky containers go to look at Country House Floral  for bases, mechanics, tools, accessories, sculptures and flower holders.  Remember Ikea and garage and estate sales.  

If you do flowers for your church, you may be interested in the Flower Arranging Seminar for Holy Spaces presented by the Altar Guild of the Washington National Cathedral.  This is a 5 day seminar which includes room in the Cathedral College on the Cathedral grounds, board, instruction, workshop materials, flower clippers and flowers. Registration is limited to 24 participants.  They hope to have students from across the country.  The website is

Do you have trouble with wilting blooms?  Do your flowers need perking up?  Well, according to the January 2000 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch,a team at the University of Bristol and David Domoney, speaker at the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show, who said " It is an expensive way to stiffen blooms -but it really works", a helpful tip for flower arranging competionion entrants.  The same chemical, nitirc oxide, which stimulates the free flow of blood through the body, helps water be better absorbed and retained by plants.  It can double the life of cut flowers, keeping them fresh for a week longer than normal.  This is the same nitric oxide that increases the shelf life of strawberries, broccoli, legumes and other perishables.  According to researchers, it only takes 1mg of Viagra to keep 2 vases of flowers perky.  Isn't science wonderful? 

Weather-ology: Why the Leaves Change Color

Jaime McLeod of Farmers Almanac

Long before modern science began to understand the processes that create our weather, people made up their own explanations. Many of these accounts were fantastic in nature, with evil or benevolent gods, monsters, and spirits controlling the elements. In this series, we’ll explore some of these ancient myths and share the science behind them. Weather + mythology = weather-ology!
Among the Algonquin tribes who once inhabited much of North America, from New England all the way to Wyoming, there was a legend that explained why the leaves changed color in the fall. The story goes that there was once a great bear who roamed around terrorizing people. He ate the food they’d gathered, destroyed the homes they built, chased away their game, and even mauled women and children.
The bear was far too powerful for any one person to kill, so the bravest and strongest warriors from several tribes banded together to hunt it. When the bear saw the hunters coming for him, he did what any sensible bear would do; he took off running. The warriors chased the bear for many months, over all the earth, over mountains and across seas, all the while firing their arrows at him. Though they could never catch him, they did get close enough, once, for their arrows to reach him. One arrow pieced the bear’s side, not deeply enough to kill, but enough to draw blood. In his pain and rage, the bear reared up and took to the sky, running from his pursuers through the heavens. To this day, says the legend, those warriors continue to chase the bear in circles around and under the earth. In the fall, when he is rising above the horizon, the bear’s blood drips down onto the trees below, turning the leaves scarlet.
The bear is said to be the pan of the Big Dipper, coincidentally part of the constellation Ursa Major, or the Great Bear. The handle of the Dipper, known as the bear’s tail to the ancient Greeks, is said to be that band of warriors, still diligently chasing the bear after so many years.
Of course, we know today that the red of autumn leaves isn’t really the blood of a great bear, but then, why do leaves change colors in the fall? Actually, fall colors – the reds, oranges, and yellows – come from sugars produced by the tree. Each type of sugar has its own color: carotenoids are yellow or orange, while anthocyanins are red. The reason we don’t see these colors during the rest of the year is because they are masked by the green chlorophyll, which converts light from the sun into food for the tree.
As the days grow shorter and darker, less light from the sun is available, so the tree stops producing chlorophyll. This allows the brilliant colors of autumn to shine through. Eventually, these chlorophyll-stripped leaves cost the tree more to keep than they give back to it in energy, so it protects itself by producing a substance to seal off the leaves from the rest of the tree. Eventually, the nutrient-starved leaves fall off and die.
Without knowing about the complex chemical processes going on inside each intricate leaf, however, the early Americans were left to come up with their own explanation of how and why the leaves change colors every autumn.

A Fall Favorite: Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

by Justine Patton
It’s hard to believe it, but October is well underway, and with it comes searching for the perfect Halloween costume, scaring others with tales of ghosts and ghouls, and—my personal favorite—pumpkin carving!
After you scoop out all of your pumpkin’s insides, it’s time to ask yourself, “What should I do with all this slimy, orange goop?”
Before busting out a trash bag and kicking your seeds to the curb, consider this: The pumpkin seed is one of the most nutritious edible seeds you can eat. These off-white seeds are full of iron, protein and fiber. They also contain vitamins E and B. 

So, instead of throwing them out, turn your pumpkin seeds into a healthy snack.
This recipe takes your typical roasted pumpkin seed recipe and kicks it up a notch, adding a few of our favorite spices, cumin, cinnamon and ginger, which add their own benefits to this already healthful recipe. MAKES 1 CUP SEEDS
•  1 medium pumpkin
•  5 tablespoons sugar
•  1/4 teaspoon salt
•  1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
•  1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•  1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
•  A pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
•  1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin open from the bottom, removing seeds with a long-handled spoon. Separate flesh from seeds, and reserve the flesh for another use. Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.
3. In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook until sugar melts and the pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds.
4. Transfer to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Let cool. These may be stored in an airtight for up to one week.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

The District 9 meeting is Monday Oct 18 in Mebane.

The District 9 meeting is Monday Oct 18 in Mebane.
Heritage will be putting on a small Standard Flower Show.  You can still enter your horticulture.
The plant material must be there at 8 am and you will need to know both the common and botanical names of the material. Judging begins at 9 am and the District meeting begins at 10.  You can have coffee and shop while waiting for the judges to do their work.

1. Any amateur gardener may enter this show.
2. Exhibits must be entered between 8-9 AM Tuesday October 18 and  designs registered    before October 1.  Tags for horticulture have been posted on this blog. Look in archives
3. No plant material on the State Conservation list may be exhibited unless it is grown by
      the exhibitor and so stated on the entry card.
4. Entry cards must be completed before entries are presented to Classification.
     Dictionary of Plant Names will not be available.
5. Exhibits must be removed between 3-4 PM. All members will dismantle the show.
6. No artifical plant material in any division.
7. Plant material may not be altered with products for shine etc.
8.  Decision of the judges is final. Awards may be withheld if not merited
9.  The General Chairman and Judges Chairman will be present for judging.

Awards and Judging

1.         No National Awards will be offered.
2.         In each class or subclass, only one blue ribbon will be awarded to an exhibit scoring
       90 or more points; only one red ribbon to an exhibit scoring 85 or more points; only
       one yellow ribbon to an exhibit scoring 80 or more points; and more than one white
       ribbon to an exhibit scoring 75 or more points, if merited. Exhibits scoring 90 or more
       points that are not blue ribbon winners will be so marked.
3.    Judging will be between 9-10 and will be in conformance with rules set forth in 2007
       Handbook for Flower Shows.
Horticulture Scale of Points
                                    Plant Identification                                       5
                                    Cultural Perfection                                      60
                                    Conditioning/Grooming/Staging                  25
                                    Distinction                                                   10
                                                            Total                                   100

1.         All specimens must have been grown by the exhibitor and in their possession for at least 90 days.
2.         Container-grown plants must have been grown by the exhibitor for three months and will be staged on a flat surface. No hanging facilities available.
3.         All entries must be labeled with correct botanical and common name.
4.         Cut specimens may not exceed 24 inches from cut end to tip
5.         More than one entry may be made in a class if entries differ in species, type, or color. The classification committee will subdivide the classes using these parameters.
6.         Containers will be supplied by Heritage Garden Club and exhibitor will be instructed on how to stage with clear plastic wrap.
7.         No double potting
8.         Cut specimens should not have foliage below the water line.

Section A. Perennials/Annuals
                        (Specimen- 1 stem unless indicated)
                        Class 1. Chrysanthemums
                        Class 2.  Asters 
                        Class 3.  Sunflowers
                        Class 4. Salvia
                        Class 5.  Any other blooming or non
                                                blooming not listed
Section B. Trees and Shrubs
   evergreen or deciduous  (each not
   to exceed 30”)
                        Class 6.  Maples, other trees in color
                        Class 7.  Encore Azaleas
                        Class 8.  Butterfly bush
                        Class 9.  Knock out Roses
                        Class 10. Any other blooming or non
                           blooming not listed
Section C. Ornamental Grasses
                        Class 11. Pampas Grass 
                        Class 12. Sedge
                        Class 13. Imperata cylindrica
                        Class 14. Molina eaerulea variegata
                        Class 15. Any other blooming or non
         blooming not listed
Section D. Container Grown
            (Container limited to 10” in diameter)
                        Class 16.  Saintpaulia, african violet
                        Class 17. Spathiphyllium. peace lily
                        Class 18. Begoniaceae, begonia
                        Class 19.  Geraniaceae, geranium
                        Class 20. Any other blooming or non
         blooming not listed

Section E. Cactus and Succulents
                        Class 21.  Individual
                        Class 22. Combination
                        Class 23. Any other blooming or non blooming not listed

Heritage made the newspaper over Briggs Ave gift

Here are the dates for working on the pergola:
10/28  9 to 12  set the post in concrete
10/31  9 to 2   work on pergola
11/2   9 to 12  complete the pergola & set the pavers.

Bonnie McK of T&C is a proud grandma

Bonnie's grandson Reece from Wilmington won the National Garden Club award for the kindergarten age group in the poetry contest.

Here is the poem!  I hope you enjoy it.

                       Fields of Daffodils

                        Yellow cups
                      Waving buttery petals
                         Grow in a field

Two new Book Reviews

Attracting Native Pollinators Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies,
a Xeres Society Guide

We are caretakers of the Earth for those that follow behind us.  This book is a guide to assist us-gardeners, farmers, public land managers, etc. to help the pollinators so that our harvest are fruitful,our plant communities healthy, to provide food for wildlife and support the flowers that enhance our landscapes.   The book is divided into 4 sections, easily read and with numerous colorful and useful illustrations.  The illustrations enhance and add to the text.  They are an integral part of the text not just an afterthought.

Plans for action in different types of land use  from home gardens to utility easements, to industrial sites to urban greenspaces are spelled out in Part 2.  Various types of Bees are discussed in Section 3 with illustrations to help identify them.  Bees are not just bees, as I formerly thought.  Even the different genders have different functions and body structures!  Sample gardens, recommended host plants help stimulate your gardener's imagination in Section 4.

The best part to me is the Ideas for Educators and Parents because it shows how we can involve the next generation and share with them the joy, knowledge and responsibility of our Green World.  The suggested activities will create a memorable experience for our youth while expanding our horizons.  These activites are not very involved nor do they require a large cash outlay; they merely ask that we observe and interact with the world around us.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a debut novel which is optioned for a movie!  It is an easy read, available from the local library.  It would be great for a book club.  

 As gardeners and caretakers, we are nurturers, nurturing not only our gardens, our family, our friends, and most importantly ourselves.   This book speaks to that aspect of our life.   It shows the impact of neglect upon the world.

Victoria Jones has spent her life in the foster-care system.  The system has left its mark on her.  She finds herself at 18 emancipated from the system and sleeping in a public park.  The book opens at this event.  In this park is a neglected garden plot which she makes her own.  She nutures the plot, through it expressing herself in a way that she is unable to do otherwise.  She approaches a local florist and gets a job off the books.  Soon her ability with flowers comes forth.  She discovers a Victorian book about the silent messages different types of flowers convey.  She uses this vocabulary to develop a successful wedding flower business.  She uses her interpretation of the bride for the bridal flowers.  Her business flourishes as does Victoria in a fashion but the part of her that was blighted by her lack of nurturing still needs care. 

Victoria, as an adult,  reconnects with a foster mother who had wanted to adopt her but this positive action was sabotaged by Victoria's acting out..  However, Elizabeth is still willing toinclude the adult  Victoria  in her  world as much as Victoria will accept, even taking care of the child Victoria has by Elizabeth's nephew, Grant.  When Grant becomes aware he has a child by Victoria he willinglycares for his child, as much as he is permitted.  Victoria though must continues to struggle with the residual effects of the treatment she experienced in foster care.  She must first emotionally grow.  The book focuses on development and growth through of Victoria's knowledge and awareness of flowers and response of the world to plants and to her.  She learns to give herself what she did not receive.

 A Dictionary of Flowers is included so the reader has knows what is guiding Victoria in her flower world.