|Red chokeberry is in bloom for the Holidays. |
Aronia arbutifolia in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. Photo by Stefan Bloodworth.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Monday, December 22, 2014
|Volunteers inspect the pavilion after construction last week. |
The roof remains to be added.
Photo by the Durham Co. Extension Master Gardeners.
|Double height plots were constructed to assist owners |
with mobility challenges.
Photo by the Durham Co. Extension Master Gardeners.
The recent $10,000 grant was disbursed from Lowes Community Partners to Keep Durham Beautiful, for a third year of Lowe's supported community improvements administered by KDB. Local Lowe's employees, called "Lowes Heroes" worked with Durham County Cooperative Extension personnel, Extension Master Gardeners and community volunteers this fall in constructing various resources, including last week's erected pavilion. So far, the grant project has logged over 380 volunteer hours.
The grant full project list included:
- Create a 400-square foot mortared brick patio with lighting, fans, seating and cooking stations for public use in demonstrations and community gatherings
- Develop a vineyard with grapes and blueberries to teach vineyard cultivations and management for the community
- Create accessible raised gardens beds for plot owners with limited mobility
To volunteer for more construction projects at the Briggs Avenue Community Garden, please contact the Durham County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers at 919.560.0528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, December 19, 2014
|Looking for more Colonial and natural decorating ideas for Christmas? Owners of the Williamsburg, VA floral shop Seasons of Williamsburg have decked out their Colonial home and adjacent cottage with lots of greenery Durham residents can emulate! http://www.victoriamag.com/williamsburg-wonderland/|
Christmas is well remembered and cherished long after the last wreath has been hung and the final ornament placed on the tree in this circa-1810 house with a white picket fence, in a place that time has all but forgotten. The duo, owners of the shop Seasons of Williamsburg—renowned for its floral arrangements, decorative pieces, and estate antiques—commence the holiday season before Thanksgiving and don’t take down their home embellishments until Valentine’s Day.
Bedecked with holiday touches, the maine bedroom boasts
a period-style bed. A mantel trimmed with an evergreen garland,
handmade stockings, and brass candlesticks
presides above a welcoming hearth.
The owner’s extensive decorating efforts conjure treasured memories of special people and events. “Every ornament—we have more than 1,100—reminds us of a friend or family member or a trip we took,” Kendall says. He opens a box and unwraps a blue glass ball painted with the image of a toy train. The bauble used to hang on his grandparents’ tree and now has a special place on his own.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Photo by Charlotte Moss.
Flower Magazine, November-December 2014
While a garden at its summer peak is a rainbow of undulating waves of color, perfumed air, and birds singing, the result can be a cacophony of sensual chaos. Beautiful, voluptuous, and abundant, a garden in summer is to be enjoyed, lingered in, and bragged about. Winter, on the other hand, is a chance to have a meaningful and measured conversation with the garden, like sitting in silence with a good friend who understands the importance of moments such as this. Taking time to muse, wander, wonder, and delight during this season is to connect with the garden on a more cerebral level. Like a silent walk in the woods, the opportunity to experience its dreamy poetry is akin to having an uninterrupted têtê-à-têtê. As if we are writing a story around an outline we’ve been given, winter requires our patience, and fills in the blank pages with promises and possibilities.
Reduced to a skeletal state, a garden in winter gives our imaginations an opportunity to explore those possibilities. It allows our eyes the chance to be a paintbrush devising new color schemes and filling in borders. On the other hand, we may choose to simply enjoy the bones of the pleached hedge, the peeling bark of the crape myrtle, remnants of bittersweet, and viburnum berries. Early morning walks reveal piles of oak leaves silver-plated with frost and holly trees standing boastful and defiant in a blaze of color.
When I travel in winter, I still want to see any garden on my route. I feel informed by it in a different kind of way—more understanding, more attached. Perhaps it is just like an acquaintance who has quietly let her guard down. And I know as the temperature warms and I return again, I will see the other, more boisterous side of her personality.
A winter garden is like a perfect black-and-white photo, an old movie, an X-ray. Every nuanced shade of gray is awakened in a season otherwise viewed as colorless, when all growth is stalled. But look again, and color schemes beg to be noticed. The herbaceous border left to remain, now in shades of blonde and silver gray, strands in contrast with old yews, creating a dramatic scene. While branches of various cornus are a rainbow of reds fading to yellow, the stark white bodies of birch trees make their own ghostly statement. The omnipresent, limitless, and ever-faithful sky, a constant in every garden, at times evokes a canopy of blue that can become a Matisse cutout, silhouetting shapely trees and the leafless framework of others. White fences and black iron gates add geometry and outlines that draw the eye in a more focused way. Trellises and arbors, now naked, give us graphic art with their shapes and patterns.
Just as in a well-decorated room, the garden also relies on its furniture and accessories. Benches of any kind still dutifully beckon us to come sit, enjoy the view, and contemplate the current state of affairs. Statues, urns, and other ornaments will knowingly and patiently look forward to being enveloped in green once again, but for the time being, they are the show. Pots, troughs, and planters, small and large, now empty, will dream of the return of summer’s abundance. Though all these things may be inanimate, they surely take on whatever we viewers project upon them.
The dormant state of a garden in winter metaphorically speaks to what gardening is all about—a process. The cycle of life, death, and rebirth is the story of any garden, ever changing. Winter is the great equalizer, whether it comes to a front-yard bed or acres of them.
We pine for those tiny sprouts, those early chartreuse buds and leaves. They give us hope and, like a trumpet, announce that the flower fashion show of spring will soon begin. We feel reborn as our senses emerge from hibernation, a protracted holding pattern. We are like school children who have just heard the last bell of the year. Ah, but without winter, we would not know these joys.
Durham’s Heritage Garden Club has a standing annual project of putting poinsettias in the Durham VA Hospital Chapel at Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Seminar Topics include: "Getting Started in Beekeeping," "Bee and Keeper Activity Timeline," "Equipment," "Products of the Hive," "Anatomy," "Genetics," "Communication," "Bee Health and Nutrition."
On Sat., March 28 a field day will focus on hands-on learning in the hives and opportunity to take Practical and Written Exam for NC Certified Beekeeper certification.
DCBA Instructors: Donna Devanney, Liz Lindsey, Serena Reavis, Matthew Yearout, Gayle Young, NC Apiary Inspectors, and more local subject experts.
The cost is $50, which comes with a membership to DCBA and a copy of First Lessons in Beekeeping. All registration proceeds benefit the Durham County Beekeepers http://www.durhambeekeepers.org/. To register, please contact the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 919-684-3698.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
|Construction site of Durham Central Park's Mt. Merrill.|
|Mt. Merrill in October.|
Photos by DCGC President Marcia Loudon.
Mt. Merrill, named in memory of Merrill Davis, is phase II of Wanderland, the childrens’ play area at Durham Central Park, which began with the construction of The Leaf. With two slides, boulder outcroppings, and protective surfacing, Mt. Merrill will continue to make Durham Central Park the “coolest park in town” and a remarkable success story. Other scheduled activities include a children’s African drum circle, led by Braima Moiwai, interactive storytime, a make-and-take craft activity, and balloon twisting by Lena Balleena.
What is Mount Merrill?Mount Merrill is an interactive children’s play area planned for the eastern side of the park, adjacent to the Leaf. It is a handicap accessible climbing mound that will offer the following features:
- 2 Slides—the Little Slide and the Big Slide
- Climbing Net
- Big Curving Benches
- Amphitheater Seating
- The Ramp Up
- A “Look-out!” Area
- Boulder Climb
- Sculptural Art
The goal for the Mount Merrill fundraising campaign is $200,000. This figure includes the cost of construction as well as a maintenance fund to keep it in good shape. Durham Central Park already raised $150,000, including a successful May Kickstarter campaign.
|The late Merrill Davis with his wife.|
Why the Name?
The name honors the memory of a dear friend of the Park who died in a tragic car accident. Merrill Davis was the always-helpful guy from our neighborhood nursery and garden store, Stone Brothers and Byrd. Merrill was there seeding the first lawn at the Pavilion back when there were hardly any folks walking on it. His wedding in 2009 was one of the first weddings in the Pavilion.
Merrill was a tireless fundraiser for the Durham Exchange Club, whose focus is to benefit children in the Durham area. “Mt. Merrill” is the perfect name for an attraction that will draw children and families from throughout the community.
DesignMt. Merrill was designed by Tributary Land Design.
|Volunteers should register by December 10 for this free workshop!|
This free tree pruning and tree care workshop will provide volunteers with hands-on experience while tending to the trees along the Goose Creek stream restoration project, which runs through Long Meadow Park near Eastway Elementary School. Participants will learn the basics of tree pruning and other tree care topics. Tools and gloves for the workshop will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own if possible. Volunteers interested in helping should register by December 10 at http://tinyurl.com/TADevents.
Workshop partners include Keep Durham Beautiful, City of Durham General Services Department Urban Forestry Division, Durham City-County Sustainability Office, and City of Durham Public Works Department Stormwater & GIS Services Division.
For additional information or to register for this workshop, contact Keep Durham Beautiful Coordinator Tania Dautlick at (919) 354-2729 or by email at email@example.com.
Monday, December 1, 2014
100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC.
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, NC.
Dec. 2, 1–2:30 p.m.
The winter season brings out the best when it comes to colorful and showy barked trees and shrubs. This tour will highlight some of our favorites at the JCRA.CostFree for members, $5.00 for nonmembers.
Dec. 2, 4–6 p.m.
Decorate your home for the holidays with a designer wreath you made at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Hands-on instruction will be provided, and all participants will create a wreath of their own to take home. All materials needed for these workshops will be provided including a vast assortment of greens from the JCRA's plant collections for your wreath, however, participants are encouraged to bring items for their wreaths or to share. This workshop is open to adults and youths. Youths are welcome to participate with a caregiver. In this case, the registration fee covers both participants, but only one wreath will be made.
Dec. 4, 7:30–9 p.m.
Peter H. Raven is one of the world's leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity. For four decades, he headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution he nurtured into a world-class center for botanical research and education, and horticultural display. He retired as president in 2010 and assumed the role of president emeritus and consultant through 2014. The author of numerous books and reports, both popular and scientific, Peter co-wrote Biology of Plants, an internationally best-selling textbook, now in its sixth edition. He also co-authored Environment, a leading textbook on the environment.
Poinsettia Open House
Dec. 7, 1–5 p.m.
NC State Floriculture is part of a national poinsettia program that tests poinsettia cultivars to determine which ones are best for consumers and for producers. You will have a chance to see these cultivars yourself and vote for your favorites. Approximately one hundred different cultivars of poinsettias—including numerous new experimental cultivars—will be on display. Stop by to see the famous 9' tall poinsettia tree. Enjoy poinsettia gardens and decorated poinsettias. Help us decide which poinsettias are North Carolina's favorites by voting for your favorite poinsettias. Listen to Christmas carols from around the world played by the Joy Recorder Ensemble while viewing the poinsettias. They'll begin at 1 p.m. and play through 5 p.m. with three 15 minute breaks. Musical instruments include recorders plus a hand drum, tambourine, and a glockenspiel. Members include Carrie Joy Bylina (director), Ruey Li, Jean Lin, Jean Bernard Luc, Chia-Fei Wang, and Kuy-may Wu.
"Sustainable Suburbia: Harnessing Nature's Superpowers in Your Yard"
Dec. 11, 7:30–9 p.m.
Home gardeners can be on the front lines of environmental preservation and restoration. Learn how to increase biodiversity, improve soil fertility, provide for wildlife, conserve water, and energy as well as decrease stormwater runoff. Over time, nature will reward you with a beautiful and healthy landscape that will save you time, money, and energy while improving the environment beyond your property line.
All plant materials and ribbon will be supplied. Please bring a pair of hand pruners and any embellishments you would like to include.
Fee: $65; Gardens members $55.
Durham Garden Forum: Container Gardening Around the World
Dec. 9, 6:30-8 p.m.
On a whirlwind tour of container gardens, avid container gardener and Durham County Extension Master Gardener Leanna Murphy Dono will be certain to expand your ideas about what a container can be and how to combine plants for the best ornamental impact.
Holiday Celebration at the Gardens
Dec. 20, noon-4 p.m.
Join us for winter holiday fun featuring traditions from all over the world.
Activities will include:
• Peanut butter bird feeder
• Diwali (Hindu festival of light) rangoli patterns
• Chinese new year lanterns
• Paper snowflakes
• A menorah of your own
Friday, November 28, 2014
The Tennessee-born Bjorn Bjorholm travels to Japan
to pursue his love of bonsai.
Most teenage boys have sports, girls, or some combination of the two on their minds. Bjorn Bjorholm, however, was obsessed with bonsai, ever since he saw one of the Karate Kid movies. “I got my first tree when I was 13—and then killed it within the first three months,” says the Knoxville, Tennessee, native. “I carried around a bonsai book all the time, too, so I was made hard-core fun of in middle school.” He also played the trombone, which didn’t help matters.
Today the 28-year-old newlywed and his Chinese-born wife, Nanxi Chen, live in Osaka, Japan, where he owns and operates Bjorvala Bonsai Studio, teaches at the Fujikawa International School of Bonsai, and has become one of the ancient tree-training art form’s most promising and unlikely faces. The tall, blond, all-American Bjorholm—some swoony followers of his Facebook page and endearing YouTube videos privately refer to him as the Brad Pitt of bonsai—was 16 when he traveled to Japan as part of a student group. There he finagled a meeting with bonsai master Keiichi Fujikawa, who was amused by the American youth’s passion for an Asian art form more than a millennium old. “If you want to be an apprentice, come back,” Fujikawa told him. The Japanese expert was joking, but Bjorholm took the comment seriously.
From left: A shohin shimpaku bonsai before; the tree after styling. To see some of Bjorholm’s proudest arboreal achievements, check out Architectural Digest’s exclusive slide show.
College followed, as did studies abroad. And all the while Bjorholm kept peppering Fujikawa with letters reminding him of their meeting and his desire to work for him. The volume of correspondence was impressive, but the bonsai master still wasn’t convinced: “I think he figured my language skills were not up to par and was concerned about my work ethic.” Eventually a three-month trial period was arranged in 2008. “I’ve been there ever since,” Bjorholm says, adding that the typical apprenticeship lasts five years. After one more year, he can be certified by the Nippon Bonsai Association.
Fujikawa’s school and nursery is a heart-stopping forest of hundreds of cloudlike, twisted, and cascading trees that tradition dictates can range in size from shockingly tiny examples known as keshitsubo to very large imperial bonsai as tall as Bjorholm himself. When he first arrived, Bjorholm says, conversation with Fujikawa was conducted through “pointing and grunting.” Today Bjorholm is fluent in Japanese, “though some days are better than others.” And, he admits, when it comes to his life’s work, mistakes have been made, the most dreadful being when he accidentally snapped off a picturesque and highly important deadwood branch on a bonsai that had taken his employer years to perfect. “My heart sank because I knew he was going to tell me to go home,” Bjorholm says. Instead Fujikawa, his face a furious red, simply turned and walked away and refused to talk to his American apprentice for weeks.
Trees destined for the bonsai treatment are either grown from seeds or cuttings or harvested in the wild. The majority end up potted in shallow containers, patiently cultivated, and laboriously pruned and shaped. (Among Bjorholm’s favorites are Pinus parviflora, or Japanese white pine, and Prunus mume, or Japanese flowering apricot.) Branches are wrapped with wet raffia, which acts like a second bark, and then are coiled and stabilized with copper wires, a material that allows them to be bent—slowly, carefully, forcefully—into poetic silhouettes that mimic, among other things, the effects of weather and time.
Bjorholm at work. Photo: Chris Malcolm
“It’s all about the movement of the trunk and the placement of the branches,” Bjorholm explains, adding that a bonsai takes decades of subtle shaping and pruning to achieve anything close to perfection. Even then, the work never ends. “People say the only finished bonsai is a dead bonsai—which you never want to happen,” he continues, noting that some bonsai are reportedly more than a thousand years old. “The trees constantly change hands, and that community effort makes bonsai a very special art form. Multiple people will work on the same tree over time, each with a different take on how the tree should be designed.”
To that end, Bjorholm travels to the United States twice a year, trips that are part teaching tour and part maintenance assignment. (He tends trees for several American clients and attends bonsai conclaves like September's national bonsai exhibition in Rochester, New York.) For those bitten by the bonsai bug and planning a trip to Japan, he suggests they head for the great bonsai collections at bonsai master Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunkaen Bonsai Museum in Tokyo, as well as in the nearby suburb of Omiya, which Bjorholm calls “a village of nurseries that function as mini-museums.” Dot not, however, ask to see his personal at-home collection of diminutive trees, because none will be found there. “My wife is supportive of my career, but she doesn’t like to get dirty and hates bugs,” he says with a laugh. “Plus, our backyard is only five feet deep and ten feet wide, just big enough for a clothesline.”
Eventually Bjorholm intends to run a school and a nursery of his own, perhaps in Tennessee, where he and his father, Tom Bjorholm, founded the Knoxville Bonsai Society when the up-and-coming bonsai master was a teen and where they maintain a collection of a hundred-odd trees. Until then, however, the engaging expat has his Ph.D. in economics to complete at Osaka University—and that prized certification to earn.
To learn more about Bjorholm and his craft, see his website, as well as the website of bonsai master Keiichi Fujikawa.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
|Red amaryllis, a protea flower and Magnolia grandiflora|
leaves echo the bouquet depicted in Meredith Frampton’s
1928 painting ‘Marguerite Kelsey.’
Glass Vase in Rattan Cage, from $10, jamaligarden.com.
Stephen Kent Johnson for WSJ, Styling by Lindsey Taylor.
|Meredith Frampton’s 1928 painting ‘Marguerite Kelsey’|
Tate, London/Art Resource, NY.
In my research, I stumbled on the work of the under-the-radar British painter and etcher Meredith Frampton (1894-1984), born George Vernon Meredith Frampton. (He dropped his first name so he wouldn’t be confused with his artist father, also named George.)
The younger Frampton’s paintings—mostly commissioned portraits in which the subjects have a distant, meditative gaze—hold your attention with their uncluttered, borderline surreal interiors. Often a sprig from nature or a simple bouquet appears, and his palette of muted grays, somber greens, taupe and burgundy (sometimes set off with a shock of bright red) also helps create a seductive yet calming effect that settles one’s mood.
All of these elements are present in Mr. Frampton’s 1928 painting “Marguerite Kelsey,” making it the perfect jumping-off point for an arrangement in sync with the season of hibernation. I riffed directly on the bouquet in the painting, starting with a vase that mimicked its wicker-like container. For the foliage, I picked Magnolia grandiflora to match the rich green and brown-backed leaves that Mr. Frampton depicted; they’re a chic alternative to conifers during the holidays, luxurious without being gaudy or in your face.
In the vein of Mr. Frampton’s reductive style, I used the tightly closed buds of two stems of blood-red amaryllis to echo Marguerite’s shoes. I added a creamy white protea flower to reflect the glow of her skin and the short-sleeved pale tunic dress she wears. I like an arrangement that only requires a little freshening up: Add clean water and a new cut flower from time to time, and the base of leaves will last you through the thaw.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
By Adam Bonislawski
WSJ, Nov. 19, 2014
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck had a 3,000-square-foot house to heat?
Well, that depends—are we talking white oak or ponderosa pine?
Roughly 2.4 million households use wood as their primary heating fuel, according to the Census Bureau’s 2013 housing survey. And, no doubt, there’s a certain rustic charm to a wood-burning stove that, say, an electric heat pump is hard pressed to match.
On the other hand, wood involves a bit more in the way of logistics than other, more commonplace fuels.
“It’s real easy to go to the thermostat and dial it up or down with natural gas or electric,” says Jim Reeb, associate professor of forestry and natural resources at Oregon State University. “Wood is a little tougher to handle. It takes a little [work] to find a place to put it. You need to keep it dry.”
You also need to make sure you have enough to take you through till spring. A typical 3,000-square foot home uses roughly 65 million BTUs over the course of a winter, according to the Energy Information Administration, part of the Energy Department. Of course the amount varies across regions and based factors like sun exposure and insulation levels.
Breaking it down by region, homeowners in the Northeast will use around 79 million BTUs, those in the Midwest will use around 76 million BTUs, and those in the South and West will average around 47 million BTUs.
What that equals in terms of wood consumption depends on what kind of tree you plan to burn.
“In general, your dense hardwoods have more energy because there’s not as much air” in the wood, Prof. Reeb notes. For instance, a cord (128 cubic feet) of white oak contains around 30 million BTUs worth of energy—the equivalent of 214 gallons of heating oil. A cord of the softwood ponderosa pine, meanwhile, has about 17 million BTUs.
Then there’s the matter of your stove’s efficiency. EPA-certified catalytic wood stoves are 72% efficient, meaning they convert 72% of the wood’s energy into heat for warming your house.
Add it all up and the average homeowner can expect to use just over three cords of hardwood or just over 5¼ cords of softwood in the course of a typical winter.
Better get chopping.
Help save Durham trees from voracious cankerworms this spring!
Easy banding directions are found in this video. Get ready to apply your Tree Tanglefoot now that we have freezing temps!
|Forest Hills Junior Garden Club member Max Van Horn bands a tree on Oak Drive. |
He and his mom Forest Hills Garden Club President Kim Van Horn banded 14 trees last weekend. Max plans to start a "Forest Hills Challenge," a la the ice bucket challenge, so other kids in the neighborhood join in the effort to keep the cankerworm at bay!
Friday, November 14, 2014
|Narcissus tazetta 'Ziva' bulbs were treated|
for a shorter forcing period (6-8 weeks).
|The Forest Hills Garden Club created containers |
of narcissus bulbs for their November program.
By A. A. De Hertogh, Professor, Horticultural Science
Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Part 1—General Aspects
“Paperwhite” Narcissus is one of the easiest flower bulbs for home-owners to force. Commercially, several types are available. Some cultivars (varieties) have pure white flowers while others have white perianths with light yellow cups. Paperwhites originate in the Mediterranean and are tender bulbs. Thus, they can be grown outside only in Climatic Zones 8 to 11. Unless one lives in one of these zones, forced bulbs should be discarded.
Part 2—Planting and Watering Instructions for Containers Without Drainage Holes
Planting - Paperwhites can be forced using 3- to 4-inch deep decorative containers that do not have drainage holes. To force the bulbs using this system: (1) place 1 to 2 inches of washed gravel or stones in the bottom of the container; (2) carefully, place the bulbs on the gravel or stones; and (3), subsequently, place enough gravel or stones over or around the bulbs to hold them in place.
Watering - Add just enough water to bring it to base of the bulbs and subsequently, maintain it at this level. Do not immerse the bulbs in water, only the basal (root) plate should be in water.
Part 3—Planting and Watering Instructions for Containers With Drainage Holes
Planting - Use a well drained, pH 6 to 7, sterilized planting medium. Any width pot can be used, it depends on the number of bulbs to be forced. However, use a pot that is 3 to 4 inches deep, and plant the bulbs with the noses even or slightly below the rim of the pot.
Watering - After planting, water the medium thoroughly. Then, keep it moist!
Part 4—General Home Forcing Instructions
Temperature - Initially, use a 60° to 65°F area in the home. When in flower, use the coolest area of the home.
Light - Paperwhites will flower under any light conditions. However, for best results, initially place them in a window area with a southern exposure. When the plants begin to flower, remove them from direct sun- light and place plants in coolest area of the home. This helps to prolong the flowering of the plants.
Fertilization - None is required for forcing.
Diseases and insects - If healthy bulbs are purchased, no pests are generally encountered.
De Hertogh, A. A. 1996. Holland Bulb Forcer’s Guide, 5th ed. International Flower Bulb Centre, Hillegom, The Netherlands.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Department of Horticultural Science
|Most perennial herbs require light mulch and |
possibly some wind protection during the winter.
If treated properly, many herb plants will survive in the garden for a number of years. Others are sensitive to frost or severe cold weather and must be brought indoors, protected, or replanted each year. Annual herbs will be killed with the first hard frost in the fall. Remove dead plants in order to minimize overwintering insects and disease problems. Some frost sensitive herbs, such as basil and geranium, can be brought indoors for the winter. Take cuttings to root or pot the entire plant.
Many perennial herbs are winter hardy in all or parts of North Carolina and can be left in the garden. A few plants are marginally winter hardy; in a mild winter they survive but may die during a severe winter. They can be brought indoors to overwinter. Unless they receive adequate light indoors they may drop some of their leaves. Lemon verbena is a deciduous plant; it will lose all of its leaves indoors.
After a severe winter, some outdoor plants such as rue, sage, thyme, and southernwood, may appear brown and dead. The leaves may simply be dehydrated or the plant may be dead almost to the ground. Scrape the bark of a few stems to determine the extent of damage. If the stem is green, delay pruning until after new growth begins.
Improving Winter Survival
Most herbs benefit from a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch (pine straw, coco bean hulls, hardwood bark, bark and sawdust mixture) during the growing season. Mulch is an adequate winter protection for herbs such as mint, chives, and fennel providing protection to minus 20F. A winter mulch helps maintain uniform soil temperatures around the root system and provides protection against heaving cause by frequent freezing and thawing of the soil.
Some herbs require a thicker layer of mulch to protect their roots during extended freezing weather. Heavy mulching before cold weather occurs should be avoided since it will keep the soil warmer and may actually decrease winter hardiness. After the first hard freeze, apply a 3- to 6- inch layer of organic material such as straw, pine needles, or chopped leaves. Most of the mulch should be removed in the spring as new growth begins.
Rosemary, lemon verbena, and a few other perennial herbs are not reliably winter hardy. Extra winter protection can be provided by cutting plants back to within a couple inches of the ground after the first hard frost and covering the remaining stub with soil. Then cover the soil with a 4- to 5-inch layer of mulch. For lemon verbena, the use of a microfoam ground cover (the packing material used around fragile items also works) held down with soil works very well providing over 95% survival in most years. An alternative method is to encircle the plant with a cage of hardware cloth or chicken wire. The cage diameter should be about 12 inches larger than the plant (6 inches on each side). Fill the cage with mulch.
Harsh, drying winds can prove as fatal as cold temperatures to some of the less cold tolerant herbs. Wind breaks can aid the survival and appearance of herbs such as French tarragon, germander, English lavender, Roman chamomile, and winter savory. Covering with a few evergreen boughs will prevent drying out of silver and lemon thyme foliage. The more cold-sensitive herbs have a better chance of survival if grown in a protected location.
Other cultural practices that influence winter hardiness include: fertilization, pruning, soil drainage, and watering.
Fertilizing - Herbs should not be fertilized after early August. Late summer applications of nitrogen fertilizer will promote new growth that may not have time to mature before frost. The herbs will remain actively growing instead of becoming acclimated for cold weather.
Pruning - Avoid significant pruning (light harvesting is acceptable) in August which will stimulate new growth that will not have time to mature before frost. Also, avoid severe pruning in late fall since winter hardiness is reduced until the cuts have healed. Woody plants should not be severely pruned within 4 to 6 weeks of the first severe freeze. In western North Carolina, the last severe cutting on sage, lavender, or oregano should be made before early September. Light pruning after frost is acceptable.
Soil drainage - Excessively wet soil or sites with standing water can decrease winter hardiness of some plants. This is especially true for Mediterranean plants such as rosemary, thymes, lavenders, and French tarragon that are adapted to dry climates. Provide adequate drainage by incorporating pine bark mulch or planting in raised beds.
Watering - Keep plants adequately watered during late summer and fall. Drought stressed plants are weaker and are often less cold hardy. Water during a dry winter, especially before a severe freeze. This is especially true for evergreen plants that will lose water from their foliage on bright, sunny days even when the ground is frozen.
Horticulture Information Leaflet 8112, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/pdf/hil-8112.pdf
|The Croasdaile Garden Club recently planted pansies, assorted bulbs and mums with their Junior Garden Club, the Riverside Special Needs Class. As always, kids and garden clubbers enjoyed a sunny day beautifying the Riverside High School grounds.|
Monday, November 10, 2014
|CASA will soon be installing the Denson Apartments landscaping purchased in part by the Durham Garden Clubs. The Open House ceremony Nov. 18 will showcase these "green" donations to the building project.|
CASA is pleased to share an invitation to the Open House Ceremony for The Denson Apartments for Veterans along with some great news: thanks to the garden clubs of Durham's great help, the $27,000 community fundraising goal for the Denson project has been exceeded!
Durham garden club gifts will purchase plants, trees, and landscaping material for the community that will beautify the grounds for years to come. All gifts above the goal will be used to offset expenses for the retention pond and stormwater drainage necessary to complete this project.
We hope that you can join us on Tuesday, November 18 at 10:00 a.m. as we dedicate these safe, permanent homes for veterans in need. The apartments and Open House ceremony will be held at: 1598 Sedgefield St., Durham, NC. Because of your support, eleven veterans will find a safe, permanent and supportive home at The Denson Apartments for Veterans by the end of 2014. In 2015, we will begin construction on a second building at the Denson site that will provide 12 more apartments for veterans in need.
Thank you for all that you do to improve the lives of others in the Durham community. We sincerely appreciate you taking on this project with us and your generous support.
With a grateful heart,
To attend the Denson Apartments Open House, Please RSVP to Jack at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (919) 754-9960 x43.
Friday, November 7, 2014
|Le Jardin Majorelle, Phaidon.|
|Granite slabs are carved with a quotation attributed to the French revolutionary Antoine de Saint-Just (‘The present order is the disorder of the future’) in Little Sparta, the garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay and Sue Finlay in South Lanarkshire, U.K., Andrea Jones.|
|‘Mudmaid,’ a play on Victorian ornamentation, at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, U.K. Julian Stephens/Heligan Gardens.|
|Jardins du Prieuré d’Orsan in Maisonnais, France.|
RMN-Grand Palais/Jean-Baptiste Leroux.