Friday, March 28, 2014

April Calendar of Triangle Gardening Programs

NC Botanical Gardens
Location: 100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC.

The J.C. Raulston Arboretum Third Annual Spring Egg Hunt 
will run from April 12-21.
(Russian Easter eggs not included.) 
Get Ready for Summer: A Vegetable Gardening Workshop
April 6,  1:30-3 p.m.
Get ready for summer! The Carolina Campus Community Garden (CCCG) is the learning laboratory for this workshop. We’ll cover what vegetables to plant for a summer garden; when to start planting; tips on trellising, staking and organic methods of pest control; and how to get a large harvest from a small space. Following the workshop, plan on staying to volunteer with the CCCG volunteer corp! Fee: $15 ($10 NCBG members; Free to UNC Students) For directions to CCCG:

Sweet Peas - Seed Surprise
April 9, 10-11 a.m.
Share a morning of discovery with your growing “sweet pea” and nurture their natural curiosity for the world around them. Each class will focus on a different nature theme, and may include stories, songs, mini-hikes, crafts, and puppets. Space is limited. No strollers or non-registered siblings, please.
Lunch and Learn: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Waterwise Landscapers
April 10,  Noon-1 p.m.
Bring your lunch and join us for a free lecture! Water—it’s a resource our community can’t take for granted, and it is essential for the health and vitality of our landscape. Patrick Davis provides an overview of water use in our community and the importance of water conservation. Seven key strategies of waterwise landscaping will be discussed—strategies that help achieve a beautiful, healthy landscape that needs minimal supplemental irrigation and that does not result in adverse runoff to our streams and lakes.
Behind-the-Scenes tour: Green Building of the LEED Platinum Education Center
April 12, 1-2 p.m.
In recognition of National Environmental Education Week (, April 13–19, join us for a free behind-the-scenes tour of North Carolina’s first state-owned LEED Platinum building. One of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the Southeast, the Garden’s Education Center provides a unique opportunity to learn about green building practices. On this 45-minute tour, you will learn about the Education Center’s energy conservation, renewable energy use, stormwater management systems, and site-appropriate landscaping. Begins in the Pegg Exhibit Hall of the Center. Free, but space is limited, so please register in advance.
Sims Native Plant Lecture, 'Wildflower Ecology: A Step Beyond Identification'
April 13, 2:30- 4 p.m.
While it’s fun to know the names of wildflowers, it’s also satisfying to learn about the many interesting ways that plants adapt to their environments. In this presentation, Tim helps us learn to interpret common features of native plants. For example, have you ever wondered why flowers are so incredibly variable in size, color, shape, and fragrance? Why fruits change color as they age, and why some fruits are sweet and others are not? Seeking answers to such questions adds a powerful new dimension to your understanding and appreciation of wildflowers as well as another layer of fun! Tim Spira is a plant ecologist, native plant gardener, hiker, and professor of botany at Clemson University, where he teaches field botany and plant ecology. Tim received a PhD in Botany from the University of California, Berkeley. Most recently, he is the author of the award-winning Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (UNC Press, 2011). Tim and his spouse, Lisa Wagner, divide their time between Clemson, SC, and Asheville, NC, where they’ve transformed their lawns into meadows, shrub borders, and woodlands featuring native plants. Free, but please register in advance. Reception and book signing follows lecture.
Cultivating a Backyard Medicine Garden
April 26,  9:30- 11:30 a.m.
Planting a medicinal garden is one of the most effective ways to beautify and enhance your landscape while improving health. Plant herbs outside your door to use in making a tea or adding to your spring salads. From immune system boosters to seasonal allergy remedies, there is an amazing world of plants that can reduce common ailments and boost your overall energy—come learn about it with us! Join Bountiful Backyards and Vital Bloom Botanicals as we explore the Top Ten Easy-to-Grow medicinal plants for shade and sun and answer your questions. Participants will take home potted plants for their own gardens. Fee: $35 ($30 NCBG members).

JC Raulston Arboretum
Location: Ruby C. Mc Swain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, NC.

Raulston Blooms! A Garden Festival for All Ages
April 5, 9–5 p.m.
What is it? Fun for the whole family! Learn, shop for your garden, get great ideas, and enjoy gourmet treats at Raulston Blooms! We 're rolling out the red carpet for members, home gardeners, families, and children by offering a day that's packed with garden and nature activities, shopping, and outdoor fun.

A birdhouse competition for all ages will be
 on April 5 during the Raulston Blooms Festival.
  • Spring Plant Sale
  • Birdhouse Competition
  • Children's activities
  • maze
  • storytime
  • games
  • hands-on learning activities
  • Gardening talks and demonstrations
  • Arts and crafts vendors
  • Food trucks
  • NC State's Howling Cow ice cream
  • Thousands of plants in our world-famous gardens
April 19, 10-11:30 a.m.
Leah Chester-Davis, Extension Communication Specialist, NC State University
Cost: Free for Friends of the JC Raulston Arboretum members, NC State University students (with ID), and Department of Horticultural Science faculty and staff, all others $5.00.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson St Durham, NC 27708  Please call 919-668-1707 to register.

Zoom in Series: Magnolias
April 2, 5:30-7 p.m.
Explore plants from a “Zoom In” perspective. In this outdoor lab you will look at the architecture of a plant, learning what makes each unique. Learn to distinguish a variety of plants and about the amazing structures that make each plant unique. Join us for one “Zoom In” session, or all. Enjoy meeting one of the oldest flowering plants, the Magnolias, with Robert Thornhill, local plant ecologist. This ancient plant seems to have evolved before pollinating bees came on the scene. Robert will give you a glimpse into ancient times and how the magnolia survived.
Location: Meet at the Doris Duke Center.
Participant limit: 12. Fee: $15; Gardens members $12. Sign up for the entire series for $50; Gardens members $40. Information/registration: 919-668-1707 or

Farm-to-Fork Garden Picnic Dinner
April 3, 6-8 p.m.
The beginning of spring is something to celebrate. Join us at the Gardens for an al fresco picnic dinner paired with fresh wines for the new season in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden (weather permitting). The menu by Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint will feature include fresh, sustainably caught fish and seafood skillfully prepared by smoking, pickling, cooking or grilling. It will also feature garden-sourced vegetables, salads and relishes.
Taste a lineup of six picnic-friendly wines from Wine Authorities from crisp, vibrant whites and bright, lively rosés to lithe reds that show that you can host the dinner you want and satisfy all wine palates, too! The food and wine will be discussed as each selection is served family style at the picnic tables in the garden. Enjoy an amazing dinner and pick up a few ideas for your summer backyard feasts. Fee: $70; Gardens members $55.

Plants of Distinction: The Terraces Preview
April 15, 2:30-4 p.m.
Learn about spectacular plants that offer both beauty and functionality. “The Terraces Preview” will be led by Mike Owens, curator of the Duke Gardens' Historic Gardens. The Terraces are re-planted several times over the course of a growing season. Walk through this garden with Mike to learn which plant combinations to watch this season. Sign up separately for each Plants of Distinction session to learn about a new group of beautiful and useful plants, or take all four sections.
Location: Meet at Doris Duke Center. Fee: $7; Gardens members $5. 4-class series: $24; Gardens members $16.

“Ginkgo: The Tree that Time Forgot”
Thu, April 17, 2014, 6:30-8 p.m.
Ginkgo trees have been here since the time of dinosaurs. Widespread throughout the world until glaciation, the ginkgo was once thought to be extinct. But this plant survived the ice age, becoming a little-known living relic that was rediscovered in China some thousand years ago. Sir Peter Crane joins us for this annual Taimi Anderson Lecture to tell of ancient times, natural history and people, weaving a tale that the New Scientist says will make you want to go out and hug a ginkgo. We will supply a map to all of the Gardens’ ginkgo trees.
Sir Peter Crane is dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and professor of botany at Yale University, former director of the Field Museum in Chicago (1992 to 1999), and former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1999-2006).
Co-sponsored by the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. Location: Doris Duke Center. Fee: $15; Gardens members $10; Duke students $5.

Durham Garden Forum
Meetings are held at Sarah P. Duke Gardens on Tuesday Evenings from 6:30-8 p.m.
Membership is $25 for the year (which runs April – March) or each lecture is $10. No preregistration is required. Contact information is

Plants and Preservation 
Tue, April 22, 2014, 6:30 PM to 8:00 p.m.
Rob Evans, plant ecologist with North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Durham Co. Master Gardeners & Durham Cooperative Extension Programs

Starting Seeds
This class is free / Registration is required.
When: April 6, 3-5 p.m.
Where: South Regional Library, 4505 Alston Avenue, Durham
Contact: Cathy Starkweather 919-560-7410
Garden Journals: Past, Present, and Future
Strategies to help you accomplish your gardening goals. This class is free / Registration is required.
When: April1 3, 3-4 p.m.
Where: North Regional Library, 221 Milton Road, Durham
Contact: Shelley Geyer (919) 560-0237 | Fax (919) 560-0246

Briggs Avenue Community Garden Series – NC Sweet Potatoes: From Bed to Table
Make plans to grow these favorites in containers or garden. This class is free / Registration is required.
April 26, 10-11:00 a.m.
Where: Durham county Cooperative Extension, 721 Foster Street, Durham
Contact: Pana Jones 919-560-0525 or

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