Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Calendar of Triangle Gardening Programs

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

Mason Farm Biological Reserve: Past, Present, and Future*
March 16, 2-3 p.m.
Johnny Randall provides a peek into the past, a look at the present, and a glimpse into the future of the Garden’s Mason Farm Biological Reserve—30 years old! There will also be a reception following the talk in association with the opening of our Mason Farm art exhibit by Maria de Bruyn in the DeBerry Gallery. Free, but please register in advance.

Book Review: 'From Laurel Hill to Siler’s Bog' by John Terres (Short Course)
March 17, 12-1 p.m.
From Laurel Hill to Siler's Bog, originally published in 1969, presents scientific as well as association between a dedicated naturalist and the birds, mammals, and insects. John Terres, noted author and former editor-in-chief of Audubon Magazine, spent nine years exploring the NCBG Mason Farm Biological Reserve. His observations of the animal and plant life around him are recorded and organized around the cycle of a year from January through December as a major landmark in our understanding of biology. Students independently read this book and come together to discuss its impact. The third class will be a picnic at Mason Farm Biological Reserve. This course serves as ¼ credit for Certificate in Native Plant Studies. Fee: $15 ($10 NCBG members).

Composting Workshop
March 19, 3-4:30 p.m.
Muriel Williman, Orange County Waste Management Educator and composter extraordanaire will be demonstrating how to put your food scraps to good use-what to compost, what not to compost and why. She will also show you how easy it is to start your own vermicomposting. This event will be held on campus, outdoors, at the Carolina Campus Community Garden. Parking is available in the parking lot right across from the CCCG. We will hold the workshop rain or shine - please dress for the weather and be prepared to stand outside without shelter for the duration of the class. (Weather depending, a sun hat or raincoat may be appropriate.) Class if free, but please register in advance.

NC Botanical Gardens, Chapel Hill, NC.
Creating a Garden of Fragrance
March 20, 2-4 p.m.
Join the N.C. Unit of The Herb Society of America and the North Carolina Botanical Garden for the fourth in a series of lectures on herbs and native plants featuring nationally recognized speakers. Holly Shimuzu has been Director of the U. S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. since 2000, was the first curator of the National Herb Garden there, and has worked in gardens in many parts of the world. She charts a plan for you to bring fragrant plants into your garden. Holly looks at the best fragrant plants, from roses to linden trees to veviter roots, as well as how to use and enjoy the fragrances. Variations and complexities of plant fragrances range according to the variety, season, and time of day and often have direct relationships to the plant’s pollinator. Holly will focus on the achievements of the ideal garden of fragrance. Fee: $10 (Free for Herb Society and ncbg members).

Nature Journaling Seasonal Continuum
Spaces Remaining: 16
March 22 1– 4:30 p.m.

Celebrate Spring! Emerge as a writer/artist simultaneously with nature's inspirational return to abundance. No art or writing experience is necessary for this workshop, but all levels of previous ability are welcome. Jeannine is constantly re-energizing the lessons and instruction to keep it fresh for new or returning students. Learn simple techniques and materials for starting a nature journal as a way to record thoughts, ideas, travel, garden notes, and everyday wonders. Bring a blank journal (un-lined preferred) and an attitude of discovery. Fee: $40 ($35 NCBG members).

Gardens and Gardening as Agents of Health and Wellness: Past, Present, and Future
March 22, 2-4 p.m.
Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke for many when he wrote that “all my hurts my garden spade can heal.” Gardens and gardening have been used to enhance health and wellness across cultures, places, and epochs, including our own, as illustrated by the burgeoning field of horticultural therapy in the U.S. and the growing green care/farming-for-health movement in Europe. The beneficial effects of gardens and gardening on emotional, mental, and physical health are grounded in spirituality and science. Come learn about the history of gardens and gardening in enhancing health and well-being, about innovative ways that gardens and gardening are being used to promote health around the world, and about exciting plans for future applications of gardening in wellness. The results of scientific studies on the effects of gardens and gardening on psychological and physiological function will be discussed. Participants will hear about the longstanding, nationally known horticultural therapy program at the Garden and tour the indoor and outdoor spaces devoted to the program. Finally, participants will start on their own, individualized plans for initiating or expanding work with plants as a way to enhance personal well-being. Free but advance registration required. In partnership with the American Horticultural Therapy Association ( and in recognition of National Horticultural Therapy Week, that begins March 16.

Robert Frost
March 25, 7-8:30 p.m.
In celebration of spring, we are bringing back Garden Director Peter White’s presentation on the natural history of Robert Frost’s poetry. This March marks the 140th anniversary of Frost’s birth! Combining three threads from his childhood— his mother’s poetry, summers on a Maine lake, and a love of nature—Peter introduces you to Robert Frost the natural historian who recognized many species of plants and animals on his daily walks, observed nature in detail, and wrote of
the need for wilderness and conservation. Enjoy the science and the poetry of Robert Frost. Free, but please register in advance.

Lunch and Learn: 'Ecological and Evolutionary Lessons of Spring'
March 26, Noon-1 p.m.
Bring your lunch and join us for a free lecture! Garden Director Peter White explores the wonder of spring wildflowers in the eastern deciduous forest. We’ve all heard stories of plant adaptation—that a cactus has succulent stems and no true leaves in order to conserve water in the desert, for instance—but did you know that the special class of spring wildflowers called “spring ephemerals” tell an adaptational story just as dramatic, albeit one for our humid climate and the rhythm of temperature change? We’ll connect spring wildflowers with other big phenomena of the deciduous forest, fall color, and along the way we’ll meet the “backwards” plants that go about their leafing opposite to the seasons. Bring your favorite spring wildflower stories to share at the end of the talk. Free, but please register in advance. 

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

Hengduan Mountains, China.
Photo by Dr. David Boufford, Harvard University Herbaria.
Hengduan Mountains, China: Not All Diversity is Tropical March 3, 7–9 p.m.
David E. Boufford, Ph.D., Harvard University Herbaria.
The Hengduan Mountain region of China rivals some parts of the tropics in the extent of its plant diversity, yet the average elevation of the area is over 14,000 feet, the growing season in much of the area is less than 120 days, and snow can fall on any day of the year. The geology of the area is particularly interesting and dynamic. Five of the largest rivers in Asia drain the area as they leave the Tibetan Plateau and provide water to about one third of the world's population; India is still moving northward as it slides under the Asian mainland, and the mountains in the area are still rising. The deep gorges, high mountains, a wide diversity of habitats and abundant moisture support a flora of perhaps 10,000 species in an area about the size of Kalimantan, Borneo, which sits on the equator. A number of well-known temperate genera have their center of distribution in the area: Rhododendron (226 species); Pedicularis (216 species) Gentiana (100+), Primula (100+), Saxifraga (100+), Saussurea (100+), Aconitum (104), Corydalis (85), and many others. Some interesting adaptations in the area include tropical plants in alpine situations, snowball or sweater plants, greenhouse plants, insect mimics and camouflage. Besides the rich floral diversity, the area is a also center of cultural diversity, with several of China's so-called national minority groups in the area. Among them are the Bai, Naxi, Yi, Miao. and especially Tibetan.

Plantsmen's Tour:  Amazing Aucuba—On Beyond Gold Dust Plant
March 4, 1–2:30 p.m.
Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections.
Aucuba are some of the toughest evergreen shrubs available for southeastern gardeners. While they are reliable workhorses, they aren't always appreciated for their diversity and beauty. We'll check out some of the amazing diversity in this group of plants that don't get the respect they deserve. Cost: Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers. Registration: Advance registration is not available.

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture:  China—Its Flora, Frustrations and Future Prospects for American Gardens
March 6, 7:30–9 p.m.
Richard T. Olsen, Ph.D., Research Geneticist, Floral and Nursery Plants Research Division, USDA.
 China, the Mother of Gardens, is the center of diversity for many species of plants cultivated in our gardens. With over 30,000 species, China is both storehouse and driver of genetic diversity, which modern day plant hunters and plant breeders tap to develop new ornamentals with novel traits and pest and disease resistances. This talk will highlight the recent trip conducted by U.S. National Arboretum scientists to China, including the research conducted, the plant species documented, and implications for American horticulture. 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. Registration: Advanced registration is not available.

Triangle Camellia Society's 6th Annual Camellia Show and Plant Sale
March 8, 10–4 p.m.
The Triangle Camellia Society proudly announces its Fifth Annual Camellia Show and Plant Sale. This event is free, with the judged show open to the public from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.. The plant sale will begin at 10:00 a.m. and continue until 3:00 p.m., offering many different varieties suitable for gardens in our area.

The 6th Annual Triangle Camellia Society Show will attract exhibitors from all over the southeastern United States. Hundreds of flowers representing many varieties will be evaluated by American Camellia Society judges. Show entries are open to all and will be taken from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM on the day of the show. There is no entry fee, and club members will be on hand to assist newcomers with entry procedures. Entries must be from plants of named varieties owned by the exhibitor. No affiliation with a camellia society is required. Gardeners wishing to determine their unknown camellia varieties are encouraged to bring them for identification. Properly identified flowers are eligible for entry in the show. Also offered will be a judged flower show sponsored by the Raleigh Garden Club, featuring arrangements using camellia flowers. Outside the exhibit area, many of the Arboretum's collection of camellias will be in flower in conjunction with this event.
Camellia Flower Show, March 8
 at J.C. Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh.
Cost: Free. Registration: Advance registration is not required to enter or attend the show or plant sale.

How to Enter:
The Triangle Camellia Society welcome entries from all camellia growers. Some tips for entering your blossoms include:
·         Pick undamaged flowers that have just opened or nearly opened. Don’t touch the petals.
·         Immediately place stem in water or Flora life solution. (Little packets that come with cut flowers)
·         Wash the foliage with clear water. Leave about two to three inches of stem. Remove all put two leaves from the stem. If foliage is damaged you may use two leaves from another camellia.
·         Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Use poly fiber or soft other soft material to keep petals from touching container.
·         Try to know the name of each flower. If you don’t know the name Club members will help with identification of the bloom.
·         Carefully unload the blooms when you get to the show. Don’t touch the petals or let flowers touch each other.
·         Fill out an entry card for each bloom. Cards will be available at the show. Club members will help you with this. You are considered a novice if you have never entered or won a blue before. There is a novice class!
·         Place bloom in cup provided by Triangle Camellia Society.
·         Put on tray for placement.

Crevice Garden Lecture and Demonstration
March 15, 1–2:30 p.m.
Sponsored by the North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) and the JCRA
Kenton J. Seth, Denver Botanic Gardens.
Cost: Free for NARGS (Piedmont Chapter) members, $10.00 for JCRA members, $15.00 for nonmembers. Registration: Advance registration is required and can be done by calling Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005.

Gardening with Bulbs
March 22, 9–12:30 p.m.
Brent Heath of Brent and Becky's Bulbs.
Heath's will speak on bulbs during the height of the spring's daffodil display. The day's events includes three exciting and educational opportunities to learn about bulbs—a lecture, a tour, and a workshop. In this seminar, participants will learn how bulbs can be used to make a tropical paradise in their landscape, tour the JCRA's bulb collection, and make a living arrangements with bulbs.
Lecture: "The Tropical Paradise Garden"
From the tropical rain forest, the sunny shores of the Mediterranean, the veldt of South Africa and the slopes of the Andes, come bold, lush leaves and a myriad of stunning diverse flowers of summer bulbs. This lecture will provide ideas on how to weave these spectacular bulb plants into your own relaxing, tropical garden getaway. You will see, with the aid of breathtaking photographs, how to integrate summer bulbs with annuals, perennials, ground covers, trees, and shrubs to create your own ultimate patio planter, window box, living sculpture, or jungle. You will also gather ideas on how to build the ultimate evening garden including luminescent, light colored, fragrant flowers. Let's plan and plant something different this summer!
Tour: "Springtime Bulbs at the JCRA"
Some of the most cherished of all springtime plants grow from bulbs. In fact, few plants herald spring as much as daffodils, tulips, crocus, and hyacinths do. Spring-flowering bulbs are planted throughout the JCRA's 10 acres and are a delight to see every year. Most of these came from Brent and Becky's Bulbs. Learn more about these beauties directly from the source.
Workshop: "Creating Living Flower Arrangements with Layers of Bulbs"
We all smile when we receive a beautiful arrangement of flowers. However, that smile will return many times when we realize that the flowers come from live bulbs and will last up to two to three times longer than cut flowers. Then they can often be recycled into the garden after danger of hard freeze.
This workshop covers the particulars on how to do it and which bulb cultivars are best suited to pot culture. Brent will demonstrate the most innovative methods of creating a living flower arrangement. Participants will follow along and create their own combination planting to take home and enjoy as it grows into a living flower arrangement.
Cost: $75.00 for members, $90.00 for nonmembers. Registration: Advance registration is required. Please register by contacting Chris Glenn, programs and education coordinator, at or (919) 513-7005.

Spring Topiary Workshop
March 29, 9–1 p.m.
Erin Weston, Weston Farms,
Erin Weston of Weston Farms will teach you how to make a picture perfect topiary mounted on a jet black bamboo stick. In this class, we'll make a topiary out of Weston Farms signature southern magnolia leaves or bay laurel. Erin Weston's work has been featured in numerous publications. She has appeared on HGTV, UNC-TV, Time Warner Cable, and in print in Carolina Gardener, Skirt Magazine, Walter magazine, Our State magazine, and Southern Living.

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

Quick Start Vegetable Harvest
March 6, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Learn what to plant and pick in very early spring. Sow plants in March for April harvest. This class will focus on quick cool-weather plants that you can harvest before summer crops. Each participant will sow a flat of seeds to take home, with information on how to grow and enjoy them.
Participant limit: 15. Fee: $25; Gardens members $18. Information/ registration: 919-668-1707 or

Bonsai: Create Your Own Bonsai Plant
March 8, 9:30-1:30 p.m.
Bonsai is a unique combination of art and science, resulting in a dwarfed plant that is carefully pruned and trained to suit your vision. Learn about the different bonsai styles and traditions. Then learn to use those techniques and begin your own bonsai to grow and enjoy at home. Plant, container, materials and soil medium supplied in class for a hardy, outdoor bonsai plant. For more information about bonsai, please visit
Participant limit: 15. Fee: $100; Gardens members $80. Information/registration: 919-668-1707 or

Plant Propagation: Seeds
March 11, 10:30-Noon
Learn to grow your own plants using a variety of techniques. Each session of this class will feature a different propagation skill, including time in the Gardens discussing propagation of specific plants and time in the greenhouse practicing your skills. Here is your chance to expand your plant collection with expert guidance. Sign up for one or all four sessions. In “Seeds,” learn what grows well from seed, and how to start and grow them into a plant to enjoy.
Location: Greenhouse classroom.
Participant limit: 15. Fee: $20; Gardens members $16. Information/registration: 919-668-1707 or

Art and Nature: Artwork inspired by the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants
Artists' Reception:  Friday, March 21, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Exhibit dates:  Saturday, March 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 23, noon-3 p.m.
Experience nature’s beauty as seen through an artist’s eye. The richness of our native flora will serve as inspiration for local artists in this exhibit. Up to 40 works, both two- and three-dimensional, will be on display from more than 20 artists. The exhibit features the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants as part of our celebration of the 75th anniversary of Sarah P. Duke Gardens’ dedication. All ages welcome. Adult chaperone required.

Maximizing Fruit Production
March 22, 1- 3 p.m.
Fruiting plants are managed using different techniques from the ones for ornamental plants. Learn to maximize fruiting in this class that introduces pruning and disease suppression techniques and fertilizing recommendations. Then sit back and enjoy freshly picked apples, grapes, pears, peaches, figs and berries.
Participant limit: 15. Fee: $25; Gardens members $20. Information/registration: 919-668-1707 or

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

Growing Tomatoes
March 18, 6:30-8 p.m.
Durham County Extension Master Gardener, Charles Murphy will share his wisdom in growing tomatoes.

Durham Co. Master Gardeners and Durham Cooperative Extension Programs

Container Vegetable Gardening
March 2, 3-4 p.m.
Learn to grow your own lettuce, peas, carrots, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers and culinary herbs (like: basil, parsley & thyme) in pots & window boxes this year.  We will demonstrate how to start vegetables from both seeds & starts so you can grow salads, homemade tomato sauce & fiery salsa on your own deck or porch.  This is part of our Master Gardener series.  Class is free / Registration is required. 
Where:   South Regional Library, 4505 Alston Avenue, Durham
Contact:   Cathy Starkweather   919-560-7410

Urban Trees
March 13, 6:30-8 p.m.
In this session, discover “Urban Trees” with master gardener Gene Carlone. Sponsored in partnership with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service: Durham County Center.
Location:  Doris Duke Center, Duke Gardens.

Briggs Avenue Community Garden Series – Insect Management – Fire Ants
March 15, 10-11 a.m.
Learn insect management and fire ants and how to control them.  from Michelle Wallace, Durham County Horticulture Agent  This class is free / Registration is required.
Where:  Durham County Cooperative Extension, 721 Foster Street, Durham
Contact:  Pana Jones, 919-560-0525 or

NC Sweet Potatoes
March 30, 3-4 p.m.
Start making plans to raise a bumper crop of sweet potatoes in your own bed or containers in 2014! Join the Durham County Extension Master Gardeners for a taste test and discussion of the best sweet potato varieties for North Carolinians.  Learn tips on maximizing your yield of these easy-to-grow, tasty 7 nutritious vegetables plus a few fun facts about our state vegetable.  This is part of our master Gardener series.  Class is free / Registration is required.
Where:  South Regional Library, 4505 Alston Avenue, Durham
Contact:  Cathy Starkweather  919-560-7410

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