Friday, March 31, 2017

April and May Calendar of Triangle Gardening Programs

"Gala in the Garden" will be held Sunday, May 7 at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Photo by the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, April 1, 8-12 p.m.

I Need a Plan: The Fundamental Steps to Create a Garden: Patterns in the Garden
Wednesday, April 5, 6:30-9 p.m.

Extension Gardener Series with Durham County Master Gardeners: Tomato, Toma(aah)to
Thursday, April 6, 2017, 6:30-8 p.m.

Cooking from the Garden: Cooking with Flowers
Monday, April 10, 6-8 p.m.

Plants of Distinction: The Terraces Preview
Thursday, April 13, 2-3:30 p.m.

Durham Garden Forum: Plant Propagation
Tuesday, April 18, 6:30-8 p.m.
Wednesday, April 19, 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, April 22, 8-11 a.m.
Satursday, April 22, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 27, 3-5 p.m.
Thursday, May 11, 6:30 -8 p.m.
Tuesday, May 16, 6:30-8 p.m.
Thursday, May 18, 3-5 p.m.
Thu,rsday May 25, 3-5 p.m.
JC Raulston Arboretum

Saturday, April 1
Raulston Blooms! A Garden Festival for All Ages
9:00 am–4:00 pm
17th Annual Birdhouse Competition  
9:00 am–4:00 pm
JC Raulston Arboretum Plant Sale
Plant List Available
9:00 am–4:00 pm

Tuesday, April 4
Plantsmen's Tour: "Lindens, Hornbeams, and More"
1:00 pm
Tim Alderton, Research Technician
John Meyer, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, Department of Entomology, NC State University

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture “You Can’t Make a Living with a Specialty Mail Order Nursery”
Thursday, April 6, 7:30 pm 
Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens

Sixth Annual Spring Egg Hunt
Monday April 10, 2017 – 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 – 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Thursday, April 13, 2017 – 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Friday, April 14, 2017 – 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Saturday, April 15, 2017 – 10:00 am–2:00 pm
Sunday, April 16, 2017 – 1:00 pm–4:00 pm 
Welcome spring this year with the Sixth Annual Spring Egg Hunt!

North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture  
Matt Mattus, President, North American Rock Garden Society
Saturday, April 15, 10 a.m.

Plant and Garden Photography
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, April 17 through May 15, 2017 – 6:30 pm–8:30 pm

Gardening Adventures with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers: “Pollinator Gardens” 
Monday, April 24, 10:00 am
Leah Dail and Karen Kattman, Wake County Extension Master Gardeners

Landscape Potential VI: Activating the Backyard  
Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m.
Preston Montague, Landscape Designer and Botanical Illustrator

Plantsmen's Tour: "Gala in the Garden Sneak Peek"
Mark Weathington, Director
Tuesday, May 2, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

Gala in the Garden
Sunday, May 7, 3:30 pm–7:00 pm
Friends of the Arboretum Lecture and Book Launch:  "Gardening in the South"
Thursday, May 11, 7:30 pm
Mark Weathington, Director
Tuesday, May 22, 10 a.m.
Rhonda Sherman, Extension Specialist, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University and Wake County Extension Master Gardener
Propagation Workshop  
Saturday, May  27, 9 a.m.
Tim Alderton, Research Technician, and Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
North Carolina Botanical Gardens

Trillium: Hidden Treasures of the Southeastern Woodlands
Saturday, April 1, 9:30 -12:30 p.m.

FREE Garden Tour: Loving Leaf Out
Saturday, April 1,10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Get Ready for Summer: An Organic Vegetable Gardening Workshop
Sunday, April 2, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Plant this (Natives), Not That
Saturday, April 8, 9:15 AM to 12:15 PM

Identifying and Controlling Invasive Plants
Sunday, April 9, 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Principles of Conservation Biology
Saturday, April 15, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

EARTH DAY Green Building Tour: Tour of the LEED Platinum Education Center
Tuesday, April 18, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Book Review: Thirty Year Plan: A Book from Orion
Thursday, April 20, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Battle Park Tour: A Day in the Life of an Urban Natural Area Manager 
Sunday, April 23, 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM

Nature Journaling: Plants and Pollinators
Saturday, April 29, 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Nature Journaling – Techniques and Materials
Saturday, May 6, 1:30-4:30 PM

Pen and Ink Media Exploration 
Tuesday, May 9, 1:00 PM to 6/6/2017 4:30 PM

Who’s Attracted to Native Plants? Pollinator Diversity in a Suburban Yard
Thursday, May 11, 12 - 1 p.m.

National Public Garden Day: Celebrating NCBG Gardens and Natural Areas
Friday, May 12, 11:00 AM to 3:45 PM

Local Deciduous Trees
Saturday, May 13, 9:30 AM to 5/20/2017 12:30 PM

Penny’s Bend Wild Blue Indigo Hike
Saturday, May 13, 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM

Mother’s Day Walk at Mason Farm
Sunday, May 14, 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Flowering Plant Families
Friday, May 19, 9:30 AM to 6/16/2017 12:30 PM

Caterpillars Count - Citizen Science Workshop for Educators
Friday, May 19, 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Global Warming – Where We Stand
Thursday, May 25, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Raulston Blooms! A Garden Festival for All Ages: April 1

Raulston Blooms!
A Garden Festival for All Ages
Saturday, April 1
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Bring your family and friends and join the fun at this year's Raulston Blooms! We'll have plants, bugs, bees, chickens, birdhouses, ice cream, invited artists and vendors, and incredible speakers.

Enter the 17th Annual Birdhouse Competition. This spring event reaches out to our members, home gardeners, families, and children.

Shop for your garden at the huge JC Raulston Arboretum Plant Sale. This year's sale includes three invited guest nurseries—Mr. Maple, Pine Knot Farms, and Superior Plants.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

2017 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year

The North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc. are co-sponsors of the North Carolina Wildflower of the Year program. In 2011 the groups celebrated thirty years of this conservation project, which was initiated in 1982. The project's aim is to actively promote, each year, throughout the state and region an attractive plant that is native to the southeastern United States.
Eutrochium fistulosum rendered
by artist Dot Wilbur-Brooks.

Hollow-stem joe-pye-weed
Eutrochium fistulosum

Hollow-stem joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium fistulosum), is a striking native perennial that refuses to go unnoticed or be overlooked. Formerly known as Eupatorium fistulosum, hollow-stem joe-pye-weed is a stately member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) that occurs throughout the eastern and south central United States. In the wild, it can be found in moist woods, meadows, bogs and marshes, but it is also commonly seen in roadside ditches. It thrives in sites with full to filtered sunlight and average to wet soil. As its name implies, hollow-stem joe-pye-weed has hollow, smooth stems that distinguish it from other species of joe-pye-weed, such as spotted joe-pye-weed (E. maculatum) and purple-node joe-pye-weed (E. purpureum). Its leaves are large but fairly narrow and are arranged in whorls of 3-7 at nodes along the stem, with five leaves per node being typical.

Beginning in mid-summer and lasting into early fall, hollow-stem joe-pye-weed comes into full glory with dramatic clouds of large domed flower heads, each one composed of numerous tiny mauve-pink flowers. The nectar-rich flowers of this species are pollinator magnets, attracting multitudes of butterflies, bees, wasps and other nectar-feeding insects. It seems to be a favorite of the swallowtail butterflies and it is not uncommon to see at least a dozen tiger swallowtails feeding together at the same time on one clump.

Hollow-stem joe-pye-weed is not for the faint of heart. It can grow up to eight feet tall (or taller in soils that stay consistently moist) and although it is not aggressively rhizomatous, it can eventually form large clumps up to four feet wide. Nevertheless, don’t let its impressive stature deter you from including this magnificent species in your home landscapes. If its towering height is too imposing for your space, it can be cut down halfway in June and it will regrow shorter and bushier. Whether it is cut back or left to reach great heights, hollow-stem joe-pye-weed can be used as a dramatic focal point in the back of a perennial border or as a structural specimen in a mixed planting with asters (Sympyotrichum spp.), tickseed (Coreopsis spp.), beebalm (Monarda spp.), and rough-leaf goldenrod (Solidago rugosa). It is also appropriate for use in rain gardens or along pond margins and is a “must have” in any pollinator garden.

General information about the N.C. Wildflower of the Year program and how to order seeds.

The illustration of the Hollow-stem joe-pye-weed above was created by Dot Wilbur-Brooks. We have printed this design on T-shirts, available for purchase in the NC Botanical Gardens Garden Shop.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Croasdaile Junior Garden Club Celebrates Spring with Nature Programs

Pinecone feeder project by the Croasdaile Junior Garden Club.

Fall bulb planting.
The Croasdaile Junior Garden Club, consisting of the Special Needs Class at Riverside High School of Durham, and supervised by the Croasdaile Garden Club, has had a creative and busy school year.

In October the Junior Garden Club planted fall bulbs and pansies on the school grounds, then decorated gingerbread houses for Christmas, and made peanut butter and millet pinecone birdfeeders during February frosts. The Croasdaile Garden Clubs will next fly kites together this spring.

The Croasdaile Garden Club has sponsored the Junior Garden Club for 18 years and was organized by Garden Club Member Linda Stewart. Stewart was recognized as the 2015 triple crown winner of the "Member Award of Honor" by The Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc., the Southeast Atlantic Region (SAR) and the National Garden Club for her years of creating the garden therapy program for special needs children at Riverside High School.

Photos by Connie O'Neil and Emily McCoy of the Croasdaile Garden Club.

Duke Plant Sale this Weekend: April 1

Did you know the Durham County Master Gardeners curate the plants for the Duke Plant Sale? Many of these plants come straight from their own backyards! See the video of how it all comes together.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Pest Spotlight: Dogwood Diseases and Insect Pests

Spot anthracnose on dogwood (Cornus florida) petals.
Joey Williamson, ©2009 HGIC, Clemson Extension.
HGIC 2003
Clemson University Cooperative Extension

The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is a small, deciduous ornamental tree that is native throughout the eastern United States. Although dogwoods are well adapted to South Carolina, they can be affected by many pests and diseases. Maintaining healthy dogwood trees by following the recommended cultural practices is the first line of defense in reducing any of these problems. More information about growing dogwoods is available in HGIC 1010, Dogwood.


Powdery Mildew: Erysiphe pulchra (formerly Microsphaera pulchra) is the fungus that attacks leaf surfaces and tender shoots and causes powdery mildew. New growth is covered with a fine, white, powdery coating, typically on the upper surfaces of the leaves. Infected leaves exhibit marginal leaf scorch, dead patches, reddish discoloration, yellowing and premature defoliation. Spores are spread by wind to surrounding dogwood plants. Powdery mildew is most common in dense, shady areas where the air circulation is poor. Warm, dry days and cool, damp nights favor disease development.

Prevention & Treatment: Most powdery mildews of landscape trees occur late in the summer and are therefore of little consequence. Infection that begins early in the season can be devastating, and the use of fungicides may be warranted. Cultural controls should be the first line of defense. Begin by raking up and destroying all fallen leaves. Prune out dead and infected branches and twigs. Improve air circulation and sunlight penetration around the tree by removing overhanging branches and crowding vegetation.

Resistant species and cultivars are available and should be considered for new plantings. Cultivars of the oriental dogwood Cornus kousa (such as 'Milky Way', 'Milky Way Select', and 'National') and many of the Cornus florida x Cornus kousa hybrids (such as 'Aurora', 'Constellation', 'Celestial', and 'Stellar Pink') are generally resistant to powdery mildew. The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) cultivars 'Appalachian Joy', 'Appalachian Blush ', 'Appalachian Snow' and 'Appalachian Mist' are very resistant to powdery mildew. 'Cherokee Brave', 'Springtime', and 'Pygmy' have partial resistance. All other flowering dogwoods (C. florida) are susceptible. Red-twig dogwood (C. sericea) is very susceptible to powdery mildew.

If disease is severe enough to warrant the use of fungicides, be sure that the dogwood is a valuable specimen and the spray equipment can provide good coverage. For fungicides to be effective, they must be applied as soon as symptoms are noticed. Very effective fungicides for dogwood powdery mildew control include myclobutanil and propiconazole. Some control can also be obtained with triadimefon, thiophanate methyl, sulfur, or copper fungicides. Product labels will provide information on how often to spray. The first four fungicides listed have systemic properties and can be sprayed less often than sulfur or copper fungicides. When powdery mildew persists and sprays are repeated, it is recommended to alternate fungicides to decrease the chance of fungi developing resistance.

Spot Anthracnose: This disease is caused by the fungus Elsinoe corni, one of the most common leaf diseases of flowering dogwoods. The flower bracts are usually attacked first and then the leaves, young shoots and fruit of dogwoods, primarily during wet spring weather. Symptoms are small (⅛ inch), tan spots with reddish-purple borders. When infection is severe, these spots can cause flower bracts and leaves to become wrinkled and distorted. As further infections occur, individual spots eventually merge to form larger spots. The centers may drop out. This fungus survives from year to year on infected twigs, fruits and other tissues. Frequent rains or extended periods of high humidity are needed for disease development. When dry weather follows bud swell and bloom, the symptoms are rarely seen on the flower bracts. If spotting does not appear on the bracts, the disease may not be severe on the leaves.

Prevention & Treatment: In most cases this disease doesn't result in significant damage, but severe and repeat infections each year can significantly weaken a tree. Thin the canopy to increase air movement. Planting species and cultivars with some degree of disease resistance is an excellent option for managing this problem in the landscape. The disease-tolerant and resistant varieties include:
· Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) 'National', 'Milky Way Select'
· Flowering dogwood (C. florida) 'Cherokee Brave', 'Cherokee Chief', 'Welch's Bay Beauty', 'Cherokee Princess' and 'Springtime'
· Rutger's Hybrid - 'Stellar Pink'

The worst spot anthracnose has been reported on Cornus florida 'Rainbow' and 'Cherokee Daybreak '.
If spotting becomes severe, fungicides can be used in the spring starting at bud break and continuing until leaves are fully expanded. Fungicides available for use include chlorothalonil, mancozeb, propiconazole, thiophanate-methyl or copper fungicides. Fungicides for spot anthracnose will also control dogwood anthracnose (canker anthracnose). Apply all chemicals according to directions on the label.

Dogwood Anthracnose (Discula Anthracnose): This is a relatively new disease of dogwood in South Carolina, and it is caused by the fungus Discula destructiva. Dogwood anthracnose is most severe only in areas of the state that are higher than 2000 feet. A few cases have been reported at lower elevations where dogwoods are grown in very cool, moist, shady locations. It is a serious disease capable of killing large numbers of trees and most Cornus species can become infected. The first symptoms that appear in the spring are spots on the leaves and flower bracts. Leaf symptoms develop first in the lower canopy and progress up the tree. Infected leaves have tan spots with purple edges, dry brown margins or large blotches on them. Blighted gray or drooping leaves hang on the twigs and are often the first symptoms noticed during cool, wet weather. Infection spreads into the shoots, main branches, and trunk causing brown sunken areas (cankers) to occur. Cankers can girdle and kill individual branches or twigs. Multiple cankers can girdle the main trunk and eventually kill the tree. Diseased trees produce numerous epicormic shoots or "water sprouts" on the lower trunk and lower limbs, which soon become infected.
Prevention & Treatment: Planting resistant species and cultivars is an excellent option for managing this disease in the landscape. Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) is generally resistant to dogwood anthracnose and is a better choice for replanting in sites where dogwoods have died from this disease. Crosses between Cornus kousa and Cornus florida (Rutger's Hybrids) have greater disease resistance to dogwood anthracnose and include: 'Aurora', 'Celestial', 'Galaxy', 'Ruth Ellen', 'Star Dust', 'Stellar Pink' and 'Constellation'. Cornus florida 'Appalachian Spring' has a high level of resistance to anthracnose. A combination of cultural and chemical measures is necessary to control this disease. Effective control may be possible if the disease is detected before branch dieback begins.
  • During hot, dry summer weather, prune and dispose of all dead or cankered twigs and limbs. Remove all "water sprouts." Rake and remove fallen leaves. Do not leave dead leaves attached to the tree. Improve air circulation and light penetration by removing understory plants and crowding vegetation.
  • Avoid high applications of nitrogen fertilizer, since this can promote very succulent (susceptible) new shoots. Maintain healthy dogwoods by following recommended cultural practices.
  • Avoid transplanting dogwood seedlings from the woods as these plants may harbor the fungus.
  • Fungicide sprays to protect the new leaves and shoots need to begin at bud break in early spring. Fungicides for spot anthracnose will also help to control dogwood anthracnose. These include: chlorothalonil, mancozeb, propiconazole, thiophanate-methyl or copper fungicides (see Table 1 for specific products). Maintain a protective covering of fungicide when new growth is present. Apply all chemicals according to directions on the label.
Cercospora & Septoria Leaf Spots: These leaf spot diseases are caused by the fungi Cercospora cornicola and Septoria species, respectively. They most commonly occur during the wet summer months, and may become so numerous that they cover the leaves by the end of summer. Heavily spotted leaves may be shed early. The light spotting seen on leaves of dogwood usually has little impact on tree health, but repeated years of early leaf drop can weaken the tree. Cercospora and Septoria leaf spots are very similar in size and appearance. Both are small (⅛ to ¼ inch), angular to irregularly shaped and usually bordered by leaf veins. Spots caused by Cercospora species have tan-brown areas with diffuse borders. Septoria leaf spots are a dark brown purple in color, later developing light brown or gray centers with dark borders.
Prevention & Treatment: Clean up and dispose of infected leaves on the ground and on the tree, if possible, since this is where these fungi survive the winter. For severe infections, fungicides containing chlorothalonil, thiophanate-methyl, or mancozeb can be applied.
Insects & Other Pests

Although insects often damage dogwood trees, the damage is usually minor. If the tree is planted in full sun with limited water or under other stress, the damage can be serious. Most insect damage occurs on the trunk and branches of dogwoods. Commonly occurring insect pests of dogwood include the dogwood borer, dogwood club-gall midge and scales.
Dogwood Borer: The dogwood borer (Synanthedon scitula)is the larva (immature form) of a clearwing moth that resembles a wasp. The borer is off-white in color with a reddish-brown head. It is about 5/8-inch long at maturity. The female moth lays eggs on the bark.
The borers can become established only if they locate a wound or opening in the bark. Inside the tree, they feed on the cambium, which is where water and food-carrying structures of the tree are produced. If the cambium is destroyed, branches or the entire tree will die. Leaves of dogwoods infested with the dogwood borer will often turn red and drop early. Bark sloughs off around holes on the trunk or branches. In late summer, a brown sawdust-likeborer frass (insect waste) may be seen near or below the holes. Infested young trees can be killed in one to two seasons. Large, established trees that are infested often lack vigor and have rough, knotty areas on the trunk and large branches.
Prevention & Control: The best prevention is to keep trees healthy by fertilizing and watering. In addition, protect the trees from unnecessary wounding, such as from lawn mowers and string trimmers, as this will reduce the chances of infestation. Permethrin is labeled for use by the homeowner against dogwood borer (see Table 1 for specific products). Since dogwood borer adults may be present from late April through July, several applications may be needed for good control. Begin treatment in early May and repeat four times at three-week intervals. Thoroughly spray the trunk, major branches and any wounds on the bark. Read and follow all label instructions and precautions.
Dogwood Club-Gall Midge: The dogwood club-gall midge (Resseliella clavula) is a small fly, about 1/16-inch long. The female lays eggs in tiny terminal leaves of the dogwood. The larva hatches and enters the shoot. In response to the feeding and growth of the larva, a ½-1 inch long club- or spindle-shaped tubular swelling (gall) forms at the tip or along the stem. The twig beyond the gall may die. In early fall, the larvae make exit holes in the galls. They drop to the ground where they survive the winter. An early symptom of a club-gall midge presence is a wilted, deformed leaf. A light infestation is not serious. A heavy infestation can stunt a tree.
Control: Twigs with galls should be cut off and burned before larvae make their exit holes.
Scales: Several scale insects are pests of dogwood. Scales are unusual insects in appearance. They are small and immobile, with no visible legs. Scales vary in appearance depending on age, sex and species. They may be found on leaves or stems and look like small brownish, grayish or blackish bumps. They feed on sap by piercing the leaf or stem with their mouthparts and sucking. If infestations are very heavy, they may cause leaf yellowing, stunting or branch dieback. Adult scales are relatively protected from insecticides by their waxy covering. However, immature forms, called crawlers, are susceptible.
Control: For heavy infestations, spray with horticultural oil in the spring to kill many adults and eggs by smothering them. Oil should be applied before new growth begins and again after flowering. Be sure to thoroughly coat all of the branches. Avoid using insecticides unless the plant is very valuable and in serious danger from scale. The use of the horticultural oil is a safer alternative to insecticides for spraying upward into a large tree. Insecticides will often kill the naturally occurring enemies of scale. If insecticides are going to be used, spray when crawlers are observed. Monitor the crawler emergence with sticky cards, double-faced tape wrapped around a branch, or by putting an infested shoot or leaf into a baggie and watching for crawler movement. Crawler activity often coincides with the flush of new plant growth in the spring. However, some scale species may have overlapping generations with an extended crawler emergence period, such as along the coast. Insecticides labeled for use by homeowners against scale crawlers on dogwood include cyfluthrin, permethrin, lambda cyhalothrin, malathion, and carbaryl. Repeat treatments in 10 days. Read and follow all label instructions and precautions.
Other Problems
Poor leaf color, unhealthy plant growth, twig dieback, and even tree death are typical symptoms of distressed dogwoods. A number of factors other than insects or diseases can contribute to the decline of dogwoods in the landscape, especially mower injury, over-fertilization and poor growing conditions.
Leaf Scorch: Leaf scorch is caused by environmental conditions that are too dry. Leaves have dry and browning edges. On severely stressed trees, drying and browning of the areas between the veins and leaf drop can occur. This condition looks just like a disease, but it isn't. Dogwoods have a very shallow root system, and thus are very susceptible to drought stress, especially newly planted trees in full sun.
Prevention & Treatment: Watering during dry spells is the key to avoiding leaf scorch. After transplanting, be sure to water as needed during the first summer and fall to avoid leaf scorch. Apply a thick layer of mulch (3 to 4 inches) that extends out beyond the foliage of the tree. Do not grow grass over the root system area.
Caution: Pollinating insects, such as honey bees and bumblebees, can be adversely affected by the use of pesticides. Avoid the use of spray pesticides (both insecticides and fungicides), as well as soil-applied, systemic insecticides unless absolutely necessary. If spraying is required, always spray late in the evening to reduce the direct impact on pollinating insects. Always try less toxic alternative sprays first for the control of insect pests and diseases. For example, sprays with insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, neem oil extract, spinosad, Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.), or botanical oils can help control many small insect pests and mites that affect garden and landscape plants. Neem oil extract or botanical oil sprays may also reduce plant damage by repelling many insect pests. Practice cultural techniques to prevent or reduce the incidence of plant diseases, including pre-plant soil improvement, proper plant spacing, crop rotation, applying mulch, applying lime and fertilizer based on soil test results, and avoiding over-head irrigation and frequent watering of established plants. Additionally, there are less toxic spray fungicides that contain sulfur or copper soap, and biological control sprays for plant diseases that contain Bacillus subtilis. However, it is very important to always read and follow the label directions on each product. For more information, contact the Clemson Extension Home & Garden Information Center.
Pesticides updated by Joey Williamson, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University, 10/16. Revised by Joey Williamson, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University, 11/13.  Images added 10/14. Originally prepared by Nancy Doubrava and J. McLeod Scott, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent; James H. Blake, Extension Plant Pathologist; and Clyde S. Gorsuch, Extension Entomologist (Emeritus), Clemson University, 09/99.
HGIC 2003; Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017 Annual Meeting The Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc: April 9-11

The Annual Board of Director's Meeting of The Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc. will be held April 9-11, 2017 in Greensboro, NC. Accommodations and meeting site is the Embassy Suites, 204 Centreport Drive, Greensboro, NC.
Phone: 336.668.4535.
Guest Speakers include:
  • Ellen Ashley, Educator, Speaker, Blogger, Garden Enthusiast - “Growing Your Own Arrangement”
  • Workshop – NC Native Plants (How to plant and take care of them) – Hanna Smith, Guilford  County Cooperative Extension
  • Workshop – “Spring by Botanica” – Arrangements for Easter and Passover- Scott Jackson or Cindy Tole, Botanical Flowers
  • Sandra H. Robinson, National Garden Clubs, Inc. President
Forms and meeting schedule can be downloaded from GCNC website:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Added Adult Sarah P. Duke Gardens Programs: March 23-31

Sarah P Duke Gardens' William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson St., Durham, NC, 27705.
Register for all programs at 919-668-1707.

An Herbal Primer
2 Wednesdays, March 22 & 29, 6:30-9 p.m.
Instructor: Lauri Lawson, horticulturist and garden designer
Participant limit: 15
What’s the answer for low-maintenance, tough plants, resistant to deer and most pests, and user friendly? An herb garden! Join Lauri in this quick overview of herbs and their culture, maintenance and uses. Lauri will also discuss design and harvest strategies to give you all the tools necessary to begin your own herb garden.
Fee: Gardens members $48; general public $60.
Tue, March 28, 2017, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Annual Taimi Anderson Lecture: Planting in a Post-Wild World
Thursday, March 30, 7-9 p.m.
with Claudia West, MLA, author and ecological sales manager, Northcreek Nurseries, PA
Lecture and book signing reception. Book available for purchase that evening, and Claudia will sign books after the lecture.
Fee: free to Gardens members and Duke University students; general public $10
Small Group Workshop: Planting in a Post-Wild World
Friday, March 31, 9:30-3 p.m.
with Claudia West, MLA, author and ecological sales manager, Northcreek Nurseries, PA
Fee: Gardens members $80; general public $99. Includes all handouts and lunch.
Participant limit: 25

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 Joint Meeting Highlights: Vegative Arrangements by NC Florists

Fayetteville florist Bill McPhail designs a "Brush Stroke"
bouquet that he will display in his mother's
antique blue milk glass vase.

Gary Corsi-O'Conner of Flowers by Gary in Durham creates
a springtime display using "vegative" techniques which incorporates
backyard elements like twigs and moss.
Two dynamic North Carolina florists presented a workshop featuring a dozen top European trending floral designs at the 2017 Spring Joint Meeting of the Durham Council of Garden Clubs. Eight Durham Garden Clubs were represented by 80 members at the St. Paul's Evangelical Church in Durham. Catering was provided by the Town & Country Garden Club; the shamrock-themed meeting tables were designed by the Durham Council Executive Board.
Keynote speakers Gary Corsi-O'Conner and Bill McPhail, both past presidents of the NC Florist Association, conducted a lively floral design workshop featuring "vegative" techniques that incorporates common backyard elements like moss and twigs or common perennials into arrangements. (Moss should first be dried out to allow insects to vacate, cautioned Corsi-O'Connor.) Each florist took turns making arrangements in the top four European design trends: "Fragrant Fields," "Brush Strokes," "Urban Luxe" and "Modern Vibe." Common floral preservative agents the men said they use include: Alum, Clorox®, and Crowning Glory. The florists also shared various wedding and funeral orders that came with unusual color requests in which Just for Flowers dye can create the color shade. Corsi-O'Connor reflected the floral industry is always changing with (not always) modern tastes. A native Southerner, he said the Mason jar trend is starting to fade, and 20 years ago he never would have expected people all over the US would have sought them for vase material.
Garden Clubbers from across Durham assembled for the 2017 Spring Joint Meeting.
Photos by J.S. Corser, Editor, Durham Co. Master Gardener.

Spring Lawn Care Maintainence Checklist

 Purple Henbit Lamium amplexicaule.
By Hannah Bundy
NC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener

NCSU Extension Gardener, Spring 2017

With spring on the way, we’re all itching to get out in our yards. So what can we do in late winter and early spring for proper lawn care? Now is a good time to work on weed control for those pesky winter weeds. Winter weeds include the bright-purple-flowered henbit, burrweed, and chickweed. You can apply your lawn herbicides with active ingredients of 2,4-D, mecoprop, and dicamba from February to March. No matter what products you use, remember to read the label on the container to ensure that you use the product properly and avoid any unintended consequences. Be aware that preemergent herbicides are only effective on annual grasses and so will not have any serious effects on the perennial weeds in your yard.

 If your yard has any serious pest or disease damage or any environmental issues (such as our drought this past summer and fall), using preemergent herbicides can result in an even slower recovery period for your desired grass stand. If you are attempting to manage your turf with organic practices but still keep the weed pressure down, building up a dense and healthy stand of the desired grass species is the best approach.

As always, best management practices and a combined technique of mowing at the proper height and proper frequency, fertilizing at the correct times of year and at the proper rates for your grass, and controlling thatch and soil compaction are some of the most effective tools in your lawn care tool belt. To know how to best care for your specific soil, have a soil test done. Testing will provide you with recommendations for nutrients and amendments to add to your soil for optimal care of your turf.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Snow Survivors: Forest Hills Parks and Memorial Gardens

Despite frigid temps and snow in the Triangle last weekend, the Forest Hills neighborhood parks and memorial gardens kept their bloom.

The parks and gardens are maintained by the Forest Hills Garden Club and Junior Garden Club.

Park sculpture by Durham artist Guy Solie.

Photos by J.S. Corser, Editor, Durham Co. Master Gardener.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Shade Trees Beautification Project Aids Durham Cemeteries

 A new 14 ft. Magnolia grandiflora in Beechwood Cemetery. Photo by Shelley Dekker.
By J.S. Corser, Editor
Durham Co. Master Gardener

“Gardens of repose,” i.e, cemeteries, have not had the philanthropic cachet of botanical or community gardens, but anyone who’s visited “The Old Burying Ground,” the historical, sprawling oaks-filled cemetery in Beaufort, NC, or the Spanish moss-laden live oaks of Bonaventure Cemetery of New Orleans, can appreciate the beauty and calming effect of shade trees used in cemetery landscaping as they visit the nation’s ancestors in those gardens of repose.

The historical Durham city cemeteries of Maplewood and Beechwood now have six new shade trees this spring sponsored by a beautification project of the Durham Council of Garden Clubs. Four 14-ft. Magnolia grandiflora 'Edith Bogue,' have been installed at the Beechwood Cemetery, Durham’s historical African-American cemetery on Fayetteville St. and Cornwallis Road. Two oak trees Quercus shumardii will be planted at Maplewood Cemetery to replace deteriorating trees slated for removal near the cemetery entrance off Duke University Road. Both city cemeteries have ongoing capital improvement projects.

Tree selection was advised by Alex Johnson, Durham Urban Forestry Manager. Council President Trish Stewart said her suggestion of the magnolias was a welcome choice since the City of Durham always plants other less "bottom heavy" tree varieties for street plantings. Council Treasurer Shelley Dekker pointed out that tree planting in city cemeteries requires especially careful planning. “There’s very few of those sites available, as you can imagine, because all of that real estate is valuable.”

Maplewood Cemetery will receive two Quercus shumardii. Photo by J.S. Corser

Joint Meeting of Durham Council of Garden Clubs: March 14

The Joint Meeting of the Durham Council of Garden Clubs will be held Tuesday, March 14, from 10 a.m. to Noon at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, ELCA, 1200 W Cornwallis Rd, Durham, North Carolina.

Guest speakers will be Gary Corsi O'Conner and Bill McPhail, Past Presidents of the NC Florist Association with a workshop on using common materials and wildflowers to make arrangements.

The Join Meeting is free to attend for garden club members. Please coordinate with club presidents to register.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Art in Bloom at the North Carolina Museum of Art: March 30-April 2

2016 Art in Bloom Festival interpretation of NCMA permanent collection's Cebolla Church by Georgia O'Keeffe.
Photo by J.S. Corser, Editor, Durham Co. Master Gardener.

The North Carolina Museum of Art 's third annual festival of flowers returns Thursday, March 30, 2017. Art in Bloom features over 50 floral interpretations of art in the Museum’s permanent collection. During the four-day festival, you may be inspired to take in a presentation, attend a workshop, or find just the right gift in the Museum Store. You’ll have a chance to explore the floral concoctions at Sip and Iris and to vote for your favorite design.

Thursday–Sunday, March 30–April 2, 2017
West Building
Special Guest Fran├žoise Weeks

Tickets and Events:

Friday, March 3, 2017

Garden Spotlight: Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library

Winterthur Gardens in Winterthur, Delaware. Photo by Jeannette Lindvig.

Winterthur's 1,000 acres encompass rolling hills, streams, meadows, and forests. Founder Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) developed an appreciation of nature as a boy that served as the basis for his life's work in the garden. He selected the choicest plants from around the world to enhance the natural setting, arranging them in lyrical color combinations and carefully orchestrating a succession of bloom from late January to November. Du Pont translated his love of the land into a unified work of art that embodies a romantic vision of nature's beauty.

History of the Garden

Henry Francis du Pont had three life-long passions: gardening, breeding cattle and collecting American antiques. Gardening was his first love. Even after he turned his former home into a museum in 1951, he kept his garden in private ownership until his death in 1969. He said that while after 1951 he was only a visitor to the museum, he was still Winterthur’s head gardener.

Three generations of the du Pont family gardened at Winterthur. In 1839, Evelina du Pont and her husband moved here and named it after the Bidermann ancestral town of Winterthur, Switzerland. Before they named the estate, built the house or even sited the well, Evelina du Pont and her husband, Antoine Bidermann, the first generation of du Ponts to live at Winterthur, considered flowers. While in France in 1838, Evelina wrote her sister in Delaware: "Antoine . . . is getting a plan here for our House in which he has not forgotten the little Greenhouse, if such may be termed a little room for flowers."

Evelina had passion for flowers. The same can be said about all the subsequent owners of Winterthur, gardeners and flower arrangers all. Each generation built on the previous generation’s work, and all preferred a garden that made the most of the natural landscape. The garden at Winterthur wraps around the house. The most formally landscaped and gardened areas are those closest to the house. As one moves farther away from the house, the tame, cultivated garden gives way to the freer Wild Garden style.

HF du Pont with gardeners.
H. F. du Pont as a Master Gardener

The Winterthur Garden is built out of the Brandywine landscape, finding its unique form in forests, fields, streams and hills. “The woods of Winterthur,” as the Bidermann’s said, have always been one of the great treasures of the property. H. F. du Pont said a garden “should fit in so well with the natural landscape that one should hardly be conscious that it has been accomplished.” Du Pont took his inspiration from the landscape he grew up with at Winterthur, including the woodland. A natural woodland is composed of four layers: the ground cover, shrub, small tree and tall tree layers. In such a woodland, the screen of vegetation is often so dense one can hardly see through it, but here in his garden, du Pont took this idea of woodland layers and re-imagined it, opening it up to create beautiful vistas and views.

In 1956, after he had gardened at Winterthur for seventy years, the Garden Club of America awarded Henry Francis du Pont their Medal of Honor, proclaiming him, “One of the best, even the best, gardener this country has ever produced.” The award cited du Pont as being a master of gardening, noting, "The woodland trees under planted with a profusion of native wildflowers and rhododendron, acre upon acre of dogwood, great banks of azaleas, lilies and peonies, iris and other rare specimens from many lands, each planted with taste and discrimination, each known, loved and watched, looking as though placed there by nature, forms one of the great gardens."

To see maps of the Winterthur gardens, a calendar of what's in bloom and visitor information visit:

NWS Monthly Drought Outlook Useful Gardening Tool

Getting precipitation forecasts for the North Carolina Piedmont is a moving target at best. Use the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center's U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook to gauge a 30-day outlook to not underwater your garden waiting for local forecasted rain that doesn't come!