Friday, December 29, 2017

Garden Destinations - Triangle Gardener Sister Resource

About Garden Destinations
By Beverly Hurley, Publisher
The world is filled with beautiful public gardens and garden destinations waiting to be explored wherever your travels may take you. Garden Destinations Magazine is the online magazine for travelers who want to experience these gardens and destinations.
Whether it’s the showcase garden of the city, the off-the-beaten-path local favorite, or a don’t miss garden event, these public gardens are don’t miss destinations worthy of a visit for both the beauty and experiences offered in each.
Our writers, tops in travel and garden writing, will guide you on a journey to these unique gardens and garden events, give you insider tips, and help you make plans to include these destinations in your next adventure.  
Beverly Hurley, editor and publisher of Garden Destinations, is also the editor and publisher of Triangle Gardener magazine, North Carolina’s leader in gardening news and information. She started Garden Destinations as a result of her love of gardening and the realization that she was always seeking out public gardens when she traveled. As a result, she decided to spread the word that visiting public gardens should be part of the travel experience.

Durham Hosts E-Waste Recycling, Paper Shredding & Live Christmas Tree Disposal Event

Durham residents looking for an easy and free way to recycle electronic waste (e-waste), shred confidential documents, and dispose of their live Christmas trees should attend this City of Durham event next month.

The E-Waste Recycling, Paper Shredding, and Live Christmas Tree Disposal event will be on Saturday, January 20 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Durham County Memorial Stadium on the home side parking lot, located at 750 Stadium Dr. Staff will be on hand to assist with unloading old electronics, paper, and trees.

E-waste Recycling
Nearly all electronic devices with a cord will be accepted including:
• Computers, laptops, keyboards, mice, printers, monitors, speakers, copiers, scanners, circuit boards, hard drives, computer parts, etc.
• Televisions, stereo equipment, tape players, receivers, amplifiers, record players, etc.
• Kitchen electronics, such as microwaves, mixers, blenders, choppers, etc.
• Telephones, cell phones, and fax machines
• Hair dryers, curling irons, alarm clocks, and vacuum cleaners
• Power tools, cordless tools, etc.
• Electronic toys, such as keyboards and video game systems
• This event will NOT accept large appliances, refrigerators, air conditioners or any other appliances that contain Freon in non-working condition.

Paper Shredding
Confidential paper shredding will also be provided on site. Shredding requirements include:
• Paper may contain paper clips and staples; however, hanging file folders will not be accepted.
• Only paper should be brought for shredding. CDs, DVDs, and other non-paper items will not be accepted.
• All paper should be loose and not in binders or other binding items made of non-paper.
• Residents may be present to observe their confidential document shredding if the amount to be shredded can fit into one 96-gallon roll cart (approximately 240 pounds of material or approximately eight small, banker boxes of material).
• Participants with larger quantities will have items placed in boxes to be shredded off-site at Shimar Recycling’s secure facility.

Live Christmas Tree Disposal
• Trees taller than six feet should be cut in half and not placed in bags.
• Remove all decorations and hardware, including tinsel, lights, garland, ornaments, nails, and stands.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

McCown-Mangum House Decked out for Holiday Open House

The McCown-Mangum House Open House in early December 2017
as decorated by the Durham Croasdaile Garden Club. Photos by the Croasdaile Garden Club.
By Connie O'Neil
Croasdaile Garden Club

In 2016, Croasdaile Garden Club accepted the task of decorating the McCown-Mangum House for the “Victorian Christmas: West Point on the Eno” Open House. This December, the garden club continued its new beautification project for 2017.


The McCown-Mangum House in Durham is a restored 1850’s farmhouse at West Point on the Eno River Park. West Point may be the most persistently relevant site in Durham—a place of importance to Native Americans, early European settlers, and present-day residents of Durham. 

Herbert Sims and his wife Rachel Cabe McCown ran the mill starting in 1817. Her son John Cabe McCown took over the mill after the Civil War and built his Greek revival farmhouse residence at West Point in the 1850’s. In 1891 McCown’s house was sold to Presley J. Mangum, a postmaster and then his son, Hugh Mangum, an early photographer whose families occupied the house until 1968. In the late 60’s, the property and 700 acres along the Eno River were about to be developed into shopping and housing when the Eno River Association parlayed the property into a city park. Eventually, the 1840’s McCown-Mangum house was restored as a museum with period furniture.The first Festival for the Eno was held on July 4, 1980 and has been held every July 4th since.

Decking the Halls

When decorating the house, the Durham Department of Parks and Recreation requested that the decorations reflect a true Victorian Christmas. With that mission in mind, we created our original period decorations and used only natural objects or items that might have been available in the 1800’s. Members met at our President’s home and had a great time making handmade period ornaments that would be suitable for the tree and house.

The fresh Christmas tree was adorned with pine discs with wood-burned or painted designs from fresh wood cut on a member’s lot, raffia bows hand-tied by members, paper chains cut from wall paper borders, candy canes, cookie cutters, tin ornaments and pine cones. We decorated three fireplaces with fresh greenery, pine cones, candles, and holly berries. The stairway was decorated with pine roping and handmade stockings of burlap and lace. Six chests of drawers and tables were dressed with beautiful handmade centerpieces of fresh greenery, candles and fruit. 

In all, we decorated the living room, kitchen, hallway, master bedroom and stairwell.

The exterior was not left out of our decorating design. The entrance door, front gate posts, and front porch flower boxes all received special Victorian Christmas touches as well. The front door wreaths were made with elaeagnus branches and the following greenery was used throughout the house inside and out: magnolia, elaeagnus, holly berries, white pine, Leland cypress, holly and boxwood. When we were finished the smell of the fresh greenery and the beautiful decorations were all set for the Holiday Open House events on December 3-4 and December 10-11.

Twenty-two members of the Croasdaile Garden Club donated 82 hours of their time to decorating the McCown-Mangum House in 2017. Many of the materials and decorations were donated by Garden Club Members and cut from their yards.

The project expenses were taken out of the Garden Club budget each year. Because we created so many decorations by hand our expenses were less than $35. Our funds came from our membership dues and our bi-annual spring auction.

Besides receiving many positive comments about decorating “the old fashion way” our efforts were also recognized by the local newspaper. The decorations were described in the December 12, 2016 issue of the Herald-Sun in an article entitled “Victorian Christmas: West Point on the Eno recalls Yule-Past at Open House”.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Town & Country Garden Club 2017 Awesome Auction Raises $32K for Durham

Awesome! Holiday shoppers at the Town & Country Garden Club
2017 Awesome Auction. Photo by Becky Wood.
Fundraising is the backbone of all non-profit organizations, but some groups really know how to get the cash flowing while having a joyful time. Consider the Town & Country Garden Club of Durham one of those wildly successful and joyful groups.

While the garden club boasts 60 members, their annual holiday Awesome Auctions brings in three times the attendance and includes women from other Durham garden clubs and also members of the general public. Auction monies are raised in the tens of thousands of dollars, and have been spread throughout Durham for support for projects for the Durham Public Schools Hub Farms, the Museum of Life and Science, scholarships to NC Beautiful, and many other organizations.
Garden club members sharing holiday joy.
Photo by Becky Wood.
Town and Country's 17th Annual Awesome Auction was held Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017, at the Hope Valley Country Club. About 187 attendees came out for the lunch and auction to bid and buy scores of gifts and items. Gross proceeds from the 2017 T&C Awesome Auction totaled $32,000. Garden club members will learn of net proceeds and vote on charitable allocation at their January meeting.
The Town & Country Garden Club was organized in 1964, and its annual fundraiser started out as a bake sale, raising a charitable profit of $53. The bake sale continued five more years and was then expanded to a Christmas greenery sale in 1970, netting $630. That small beginning has grown into an annual holiday auction, the aptly-name 'Awesome Auction,' raising about $35K in recent years.
Through its generous philanthropy the Town & Country Garden Club has contributed to 47 major projects of the Durham area over the last 40 years. These contributions include: beautification and landscaping plantings, donations and scholarships for local schools and various civic organizations, including work with the Ronald McDonald House, Museum of Life and Science, Healing Garden at Caring House, Durham Rescue Mission, contributions toward a cistern system at Durham Farmer’s Market, garden therapy workshops with Emerald Pond and the Caring House, and two significant projects in the Hope Valley neighborhood. The most recent projects include the Durham Public Schools Hub Farm, the Caring House Memory Gardens, and NC Beautiful scholarships.
Barbara Yowell, a longtime member said, “Our return to the community in over 50 years is more than $250,000! Not bad for a bunch of Town and Country gardeners!”
Rita Davis, Town & Country Garden Club, contributed to this article.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Poinsettias in Scarlet Bloom at the Durham VA Medical Center

Photo archive by Marcia Loudon, Heritage Garden Club.
The Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center is again in holiday scarlet bloom with poinsettias thanks to the sponsorship of the Forest Hills Garden Club and fellow members of the Durham Garden Clubs participating in the 2017 Poinsettia Project for Veterans.

Dr. Sue Woods, President of Forest Hills Garden Club, and Treasurer Moe Berry spearheaded the Poinsettia Project, assuming the mantle held and created by the Heritage Garden Club. This year's poinsettias totaled 64 plants. Each of these contained a plant tag honoring a US service member whom the sponsor recognized with their plant purchase.

As with tradition, at New Year's the 2017 holiday poinsettias will be distributed to patients in residence and staff at the VA Medical Center. Many of the keepers are able to grow the plants all year and are deeply appreciative of the gift, according to Woods.

Members of the Forest Hills Garden Club and Junior Garden Club ready to decorate the VA Chapel.
Photo by the Forest Hills Garden Club.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Protecting Plants from Cold Damage

Water loss is the main concern in the
garden during winter months.
Slow drip water to woody plants and water
cool grasses when precipitation is scarce.
During the winter months it is necessary to offer protection to certain North Carolina landscape plants. Winter protection does not mean to keep plants warm, as this is virtually impossible but to provide protection from damaging wind, heavy snow and ice, the alternate freezing and thawing of the soil beneath the plants and heat from the sun on very cold days.

Protection should be offered to evergreen plants by reducing water loss. Plants transpire water through their leaves. Evergreens continue to lose water during the winter, therefore moisture must be taken up by the plants' roots. Homeowners are more conscious of watering shrubs during the summer months and often this garden chore is neglected during cold weather. The roots will absorb moisture when it is available but when the ground is frozen or during a dry period the moisture is not available. The plants continue to transpire water but at this time draws moisture from living cells. If too much is given off from this source the cell dies. Consequently leaves brown out and die.

High winds and a warm sun on cold days result in a higher rate of water transpiration. Protection could be offered by planting susceptible plants in a sheltered location and providing additional water during dry periods or prior to hard freezes.

Foundation plantings are often injured by ice and snow falling from the roof on their frozen branches. It is sometimes necessary to construct a temporary shelter for shrubs in a precarious situation.

Wide tape or cloth can simply be wrapped around an evergreen to prevent broken branches. This is quite helpful to boxwoods and arborvitaes. If branches are bent and broken over by heavy ice or snow it is advisable to wait a few days before pruning and cleaning up. Often branches will recover to a degree of satisfaction on their own--so don't be hasty to prune drooping limbs.

An additional layer of mulch is usually recommended during winter months after the first freeze. Mulches will reduce water loss from the soil thus aiding in transpiration, and also reduce 'heaving' of the soil as the soil freezes and thaws.

To protect plants from cold damage, the following 6 steps are suggested:
  1. Plant only varieties that are hardy to your area.
  2. If you have a choice, locate less hardy plants in the highest part of the yard. Cold air settles to the lowest part of the yard.
  3. Protect plants from cold wind. A fence or tall evergreen hedge of trees or shrubs gives good protection.
  4. Shade plants from direct winter sun, especially early morning sun. Plants that freeze slowly and thaw slowly will be damaged the least. Obviously, the south side of the house with no shade is the worse place for tender plants.
  5. Stop feeding plants quickly-available nitrogen in late summer. Let them "harden off" before cold weather.
  6. A covering of plastic is excellent protection. Build a frame over the plant or plants, cover with plastic and seal plastic to the ground with soil. Shade plastic to keep temperature from building up inside. This plastic traps moisture and warm air as it radiates from the soil. It also knocks off cold wind. Be certain not to allow plastic to come in contact with plants.

Repair to Storm Damaged Plants

Knowing how and when to offer first aid to an ice, snow, or wind damaged plant will often save the plant from future decay and possible loss. Do not be in a hurry to start pruning a branch which is bent out of shape. Often in a few days following the damage the plant will straighten up on its own.

Broken limbs can be pruned immediately. Make clean cuts with sharp tools. If the plant is completely misshapen after the corrective pruning - consider pruning the entire plant where the subsequent growth will be in balance.

Trees can be straightened by cabling or guying. Straighten them by attaching a cable or guy about 3⁄4 of the way up - pulling them back into position. Be certain to pad the tree to protect against wire damage.

Trees which are uprooted should be immediately straightened and staked. Remove any damaged roots or limbs by pruning. Keep the tree mulched and watered during stress periods.

Author: Kim Powell, Spec (Commercial Landscaping)
Horticultural Science Publication date: Sept. 30, 1993

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pathogen Spotlight: Phomopsis Blight of Juniper

Phomopsis blight is a serious disease problem on eastern red cedar in Missouri. The fungal disease, caused byPhomopsis juniperovora, is widespread in this region and can infect arborvitae and cypress as well as juniper. Phomopsis is more of a problem on junipers in landscape plantings because young tissue is most seriously infected. Older plants are seldom killed by Phomopsis, thus it is not a concern in natural stands of juniper.
Yellowing juniper tips (Juniperus) showing early signs of phomopsis blight.
Symptoms and Diagnosis

The first sign of infection is the browning of needle tips. New shoots, in the yellow-green stage, will brown and die in their first summer. Progressive dieback follows, eventually killing an entire branch by girdling the stem. The fungus will progress to the main stem and can infect and girdle stems less than 1/2 inch in diameter. Infected needles turn light green, then reddish-brown, and finally an ashen gray.

Life Cycle

Phomopsis overwinters on needles and stems of young trees that were infected the previous year. The fungus is most abundant on dead tissue that has become ashen gray in color. Infective spores are dispersed by rain splash. Only seven hours of 100% humidity are needed for infection to occur when temperatures are 75 degrees F.

Integrated Pest Management Strategies

1. Prune infected branches to prevent the spread of the disease. Remove dead tissue as well. The fungus can produce infective spores for up to 2 years in dead parts of infected plants. Prune in late summer when the weather is dry.

2. Plant resistant evergreens. Susceptibility to Phomopsis blight varies considerably among junipers. Ask for resistant stock at your garden or landscape center or consider planting another type of evergreen.

3. Fungicides. Bordeaux mixture, other copper-based fungicides, and mancozeb are labeled for use on Phomopsis. These fungicides can be applied 3–4 times in the spring, at 10–14 day intervals to protect the new growth. They can be used anytime a flush of new growth occurs. Once the new growth matures in midsummer, discontinue further applications.
Organic Strategies
Strategies 1 and 2 are strictly organic approaches. Of the fungicides mentioned in Strategy 3, consult the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI™) for appropriate organic copper products.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Garden Spotlight: 10 Gardens That Glitter with Holiday Lights and Cheer

Looking for design inspiration for your Christmas outdoor display?
See the gardens highlighted in Garden Destinations:
Pictured: Shore Acres Garden – Holiday Lights in Coos Bay, Oregon