Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, February 20, 2017

Posted by on February 20, 2017


Really, too good to be true. I hope we aren’t with this early spring reward with a summer that is hotter than the hubs of hell!


Wednesday, 0.20 in.



Once again, I couldn’t wait to get to work!

Admin Bldg: Finally finished mulching this area. Added 44 more two-gallon nursery pots full of pine conditioning mulch.

I continued my mulch kick, but not until after Wendy, Julian, and I made a trip to Market Imports in Raleigh. For Room 34: I found three glass floats added to the pond and a pillow to give the bench some oomph.

Hell Strip: Pulled the rock from the Hell Strip. Took half over to behind the Admin Building for roof rain splash and the other half for the bed behind Room 35. Here, I also weeded and added mulch.


Glass floats at Market Imports


Room 34 with glass floats and pillow



Spoke this morning to the Wake Forest Garden club. The topic was P is for Passion. The passion was on how I became a garden writer.

I realized on my way there, this would be my last local garden club talk. It’s a sad but true; but with my schedule, something had to give. Thanks to the Wake Forest Garden Club for having me speak today. I believe they were one of the very first to have me as a speaker when I was beginning my fledging Gardening With Confidence career. Some of my first friends, then and now, were Sheila Rohrbach, Debra Ludas, and Carmen Wagner Samples; and my favorite Wake Forest artist, Jean McCamy. My new job at Fearrington Village will be keeping me from these types of talks. But rest assured, I will be attending the large venues like Davidson Symposium March 7th. Thank you for all you do for the gardening Community! I’lll see you on Dirt Day April 1st and the garden tour May 13th!

I miss worked so much today, I almost went in at lunch. But then I figured I’d better finish an American Horticulture Society and Country Gardens column piece  for


Rainy day, so perfect to spend time in the glasshouse at Fearrington to prepare seeds.

Donna and I went to Lowes to pick up seed mix.

During break, I was able to send in my summer SE column to Country Gardens magazine.

Prepared seeds for stratification for 60 days and 30 days. Will treat all at 30 days, and sow on the Ides of March.


Roost Hellstrip: The area below is one of my gardens. The fence is going to be straightened out, so that each side is equal, and the side will be planted, I hope with pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris.

Hellstrip redesign



Hellstrip redesign

To get this prepared. I had to pull out the plants. Nice ones too. These included:


Canna ‘Pretoria’


Echinacea purpurea


Hesperaloe parviflora 


Kniphofia uvaria


Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’

Prunella vulgaris

Salvia greggii

Sedum chinense

Solidago rugosa Fireworks’

Yucca filamentosa

Treated a fire ant next with an organic drench.


I’m still moving plants around. Spring will be here before we know it! I hope I don’t have a lot of plants to add, since the renovation, things just need to fill in!


Aspidistra elatior flowerAnother day when I thought I could just do a few things…until I looked deeper. I moved a clump of Cast Iron plant, Aspidistra elatior. Half were moved to the north side path and the other half went in front of the porch, lushing things up.  In the move, I found the most AMAZING thing! The flower!

Well, don’t you know, I needed t find out what critter pollinated the Cast Iron flower. It turns out the flowers are hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs), and are pollinated by Slugs, snails.

Given it was very spring like, as in the 70s and sunny, I didn’t want my time in the garden to end. And so began the annual seed-head cutbacks. All the seeds were taken by the birds, so there was no reason left to keep them up. The Black-eyed Susans, Rudbeckia spp. and coneflowers, Echinacea spp. were groomed. The waste sent to the in-situ compost pile in the Xeric Zone, Tapestry Hedge area.

So many plants were already starting to emerge. This wasn’t atypical, but it felt like it. I didn’t realize I had so many to cut back, but then remembered I added more Black-eyed Susans–a great Bee Better plant.

Looking around during the cuts, I’m reminded I still need to mulch the front beds. I’m hesitant to call Jack again, since he loves to give me a giant load…even when I tell him I don’t need that much. I’ll call him on Monday to see if he has the same story, “My smaller truck isn’t working now, but I can bring you a load from the bigger truck.” To which I reply, I don’t need that much, Jack!” “He says the price is the same.” I say, “My back isn’t, or not for a week later!”


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