Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, February 27, 2017

Posted by on February 27, 2017


Seventies most of the week. I think It’s really March 27th! Paradise!




Before I left for work, I added four 50-lb bags of sand to the M-brace riser I’m using as a privacy hide. Now I need planting soil and a vine. All in good time.

At Fearrington, I worked on Dovecote. Finally removed all the reverted dwarf mondo grass, Ophiopogon japonicus. There was a lot of it; if left alone, it will take over. Then I raked, and became a scissor gardener. Yes, I pruned the mondo grass with scissors. After so much freshening up, it seem necessary to do. So it’s done. There was some other weed in there that I was unfamiliar with, but know it wasn’t suppose to be there. Gone!

Finally, I gave the mulched areas a fresh covering. It’s looking good. Oh, and I watered the container bed.


The Goat: I’ve started this, then was pulled away to another garden. Today, I finally finished what can be done for now. Cut back the variegated liriope, mulched. Raked along the outside fence line, and mulched.

Goat Hell-strip: Finally lifted the remaining plants in the hell-strip, and mulch. There are a few more, but I’ll work on that Wednesday. Lifted Sedum, Liatris, x Pardancanda, commonly called candy lily, Cannas, and more Salvia lyrata. 

We also had our weekly meeting.


Met the stump grinder at 9:00. The nicest man ever; and his name was Jim. Met the stump grinder at 9:00. There was a Prunus mume “Peggy Clarke’ taken down before I started. Now the root has been removed.


Raked out the wood debris. Leveled soil, and planted three Winter Red holly, I. verticillata Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’. Mulched.

Julian and I went to Garden Supply Company plant shopping. I was looking for a Sunny Foster Holly, Ilex x attenuata. Now I just need to find out if we have a pollinator, such as ‘Southern Gentleman’ near by.

Starbucks happened to be on the way 😉

I asked Greg if we could change the name of the Admin Building garden to the Bird Sanctuary garden, to which he replied, “Does it have a formal name? I’m sure folks would love to see more birds there. What are you thinking?”  To which I sent in mocked up photos of additions we could make.

There’s hoping he says yes!!!


Before work, did a little watering of newly planted babies.

Inn Room 33: Finally, I was able to work in this garden. It also occurred to me that I’ve yet to go inside to water the plant. Pathos are tough cookies. It appreciated the water, but was by no means suffering.

Garden-wise, it didn’t need much, just raking out. I also added mulch. I’m going to propose adding a hay basket wire container to go on the wall. I think it will complete the garden. Maybe a pillow or two as well.

Inn Room 34:

This room seems to be the one I spend the most time in. It’s also the biggest garden, except maybe the Admin Bldg garden that I hope will be renamed The Nest.

There is a drainage problem there, and I needed to figure out what to do. This afternoon, I set aside time to see about digging a French drain. My poking around saved me a lot of work! Here is what I found:

I added water with the hose and it drains perfectly! It was a great discovery under six inches of dirt and debris and bound with roots.


Got to do a little gardening this morning moving more things around, and did a little watering. The weather was fabulous. And tomorrow, well, we will be bypassing spring and going right into summer. But that’s OK. I’m loving this winter!!!

Ok, I’ll admit, but I did the kind of thing that is truly tidy-geeky. The blond stumps from stems cut in there fall were too light against the composted leaf mulch. Once removed, the area looks more relaxed and comforting.

Working at Fearrington Village has really opened my eyes as the slow decline of a week with my kids and husband. It’s true, nature abhors a vacuum, and Philbrooks abhor negative space.


I have to face taxes. With a half-year crash of my Quick Books, yet closing GWC as an S corp, my accountant advise me to reenter it all. Lovely. I guess I’ll be getting an extension again this year.

The good news? Bee Better is easy breezy to fill out.

The Fearrington Folk Art Festival at Fearrington Village. Beth and I like to go most years since it’s in the middle of our two birthdays, and gives us something special to look forward to and do. We both both a praying mantis from Josh Cotè. Then we had a nice lunch at the Granary.  Not only did we buying matching bugs, we also bought matching wallets. lol. Clearly, we have the same taste!

The Raleigh Flea Market was also on my list to see this weekend. The winds picked so much, the dealers stuff was flying around. This wind is brining in a cold front for tomorrow. High only 58. Very reasonable for this time of year. From my childhood, this would be a gift. If we every experienced an 80 degree day, let alone mostly 60s and 70s all winter, I would have thought it was the end of the world.


Today was an average temperature day in Raleigh reaching around 55ºF. It felt great working in Helen’s Haven. With everything coming up, I needed to make the changes sooner than later. I moved the Bear’s breeches Acanthus mollis from a too sunny spot in the blueberry patch to the north side and around back. If I took the time to break up the plants, I could have potted 50 plants. Knowing this, I’ll just give a clump to anyone who asks.

The daffodils probably didn’t need dividing, but I need to spread some around. Over the years, I’ve put in hundreds of daffs. I have no idea where most have gone. At least these clumps are tried and true, so hope they perform just as well in their new homes.

It was the perfect afternoon and early even to have a fire.

Straightened up the Glass House.

Put the chickens in the run.

As I added daffodils to the River Bed, I also pulled out leaves that have collected there.

Beth got me thinking about a future drought. Gardeners are like farmers, we talk about the weather more than say and indoor ice skater.

As a gardener, I know I’m at my happiest when I get an inch of water a week. Since our rains tend to be wet in winter and dry in the summer. An indicator to look for is when January and February have been somewhat dry, and we are getting ready to go into spring. On top of that, it’s been warm. This time of year, we don’t typically have to water. Adding supplemental water doesn’t kick in until after the April spring annual planting.

The green line below is where we want to be with regards to our drinking water, but gardens need a steady supply, since we don’t have a lake to store it in for future use.

I had to water some plants today. If the temperatures stay cool, which they aren’t going to, I should be OK. Unfortunately, we don’t have any rain in sight.

Helen’s Haven is a waterwise design, so a severe drought threat isn’t a real problem for me, but new plantings always need water to get established. Since Helen’s Haven will be photographed by Country Gardens this summer, I can’t not plant. At least the plantings will be in oasis location–where water can easily be brought in. But trust me on this one, with the Raleigh tier water rates, I will be saving unused water. Entering the highest tier, tier 3, will break the bank!

The longer days, soothe my soul…


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