Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, August 7, 2017

Posted by on August 7, 2017


As beautiful as a summer week can be. Low humidity, low temps, sunrise temps in low 60s.


None, none, & none…



A serious day of planting and watering. With so much effort going to the planting of the four new peninsula beds, my other gardens were starting to look weedy and tired. This week, before I leave for the extra long weekend to speak in Michigan, I will systematically go though each of my gardens to weed, deadhead, deadleaf, water in well, and make a list of plantings for the fall.



Even though I watered the new peninsula beds by hand yesterday, today they were looking thirsty. This just goes to show how little you are watering when you think you are giving the plants a deep drink. Even with sticking my finger at the roots of the plants, and they felt wet, obviously my finger didn’t go deep enough.

Today, I hand watered each plant again, and set up a sprinkler to give the entire bed a good soak.

At one time, Greg asked Deb, whom I replaced in January, to cover up the gnarly above ground roots of an ancient maple tree. Deb choose a white variegated vinca. While it did the job, I wanted to try something else. When the peninsula beds were being built, on the Park Inn building side, there were grasses that needed to be removed. The low growing ones (I need to remember what they are) needed a new home. I decided the perfect place was in the folds of the maple roots.

The Spa entrance really began to look tired. Did I neglect it? Could have. It looks so flat sitting there, with dark plants in a dark bed.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet; it’s a small space, but I’d like to see it being more hard working. As a minimum, I want the entrance path, left and right, to be the same style.

As the sun was setting, I took the golf cart to visit the gardens and significantly historic trees. I’ve taking the lead on re-writing the Fearrington Village garden walk tour. I’ve spoken to each of the gardeners to get their input on the garden and trees to highlight, and for specifics about the gardens that are in their care. But I needed to sit a be within the garden to get inspired. You know I loved doing this, right? After that, I went back into the office to put together a rough draft along with questions to pose to the various gardens that arose after spending time within the gardens. It was a fun to do, and as much as I love to garden, I like writing about it more. <3


My day IN.

Nathalie, Bee Better’s first intern, started today. We had such a good time, but more importantly, Nathalie is a hard worker and very clever!! Between the two of us we figured out things that I wouldn’t have been able to do on my now!

Stopped by a client’s house to water. I did a bit of my own watering as well of the newly planted and transplanted plants.


Today was a day of watering…a good deep soak. I have others watching over my plants while I’m gone, but I’m feeling a little worried. I also finished a draft of the garden waking brochure for Fearrington.

Here’s a taste:

Chapel Hill natives R. B. Fitch and his late wife Jenny purchased the Fearrington Farm in 1974. With a gentle hilltop, dotted with wooden farm structures, mature specimen trees, and open pastures—the Fitches began crafting a Village Center where guests could relax and enjoy the gorgeous natural landscape, the gardens created by Jenny, and the local birds and other wildlife that inhabited the area.

The inspiration of the Fearrington Village Center was the melding of the small North Carolina town centers of R.B. and Jenny’s youth, plus the intimate villages of England they so frequently visited. The dream was to offer such an escape—a destination Village—in the heart of Chatham County, surrounded by manicured public gardens and open spaces.



Took a direct flight to Detroit. Saturday, I’m speaking at a Garden Day at the Michigan State University. Friday evening, I’m having dinner with the Horticulture Department director and his wife. After the day of gardening fun and talks Saturday, we will have a reception in their newly created Plants with Benefits garden. Oh, this is gonna be fun!!!
Leave for Michigan

The coldest winter I spent was a during a summer day in E. Lansing, MI. ~Helen Yoest

I’m here. I’m cold, and it’s raining. It feels like it’s gonna snow.

Art Cameron , Director of the MSU gardens and his lovely wife Marlene took me to dinner to Bravo!

In a later post, I will talk more about Art and Marlene. In short, I thought they were the most amazing hort/travelust/interesting people I’ve met in a long time. I’d like to see them more.


Today, I gave two talks at MSU in E. Lansing, MI: Plants with Benefits and My Forever Garden.

In between Keynote talks, I toured the gardens and took a couple of work shops. One was by this amazing guy, Scott with XX Farms. He was teaching soap making. Well, it would be better to say soap forming. But I liked the class just the same. Soaps are my thing, but I’m not into making them, or even forming them, but if I do, now I know what to do. Did you know you can buy goat’s milk soap base at Michaels? I didn’t but that was where Scott got our soap base. We kneaded the soap with lavender and then added three drops of lavender essential oils. They are drying now; Scott said it would take about four days. I’m not sure with our humidity that will happen, but we shall see.

The second class I took was on pressed flowers.  I was so taken by this that I officially now have a new hobby!  There were a three ways to dry leaves and flowers, but I am choosing the telephone book. Remember those? I’m trying to forget. I had to ask friends if anyone still had one; Beth things she might have one.

I’m told to put leaves in single layers between the pages and let dry for about a month. Even I think I can do that!

With NO training other than sitting in this class, check out my two cards. I’m hooked!!!


I like how we were encouraged to use magazine cut outs. Not bad for the first time, right?

I had such a good time with all the people I met.

At the end with Art was announcing next year’s speaker, he also went over others since 2011. I can’t believe I’m in the line up with Allan Armitage, Richard Drake, Doug Tallamy, and next year will be Tracy DeSabato-Aust. I’ve forgotten some of the others, but there of the same caliber.


Spent the day in Detroit.

DIA, Detroit Institute of Art to see the Diego Rivera mural and the Andy Warhol exhibit. The Rivera was magnificent! But unfortunately, the Warhol exhibit was in storage since the DIA was doing renovations in that room. So sad. I’ve never seed a Warhol, and was excited about. Next time.

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