Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, August 28, 2017

Posted by on August 28, 2017



Rain? What rain!?!



So excited about the eclipse. Today was the day! So happy for all those in the path of totality and to those making a trek in Her path. I will experienced on 93%. The 7% remaining will still be very bright, so it won’t be enough to watch my girls roost, but I won’t miss it anyway.

I experienced a total eclipse on March 7, 1970. I can tell you without haste, I remember everything about that afternoon. Everything. It has been embedded in my mind and heart. It was a very humbling and spiritual experience.


I took off a half day from Fearrington so I could experience the eclipse in my own garden. If I couldn’t be in SC, I’m just as happy in Helen’s Haven.

It didn’t get nearly as dark as I hoped it would, but I knew it would be that way. I was interesting to see the change in light, but there was still plenty of it. The chickens didn’t roost and the senna leaves didn’t fold. Well, that’s it in a nutshell.

After all the non-event, I gardened….she says in a sing song voice. I’ve not had enough time in my own garden.

I cleaned up the boxwood cuttings after Patrick trimmed last week. He got most of it, but our deal is I’ll get the last 10%. As you know, it takes just as long to pick up the first 90% as it does the last 10%.  It was easy work, although it was in the after eclipse after-sun. I also trimmed out the zoysia growing beyond the edge. It does seem like much, but it took about three hours!

As I was clearing the gravel from the paths at The Roost this morning, I saw a couple and I would have sworn the woman was Jamie Lee Curtis. I kept ducking behind bushes and the branches of trees to see if I could get a better look. I’m sure she wonder what this strange garden lady was doing getting caught in the greenery! She was a dead ringer, and I would have thought even more so if she was a guest at The Inn, but she and the man began to walk into the community.


I started the day at Fearrington with a bang!! Revitalized after spending some time in my garden for the eclipse, I hit the ground running. Today was the day I decided to expand a section at the Admin Building, affectionally known as the Admin Nest. This area is not readily seen by the public; mostly from the folks working or visiting inside. But since the day I started, I wanted there to be some pop from looking inside out towards the holly hedge. But first things first. The bed in front of the hedge was 2 feet on the right hand side but only one foot on the left. They are now both two feet deep. My goal is to add black-eyed Susans for the seeds to feed the yellow finches.

I added more dirt for a fire area where a camellia tree was blocking the exit. Now if there is a fire, no one will trip in the hole.

As I was driving around the property, I found another bench with the flower motif. I took two to put in Park Inn Room 34 a couple of months ago. When you borrow from Peter to pay Paul, you eventually have to pay it back! They need painting now though.

Stained the bench at the Spa. Not all the pieces of furniture will be stained, but everything will at least get something. I picked up teak oil to apply to the pieces that won’t be stained.


Today, we had special visitors; area and national garden luminaries, Nancy Goodwin and Tom K. They were visiting the gardens, and having lunch with Greg at the Granary.

Cut back more nandina babies growing along The Roost privacy hedge. This should be the last from the hedge. After this, I’ll keep close watch, and cut back any new growth. Nandinas are so invasive. Ugh!

Planted the rare Florida form Fringe tree we were given by mistake. I’m super excited about it. I found a nice place for it at The Roost. I did ask the other gardeners if they had a place for it, but no one got back with me, so it’s mine now!

Painted three benches.

Stopped by Market Imports at the NC Farmers Market to pick up six containers, two of each size, to add to the Admin Building.  I haven’t decided what to put in them yet, but at least I have my blank slates.

Also stopped by Arch Lodge to pick up eight Solidago ‘Fireworks’ for the Admin Nest. I need three more, so maybe I can get those this weekend. Friday, I’ll stop by Southern States in Carrboro to pick up 11 Black-eyed Susans being held for me. I need 13 so I have they have extra.

Watered, watered, watered…When I panted the rare fringe tree, I removed a oakleaf hydrangea ‘Snow Queen’ It was dry as a bone. I thought I was watering things well enough, but I guess not. Anyhoo, I moved it to an area under the big oak in The Roost seating area.  I dug down and noticed the ground, while dig-able, it was very dry. I filled the hole with water. I went to fuss with something else, then filled it again. Each time, there was no sign of water. The dirt is so dry, it’s like a dust bowl. The soil absorbed it, but it still wan’t enough. Here’s wishing for a heavy rain; dare I say hurricane?


My day IN.


I wasn’t going to go in the garden, but I was compelled. I still need to pick up the back boxwood clippings. I still didn’t finish, but I’m plugging along.

It is so dry out there; but not watering for me. With a waterwise design, and all the new plantings or transplants settled in, everyone has to tough it out. I’m really proud of my design, and it’s stretches like this August that really puts it to the test!


Before I went to work, I trimmed started in the back picking up the boxwood trimmings and  catching up the dirt. For some reason, the edge was looking a bit compacted. I need to the top half of the back garden.

Stopped by Southern States to pick up Black-eyed Susans for The Admin Nest. Planted those.

Met with RB Fitch. Zac will be coming out of the kitchen payroll and over to the garden’s. He and I will continue to work with each.

More changes coming; waiting until I can announce!


I have a rare day off. I plan to spend as much time as I want in the garden.

Finished the picking up of the boxwood clippings. Scratching up the dirt as well, to make things flow better if it ever rains again 😉

Finally planted the boxwood, I needed to move a few hellebores around, and I had some holes to fill, so it was the perfect match.

Wow, I still can’t believe I had the whole day to myself.


Now that I’m not working for the North Raleigh client, I had some time for myself. Genya and I met at the new coffee shop in Oakwood and had watermelon mimosa and ricotta pancakes.

Pepper and Sir Rupert had a play date too.




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