Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, September 11, 2017

Posted by on September 11, 2017

Gardening with Confidence is 16 years old today!!! Happy anniversary to me!


Fall-like the colors of the maples are just beautiful.


Tuesday, 1.7 inches

Wednesday, 0.2 in.



Today is Gardening With Confidence‘s 16th anniversary. Yes, it was that September 11th. I’m not sure how I got through that day, but I knocked on the door of my first client at 1:00. I said, “Chris, I wasn’t sure if I should come.” He said, “The world must go on.”    He was my client for two years, and when he sold his house, I continued on with the new owners, and Genya Gorodesky has been my Forever Friend every since.

Labor day 2017! I spent my labors in the garden in one of the most wonderful fall-like day in The Bee Better Teaching Garden.

With the Forever Garden philosophy, I cut back the path in the Red Bed. It wasn’t so bad visually, but you had to switch back to walk through. That wasn’t so much the problem, it was more that there are so many bees, I’m likely to be stung! Where I couldn’t move the salvias away from the paths, I cut the strays to the ground.

David helped me with a project. I needed three a 1/2 holes drilled through three 4″ x 4″ landscape timers so I could stack them and use rebar to stabilize them. Eventually, I want these landscape timbers to be the edge along the south side.  It wasn’t so much that I can’t use a drill, but the drill needed was the plugged one. In other words, super powerful, and I needed to align all three. That’s too precise for me to accomplish. Hey, what can I say. I know my limitations.

The next step is to stain the wood and then build up the soil.

Trained long shoots of the hardy kiwi and pyracantha.

Took the chainsaw to in-the-way-limbs of an azalea, fig, and edgeworthia, and a boxwood that died recently. It was one of the boxwoods that I inherited when we bought the house. I liked it and used it a lot when decorating during the holidays, but something got it and whatever it was, I didn’t want it to spread to my boxwood collection.

Replaced a blueberry shrub. Once I started a better care program.

Straightened up the Love Shack.It easily messes up since it is a workstation. It’s easy to clean up though, and I find satisfaction sitting there tidying up.


Back to work after great three-day holiday weekend. Checked all my vulnerable watering locations for thirsty plants.

Before the meeting, I went to Lowe’s to pick up more brushes so I could stain some of the teak furniture afterwards. I put a final coat on the Reception Building entrance, and added first coats to two big benches and another backless bench. afterwards my hands were crippled, sorta speak.

We had a heavy rain Friday night, measuring two inches. From all the wash out, it must have come down fast. One of my new peninsula beds was really hit hard. It’s odd, because the other three looked fine. Weird. I moved a rock in place to maybe baffle the flow or at least block it. We are expecting rain, and since I won’t be in tomorrow, I wanted a quick fix. I guess I’ll see if it helped on Thursday.


My day IN.

Sometime in the middle of last night, I heard clouds roll in. The windows were open, so I knew I was in for treat. There was some lightening, but mainly I heard the sound of thunder and rain. Lush and lovely rain, coming down at a safe pace; and with Friday’s rain, most likely going where it need to go instead of running off. In the morning, I measured 1.7 inches. Doing the happy dance.

I just couldn’t get motivated today. I decided retail therapy was in order. With a Starbuck’s coffee in hand and a trip in Anthropologie. Candles, my faves, were on sale, so I sucked up. Then over to Market Imports. I had my eye on one cut thing, but bought two others instead. Doesn’t everyone need a rooster book end and a platter that says Life is just better with chickens.  

Captured this picture in Jenny’s Garden under Wendy’s care.

Let’s do it, let’s fall in love.



Before I headed off to work, I added fill dirt under the landscape boards to make it look more  natural.

My knee still hurt from the fall last week. I can do just about anything but kneel on it. I’m going to get an x-ray just to make sure I didn’t chip the bone or factor it. I doubt it, but I live on my knees, so I need her back!

Wendy and I went to Big Bloomers to pick up plants to fill in summer holes. Coleus were one dollar each. We stocked up. Remember, annuals will do well until the first frost. I also picked a variety of herbs for containers for the Fearrington House Bar. While I was there, I found two more phlox I wanted to try so I got nine each 😉 Then I forgot my credit card, so Wendy had to lend it to me. Soooo grateful!

The afternoon was so lovely, I decided to stay late and get everything (except the herbs) planted and watered-in well.


Sick day (four hours) to get knee checked out. It turns out, I just have a deep bruise. #FeelingGrateful. Then I started packing for hurricane Irma. I pulled the FEMA hurricane preparedness information off the Web. I’ve been through plenty of them, but this check list is handy to go by. First, I stopped by Costco. I heard rumors around town that water was out everywhere. I thought Costco might have gotten a new load in. Instead, they did a little tricky marketing, IMHO. Where there were empty racks where the water use to me, there was a guy selling service like Chrystal Springs. I didn’t look close enough to see the brand, b/c my mind was racing at the marketing genius. I didn’t begruge them. It was smart. Did I sign up? Nope. I have plenty of water around because of work. Will be fine. Monday night, I’ll fill the bathtub for cooking water. We have a gas stove, so we can cook. I’ll probably gain 10 lbs as I empty a non-working freezer. OK, JK. We  have a generator. But I did go to the store to buy what my mom use to call party food. We NEVER had snacks around the house. On good days, we could have a cookie after work. Two actually, as my mom would say, one for each hand.

Today, my kids would eat a box of 12, so I make it a point not to buy the stuff. I wish

I remember when a 6 oz Coke was refreshing and now kids (and adults) need 64 ozs or more AND it has to be topped off before leaving the fine dining establishment where they bought their warmed nacho cheese chips. Actually, a quick Google search, I found this timeline.Seriously, warmed nacho cheese chips? Is this a death wish to die a slow death from botulism?

I had the rest of the day to myself. I needed. I’ve not been myself lately. There is someone at work who likes to get into my face, and won’t believe what I say on face value. I was thought and practice in depth to believe anyone until they prove me otherwise.

I’m not in Raleigh Friday afternoon often. When I am, I like to head over to Hereghty Cafe for a sweet and a glass of half-priced wine. I’ve been coming here for a long time. I’m not sure when they opened, and I vaguely remember the pre-courcer to NoFo @ the Pig was here. In fact, they catered Lara Rose’s Baptism event. NoFo original store was in Wilmington, North of Fourth. I’ve never met Jean, the owner, but I’ve like everything she has put her touch on. I wish we were friends.

But I digress. Back to Hereghty. When I was writing my first book, Gardening with Confidence, I came to Hereghty’s Cafe everyday for coffee at 1:30. I had to pick up my kids at carpool at 2:30 so it was the best break in my day. I almost gave Hereghty a mention in the acknowledgements but then decided since I paid for my coffee, and they didn’t know why I was there everyday, it didn’t make sense. Still, Hereghty’s Cafe is a place where I can comfortable unwind. Lara Rose worked here for about 1.5 years. I didn’t come much there, but some. She would call me when out neighborhood was there. All dressed up. Along, and sipping coffee with the open she may have a connection in her life. I guess Hereghty’s Cafe gave her the prospect.

Planted 18 phlox, yes, I like phlox. Nine were xxx and the other nine were xxx.

I also went over to the NC State Fair Bee Better Demonstration Garden. A little weeding. Planting a few. Adding some Daddy Pete’s. I really need to step up my game. More plants are needed. I moved three large lawn violets to be spacers between stepping stones. But, seriously I need to add more. A lot more, and some interesting stuff. I’ll work on that Wednesday!

David and I took Lara Rose out to dinner this evening. It’s our last evening together as parents to a child still living at home. Tomorrow she moves into an apartment with her boyfriend, Nate. New beginnings.


Our first school event at Lily’s new school, Saint Thomas More Academy in Raleigh. I love this field day concept. It is sponsored by the school’s FFA, Future Farmers of American. One of the things we like this school is that there is no football team and stadium to support, but there is a lot of support for FFA.

#Irma looks like it will go inward, but I still ran errands like filling up the cars with gas, meds, and while I was at it, I got my flu shot. FYI, ask before you receive. There are three kinds. One is for three strains. Two is for four strains, and three, is a condensed version for those over 65. I asked for the four stain.

I began to write a piece on the controversy with the tropical milkweed and monarch decline. I hope to get it posted soon.

On Friday, Genya and I are heading to SC for an influencer media trip, Girlfriend Garden Getaway. We will be staying at the lovely Linwood Inn. We will also taking garden walking tours in Charleston, Visiting the Famed Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and if we have time, Middleton’s Plantation. It will be a fun-filled two-day weekend. Look for these travel pieces on Gardening With Confidence.




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