Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, October 9, 2017

Posted by on October 9, 2017


Very fall-like although warm in the mid-80s.


None, zip, nada…

Wait! Finally, we got rain Sunday–0.4 in. Thank you, Nate!



With no rain, most of the day was spent watering where there ain’t any! I did however get permission to bring in another staffer to help Zac and I with watering. His name is Heath. I learned while talking with him yesterday that is is a student at the community college for sustainable agricultural. I like that. He isn’t just interested in all what we do, but he is moving his future forward. We’ll see how this helps us. It’s only for a few hours a week, but the plan was for Zac and I to care for Julian’s former gardens using flex hours from other staffers.

For my Nov/Dec column in Triangle Gardener, I’ll be about a how-to on making wattle edging. Zac is half my age, but his diverse experience is double mine. As you know, I’m a curious gardener and love learning new things. Wattle is one of those crafts I’ve always wanted to do. And, as you know, when someone can show how to do it, it makes it so much easier to jump in and weave! That is what Zac is brining to the table. Stay tuned!


Weekly meeting. No great news, just watering issues. It sure would be nice to see some rain.

Zac and I worked the silo beds. Removed lots of the helianthus that were too tall. Removed one type of canna and added more of the same so the two beds matched. Dug holes for adding another rosemary to each side. Once Zac gets the thornless blackberries for The Herb garden, we can transplant the ones where the blackberries will go to The Silo beds.


My day IN. I wasn’t very motivated. I cleaned up the house a little, just enough to make it livable.

Delivered camellias to my client, Cindy’s garden. Will plant Friday.

Picked up chicken supplies. Eight girls go through a lot of scratch and feed!

Then it was a little semi-work time. I binged watched House of Cards while working a blog post (November maintenance), a piece for Triangle Garden on making wattle edging, and the signage for the NC State Fair demonstration garden.


The plant shopping continues. Fall is for planting! I’ve nursed my gardens through the spring and summer, through the former gardener’s designs. They were cute, but not to my style. That is one of the advantages of working at Fearrington Village, I can create what I want. And what I want is a Chanticleer feel. Hands down, Chanticleer is my favorite garden, and giving the chance to make “my” gardens each unique to this level is an opportunity of a lifetime.

So now I’m breaking free:

The Roost Fence Garden:

I’ve been slowly moving plants around so the length of the fence looks like the photo below. It’s difficult since the sun isn’t the same, but I’m plugging along anyway. 

The Roost

RB asked if I would soften this fountain and make it look charming. I picked up six concrete containers at Big Bloomers to sit around the circle. Once planted, it looked mighty cute, if I do say so myself!

The Dovecote

I’m ready to tackle The Dovecote. I did quite a bit over the summer, but since I wasn’t sure what was coming up, I was reserved. This is another bed that I felt needed some kind of evergreen structure. I decided wall germander, teucrium chamaedrys. The pansies will arrive next week, so I will fill it with those and other herbs.

The Spa Container

I haven’t decided what to do here. The summer plantings were so-so, but I think I can do better. Until soon….

Park Inn Rooms 30/31

This garden has been an on-going challenge, but I was able to overcome the pathway to nowhere. It turns out there is a door that we don’t use, and there was a path to it to anchor the design. It turns out it was there b/c that door is a fire escape. I later learned that we had clearance for the exit to be on the other side of the door, leaving this garden open for perking up. Very happy with how it turned out. Still hoping to do more, but was happy with it for the latter part of the summer

Park Inn Rooms 17-20

This is a tight space, and I didn’t love what I did, but it was OK. By most standards, it was loved. I just want to make it a WOW  space. Well, I want to make all the garden courtyards under my authority to be GORGEOUS!

Park Inn Rooms 34

I’m getting closer to making this courtyard fabulous. When I first got here there was a fence in the back. It was removed to open up the space more. I’ve been adding to it, but still have lots more to go!

I oiled the teak furniture. It looks so awesome. I would love to spend some time in that space.

This is before I added the oil.


This is after. It may not look like a huge difference in the photos, but I can tell. The oil will retain the color and keep the wood moist.

I still have work to do. I’ve done some, but more will happen this week. I recently added the Japanese yews, Taxus cuspidata. The idea is they would frame the seating area but not block it in. I plan to add another on the other side next week. I will also add three native dwarf inkberry hollies, Ilex glabra compacta ‘Shamrock Inkberry’. There is the awkward open space in front of the yews. Right now it is filled with a sedum ground cover, but I don’t think it stands out enough. I can’t wait to see how they will look in place. Mind you, I will lay them out first to make sure they will work there. If they don’t I’ll go to Plan B. And I’ll worry about that plan if I need to.

Park Inn Rooms 21-26

Like Park Inn Room 17-20, this is a small space, yet it has wonderful potential. It’s also a dark space with very little sunlight. Sitting in deep shade, the dwarf mondo grass, Ophiopogon japonicus, does very well. So do the white Japanese anemone, Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’. I like them for lightening up the space. On Friday, I transferred a clump to the back of the bed, and plan to add more. There are a few black mondo grass, Ophiopogon planiscapus. I like this plant, but it really needs something to pop against. When I arrived, there was mulch in this back bed. It was dark on dark. I added gravel to make the black pop, but it only did a so-so job. The plan is to add more anemones there but otherwise it’s shaping up. There were four nandinas in each corner. I removed those (well, actually Jorge did. Have you ever removed a nandina? The root system is evil) and added four boxwood ‘Highlanders’, Buxus sempervirens ‘Highlander’. Greg also upgraded the furniture in there, and I recently stained it. It’s shaping up nicely!

Park Inn Room 35

I have really gone to town here. At first, the Chamaecyparis seemed to overpower the space. And indeed, it can be pruned back, but it will need to be done over time since it has never been pruned before. But I like the light green and gold color of this space. One thing I did notice was that it was the only evergreen there, plus the room entrance side was over crowded with deciduous shrubs. It felt very cramped. I removed the two Spirea shrubs that were in the middle of two (each side) frothgaria shrubs. Well, one of the ones on the left hand side already died. So I removed the dead roots there, moved one flanking the path to that spot. Removed the matching one so I was left with just two frothgaria, one each on the far end of that bed. I then added two dwarf Inkberries flanking the entrance. Again my goal is to have some evergreen so I just need to add seasonal annuals as needed. In a tight space like this, perennials are great, but far too difficult to add enough to have a showy space as they wax and wane. Evergreen structure and seasonal annuals does the trick!

Park Inn Room 32

I’m not exactly sure what I will do here. Removed the Nandinas flanking the entrance and added viburnums, but I’m so sure that was the best idea. Next week, I’m gonna sketch something out and make changes as needed.

As I look at the picture above, I really do not like the look of the back of the fence. I may train a vine over there.

Inn Room 33

This is a gem of a space. It’s tight, so what happened here to make it shine? The hay basket planters. Wow. They made all the difference. What do you think?


I went in late so I could stop by my client’s Cindy to plant the two camellias. When I was there, I saw an old Oakwood friend, and we chatted for about an hour. It was great catching up, and I hope to see her again soon.

More watering at work. I’m hopeful we will get rain this weekend.

Stopped by Souther states to pick up the Rosemary for The Silo Beds, and I also picked up some filler plants for the new pots around The Roost fountain. I picked up several more plants for planting next week.

Planted the rosemary and the six containers. Watered. Met with Greg about expanding the peninsula beds along the road along The Admin building.

After work, I stopped by The Roost for a beer.  While I was looking for a seat, I saw Bett, on of our florist, and her husband John, She asked me to join them. It was nice.


Went to Montrose to volunteer for Nancy Goodwin’s Open House. I had the best time. My job was to be in the garden just to answer questions. I had no idea there would be so many. There were a lot I didn’t know, but I also knew so many talented friends walking through, I was able to pull them in when needed. When I was stumped on a name, I was able to Google it. I learned a lot, and hope Nancy will do me the honor again in future open houses.

October 8th is our wedding anniversary. Sunday we celebrated 29 years. This evening we celebrated at a favorite French restaurant, Bienvenue a Coquette, or simply Coquette. We didn’t want to dress up, and frankly I never want to again. We are so comfortable with ourselves, I only want to go where my trademark Levis and a cute tunic will do. It was the perfect evening. We talked and talked making sure to leave work or the kids out of our conversation. It was a well-needed and deserved break. Remember, our kids are 16, 17, and 21. So, yea, they occupy all of our time!


This is the the last countdown to the Fair weekend. I have next weekend too, but if things aren’t awesome by now, I will begin to feel pressure! Also next weekend is the last 2nd Saturday and Bee Better quarterly meeting. I’m not so sure why I’m even typing this LOL. I better get my act in gear!

P.S. I stopped by the fair and realized it starts Thursday….not a week from Thursday. Ooops. I was able to pull more plants and wildlife do-dads in. At least I knew what I would be doing, even though I had to get to action a week early!!! I’ll stop by Wednesday and add more fun stuff and maybe a plant or two.

Today is my 29th wedding anniversary. The kids were working, David working on taxes, and I went to see the documentary, Elizabeth & Abdul.


2 responses to “Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, October 9, 2017”

  1. SJ Farber says:

    I missed the open house at Montrose! rats! I’ve never been in the 14 years I’ve lived here, such a shame.

  2. HelenYoest says:

    Indeed!!! She will probably open again for her Galanthus in November and again in May for the spring garden. I will remember to remind you!

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