The week started out hot (mid-80s) and humid. But after the rain, the humidity and temperatures broke. Good
Sunday evening/Monday morning, 1.7 inches of glorious rain!
Worked with our new flex help, Heath. When Julian left, I proposed to RB and Greg that Zac and I could take over her role with flex help. Given the lack of rain, our intention we thought it best use Heath to handle the watering in Julian’s area, especially since the other gardeners were dividing up the watering. Since we were expecting rain on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, I had Heath help me on another project working in the first of two pairs of Admin peninsulas. And of course, the rain didn’t come.
Along with that, I began major shrub planting in the Park Inn Room courtyards.
Also mulched the Rugosa Border.
Watered The Roost Fence, Containers, ‘Blue Bunny’ under the redbuds across from the Admin Building.
I’m really happy with how the courtyards are turning out.
Weekly meeting. I was going to get pansies from Campbell Road but the van was broken. Wendy and Ryan borrowed Ronnie’s van, but they only had room for 34 flats(we pre-ordered 100 for the group.) So rightfully so, they picked up their flats.
My day in, and what a crazy day it was! I had to finish the NC State Fair garden. I really cannot believe I thought the fair was a week off, and I was doing great on time. I managed to pull it off, but it did ‘t need to be so hectic. I promise, next year I will be better. The good news, The plants I planted last year to winter over and hopefully be used today were fully mature. That was a major bonus!
Added plants, and even more got the help from Aster. I planted an fluffed while he hung the lights. At then end of time we had, I realized I still needed more annual color. I forgot to buy pansies. Then when talking to Bridgett, she told me I had until 3:00 tomorrow afternoon when the fair opened.
That was all I needed to hear!
As Aster and I were leaving, he asked if we could eat at Jasmines on Hillsborough St. As we were walking in, I asked Aster if his girlfriend, Kyra, would be jealous. He said, “Yes, so please don’t post anything about it. lol. I’d never been before. I got the chicken bowl and loved it! I will go back.
At the last minute, I had time to add pansies in the BEE BETTER NC State Fair. It needed added color, but it also needed to be a BEE BETTER plant. So I added pansies. I’m glad I ran out of time or I’d be over there everyday tweaking it. I’m done!
Special thanks to my friends, Bridgette and John for allowing me space AND offering to help with a smile. These two are a dynamo team!
Removed a large spirea in the fence corner outside Park Inn Room 34. It just didn’t make sense there, and frankly, I didn’t like it. Not that I can get a few of Nancy Goodwin’s Buxus sempervirens ‘Pyramidalis’, I plan t continue those along the fence post and add another ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Donna May’
Zac and I picked up pansies. We still have another load.
Now that I have most of the pansies, I can begin planting and finishing the designs.
Once a year, Greg gathers the gardening group for wood-fired pizza and then we all participate in a lighting walk-around. It was my first time. It was so much fun!!!!! We had pizza and beer then looked very closely at every dark sp0t for needs and lights for adjustments and bulbs. I forgot how absolutely beautiful Fearrington Village is at night. It was breathtaking. I regret getting a picture!
A surprise day off! of hours at work, and only allowed to work two more, so I asked Greg if I could do them from home since marketing asked me to help out in a task that would take about that long. He said YES! I worked in my own garden, and oh how glorious it was.
I spent the ENTIRE day digging in the dirt. My back was still a little sore, but it felt so good being outside catching up, I didn’t care. My mission for the day was to weed the Zoysia out of the front parterre beds, pull the remaining zinnias, put down vole deterrent to moved them out of my yard. Plus I added potting soil to these beds as a refresher, and finally, planted five flats of pansies, one flat in each section, plus six parsleys in each area. I knew I wanted to add something green for the winter in addition to the pansies, but wasn’t sure. The pansy colors I choose would have clashed with any of the ornamental kales. The rhubarb would have worked, but I’ve never really had good success. Instead, I spied very nice looking parsley and realized at once it was the perfect choice. So I was able to add two host plants that gave me winter color and form plus would work nicely for next year since the parsley is a biennial.
I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was. This was a whole day job. But in my defense, I also had to go to Lowes for the potting soil and to Campbell Road Nursery for the pansies and parsley. The beds still needed mulch, but that can wait another day.
I wanted to get this done because tomorrow is my last BEE BETTER and last 2nd Saturday meetings. They just so happened to fall on the same day; one in the morning and one in the evening. I thought it would be nice to put in some effort.
Raked a wheel-barrel full of Mr. Hall’s pine needles to cover one of the compost areas in the front; the one under Vivien’s hydrangea.
Turned in to Triangle Gardener a how-to on making English wattle edging. Be sure to look for it November 1st.
Hung out in the greenhouse in anticipation of needing to move in my tropicals. It is getting down to 44ºF this evening and tomorrow.
Last meeting of the year of BEE BETTER meeting. We gather at 10:00 AM. And last of year 2nd Saturday meeting at 5:00 PM.
Here are three of the BEE BETTER members leaving with a handful of plants!
We found our BEE BETTER meetings were like an open forum; a place for an exchange of ideas. Everyone learns something, no matter their gardening level. And all gardening levels will benefit, from the very beginner, to the northern transplant gardener applying their talents in our clay and climate, and the super talented all-stars. There is never a stupid questions. Although Helen Yoest puts together a handout, this is just a starting point for the subjects where we can dig into. We hope you will consider becoming a member in 2018.
At each meeting, we raffle off gardening books. Last year’s books included, Pollinator Friendly Gardening, WEEDS, 101 Organic Gardening Hacks, and Real Food. We will continue this again in 2018. Also, the last meeting of 2017 we shared plants from the Bee Better garden. The ones shared depends on what needs thinning out.
The 2018 lecture series, held on the following Saturday afternoons at 5:00 P.M., features topics on:
March 3— Best honey and nectar perennials for the European Honey Bee
May 5 —Mysteries of the Monarch
July 7—Host Butterfly Plants For The Triangle
September 1—Hummingbird Migration
November 3—Pollinator Planning for 2019
I asked the BEE BETTER members if anyone had any extra pinestraw. Score! Abby has a boatload of extra needles. I stopped by there and she and her husband, John, helped me rake away. They wanted it GONE?. The perfect sustainable match.
I brought home a heavy pick-up truck load. It was probably equivalent 10 bales. I use pinestraw through the year to lay over yard waste and compost piles.
I never use pinestraw in showy areas. In these areas, the front Parterre Beds, the Mixed Border, The front of the Red Bed. The rest are now getting pinestraw. As I get older, I find it’s much easier to mulch with pinestraw that to have to wheel barrel heavy composted leaf mulch. I also got a wheel barrel from the street in front of my house and along Glen Eden Dr. I never got it from there before because of the traffic. Now with the new bike lane, I have much more room to work with and it’s not as risky.