Gardeners Roll Call: Monday November 13, 2017

Posted by on November 13, 2017


Chilly with light frost towards the latter part of the week.


Wednesday, o.10 in.

Thursday, 0.6 in.



We are hoping for some rain later this week, but today was a good day for planting!

Zac and I went to one of our wholesalers to pick up 22 Viburnums, Viburnum obovatum ‘Raulston Hardy’ for the Hwy Beds and three more for the Admin Penny beds, plus I installed the three at the Penny beds.

Watered the Roost area. Blew leaves.

Spent about two hours in Park Inn Room 33. I knew there were a lot of leaves in there, but had no idea I was going to fill three large plastic yard waste bags. I brought them home to line the girl’s run. Also planted pansies in the containers.

Traded out container plants in Park Inn 34. Fall is so busy with bookings, I found it hard to get in to do it!

So now from a pulling out summer annuals and adding pansies point of view, I’ve completed Park Inn Rooms 17-20, 34, 21-26, 32, and 35. When the bulbs arrive, I’ll add those, plus I’m still adding evergreen perennial color, especially in Park Inn 35 and 34.


Pulled Park Inn Building annuals.

Pulled annuals at the Hwy Beds.

Added a Confederate Jessamine, Trachelospermum jasminoides to Park Inn Room 35.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned to your my new friend, Zac, right? He was formally a chef at Fearrington, but wanted to get back into gardening. He spent 18 months as a vegetable gardener at Monticello and gardens at home and at his parents house. He is still a chef though, and caters weddings and other events. This young man knows a lot about a lot! I feel very fortunate to meet such a rising star in the gardening and culinary world. Anyhoo, we talk about food a lot. He teaches me the science and such. In the late summer, I brought him a bumper crop of acorn squash which he turned into soup for all of us at work. I still have a pint in the freezer that I will have on a cold, dark January day. But I digress.

Our recent conversation was about kielbasa. As a kid growing up with a Mother that was a first generation with a pure Polish blood line, we had kielbasa often. I loved it of course, but it wasn’t until I learned about the different quality of meats of say fresh kielbasa and emulsified kielbasa such as Hillshire Farms. When I was at the NC State Farmers Market, I stopped by the meat monger and picked up some. This is where I like to get mine, and I wanted to see what Zac thought of it.  Today he brought in the kielbasa with kale, and onion. It was so delicious!!! Like nothing I’ve ever had before. I could get spoiled having Zac as a friend. <3

I asked what he thought of the meat. He like it. Then it broke it down: Real pork casing. Would have preferred it had a little more smoked flavor. I also learned that he roll sears the kielbasa before cutting. I always cut then cook. He said that the searing releases the fat from the casing giving the vegetables and meat a better flavor. Well, I think that was what he said. Whatever he did, the meal was the best I’ve ever had. If only my Mother were still alive to get a taste of this.

I would never want to take advantage of Zac’s kindness and talent, but I am happy to buy the main product if he cooks. Oh yes, I forgot, I brought in EVOO once so he could make us an arugula pesto. He makes his with almonds since pine nuts are so pricy.


It’s a rainy day at Fearrington! I got the Park Inn Rooms interior plants watered.

We had our weekly meeting today since Greg was out yesterday.

Getting my desk organized.

Our bulb order came in, but I don’t plant to get these in the ground until after all the other plantings are in.

Jorge and his crew will take out the large hollies flanking the entrance signs at the entrance to the property at the Hwy Beds. Zac and I have the plants to re-design the area once we are able too.

Updated November maintenance for the SE.

Pulled together a list of all my hardy fruit trees and shrubs. Check it out here.


It was cold and misty. I was still outside doing what needed to be done, but by four I was chilled to the bone and decided to go home a couple of hours early.

One of my projects was to do a test area with moss. I choose the Spa area because I thought it lent itself so nicely there, but also the light was perfect.

Zac and I are slowly working over at the Hwy Beds. The guys chainsawed out the four hollies, two each flanking each sign. Monday, they will go there with a back hoe to remove the roots. I already took down the annuals, and today I cut back the right side of the junipers. The right side is more mature and so much bigger than the other side. Our attempt is to keep them, but we need to see if the cut back doesn’t look to horrible for too long. I was surprised after I cut it back, by more that HALF, they didn’t look half bad. I’ll wait to get Zac’s opinion before we make a decision. Also we could just wait until spring to decide; once we get the other plantings in, it might not be so noticeable.

I had some of Fearrington’s famous hot chocolate to try to warm up. It didn’t help, but at least it was oh so delicious.


Road trip!!!

Genya and I are off to South Carolina again for the #HortHarvest sponsored by Magnolia Inn and the Charleston Horticulture Society. I’m one of the speakers, and GG is my guest.

But before I left, I put a few plants in the ground and tidy up the garden a bit. Everything looks happy with the recent rain, but we do have our first frost coming. I’m sure I’ll be coming home to some melted plants. I’ll worry about those when I have my day IN on Wednesday.

The speaker reception this evening was lovely. Held in the House we were able to mingle with the other speakers and those from Magnolia Plantation and Garden and the Charleston Horticultural Society.

The speakers

The highlight of the evening was a tie 😉 Having wonderful conversation with Mary Ann Johnson or being able to visit with the Mark Catesby publications with the historians.


#HortHarvest symposium. This symposium was so much different than any other I’ve never attended or participated in!

I guess I should have known it might have been different since there isn’t a large auditorium. The speakers were in one of two areas and all the shopping was outside!

We arrived at 9:00 AM with little on more than a light jacket. It was 44ºF and windy.

I had no idea where to go. We found Tom walking around, so called to him. “Tom.” I said. How does this work?” Then we found out. “Enjoy the gardens, the plant sale, and if you remember where you are speaking, just be there at your scheduled time”

Ah, Genya and I thought. Let’s go back to our room, put on all the clothes we have, have breakfast, and then figure out what to do next. We really needed to warm up!

Next door to the hotel, Town & Country Inn and Suites, there was a cute breakfast place called Toast.

We figured since we were on that side of town, we’d stop by the Summerville Saturday Farmers Market. Genya wanted to more jams from this one vender. Then we were off to the #HortHarvest.


After another wonderful breakfast at Toast, we headed to Middleton Place. I can’t believe this was my first time going. I’ve been to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens four times, but never had the time to visit Middleton. Now I have. It was plantation day. An event held once a year showing how things were made back in the day.

Here are some sites:

If it was warmer, we would have had our coffee sitting here:

Travel back from Charleston. We had such a good time, but it is good to be home.



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