Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, November 20, 2017

Posted by on November 20, 2017



Monday, 1.10 ins.



I knew going in what I would do this day. The 30-foot front-of-fence bed Dovecote Bed needed renovation.

Lifted all the plants that were in there. Separated them out. Added boxwood, germander, heuchera, and creeping phlox.


Finished the front of the Dovecote Bed by adding tulips and pansies.

Pulled annuals in back of the Dovecote Bed. There are Gerber Daisies there not that still look great!

Pulled up annuals and re-configuring the Roost Bed. Added three boxwood, and planned two flats of pansies. Covered the bed with a nice layer of mulch.

Started racking the leaves from the Berms. Well, I started on one of the berms, one 1/4 of the leaves were piled to the parking lot. This is gonna take me a very long time to do. My priority is to put in winter annuals, so those leaves will just have to wait!

When I got home, David mentioned there were surveyor flags on both front sides of our property. He wondered if I had called to remark them. I didn’t. The the side of the worried neighbor, concerned that my landscape edging was on her property, revealed I was not encroaching. I’m pretty sure she is not happy, to be wrong, but oh well. This isn’t the first time she claimed her my property to be hers.


My day IN, and boy do I need it. I’m still wore out from my weekend in Charleston with Genya.

I have a lot on my to-do list, be it will all start indoors. Make that getting pinestraw. David didn’t need the truck first thing, and I emailed my source, Abby PT, and raked to my heart’s content.  This time, I just stored it at the top of the drive way. There is so much cut back that needs to be done after the light frost, the pinestraw will be used to cover this biomass to make things look tidy. Once everything is in it’s place, I’ll use the pinestraw to cover up.

Cleaned up the kitchen for Thanksgiving. The fridge needed to be cleaned out; that is my top (indoor) priority. Since I’ve been working at Fearrington, the house isn’t “mine” anymore, and the kitchen looks like it’s a mine field. So gross. I wonder why my family doesn’t view their surroundings with a close of an eye as I do? OK, maybe that is asking too much. How about just not making things worse!


It was a short day for me at Fearrington. Funny thing about an underage daughter going to the doctor. I assume it’s the same for boys. A daughter at 12 years old can  meet with her doctor to ask to be put on birth control without my permission, but she can’t see the doctor for a cold unless a parent or guardian is with her until she is 18. Crazy, right?!?!?!

Greg, Jorge, Zac and I met at the HWY beds to discuss our plan. Greg gave us the go-ahead, so Zac and I got started right away. Jorge and his team already removed the two huge hollies flanking the sign and removed the massive roots with a back hoe. Today, Zac and I added the edging which we thought would add a lot of value to these locations given the weeds that encroach.

Planted the last of the boxwood in front and back of the Dovecote fence section. They look super sweet there.

Ouch!!! On my drive home today from work, I saw the first Christmas tree strapped to the top of someone’s car.


Zac and I planted 11 ‘Raulston Hardy’ viburnums to each of the two HWY Beds. Next week we’ll add winter flowering color such as pansies.

Zac found and delivered three fantastic rocks that I will be able to use in Park Inn Room 34 entrance. It was fun to move the rock around to find the perfect sweet spots!

I was able to finish planting the germander since Zac picked it up on his way home Thursday. Pansies are in, and so are the tulips!!! I may add more this spring, but this will be the winter look. I’m very pleased with the new design. Also planted the tulips for a good spring showing!



Still pulling annuals out that I missed the first go around.

Filled the bird feeders.

Watered all my beds. It’s hard to remember to water when it’s so cool outside. I thought I better hit them all since the pansies would need a drink.

Planted 12 parsley along the front of the Roost fence bed.

Filled the pond in Park Inn Room 34. I then noticed the pump wasn’t working. The hose broke from the pump. I refashioned the hose-clap, only for it to break again. I think the hose is at the end of its life. It’s brittle. I got it fixed again but will address with a new tube fitting on Monday.

Played around with the rocks that Zac brought. They are looking pretty good. Next week, I’ll add some ferns to go around them.

Pulled annuals Admin Nest Building and pruned the abelia. Next week, I’ll add some pansies.

Planted herbs in Roost Fence Containers.

Added an organic fertilizer to the Silo Bed snapdragons.

OK, you have to laugh at this, b/c otherwise I’d be mortified with embarrassment. Late Friday, I was watering around Inn Room 33. At that moment, friends of mine were checking and our eyes met. I said, LARA! Hi! Ever since you moved from Raleigh you have been on my mind. I let her know I think of her and her husband and kids often. We chatted. Got caught on the kids. I didn’t want to take anymore of their time together so I let them go, but I could have chatted for another half hour.

It was wonderful to see them. Remember, I’m the gardener as the fine establish, but my friends are consumers. You have to love it! So what was so funny? When I got back to my desk, I was about to throw a couple of my favorite snacks into my mouth. At that moment, I remembered while I crave chocolate covered coffee beans, they tend to stick in my teeth. I stopped myself and looked in the mirror. Sure enough, there were two areas where the coffee bean stuck. One was just a sliver, the other looked like I was missing an entire front tooth from my otherwise pearly whites. She did say a thing, and Lara, if your are reading this, thank you for your discretion!


WPTF Weekend Gardener in the morning. Bath Fitter in the afternoon along with Genya stopping by to pick up a plant. I’ll admit. I was dragging. So tired from all the fall duties in the garden. I had a hard time making it to the Weekend Gardener show. But so glad I did. It is always so much fun!!

First hour Weekend Gardener

Second hour Weekend Gardener

Third hour Weekend Gardener

Bath Fitter stopped by for ANOTHER measurement! I hope he gets this right. Trust me, I will not pay a dime until they get this right!

Genya stopped by to pick up a plant. We got to chat some. I love her <3. She is spending and her family are going to Columbus for Thanksgiving. We get to take care of Sir Rupert!

I was able to get some good gardening in, but just one focused projects. Sometimes it’s best that way. Don’t look at the garden as a whole, but carve out a do project in the time or energy you have. That way, things are not so overwhelming.

My project was to weed out the dwarf mondo bed. It’s really a path, I suppose, but I since it melds into the Mixed Border, there tends to be encroachment. I like it to be free on anything but month. There was a lettuce-like leaf spreading everywhere. I left in hopes the chickens would like it, but they never touched it; so as time when on, it made itself at home. The parsley was self-sowing wonderfully, but it was in the path, and so were the violets, which I knew I would have to control. But as a host plant for fritillaries, it is worth it.

It took about two hours all in all. Just the right size project for the little energy I had.


A free DAY!

I began my day late b/c I slept for 12 hours!

Today’s project was to cut back frost damaged perennials and annuals. I started with the salvias in the back and worked my around to the front trimming the Sheffield Pink’ mums, Cannas, and elephant ears. All this biomass was taken in areas to enrich the soil. Comfortable, I sat on my haunches and cut the stems up into six inches pieces. Saturday, I’ll get more pinestraw and cover these areas for the winter. The biggest load was under the magnolia on the south side. That took u about four hours of my day. Very pleasant chore; one I love a lot.

I don’t put the garden to bed for the winter like I use too. In the past, everything was cut back to the ground so it all looks perfectly tidy. I would the mulch everything with a thick blanket of composted leaf mulch. It was an annual ritual. One that I looked forward to. Now when I put the garden down, I leave all the hollow stems up about 8 10 inches. An example includes the Hollow Joe Pye Weed, Eutrochium fistulosum. These hollowed stems become nesting sites for many of our native bees. It’s the new beautiful. Come to Helen’s Haven, the Bee Better Teaching Garden and you will see stems ready for the nesting to begin.

After the glorious day in the garden, I did a little more shopping for Thanksgiving. It looks like all three my kids will be here, with Nate, Bud’s boyfriend, and our dear Rebecca, our kid’s math mentor.

Short week, and there is a lot to be done at Fearrington, but I shall do it all so I can feel I earned my time off. Although I don’t think my boss or RB would ever think I didn’t earn more than everyday I worked. They tell me often. I love my job and what I do!


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