Gardeners Roll Call: Monday, December 11, 2017

Posted by on December 11, 2017



Friday/Saturday, we received a much needed 2.2 inches!



It was a light day at Fearrington Gardens. Zac and I drove to Piedmont Carolina to pick up plants for both Jenny’s Boardroom and the West Lawn Garden Bed. The nursery didn’t have all Zac wanted, but he did get a couple of azaleas he needed. I scored three Cercis canadansis ‘Vanilla Twist’. I wasn’t familiar with it when I first saw it on the availability list. I researched and deemed it exactly what we needed.

And since it is a Red Bud, I immediately wrote to Denny Werner to see if it was one of his introductions. Nope, he said, that credit belongs to Charlie Brotzman of Brotzman’s Nursery, introduced in 2013.


As Zac and I are adding plants, mostly natives, to the West Lawn Garden Bed, we studied the existing design and wondered how we could add to the existing plan, giving it a more dense layout and some needed rhythm. We also picked up seven Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’. ‘Mt. Airy is a good performer for our Zone 7b climate. In the spring, there will be an abundance of white flowers, great summer foliage, and the fall color is par excellence. The white flowers from both the ‘Mt. Airy’ and the ‘Vanilla Twist’ will add value for spring weddings on that lawn.

After Zac and I laid the plants out for tomorrow’s planting, I cut back perennials and raked. The perennials are set too far back and not receiving enough sun. They are leggy and floppy. They will be removed a potted up for use elsewhere.

The bed is also devoid of organic matter. Well, except for the compacted dirt. The leaf collection procedure at Fearrington is to collect and save for later use. As you may know from reading Gardening with Confidence over the years, I like to pile in situ then cover with mulch. As such, I took all the raked debris and scooted it to the back of the bed. Once everything is planted, we can mulch, covering these leaves, and no one will be the wiser. 😉

I had company on my drive home last night. In the quiet of my car, with no music or book disk, I rode in peace with the “Full Cold Moon”,  the first (and last) “supermoon” of 2017. I somehow missed it driving home yesterday, and tonight, I caught sight of the moon, low in the sky, but visible from every vignette on my drive home. The moon was mesmerizing. I was moonstruck. For that measure of time, on my drive home, I forgot politics, sex scandals, and what generally appears to the closes to a civil divide in our country sine 1861.


First things first. I watered the Park Inn Courtyards.

After the weekly staff meeting, Zac and I planted the three ‘Vanilla Twist’ and seven ‘Mt. Airy’ in the East Lawn Bed. This bed is really shaping up!

Moved a lot of leaves and debris to the back of the East Lawn Bed. There is no organic matter to speak of over there. We are piling on the leaves, and plan to mulch right over it. We need to begin getting the soil in shape!

Cut back and raked the left-side of the House Entrance Bed.

Began cutting back the right-side of the House Entrance Bed. This bed is full of hellebores, so I began their cutback.

One on of my many casual conversations I’ve had with RB Fitch during my first year at Fearrington, I shared with him, the sunsets at Fearrington are the best I’ve ever experienced. Further, I shared with him, in my garden, the morning is the most magical time. He said mornings were best for hime too. But as I work 10 hour days, I am witness to the sunsets, at least during November-March, and have noted, they are some of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen.


My day IN!

The warmest part of the day was when I first stepped outside this morning. You could tell it was going to be one of those days that got colder as the day drew on.

A pretty chill day with some gardening work, a little shopping, and a nice visit to my friend, Nathalie!

Using my STHIL battery-powered chainsaw, I took down the dead ornamental cherry tree. I normally leave snag up for the wildlife, but since this one didn’t  have a top, it was all a tall stump, and in the way, I took it down.

Picked up 12 more bales of longleaf pinestraw. I added those around the fig and hardy Kiwis, and covered another of my many compost piles. I stored about six in the back 40 (feet) to lay once all the cutbacks are complete. They I will give that back area a final coverup for the winter.

Took some limbs off the ‘Brown Turkey’ fig.

Blew the paths.

Watered the plants in the Bee Better Teaching Garden, Garden House.


Another busy day at Fearrington Village. My #gardengoals today were to finish planting the Penny Beds.  I also added mulch to the Spa side. Just when I thought I had finished, I realized I haven’t mulched the other pair of Penny Beds. Well, that is just going to have to wait until next week. I had other priorities, and by the time I finished those, I was out of muscle strength! So there!

Planted bulbs and pansies on the right-side House Entrance beds. Mulched. It took most of the afternoon. Donna offered to help me with the mulching, so that helped move things along.


A day off!

After such a back-breaking, muscle-mused week, my body needed a break. Knowing it would be very cold and wet today, I was wise to plan this day off. So what will I do? Cook a nice beef stew, read my library book, and generally feel nested in my home that is ready for Christmas. I have a day, home alone, and I shall cherish it!

Starting this evening, we will have a house guest, plus two pets. One of Lily’s friends family was evicted. David and I offered to take in her friend and two of her pets. So sad so close to Christmas; we will do what we can. We don’t know her mother or other siblings, and only know the friend and only somewhat, but she was here for Thanksgiving, and seems like a nice kid. It’s time for all be thankful for what we have, and sharing as needed, We are very fortunate we are surrounded by love and warmth during this time of giving.

Went to the Mall for a little Christmas shopping. I do NOT like the Mall, but I needed new Levis Jeans. I will go for two reasons: 1) to get new jeans and 2) to go to the Apple store. While I was there, I picked up stuffing stuffers for Lily, Aster, and Lara Rose.

Our first ice storm of the season. We will be getting rain through the evening, so it will be interesting to see what happens. May turn to snow. May stay ice. In any event, I put down Ice Melt on the front steps and walk


What a lazy day!!!  I needed it. I almost stayed in my jammies all day, but they I asked Lily if she wanted to go to the movies with me. Of course she did. It’s our thing! We say Three Billboards at the Rialto Theathre in Raleigh.

I got caught up on more writing, and was in front of the computer for 9 straight hours. From the den couch, I watched it rain, snow, ice, then rain again, and snow, ending in a light rain.

All in all, a good day!


Since it is going to be pretty, I will #optoutside. My favorite place to be.

Did a little gardening, a little flea marketing, a little holiday socializing. Well, that was the hope anyway. Instead I took Aster to work and back, made a Costco run (shiver), and puttered around the house. It felt good to have some (more) downtime. I’m highly looking forward to my Christmas staycation!

Packed my STHIL chainsaw to work so I can find something green to use as a Christmas tree.



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