Monday, February 27, 2012


 Mother Nature is announcing Spring is Coming and so are the many garden tours available in our area.  Here are a few you might want to enjoy.

Governor's Mansion Garden Tours     March 7 - June 7, 2012

The Executive Gardens surrounding the Governor's Mansion are on tour from March 7, to June 7. Experience the different gardens-Rose, Children's, Victorian, etc.  North Carolina wild plants and crops best suited to North Carolina's growing zone are featured in these extensive grounds.  In keeping with the history of the Executive Mansion, which was completed by state prisoners, the gardens today are tended by state prisoners under the direction of the State Gardener. This serves both as an economy measure and as a job skill development program.  Go to for further information.  Why not visit the grounds with a group of your garden club friends.  Reservations should be made at least two weeks in advance. Hope to see you there!

Chapel Hill Garden Club Tour  April 14 & 15,2012
A Sense of Place: the Southern Gardens of Chapel Hill

The gardens are Chapel Hill are diverse.  You will see not only cottage gardens in downtown Chapel Hill, garden rooms in a sequestered garden on busy Franklin Street, multi-level gardens featuring distinctive artwork but also a farmette with a cunning hen house.  This tour offers 10 different opportunities to experience a panoply of gardening styles and dreams plus numerous ideas to take home. Many are the product of their owners' efforts.  So plan to travel over more than just downtown Chapel Hill.

Uncommon Garden Tour  April 28, 2012

In 2002 the owners of this property decided to enhance their backyard.  The project grew and expanded to incorporate tons of soil, rocks, sculpture to create a truly unique garden.  Once a year the owners open it for public tours to benefit The ArtsCenter of Carrboro.  Not only will there be distinctive works of arts to please and intrigue the eye but you will enjoy musical performances by noted local musicians. This event is after dark and for 3 hours only.

Easter Baskets for the Vets at the Durham VA

Every year I decorate the VA Hospital Chapel with poinsettias and ask my garden club to help.
The Durham VA was so excited and thankful this year that I thought I would do the decorating of the chapel for Easter.  People from the community, hospital patients and employees use the chapel daily.
For Easter I thought we could satisfy two requests of the VA hospital volunteer staff.  They have sent a list of needs and one project they need help with is the gardens for the assisted living patients.  These patients maintain the garden but they need plants.

By using small plants in baskets in the Chapel the long term patients can then plant them in their garden. This is a therapeutic program that gives the Veterans the opportunity to reminisce on past gardening and/or farming experiences and fosters a sense of purpose and responsibility through the planting, growing and caring of plants, herbs, vegetables and flowers.

I ask the members of DCGC to help me purchase these plants.  There will be 5 baskets.
one for each branch of the service.  On Saturday before Easter we will take the baskets and deliver them to the Chapel.  I could use one or two extra people to help me make up the baskets.  This can be done any day between Palm Sunday and that Saturday.

Can I count on you to cheer the Vets at the Durham VA for Easter and again all summer with the planting of the herbs, vegs and flowers for them to eat and enjoy?  Any amount would be a help.  You can give me a check or cash at the March DCGC meeting or mail me Marcia L at Heritage Garden Club in the yearbook.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sharing my newsletters of interest

I get many great newsletters which I use to share ideas and information. Rather than take bits and pieces of information I thought you might enjoy the full newsletters yourself.  You can write and get on their list if they are writing about
your passion and want to stay current with their store, garden or educational resources.

The Little Herb House sells and educates in a great fun way everything you need to know about herbs.  Spring is coming and they have some great activities.

The NC Botanical Gardens is just down the road at UNC and they have tours, classes, books and more.  Check out their website for their classes and special events.  It you haven't been recently you really should take a tour this spring.

Of course you can't miss Sarah P. Duke Gardens.  I give some of my extra time
to this garden so it is special to me.  We docents (as we tell the children the meaning of "docent" is don't get paid)  are in the middle of our winter training and while walking in the gardens yesterday, I saw the buds a growing.
This will be spectacular in another month.  Oh I found out there are over 250 volunteers at Duke Gardens and if your knees are gone you still can be part of the gardens.  Call them if you are interested in joining a great group of people.

I received another newsletter this week from Habitat of Humanity.  They have Women Build and are preparing to build a 6th home by women.  They came to a Council meeting recently and I hope some of us can support their efforts. The Women Build Kickoff will be Tuesday, March 20 at 6 pm at the Hill House.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ardith's Jottings

What We Learn From Gardening

We learn patience.  We plant. We water.  We feed. We wait.  We weed. We wait again.  We wait for rain, for sun, for growth, for the rain to stop.    We learn perseverance.  We move forward in the garden even when problems occur.   We continue on when the weeds seem to be winning.  We even learn from the weeds.  We learn that it is better to nip them when they are young than to postpone the chore. Any problem is more manageable in the beginning stages rather than letting it grow.  Nipping it in the bud saves more time and effort later.  Plus doesn't it give your spirits a lift to look at that clean bed.  Clearing the weeds from your flower beds gives you instant satisfaction--they're gone!  No waiting for results.  We learn faith.  The act of planting is an exercise in faith.  Faith that it will grow, flourish and reward our efforts.  We learn to dream.  We dream as we look at plant catalogs deciding what we are going plant next season.  We dream as we look at the winter landscape visualizing it bursting forth with all these glorious plants.  Gardeners are dreamers.  We share our dreams with all who see our gardens. 

Council Awards

Time is running out.  Remember to get your Council Award forms to me shortly.  The information  is in your Council Handbook.  It's a chance to brag about your club has done  and get some money for your treasury to support your activities for the coming year.  It's a win-win.  Pat yourself on the back and win cash for your club!

September State Board Meeting Plans Move Ahead

The Executive Committee for the Fall State Board Meeting is busy planning this exciting event.  They are working to make it an enjoyable and productive meeting.   In fact, we are inviting you to participate in some of the activities even though you are not planning on attending the meeting.  We hope you will visit our vendors and see their outstanding and unique items.  Visit the Trash and Treasure table and participate in the Silent Auction. 

Some items have been received for the Trash and Treasure table and the Silent Auction.  We have received artwork,  a fabulous Christmas tree skirt with matching table runner (from the Frontgate Catalog), and floral containers BUT we NEED YOU!  We need you to work on a committee, to be a page, to donate items for the Trash and Treasure table and/or the Silent Auction; we need you to participate

Upcoming programs available at Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Upcoming programs available at Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Please call 919-668-1707 for complete program information or to register

Youth and Family programs

For children ages 8-10; adult chaperone required
Uncover the mysteries of magnets as you conduct experiments and explore the property of magnetism.
Learn to make a compass, paint with magnets and become a magnetic performer.
Saturday, Feb 25, 1-2:30 pm.                                       Participant Limit: 12
Location: Doris Duke Center                                       Fee: $6; Friends $5

           NATURE’S KAZOOS
For children ages 5-7; adult chaperone required
What was that noise?! Explore sound and vibration in the garden.  Learn how other animals produce
and perceive sound and make some instruments of your own.  
Saturday, March 10, 10-11:30 am.                             Participant Limit: 12
Location: Doris Duke Center                                       Fee: $6; Friends $5

NATURE STORYTIME: Free drop-in book club
For children ages 3-7, adult chaperone required
Celebrate the season with a story read aloud to the group out in the Gardens.  Each story relates to
the season or garden spot, lets read together and then discuss the garden connection. Please go to
our website the Monday before class to see an announcement of the book to be read that week.

1st Saturdays, April 7, May 5, June 2, 10:30-11:30 am.     

           3rd Thursdays, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, 10:30-11:30 am.
Location: TBA at the front desk in the Doris Duke Center.

Adult and Certificate Programs

GREAT PERENNIALS FOR THE GARDEN BED sponsored by the Durham Garden Forum
Presented by Edith Edelmann
Edith was the curator/co-curator of the Perennial Border at JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh
for 20 years.  She was the co-designer of the original Perennial Allee at Sarah P. Duke Gardens along
with Doug Ruhren.  Edith has also completed designs for many public gardens including: Calloway Gardens
in Georgia, Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in North Carolina, Berkshires Botanical Gardens in Massachusetts,
Brookside Gardens in Maryland and Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden in Kernersville, North Carolina - awarded in
2011 as the Perennial Plant Associations’ Landscape Design Award.
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6:30 – 8 p.m.                                                  No pre-registration required
Location: Kirby Horton Hall at the Doris Duke Center       Fee: Durham Garden Forum event,free to forum members and their guests / $10 general public 
Stefan Bloodworth, Curator, or Katherine Magowan, Horticulturist, Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Explore wild North Carolina in these walks through the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. Join staff, or guest experts,
on the first Thursday of every month for discussions of seasonal interest. New discoveries await you, blooming native plants,
natural design strategies, ecology and a fresh appreciation of the services delivered by a well-functioning world. Please dress
for the weather. 
First Thursdays,                March 1,                                              Participant Limit: 15
April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, Aug. 2, 11 am.-noon.            Fee: $5; Friends free
Location: Meet at the entrance Blomquist Garden  (registration required)
Parking fees apply

Jason Holmes, Curator of the Doris Duke Center Gardens, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
This class introduces you to spectacular plants that offer a distinct ornamentality. Sign up separately for each session to
learn a new group of beautiful and useful plants, or take all four sections.
Section b: Wednesday, March 7, 1-3 pm.
                      SPRING GEOPHYTES
Section c:  Wednesday, May 16, 1-3 pm.
                       ALBA: White foliage and flowers
Section d:  Wednesday, July 18, 1-3 pm.
Location: Doris Duke Center                                                       Participant Limit: 15
Home Horticulture Certificate Elective                                 Fee: $25; Friends $20.

Paul D. Jones, Curator of the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, and Michelle Rawlins, Horticulturist, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
The Asiatic Arboretum holds many fascinating plants, displayed in beautiful and ever-changing combinations. Join our expert
staff as they guide you to several little-known garden spaces and unique plants. You will enjoy the arboretum in an entirely new way.
Friday, March 9 and/or Friday, April 13, 10 am.-noon.     Participant Limit: 15
Location: Doris Duke Center                                                       Fee: $5; Friends free
Parking fees apply        (registrationrequired)

 Each day the Gardens inch closer to the spring burst of activity.
The Paperbush are showing color, the Witchhazels are in
bloom, we are just waiting for the first bloom of the new Akebono
Cherry trees lining the entry allee.

As you walk down this path and look up you will see the Chapel –
or look ahead to the Roney Fountain all through a cloud of
pink Akebono cherry blossoms, it will be a spectacular spring

Please call if you have questions or suggestions.
I can be reached at the numbers below.
Program registration can be called in to 919-668-1707 or emailed

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Litter Sweep is coming up!

Classes at The Scrap Exchange

February Classes Still Available
We've got some great classes left in February and space is still available.   Sign up today for any of the following creative reuse classes.   (And watch for our March/April class list to be released soon!)

Altered Sweaters
Friday, February 17
6-9pm (drop-in anytime during class hours)
Instructor: Ann Woodward
All ages
Online Registration Link:

Bring a sweater or two, and make a scarf, hat, or just change it up into your own unique, one-of-a-kind design. Special Third Friday drop-in class!

Sock Monkeys
Saturday, February 18
Instructor: Dara McGinn 
All ages
Online Registration Link:

Learn how to make your own custom sock monkey from 2 old socks, left-over buttons, and filling. No prior experience is necessary. For kids and adults. Bring your favorite pair of old socks if you like!

T-Shirt Re-Make
Monday, February 20
Instructor: Madeline James
Online Registration Link:

Got loads of baggy tee-shirts that you will never wear from your school, dance squad, team building events, and all those other cool things you do? Learn to sassify your wardrobe with a t-shirt modification class. You don’t have to have a lot of sewing experience, but basic knowledge of how to use a sewing machine wil help. Bring a t-shirt that you would like to modify and a t-shirt or tank top that fits you well to use as a pattern. By the end of the class you will have one sassy T, and the skills to make many more.

Funky Pet Food Totes
Tuesday, February 21
Instructor: Madeline James
Online Registration Link:

Turn used pet food bags (or bird seed bags) into sturdy and attractive tote bags. All feed bags and other materials will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. This is a fun and easy project, but some previous sewing experience is required.

Cape It Up: Discover Your Inner Super Hero (kids!)
Friday, February 24
4 to 6pm
Instructor:   Sara McCreary
Ages: 8 to 12
Fee:  $12
Online registration link:

Fight crime, live in a magical world, or be an evil villain — the choice is yours when you learn to make a cape and design your own super hero symbol! Show the world your inner powers.

Cape it Up: Discover Your Inner Super Hero (adults!)
Friday, February 24
6-9pm (drop-in anytime during class hours)
Instructor: Sara McCreary
Ages: 16+
Fee: $7
Online registration link:

Fight crime, live in a magical world, or be an evil villain - the choice is yours when you learn to sew a cape and design your own super hero symbol. Show the world your inner powers! Special drop-in class.

Collage Cards
Sunday, February 26
Instructor: Rechel Harris
Online Registration Link:

Create a collage that reflects different aspects of  yourself! This collage class, inspired by the process of SoulCollage as described in Seena B. Frost’s published works about SoulCollage®, will guide you through the process making an original picture using images from magazines, cards, calendars, and more. Each card you make will reflect an aspect of your inner self.

In the Neighborhood

Third Friday Durham Events
Our Green Gallery openings are always scheduled to coincide with other Third Friday events in downtown Durham. Here are the things we know about now happening on this Third Friday; there may be more in the works! All events are Friday, February 17 from 6-9 pm unless otherwise noted. More information is available at
1. Painting The Town Red , 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Studio 123 at Golden Belt , 807 East Main Street Durham NC , Durham, NC 27701

2. “P.G. Adams: Glazed & Amazed” in the BASEMENT , 6:00pm - 9:00pm
susan frosch art & design , 305 e chapel hill st, durham arts place, basement studio- enter from alley behind building, Durham, NC 27701

3. “Andy Fleishman: Starting with Photography” Exhibition Opening & Artist Reception , 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Through This Lens , 303 E. Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

4. Green Gallery Opening: "Leaving Liberty", art by Daniel Bagnell , 6:00pm - 9:00pm
The Scrap Exchange , 923 Franklin St., Bays 1 and 2, Durham, NC 27701

5. Book Signing at Recyclique , 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Recyclique , 2811 Hillsborough Road, A creative upcycling nonprofit, Durham, NC 277005

6. Opening Reception: Eno River Tapestries by Silvia Heyden / Open Studios , 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Horse & Buggy Press / Bull City Arts Collaborative , 401-B1 Foster Street, Durham, NC 27701

7. Carburetor: Art by Melissa Smith , 7:00pm - 10:00pm
The Carrack Modern Art , 111 West Parrish Street, Durham, NC 27701

8. Michael Casey , 11:00am - 11:00pm
The Broad Street Cafe , 1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

9. Grand Opening Studio Show , 6:00pm - 11:59am
Revere La Noue's Studio , 308 West Main Street, Durham, NC 27701

10. BOUT IT. The Work of Martin Loomis , 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Durty Durham Art Collective , 305 E Chapel Hill St, Up the Stairs, Durham, NC 27701

11. Gregg Kemp Talk , 6:00pm - 7:00pm
The Durham Art Guild's Room 100 Gallery at Golden Belt , 807 East Main Street, Building #2, Room 100, Durham, NC 27701

12. Works by Rachel Goodwin , 7:00pm - 8:15pm
Manbites Dog Theater , 703 Foster Street, Durham, NC 27702

13. Third Friday at Golden Belt , 6:00pm - 12:00pm
Golden Belt , 807 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27701

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Exhibit on Invasive Plants to Open with Presentation and Reception

Chapel Hill: “Plant This, Not That—Alternatives to Invasives,” an educational exhibit at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, opens on Saturday, February 25.  The public is invited to attend an opening celebration in the gardens’ Education Center at 1 pm.  Associate Director for Natural Areas and Conservation Programs Dr. Johnny Randall opens the event with a short program about invasive plants. The presentation will be followed by a reception, during which six artists who created the exhibit will be on hand to discuss their work. The event is free, though an RSVP is encouraged: call 919-962-0522.

“Plant This, Not That” consists of a series of panels discussing invasive plant issues and showing examples of ornamental native plants that can be used instead of invasives in gardens and landscapes.  The artists who created the accompanying illustrations are graduates of the Botanical Garden’s Certificate in Botanical Illustration Program: Irena Brubaker, Betsy Lowry Donovan, Glenda Parker Jones, Joanne Phillips Lott, Julia Shields and M.P. Wilson. Their original paintings will be on display during the reception.

The event launches National Invasive Species Awareness Week, February 26 – March 3, the purpose of which is to bring attention to the impacts, prevention, and management of invasive species and to organizations who are working toward healthy, biodiverse ecosystems.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden is located off Fordham Boulevard at Old Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill.  A unit of The University of North Carolina, it has been a leader in native plant conservation and education in the southeastern United States for more than 40 years. The Botanical Garden is open 7 days a week and admission is free. See htt:// for details.

Uncommon Garden

The Uncommon Garden is a sculptural landscape defying words while challenging traditional ideas of
“the garden.” Discover the sheer magnitude of rockassemblages, water features, dragons and snakes;
the magnificent detail in mosaics and iron works; with many other surprises on its winding foot paths.

Daytime Tours
9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am
$30 per ticket - 70 tickets per tour
Live Music and artists painting Plein Air

The Garden Gala
7:00pm - 10:00pm
$75 for 1 ticket, or $125 for 2 tickets
80 tickets available for the Gala
Experience The Uncommon Garden in a way never before seen
by the public. This evening event will enchant guests with lights
dancing off the water and a magical mist in the air…
all set against the backdrop of
Live Music and Performance,
Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres,
Bar (ticket with 2 drink coupons, and cash bar after that) and
Silent Auction of local Artists’ works

Tickets also at and the Box Office
(919) 929-2787

Friday, February 10, 2012

Edith Edelman to speak at Duke Gardens

CLICK on image to enlarge so you can read.  Drag to desktop so you can print

Worst Winter Weeds: Hairy Bittercress

By Toni Leland (tonileland)
January 29, 2012
Spring is in the air, little green things are popping up all over, and we all heave a sigh of relief that the blanket of white stuff is finally gone. But beneath the snow that stopped everything in its tracks lurks a hardy, robust little puff of tiny green leaves that virtually grows before your eyes.

(This article was originally published on March 29, 2010.  Your comments are welcome but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions or comments.)
Call it what you will - hairy bittercress, winter bittercress, hairy cress, popping cress - Cardamine hirsuta - is a weed that tries the most forgiving gardener's patience. Growing worldwide (except in the Antarctic, this genus of the Brassicaceae family numbers more than 150 species, both annual and perennial. The plant is self-pollinating and in bloom throughout the year. It loves moist soil and grows aggressively under those conditions.

As the snow melts, tiny white, pink, or lavender flowers begin to appear. Yes, flowers. This tenacious weed is short-lived, which is good, you say. A life cycle of 6 weeks doesn't seem like such a big deal. Think again - how many 6-week cycles are there in a year?

One of the biggest problems with bittercress is that, by the time you discover you have a problem, it's almost too late to do anything about it. The first flowers appear in late February or early March, quickly form seed pods, and mature. If you touch those trigger-happy seed pods, it's all over - the pods explode, distributing seeds over an area up to 36 inches around each plant. Those seeds will germinate and begin sprouting with a few days and the cycle begins again, only over a larger area. Small to medium size plants produce about 600 seeds, and larger plants can yield up to 1,000 seeds.

Hairy bittercress is not invasive enough to warrant using herbicides. As soon as new plants appear in February or March, begin pulling them; these are the offspring of the previous fall's seed crop. Through the season, always pull the seedlings when you see them; they have shallow roots and come away quite easily; however, bits of root left behind are capable of re-rooting under optimum conditions. The key is to get the plants before they set seed, which happens quickly after blooming. Eradicating this weed from large areas is almost impossible, unless you can hoe and remove. Keeping bittercress out of the flower beds is a little easier, but requires diligent hand-weeding to stay ahead of the seed formation. The leaves release a pungent aroma when bruised.

Hairy bittercress is a problem in greenhouses and nurseries, so be sure to clear off the top 2 to 3 inches of soil before planting anything you purchase. Scoop the soil into a plastic bag and discard. Keep a close watch on newly planted containers, especially those that are positioned near flower beds. The propulsion factor of bittercress seeds can sneak new plants into your containers while you aren't looking. Hairy bittercress is a real problem near flagstone patios or walks, brick work, or any hard-scaping that has space between the pieces. This weed does not need much to set down roots - even a small amount of sand between two bricks is plenty.

As mentioned before, at least the seedlings are easy to pull.

Are you into Seed Trading?

Dave's Garden has a forum.  If you have seeds to share or are looking
for something that costs only the price of a SASE, check this out.
People post their seeds of interest, you might find that perfect variety
not available here in town.  If you participate please also share
a photo of your plants and also we could have our own seed swap. Anyone
interesting in starting this?

Plant and Seed Trading
Trading seeds and plants was the first feature of Dave's Garden and continues to be an huge activity among our members. Expand your garden by trading with other gardeners from around the country! Currently there are 52,194 different plants listed by 14,089 different members.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Educate Yourself!

Educate Yourself!
Join us for
classes and workshops at our
Durham and Charlotte locations.
 All classes begin at 10am.
 Call and sign up now!
Feb. 4 & Mar. 3
"How to Plant a Premium Rose Garden."
Interested in learning how Witherspoon plants a rose?  Join us for a detailed demonstration of what it takes to plant a bareroot rose.
Feb. 18 & 25
"Prune Your Roses Right!"  Pruning your roses is one of the most important, but intimidating tasks that is part of proper rose care.  It takes a steady hand and the right procedure to ensure the best possible growth for your rose bush.  Let Witherspoon demonstrate the best way to prune your roses.
Mar. 17
"Fertilizing:  a Jumpstart for Your Roses."
Fertilizer is the fuel roses need to produce those blooms all season long!
Mar. 31

"Spice Up Your Life with Herbs:  An Herbal Workshop!"
Learn the basics of starting your own herb garden.  $20 fee includes creating your own dish garden with organic herbs.

Sustainable Landscapes

Click to enlarge the flyer.  Looks like a grat event.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Uncommon Garden

The Uncommon Garden is a sculptural landscape
defying words while challenging traditional ideas of
“the garden.” Discover the sheer magnitude of rock
assemblages, water features, dragons and snakes;
the magnificent detail in mosaics and iron works;
with many other surprises on its winding foot paths.
visit the link below for much more information and tickets

Daytime Tours
9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am
$30 per ticket - 70 tickets per tour
Live Music and artists painting Plein Air

The Garden Gala
7:00pm - 10:00pm
$75 for 1 ticket, or $125 for 2 tickets
80 tickets available for the Gala
Experience The Uncommon Garden in a way never before seen
by the public. This evening event will enchant guests with lights
dancing off the water and a magical mist in the air…
all set against the backdrop of
Live Music and Performance,
Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres,
Bar (ticket with 2 drink coupons, and cash bar after that) and
Silent Auction of local Artists’ works

Tickets also at and the Box Office
(919) 929-2787