Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Duke Gardens Spring Plant Sale: April 2

Families love to shop together at Duke Gardens' plant sales. Photo by Orla Swift for Duke Gardens.

From the Sarah P. Duke Gardens...

The Spring Plant Sale is this Saturday, April 2, from 8 a.m. to noon!

This year, we will be collecting and recycling old plastic pots. Take a look at any pots you may be wanting to get rid of and, if they have a triangle on the bottom with the numbers 1 through 7, we can take them!

For more information about the plant sale, visit the Duke Gardens website: http://gardens.duke.edu/events/plant-sales

Friday, March 25, 2016

An Easter Flower Arrangement Inspired by Frank Stella

A simple stand of tulips invokes the lines and palette of Frank Stella’s 1970
canvas ‘Flin Flon VI.’ David Stark and Victoria Shaheen Pierced Floral Rests
 for Culture Lab Detroit, from $85, FleurDetroit. Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson for WSJ,
Floral styling by Lindsey Taylor, Prop Syling by Nidia Cueva.       
By Lindsey Taylor          
THE CHALLENGE of florally interpreting an artwork every month for this column has pushed me to tackle paintings with moods and palettes you don’t see in those from the obvious Dutch masters and impressionists. I rather love that.
Frank Stella’s 1970 canvas ‘Flin Flon VI’ 
©2010 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society, New York,
Birmingham Museum of Art.
Still, as I walked the aisles of a Manhattan wholesale flower shop early one recent morning, completely flummoxed, I questioned the wisdom of choosing Frank Stella’s abstract canvas “Flin Flon VI” (1970) as my latest jumping-off point. I’d thought the timing was apt: A Stella retrospective just ended at New York’s Whitney Museum and the painting’s colors prettily anticipated spring.

As I sipped coffee to jolt me out of a creative impasse, I realized the answer was staring right at me: that most classic of spring flowers, the vivid, graphic, kinetic tulip.

The saturated colors of these single, double and parrot varieties echo Mr. Stella’s palette, and the closed buds and foliage form points and arcs delightfully similar to those in the painting. It felt freeing and decisive to gather just one type of flower.

For my vessel, I chose a new design by event designer David Stark and ceramist Victoria Asheley Shaheen—a pierced ceramic lid set atop a simple glass vase. It allowed the sweep of the fresh green stems to show nearly uninterrupted, all the better to evoke my inspiration.

GCNC Annual Meeting Early Registration Ends March 30

Planning Committee members of the Durham Council of Garden Clubs work on stuffing goodie bags for the Annual Meeting of The Garden Club of North Carolina. Early registration for the meeting ends March 30, 2016. http://www.gardenclubofnc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/GCNC-REGISTRATION-5.pdf

Sunday, March 20, 2016

North Carolina Calendar and Growing Guide to Veggies

Starting seeds can be as simple as using an ice cube tray with garden soil on a sunny windowsill. Pictured are pie pumpkin seed sprouts that can be planted after April 15 and after last frost.

Looking for a comprehensive vegetable gardening guide for the Piedmont and eastern North Carolina?
See this helpful brochure from the Cooperative Extension:  http://www.growforit.org/images/uploads/publications/Veggie-guide-east.pdf

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016

2016 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year

Northern Rattlesnake-master
Eryngium yuccifolium
Northern Rattlesnake-master
Eryngium yuccifolium

Friday, March 4, 2016

Town & Country Garden Club 'Awesome Auction' Earns $18K for Hub Farms

Belinda Rasmussen, Martha Conner, Barbara Collie of the
Town & Country Garden Club Beautification/Projects Committee.

By Robin Marin, President
Town & Country Garden Club

At it’s February 9 meeting, the Town & Country Garden Club unanimously approved the recommendation by it’s Beautification/Projects committee to allocate $18,000  to the Hub Farm for the Front Entry Gardens.

The Durham Public School’s Hub Farm is a 30 acre woodland, aquatic and farm habitat whose mission is to engage Durham county school students in all aspects of food production, as well as land stewardship, to foster healthy living, career exploration, environmental stewardship and community engagement. 

Several of our members have visited the Hub Farm already and we are excited to be holding our September meeting there as well.  Check out Hub Farm/Durham to learn more. http://www.thehubfarm.org/ We are indeed grateful to all the wonderful supporters of our November Awesome Auction who facilitated this record-setting year for our club.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How Your Supplements Interact With Prescription Drugs

By Laura Landro    
WSJ, Feb. 29, 2016                        

As millions of Americans consume over-the-counter herbal and botanical supplements in a bid to boost health, there is increasing evidence that these products can interfere with a wide range of prescription medications used to treat everything from cancer to depression to high blood pressure.

Recent studies have found that a greater number of supplements than previously thought may affect the way certain enzymes in the body metabolize drugs. Some supplements may inhibit the enzymes’ ability to break down a drug and clear it from the body, causing medication to build up to potentially toxic levels and even cause overdose. Other supplements may increase the rate at which a drug is broken down, clearing it from the body too quickly to be effective.

Botanicals, for example, can interfere with drug-metabolizing enzymes in the liver, stomach and intestines and proteins in the blood that can alter the way drugs are distributed throughout the body.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis are exploring interactions between cancer drugs and dietary supplements, based on data extracted from 23 million scientific publications, according to lead author Rui Zhang, a clinical assistant professor in health informatics. In a study published last year by a conference of the American Medical Informatics Association, he says, they identified some that were previously unknown.

For example, the herb Echinacea, often taken in the belief it boosts immunity and wards off colds, is already known to affect the way certain chemotherapy drugs work. But the researchers also identified a possible interaction with a breast cancer drug that could reduce its effectiveness.

Kava, which is used to treat sleep problems and relieve anxiety and stress, can potentially reduce the effectiveness of a breast cancer drug as well. And the researchers found that grape seed extract, which is used for some cardiac conditions, can potentially increase side effects of the cancer drug.

Philip Gregory, an associate professor of pharmacy and director of the Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., says many patients who are admitted to intensive care units have supplements circulating in their system that can interact with drugs and cause bleeding, liver, heart and nervous system complications, so it is important to ask about supplements in medical history-taking.

Learn more specific herbal supplement interactions and see full article at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-you-should-know-about-how-your-supplements-interact-with-prescription-drugs-1456777548

Keep Durham Beautiful Arbor Day Celebration: March 6

From Keep Durham Beautiful

Arborist Equipment Demonstration at the
2014 Arbor Day Celebration.

What: City of Durham 2016 Arbor Day Celebration with Community Tree Planting
Who: City of Durham General Services Department Urban Forestry Division, Keep Durham Beautiful, Trees Across Durham, and Durham City-County Sustainability Office
When: Sunday, March 6, 2016, from noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Museum of Life and Science (433 W. Murray Ave. Durham, N.C. 27704)

This annual celebration of Durham’s trees is free and open to the public. Activities are suitable for all ages and tools are provided for the volunteer tree planting.

The schedule of activities includes:
  • Noon: Ceremonial presentation of the City’s Arbor Day proclamation and Tree City USA award
  • 1 p.m.: Tree seedling giveaway and educational table displays, where attendees can choose from eight varieties of seedlings and receive guidance on tree selection, planting, and care.
  • 1 p.m.: Arborist equipment demonstration as well as a “Meet a Scientist” lab demonstration.
  • 2:30 p.m.: Community volunteer tree planting of 30 trees along North Glendale Avenue

Entry to the Museum of Life and Science is free to all Durham County residents on Sunday, March 6. Showing proof of residence for each adult is required to receive free admission, and the limit is five children per adult resident. For additional information, or to volunteer for this community tree planting event, sign up below or email info@keepdurhambeautiful.org or call (919) 354-2729 or (919) 354-2729.