Plant Collector’s Garden – Designed To Inspire…

This manicured ray of sunshine reflects the personality of inspirational lecturer and UNC – TV Host Bryce Lane and his ‘behind the scenes leading lady’… Sue Lane!
A virtual horticultural classroom & plant collector’s garden – designed to inspire…

I had the pleasure of hearing a talk by Bryce Lane over a decade ago, at a Master Gardener meeting… 

The topic was “Soils”…

As a city /suburban gal  from Chicago, I was new to getting my hands dirty.  I had no earthly idea that there was a field of study called Horticulture or Plant Science… but on that day, after Bryce’s lecture, I came away inspired…

In an hour, Bryce made soil sound so fascinating.  We were all so “fired” up about dirt!  I had only wished I had heard that talk before heading off to college, I might have chosen Horticulture Science as my major.  But instead that lecture changed the way I thought about well… everything!  It is the source, the root of the plants we grow, the food we eat!  What happens in the soil stays in the soil…I had no idea it could be so down right provocative! 

Bryce Lane has received so many awards for teaching and inspiring at NC State University, I can just see him blushing as he reads this.  

 He is also a sought after speaker/lecturer with talks such as: 

  • “The Birth of a Greenhouse: A history of manipulation!”
  • “Gardening on the Edge: Latest Trends in Gardening”
  •  “Is it Warm in Here?” New Approaches to Gardening in our Changing Climate
  • “You’re not From Around These Parts”: Gardening With Native & Exotic Plants
  •  “Eliminating Murder: How Not to Kill Plants!”

Bryce shares two Emmy awards with his Garden – the co-star of his virtual classroom on his weekly television program – “In the Garden With Bryce Lane” on UNC TV and his high school sweetheart Sue Lane. 

They welcome you to the Lane Family Garden

DSC00286

How long have you been gardening at this location 

30 years!

What is the first thing you did on the property?

Removing over 100 Liriope that were planted everywhere! I gave them to the the person who sold me his house for his new home!

How much time do you spend working in your garden?

Varies significantly, 5 to 20 hours per week. Less now that it is established.

Do you collect plants and if so what?

Depends on the month… I have been through many plant stages… Japanese Maples, Datura and Brugmansia, Colocasia, Heuchera, Dwarf Conifers, etc.

 Any favorite Garden tools? 

 AM Leonard soil knife and Felco pruners are the bombs!

 What is your mulch preference?

Cheapest, most available and what suits my mood at the time of year.   I have used pine straw, hardwood bark, yard waste, compost, and soil conditioner.

 Anything new added to your garden?

Driftwood piece from family vacation this past June at Emerald Isle.  Fished it out of the ocean with my 4 year old Grandson Ellis.

If money were no object what would you add or do differently?

Water element maybe, I might find 5- 50 acres!!  Actually my garden is the perfect size.

 What is your first memory in a garden?

Mmm, let me see…  Mom’s rock garden growing up in Massachusetts.

What is it that got you started gardening?

A part time job in High School at a Garden center…fell in love with plants… the rest is history.

 Where do you go for inspiration? 

Bible, nature, other gardens all over the world, other gardeners

Do you have a favorite Garden you’ve visited?

No, not really I love visiting them all, however, if I had to name one I would name one not created by humans…Bristlecone  Pine forest at the Inyo National Forest in California.

Do you have a favorite Garden Book?

Not really. Cut my Horticultural teeth on Donald Wyman’s Gardening Encyclopedia

Who is your Horticultural Hero? Or Garden mentor?

Can’t really name one…so many have influenced my horticultural development…  JC Raulston was my colleague, mentor, and friend.

Describe where you most often sit in your garden or looking out at your garden.

A few places, Our sun room looks out into the garden so sun room time on Saturday mornings is special… feel like we are sitting out in the garden.  The patio is also a great place to sit.  Kitchen window is also a great vantage point.

How much time do you spend just enjoying your garden? And what type of things…

See sun room time answer.  Anytime I am in my garden working or otherwise, I enjoy it!

Do you have garden wisdom’ to share? 

In gardening “disaster spells opportunity”. And as gardeners we need to honest with ourselves about how much direct sun we actually have!

 DSC00263

Perhaps we’ll get an advance peak at the latest featured Plant of the week!

Hope  to see you in the Garden of Bryce & Sue Lane!

Proceeds benefit the Garden Conservancy and locally the JC Raulson Arboretum!

DSC00767Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B
NC Certified Environmental Educator
Garden Conservancy Regional Representative
JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

 

Artful Entertaining… A peak into Peggy’s Retreat.

Strolling up the driveway, in what once had been a shade garden, under a high canopy of trees… let there be light!  Sometimes Mother nature offers new opportunities for planting. This indeed this is the case, where new beds & plants establish a colorful welcome to the Titus Garden – designed for artful entertaining.

Titus1

Winding around to the side are  two pairs of stunning gates commissioned by Peggy. The moment you step through, lush foliage & soothing sounds of water lull you in; paths beckon… time to relax, suddenly you are a world away… the hidden rooms will be revealed it’s all like a nurturing hug as you peak into Peggy’s Retreat.

Titus3

Peggy, do you recall your first memory in a garden? 

Picking pink roses off of my grandmother’s Dorothy Perkins climber that covered the entire end of her front porch when I was about 8 or 9.

 What is it that got you started gardening?

My mother was a gardener, and this was one of the few things we both enjoyed doing together.

 How long have you been gardening at this location? 

17 years

What was the first thing you changed when establishing Peggy’s Retreat?

I pulled out or cut down as much Ivy and Wisteria as possible.

 Where do you go for inspiration?

Garden magazines,  “Curb Appeal”, and the Australian landscape designer on HGTV – “The Outdoor Room” with Jamie Durie ;  nurseries & my imagination.

 Do you have a favorite Garden you’ve visited?

The  Singapore Botanical Garden.

Do you collect plants and if so what?

Shade plants of all types.

 Anything new added to your garden?

Redecorated the gazebo to make it more intimate and inviting.

Describe where you most often sit in your garden or looking out at your garden.

In my gazebo.  Often I take a book and a glass of wine out and read for an hour or so in the evening.

 Any favorite Garden tools?

Good gloves and my two in one trowel and garden claw.

 What is your mulch preference? 

Triple shredded hardwood.  I actually hate pine straw.

How much time do you spend working in your garden? 

Between March and October I average 20 to 30 hours per week.

How much time do you spend just enjoying your garden?

I like to entertain in my garden, anything from a casual dinner party to a large cocktail party for 50+ people, similar to the political fund raiser that I did on Sept. 8.

 A generous & creative host to many causes, Peggy makes it all look easy and effortless.

Won’t you visit ?   Proceeds go to Garden Conservancy and locally JC Raulston Arboretum!

DSC00767

 Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

 

 


Seasonal Heritage, a Native Refuge – Roots that Fashion a Sanctuary for the Soul…

When I stopped by to see Nancy & John Brothers at their inner belt line Raleigh home, the third week in March, the garden was already coming alive.  I had never seen so many Trout Lilies cascading down a hillside, at one time. 

 Erythronium americanum - eastern North American dogtooth having solitary yellow flowers marked with brown or purple and spotted interiors  amberbell, trout lily, yellow adder's tongue dog's-tooth violet, dogtooth, dogtooth violet - perennial woodland spring-flowering plant; so many names so little time before it disappears. Only to await next years appearance.

Erythronium americanum – eastern North American dogtooth having solitary yellow flowers marked with brown or purple and spotted interiors amberbell, trout lily, yellow adder’s tongue dog’s-tooth violet, dogtooth, dogtooth violet – perennial woodland spring-flowering plant; so many names so little time before it disappears. Only to await next years appearance.Most likely won’t be in bloom this weekend, but as I reassured Nancy – time and spring marches on. 

Most likely  the trout lilies won’t be in bloom this weekend, but as I reassured Nancy – time and spring marches on.I could see the tapestry beginning to emerge – spring ephemeral pleasure – yes – it is fleeting… feeling sap of my spirit begin to run – I  thought,  “This indeed is a sanctuary for the soul!”

Continue reading

A Plantswoman – Gardening Under the Loblolly Pines

As a trainee, newly accepted into the Master Garden Volunteer program – 2000, I perused the membership book reading about each of the 100 plus experienced Master Garden Volunteers’ gardening interests.   When I got to the ‘L’s’ there was someone who listed “Hypertufa” as one of her interests.   So it was to my delight, on my first day of  ‘Phone Duty’ – I met Amelia Lane… Continue reading

A Sanctuary of Artful Agriculture

The Garden of artist Frances Alvarino Norwood and John Norwood in Raleigh, North Carolina is a romantic sanctuary of artful agriculture and passionate sustainability.

Jayme B:  How long have you been gardening at this location?

Frances has been gardening here for 28 years

What is your first memory in a garden?

Frances: a vegetable garden in Illinois when she was 4 years old

John: irises planted in one of the beds along the drive at my parent’s house – originally planted by my great grandmother.Norwood Hyd

What is it that got you started gardening?

Frances: it was an offshoot of her first job –working in a greenhouse growing holiday plants – she was a biology major

John: my parents had large vegetable and flower gardens.  It was just something you did.  I grew my first row of tomatoes when I was 10 and sold them to a neighborhood store

Do you have a favorite Garden Book?

Frances: Crockett’s Victory Garden

Where do you go for inspiration?

Frances: favorite garden magazine now is The English Garden – she reads many garden magazines and books

Do you collect plants and if so what?

We try lots of new plants, but its not really collecting

Anything new added to your garden?

We recently bought the lot next to us (1.5 acres) and are expanding the flower beds and adding a second vegetable garden.  Blueberries, figs, and raspberries are planned.

 Describe where you most often sit in your garden or looking out at your garden.

We don’t sit in the garden very often.  We mostly enjoy it as we work in it.  We do often stroll around the garden in the evening to look.  John’s office overlooks the front garden and pond – a nice view during the day.Norwood1

 Any favorite Garden tools?

Frances – a hand hoe (hack a hoe)

John – long handled hoe

 What is your mulch preference?

Old leaf mold

 How much time do you spend working in your garden?

We each spend 18 to 20 hours a week working in the garden

 How much time do you spend just enjoying your garden? And what type of things…

We really enjoy it as we work in it.  It is also fun to show it off each year at the Larkspur party (June 1 & 2 2013).

 If money were no object what would you add or do differently?

Frances would add a rill.  (small stream)

John would buy a bobcat loader and a tiller

Do you have garden wisdom’ to share? 

Frances: Money cannot buy good soil – you have to build it.  A sharp edge to the beds and lots of mulch will do wonders.

John: Plantings don’t always work out the way you expect.  Things are always in flux.  Plants will do what they want to do.  The best groupings are often serendipitous.  Just keep trying and don’t be afraid to move things around and try something new. Norwood2

 

Hemlocks stand sentry over our sanctuary. Drifts of self-seeding heirloom annuals, poppies, larkspur, salvia, and nigella highlight the winding, herbaceous borders of peonies, foxgloves, and roses with sweet pea intertwined. Peaceful, soft pastels, and swaths of varying foliage textures unify the main garden. Hidden around one corner is an intensive vegetable garden. Plantings of ferns, asarums, hellebores, and pulmonarias are tucked under dappled shade…  Frances Alvarino Norwood and John Norwood.

When Entwined Gardens were featured on the 2010 Garden Conservancy Tour,  Frances’ sculptures saved the day!

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife GCPosterSr

Jayme B

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thyme in Rita’s Garden…

Garden Conservancy Gardener Rita Mercer invites us to enjoy the Thyme in Rita’s Garden…

Jayme B:  What is your first memory in a garden?

RM:  My first memory was in the forest behind our house in northern S.C.  We played at the creek, Continue reading

Peak Behind the Garden Gates –

Garden Conservancy Gardener Cecil J. Dykes is offering us a peak behind his garden gates…

Jayme B: What do you call your Garden?
CJ: English Garden-Woodland Paradise.

My gardens are 20 years old.  When I first moved to Raleigh in 1985 I lived in an Apt and had a small garden around my patio and many pots. Continue reading

Figs bursting with delight.

Bursting point… We all get to this point… when the blood starts to boil – the emotions swell – so full of stress our juices ready to burst like a fig after a fresh rain.  This morning I was so ready to burst that I called my sage friend  Helen Yoest – she reminded me that sometimes it is just better to “let it go”…

I took a deep breath and ventured outside to find solace in Entwined Gardens.

To my delight, I wasn’t the only one having a break & snack.

Sevensons against a
Carolina Blue Sky

The Heptacodium miconioides  (Sevenson Flower, Autumn Lilac) tree was a buzz with pollinators.  As I looked up at creamy white puffs against a Carolina Blue sky my angst began to vanish lost in a swirl of bees, wasps skippers & butterflies.  My thoughts turned to my delightful 2009 quest to find this tree – an Entwined Gardens expansion – to create a new border adding fall interest near our parking area.

Yes, a crazy Dr. Seuss – like plant that gets far too large for the chosen location.  But the fragrant creamy white flowers appearing August – September, turning into small rounded fruit with a cherry red to rose purple calyx  – ShaZaam! There’s no such thing as too Big as the sweet scent welcomes us home each day.  This small deciduous tree growing 10’ –12’ tall x 8’ – 10’ wide also valued for exfoliating bark in warm hues of light brown, does not disappoint, especially if you don’t mind unpredictable plants with fall winter interest! For those of you who cringe at the word ‘Prune’ – one can’t make a mistake on this wildly branching structure.   Within a year of planting this tree was a showstopper in my new themed border of plants for fall interest and ready for the 2010 Garden Conservancy Open Days Tour!

A lovely butterfly perched upon a Cana ‘Phaison’ or Tropicana Lily, caught my attention. I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo – then it was off in a wisp of a wing – up and circling overhead.

Table for Two –
Red Spotted Purples
dining on Celeste Fig

My mind clearly engaged as I watched the Zen motion as the butterfly fluttered up and around higher & higher then caught a glimpse of pink in an unexpected place.    One of the out of reach Celeste figs had burst open and the scent of soft flesh fills the air. Another Butterfly lands and enjoys the fleshy sweetness – talk about table with a view.

The usual suspects at the Fig Café – humans with morning coffee in hand, disrupting the quiet feast of squirrels & birds who quickly disappear, thinking of another way to enjoy these fruits, of course tasting for inspiration.  Wasps & butterflies throughout the midday, lingering like the folks at an Internet cafe; Possum and Raccoons – the nocturnal clientele leaving debris like twenty -somethings in a college town, so although unseen, we know they’ve been & enjoyed.

Who are these diners
at the Hibiscus Cafe?

Drawn further into the garden – some yet to be identified colorful visitors snacking on Hibiscus coccineus – Red Star Hibiscus pod.

Further down the path another snack has been consumed and another life form swells, 

slowing down progress, almost paralyzed to move forward.  I snap a few photos – in this the moment of truth.  By the time I can summon my husband and run back he has slithered into the safety of foliage.

I am reminded of the lesson to let it go.  Had I not taken a break, made room to breath, I’d have missed these whimsical delights, sweet smells and delicious figs.

Joy!

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

Garden Tours – A private peek into Personal Paradise

Entwined Garden South view

It’s too darn HOT.

Two years ago, at this time, we were toiling through the southern summer to ready Entwined Gardens  for the September Raleigh Area Garden Conservancy ‘Open Days’ Tour  2010.

I think of the garden as a work in progress, so that year when folks asked, ”Are you ready for the ‘Open Days Tour’”,  my comment was, “Is anyone ever ready?”

Entwined Garden South view

Looking South @ Entwined Garden

There is no amount of primping, editing or fluffing to get ready.   There are the endless lists of projects one is motivated to have “ready for The Tour” – which is a wonderful motivator to bring the garden to a new level.  Inviting unknown visitors from a national tour  to a private peek into your personal paradise can be quite unnerving.

I had always planned in my mind that the last few weeks would be the time to make clever additions so that anywhere the eye travels would be perfection… “A fluffy, spiky & roundy” for pleasing balance, a nice piece of artwork for the eye to land, and great for photography.

Alas, a month before the tour, the domino effect of the economic crisis crashed down on the computer industry .  All around divisions of many – up to now successful companies jockeying for IPO’s – were suddenly wiped out, including one my husband worked for.  The dream of garden perfection… disappeared into a new reality as we tightened our belts for the long haul of uncertain economic times.

Enshalla – breathe, let it go, offer it up to a higher power… breathe again.

Ours was a fortunate reality…  I was lucky – to have so many wonderful friends lend a hand to help in a summer of intense heat & drought.

Mitzi's Banana

Mitzi’s Banana adds color and punctuation!heat  & drought.   !

Then it seemed like Miracles began happening…  My friend Mitzi who is an incredible plants woman would call & say, “ I just stopped by Campbell Road Nursery and they are giving plants away. The have huge tropicals – Bananas and Elephant ears are marked down to a Dollar each!”   The next morning the Garden of Eden arrived in the back of a Prius! We walked around and added appropriate interest & it worked!  I was grateful and wrote notes to the nurseries whose end of year sales had helped – the norm for them end of the year, but to me it was a lifesaver.    This was after all a fundraiser for the national Garden Conservancy and the JC Raulston Arboretum – and if folks were going to drive 45 minutes or more to visit, I did not want to disappoint!

Throughout the week leading up to the weekend tour, friends – The Border Babes – arrived to lend a hand, and deliver all kinds of enhancements and moral support and hugs… it was unbelievable.

Two days before the tour, another friend who was new to gardening, asked if she could come & learn.    I said “Sure!”   Diana saw some of the “art” I had collected from Home Goods as placeholders for the Dream Art.  Aware of my now fading dream, Diana said, “I have some things that might work.  I’ll be back in about an Hour…” She came back, another Prius – loaded with the most beautiful statues, from Artist Frances Alverino .

DSC06946

I was hoping to acquire an Alverino  as a gift for my Husband’s Sept. Birthday and to celebrate the Tour.   Diana had 6 of these sculptures for me to borrow.     Talk about letting go and the higher power provides!!!     Our garden was beyond what I dreamed for the Days of the Tour!

It is a delight that this year I can stay perched inside enjoying the gardens with the miracle of central air.   From the House, one cannot see any weeding to be done… not that there isn’t any mind you… just pure enjoyment of colors and textures.

Bear Hugs sweater

Sweet sweeter for a baby using Bear Hugs.

So will take advantage of the joys of cental air  and KNIT!

Yes, all a part of  our Entwined Life!

Found a delightful soft baby sweater, elegant soft and couldn’t resist it at one of the local yarn shops.  It comes with enough for an infant kimono sweater, includes instructions and 2 cute bear buttons.  How easy! I had enough yarn left to make a little hat too!

The Yarn is by Plymouth – Bear Hugs.

Buttons

Cute as a Button!

So I will relax with my yarn and my thoughts of my wonderful friends and their bear hugs of generosity and how being grateful does make a difference.

My thoughts are also with the generous hosts who are this year prepping their landscape art for this years’ tour… what a gift to be inspired by these great gardens large or small… each grateful for the friends that lend a hand, give a hug, each Gardener’s own vision of Paradise created.

Maynard Garden Pagoda

Maynard Garden Pagoda
This richly layered garden paradise’s pagoda beckons visitors to sit and contemplate the view at the Maynard Garden Open Days Tour 2012

Come join us in Raleigh September 15 & 16!

Garden Conservancy ‘Open Days’ Tour

Joy!

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative