Make a Lasting Impression

Many of us are under the Arctic Vortex…
It’s a great time to plan to add interest to the garden…  The dead of winter allows our mind to envision a clean slate… to see the bones of our landscape.    Plan enhancements to the garden to create a pleasing view from inside…
Snap a photo out the window, print and using tracing paper – draw what you envision… Plants, small wall or man made enhancements…

Or why not sign up for a class?

Many County Extension Master Gardeners offer classes.  Check out they the nearest Arboretum, Botanical Garden or Garden Centers.  If lucky to be near a University, check their websites, as many run symposiums this time of year…

I remember being accepted into the Wake County Master Gardener Program in 2000. We were given a directory of all the certified Master Gardeners. Reading them all, I perused all the various interests each experienced MG listed. One experienced Master Gardener listed “Hypertufa.” I was clueless!

So imagine my delight when I was paired for my “Phone Hotline Duty” with Amelia Lane. I could barely contain my self and immediately blurted out… “What in the world is Hypertufa?”

DSC08102

Amelia was surprised that these words tumbled through the air, yet in her lovely manner, and soft voice began to explain about how the English gardeners used to re-purpose  large troughs from the days of yon and use them to plant alpine gardens.  Troughs in more pastoral settings gave way to modern galvanized versions…

The stone honed troughs began to be sought after prizes when the iron horse took over and troughs were not needed in towns, being auctioned off for extraordinary prices to the highest bidder.

In the mean time, there were folks that devised ways to create their own troughs… using porous tufa rock, then later cement, Perlite, and peat moss…

LastingImp

Beth Jimenez and Amelia Lane

Amelia invited me to work with her in the Mixed Border of the J C Raulston Arboretum, where I met Beth Jimenez and the rest of the Border Babes and so began 14 year friendships. Amelia’s Garden was featured on last year’s Garden Conservancy Tour and Beth’s will be featured this year.

Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife
Jayme B
NC Certified Environmental Educator
Garden Conservancy Regional Representative
JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature – Plants & Herds – evaluating an EntwinedLife

One of the benefits of our times – is having an encyclopedia of  information in my back  pocket.  OK, you might say ” Whoa – you must be addicted to your smart phone.”

I say, “I’ll admit – I’m addicted to Plants…  but I look at my Smart phone as helping me to  learn to take breaks…  or taking breaks to learn!”

So sometimes, when not observing nature,  I tap into  TED Talks…   – how wonderful to be able to learn from some of the most thoughtful minds of our times  –  while taking a break out in the garden… Continue reading

Horticultural Hero

 

I first met Mr. Rehder, many years ago volunteering for the NC Azalea Festival. He was directing a motorcade made up of State Troopers on Motorcycles, a slew of limousines filled with national and local celebrities, and a motor home, over some sensitive property, with tactical ease.

Mr. Stanley Rehder, Sr. was memorable – tall & lanky, impeccable dressed, elegant in manner – a true Southern Gentleman.  I met him  in the years before I gave up manicured hands for the pursuits of gardening.

Husband Phil & I once spent a weekend,  Sloggin’ & Boggin’ through the peat bogs of Holly Shelter, NC and the area known as the “Bays” further inland toward the Sandhills. Under the leadership of Mike Dunn of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science we were following the Footsteps of B.W. Wells, Botanical Pioneer.  It was on this trip I became interested in Carnivorous Plants.

In relating stories of this trip to my friend Julie Rehder, I learned that her dad was known as “Mr. Flytrap!” It was then he became my Horticultural Hero!

My friend Julie writes about her dad, “Stanley Rehder learned about Venus’ Flytraps and the various varieties of Sarracenia (pitcher) plants from his father, Will, and for more than 80 years he and his brother, Henry, enjoyed locating and cataloging the sites where these native plants flourished.”

Mr. Rehder, who graduated from NCSU in 1947 with a degree in Horticulture, was relentless in pushing forward the 1951 North Carolina Legislation to protect these rare plants – found only in peat bogs along the North and South Carolina coasts.

“To share his love and knowledge of the rare plants,” Julie adds, “ He appeared on national television shows – “That’s Incredible”, “Good Morning America”, and “The Today Show” where he had the privilege of being interviewed by Barbara Walters.

“He spent many years helping to cultivate a showcase of insectivorous plants behind Alderman School where today visitors can see the fruits of his efforts.”

Venus Flytrap

The first time I visited his Carnivorous Plant sanctuary, Stanley, already in his late 80’s, drove like crazy through tall scrub pines.  I did all I could to hang on as Stanley skillfully maneuvered his jeep bearing “FLYTRAP” license plates, through the maze wondering if it were wise to be on this “Uncle Willy Ride”.  Sand sprayed in a wake as Stanley yanked the steering wheel, left, then right, then left, pines barely scraping the sides of the jeep.  It was unmistakable that this was how he enjoyed showing his devotees an adventure – clearly a path he had traveled many times.  Perhaps it was a way of disorienting one from returning – to protect the plants.   I was certain he could do this  trip blindfolded.

Getting out of the jeep,  a twinkle in his eye, he said, “we have arrived!”

I was trying to peel my fingers off the” hang on straps”, as I could feel the color returning to back to my cheeks.  I hopped down, and behold – there spread in front of me, a tapestry of botanical delight and awe.

This endangered array of Carnivorous  Plants were save in Stanley’s Haven.

I was delighted to attend the dedication this past April, when the City of Wilmington officially named the garden passionately protected and created – natural garden –

The Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden.

Stanley passed away this week  – a life well lived, in passionate protection of the land he loved.  He walked with celebrities with graceful elegance, of his beloved  Sarracenia.  A citizen fully devoted to community and nation.

A true World War II Hero and Horticulture Hero,   I am honored to call  friend.

Rest in Peace dear Stanley.

You have championed an EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Note:

There is a fund set up to honor his passion and plant heroism through the
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, 131 Racine Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403 for the continued preservation efforts of the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden.

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