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

Garden Epiphany – Guest Blogger – Panayoti Kelaidis

General view of Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 Y...

General view of Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, Denver, Colorado, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest Blogger – Panayoti Kelaidis

Over the years, I have inquired of many friends and found that there is a sort of Edenic garden experience that haunts almost every keen gardener.  There have been many such moments in my life – throughout my childhood I would walk past a magical and mysterious garden on the way to school.   I yearned to enter. I am not sure how, but I got to know the man who owned that garden, Paul Maslin and his wife Mary, and they eventually became my closest friends and mentors.  Or there was that golden April afternoon when I was half the age I am now as I write this, when I had Savill Gardens in Windsor Great Park practically all to myself – filled with literally millions of daffodils in peak bloom, glowing in late afternoon light.  I shall never forget watching the occasional giant pink petal waft down from towering Campbell’s magnolias by the brook – lined with hundreds of white Japanese Skunk cabbage amid marsh marigolds.

This sort of garden epiphany lies at the heart of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program.   Gardens are selected because they possess that special magic of design and execution.  The owners are hoping the weather gods allow visitors to come away refreshed and inspired.  Of course, there are a few gnarly paradoxes that lie athwart the very heart of gardening, which challenge and also perhaps propel this program – gardens are by nature intensely personal, intensely private affairs.  The notion of “garden tour” is practically a contradiction of that notion.  And pile on top of that the expectation that these tours can be arranged far in advance, structured and organized!  Horrors!  Can you imagine anything more contrary to the spontaneous, private and intimate quality of gardening than to impose this sort of steely structure upon it?   Nevertheless, the experience of these garden tours invariably seems to rise to the occasion.

 After all, the Gardens are primped and fluffed, and there are always lots of helpful people around.   Meeting like-minded gardeners has been a hallmark of my experience with them over the years.  I have made permanent friends and I have seen inspiring gardens and plants that I would never have had an opportunity to experience otherwise.

There is something incredibly festive about Open Days, something memorable.  Most gardeners have a bit of the introvert in them, but when you bring us out of our shell, please do so among other gardeners!   I participate in many communities, but none do I find more wise, more kind or thoughtful that the brotherhood and sisterhood of the trowel!

Panayoti Kelaidis

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Panayoti Kelaidis is the Senior Curator and Director of Outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens, and an Open Days Regional Representative for the Denver, Colorado area. He is also an avid and experienced garden visitor. 

Reprinted with permission of the author and the Garden Conservancy – from the Open Days’ Directory 2012.

 

Note:  I had the pleasure of meeting Panayoti Kelaidis when he spoke on “Extreme Gardening” at the JC Raulston Arboretum Horticultural Madness Symposium September 2011.  The Denver Botanic Gardens is now on my Hort Bucket List!   Thanks Panayoti!

Visit 6 Private Gardens in Raleigh, Apex & Cary this weekend!GCPosterSr

 

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Welcome to Entwined Gardens for March Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.   Last night it was a chilly 30 degrees.  The “Eyes Wide Open” Primula (above) cheerfully continues to bloom – planted in a pot,  in shade at my back door.

Today we welcome the sun and a Carolina Blue sky.    At 10:24 the temperature is 41 degrees and expected to climb to 63 degrees!   Tomorrow the prediction is for 75… but with  March  Madness anything goes! Continue reading

Step away from the glitter….

Often there comes a time… when you just have to step away…

For the past 3 years every holiday we celebrated was in a nursing home;  many of our family traditions  had to be put aside.

Although wonderful to be spending it together, it was never private; visits seemed far too short or confined.

There is only so much decorating one can do in a shared room with limited space.

A wreath for Jayme's Mom!

But there was nothing like the smile on my Mom’s face when the new Seasonal wreath appeared for her door, or a tiny Christmas tree which I decorated in all of her favorite colors was revealed!

Color co-ordination - pleasing to Mom!

Color co-ordination – pleasing to Mom!

The tiny tree was a gift from my friend Barbara – who’s husband had died.  Barbara understands the kindness of little things to delight, and the space restraints in these times of transition.  Continue reading

Bloom Day continued…

Let’s continue our walk around the Entwined Gardens to see what is in bloom.

Gaillardia aestivalis var. winkleri ‘Grape Sensation’
Purple Texas Firewheel

In its third year in the garden, it has increased to make a nice drift.  This was acquired from the JC Raulston Arboretum annual plant distribution a few years ago… they are correct when they say ” Membership has privileges.”

Not only do members get cool free plants, they also have access to all the wonderful lectures from some of the top horticulturists in the nation – online.

Hedychium – Ginger Lily

This one is so fragrant, one bloom will fill the house.  It should have been finished long ago…. but I am happy to find  it!  This was a division shared when a group of Master Garden Volunteers were working on a installing “The Water Wise Demonstration Garden” at Lake Crabtree Park about 12 years ago.

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’

Because we had a lot of rain this summer – it was the best year we’ve has for Hydrangea.    The bushes were loaded with blooms.    I have had about 1 giant bloom a week for the last month!

Nicotiana tabacum, N. alata
Flowering Tabbacco

Just one little clump still blooming… charming little stars & still fragrant.

Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’
Otto Luyken English Laurel

This is a plant that I’ve been adding around for the dwarf size of 4′ x 4′ is great.

I love the blue glossy elongated leaves, and the overall vase shape.   Not a lot of pruning required.   The only drawback is  that they do catch leaves, so every so often must give it a shake which counts as  aerobic exercise.  A friend just gave me three more… am I feeling lucky or what?

Rosa ‘Don Juan’

This beautiful climber scambles up the stone wall on the front of the house.

Rosa ‘Radrazz’ PP#11836
Double Knock Out.

I also have yellow,  and a single light pink in bloom.

Rudbeckia hirta
Black Eyed Susan

Another last Hurrah… but charming and delightful nestled into an Abelia.  Perhaps that’s why they are there, the deer haven’t found them.

Salvia microphylla ‘San Carlos Festival’
San Carlos Festival Sage

This one keeps on going & going…  a great hummingbird attractor during the season.   Starts blooming in May and still going strong!

There are also some  surprise  blooms of  Serrissa and Spirea ‘Ogon’  so diminutive but so delightful, but didn’t have a maco lens for my camera to do them justice.

Verbena

This charming little Verbena by Proven Winners… just love the shades of peach… is still hanging on in a container…

I hope you enjoyed the this little Garden Bloggers Bloom Day stroll.

Taking the time to walk around the garden with my camera, always provides me with ideas for improving or editing the garden.

Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife

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 .

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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