Spring in the Triangle – Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day

Just two weeks ago it was overcast with icy snow hitting the windshield when I went to photograph JoAnn’s Garden ….  The red buds were open and a lovely swath of white crocus highlighted the walk;  tulip leaves up but no color to speak of…  so no photos only a chill!

After  a cool spring we plunged into 80 degree weather last week, then rain  and the gardens woke up to WOW…  literally overnight!

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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!”

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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

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