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

 

Spring Awakening – time to tour

A Spring Awakening has arrived in Entwined Gardens.  Mother nature is providing her usual mood swings – 66 degrees here three days ago and plunged to 23 degrees that night.   YIKES!

Even if you’re under a blanket of snow it’s time to tour & scratch beneath it all to see what’s emerging

Now for a Cat’s  Eye view –

Continue reading

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

Last minute gift from the garden…

Up until the second week of December, I always feel so organized…. Then, before I know it  – the blues creep in and the Holidays are right here… right now!  Have I forgotten someone?  What if friends stop by unexpectedly?

 Here’s an easy & quick idea to give when visiting family or friends and use up any leftover pumpkin seeds.

Continue reading

When a Christmas tree is not a tree…

John's Tree

John Martin never ceases to amaze me…

On a recent trip to Cedar Creek Gallery – I enjoyed the beautiful exceptional American Craft.    As I wound my way through the gardens, galleries, past the amazing pottery, stained glass mirrors,  jewelry, blown glass bowls and ornaments;  the coolest purses ever… wood work, metal work… I entered the  back gallery and be still my heart!

I knew John had been busy again!   Creating a wonder of  botanical offerings from the Cedar Creek Garden!

The ‘tree’ base was an amazing piece of pottery by Richard Aerni.   It looked like a tree, but I knew it wasn’t any ordinary tree.   I looked to see if anyone else was around, then contorted myself on the floor to see what John had done.

There is bamboo, magnolia, wood shavings for baskets or caning as garland.   This takes pruning to a new level!  I was looking at a deconstructed, reconstructed work of art… an arrangement of giant proportions.   It is seamlessly done and as I worried I might be discovered Entwined in the tree,  I skillfully used my yoga training and untwisted myself, then stepped back and enjoyed the master’s vision.

Luckily I went to Cedar Creek’s website and they had documented  John’s work in progress!

Enjoy and be inspired!

Living the EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

Horticultural Test of Time for the Holidays

So the true test…

Could I remember how to successfully use an O’dapter,  a month later to create a botanical whimsy for the holidays?

See the results and “How To”… Continue reading

Get thee to the garden… and bring your pruners!

O.K.  I know it’s cold out there for most of you.   But now is the time to get thee to the garden and bring your pruners.

On your way to the mailbox or walking Fido, take a few snips – your neighbors won’t mind. Continue reading

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day –

Welcome last days of fall!   We have had temperatures see saw – up and down – as low as 29 degrees last night for the Geminids meteor shower and back up to 6o’s this weekend.

Although our Zone 7b garden in Wake Forest, NC is experiencing a drought, it is continuing to produce a show of color and some freak sideshows in our Entwined Life!

Let’s begin the show! Continue reading