Fresh Flower Arrangements

At the Cusp of a New Year; a Winter Perspective

It was no surprise to NC Triad gardeners that 2016 set world records (again) for the warmest year ever.  It was a HOT one and our NC Piedmont summer seemed to last forever! Our first frost in Summerfield did not come until mid-November, a month later than average, but by November I was grateful for the mild temperatures. If there was ever something to renew your spirit after a fierce political season, it is the beauty of nature. I harvested the last ripe figs on November 8th.  My “Bloomathon” azaleas were still gorgeous. Camellias had begun to bloom even as my summer annuals were still...

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The Magic of Summer Bulbs

The Magic of Summer Bulbs

I have been so happy in my garden this spring that I could not bear to sit at my desk any longer than to handle the most urgent necessities.  Surely you missed me!!  Now at the summer solstice with 90 degree temps upon us, it feels good to be inside chilling out and taking time for a bit of reflection. Perhaps my favorite surprises over the past couple of months have been the bulbs I planted last fall. For many springs seasons, as soon as the last azalea and rhododendron blooms had faded, my garden turned a quiet monochromatic green.  Yes, green is still a color and May did offer offer rose...

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A Gardener’s Plan for Winter

A Gardener’s Plan for Winter

Here I sit inside on a gray almost-winter day, grateful for a rest from cleaning up the garden, reflecting on a gorgeous fall season and already making plans for an amazing spring. While I love my fall blooming Camellias, I have to admit that the divas of my fall garden are the Asters and Japanese maples.  Year after year, they never disappoint. They hold their own among the screaming colors of our North Carolina fall foliage. On October 30 our first hard freeze was forecast - 15 degrees in Summerfield - and every flower in the garden was destined to become mush.  I could not bear the thought,...

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How Dirt makes You Happy

How Dirt makes You Happy

I first read the research in 2007’s Discover Magazine:  “Is Dirt the New Prozac?” http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/raw-data-is-dirt-the-new-prozac   Then here it was again in 2014: “Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy” http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/antidepressant-microbes-soil.htm This goes in the category of “You can’t make this stuff up”.  The story reads:  Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has, indeed, been found...

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Arrangements that Chase the Winter Blues

It is a quiet time again in my garden as summer perennials are cut back, trees and shrubs have lost their leaves and even the last asters are gone.  This is the season that my reliable favorites really stand out. Evergreens like Chindo Viburnum with its super glossy deep green leaves, Yoshino Cryptomeria with its drapey tassles tipped with tiny straw colored buds, the variegated Osmanthus that looks like a white-leafed holly, and my tall Nandina domestica or “Heavenly Bamboo” with its heavy clusters of red berries, “Gold mop’ Cryptomerias that provide bright yellow color right through...

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Flower Arrangements from our Cut Flower Workshops

Flower Arrangements from our Cut Flower Workshops

Here are pictures of some of the gorgeous arrangements that were created at the last 2 workshops.   I was especially thrilled to see so many happy faces!  The really good news is that these arrangements can be made from many of the plants you already grow in your garden.  The trick is to understand the mechanics of how to make them stand up in your container and how to treat them to extend their vase life. The Saturday, August 3rd and Saturday, August 10th workshops (9am-noon) have a few more spots available if you would like to attend. - These dates are  open to anyone for a $40 fee. ...

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“Say it with Flowers” (plus handy Garden Tips)

“Say it with Flowers” (plus handy Garden Tips)

With the humidity and precipitation making the Piedmont Triad feel like a tropical rainforest, I have to admit that I’d rather be at the beach or in the mountains –  except that I cannot miss the the glorious flowers blooming all over my garden!  Many of them are blooming later than usual, but my hope is that they will be fabulous longer into the fall without burning out in our usual heat. My Course #5, the Cut Flower Workshop is such a fun event that I have decided to open it to new students.  The date is Saturday, August 10th,  9am to noon.  The course fee is  $40.  We will...

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www.FloralDesignInstitute.com

www.FloralDesignInstitute.com

Here are more of YOUR wonderful creations from Saturday’s workshop!  And the fragrance was as lovely as the blooms!  My last Cut Flower Workshop is this Friday, Aug 17th, 9am to noon & there is still room if you would like to attend.  If you love cut flowers, www.FloralDesignInstitute.com is a great source of ideas and inspiration. Go to their website and click on the pink box to sign up for their online newsletter which almost always has video clips demonstrating trendy new ways to do fresh flower arrangements for every season. We can’t be in the garden every day, but a few fresh...

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