Tutorials & How-To’s

2018 Gardening Course Schedule (final) Register now!

2018 Gardening Course Schedule (final) Register now!

Hello Everyone, I'm so excited about this year's gardening classes!   We will be in some of the very best gardens in Greensboro.  It will be a blast exploring them and learning from the successes and failures of the most knowledgeable gardeners around. Here is the final edition of the 2018 Gardening Course Schedule: 2018 Course Schedule Registration information is below and also at the bottom of the schedule.  This is a printable document.  Classes start March 11th!   Please register soon as I anticipate that these will fill quickly. (I may add more one date to each course if there...

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Screening Plants

The dozers have been working for 4 days to clear leggy pines, dead trees, poison ivy, honeysuckle vines and ancient barbed wire fences to make room for our new house.  There will be still more underbrush to clean up when they leave, but already the clearing has left our 4 acres quite exposed, with more road noise and less privacy.  As soon as the back hoes and dozers are out of the way, I will be desperate to get some large plantings in the ground. But what to plant? What will be of substantial size, mostly evergreen, super drought tolerant, deer resistant, tough enough to stand up to strong...

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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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Creating a new garden – Zero to Gorgeous in 90 days

Creating a new garden – Zero to Gorgeous in 90 days

Sometimes it takes a new set of eyes to give you a fresh look at your landscape. It was a friend and gardener who pointed out an unattractive triangle of lawn near the house that I passed every time I drove in.  It led to my lovely “Zen” garden, a shady area I had groomed for years.  This non-irrigated, not-so-healthy lawn that baked to a dull tan in the summer, added no beauty. My friend suggested replacing lawn with some tough ground covers, but it was a big an area (50’ x 35’ on the longest sides) and ground covers alone could be as boring as grass.  But never the less, his suggestion...

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Designing the Kitchen Garden

Designing the Kitchen Garden

The first warm days of late winter have arrived, the robins are here, the grass is greening, the days are longer, and many of us (like me) cannot wait to put our first vegetable seeds in the ground!   Only now is it time to start those tomato & pepper seeds inside.  But this year before you plant a thing, you might want to step outside and take a look at the bigger picture.   How can I make my "edible garden" a thing of beauty? Every spring, my Dad planted a big, square, freshly tilled plot with rows of lettuce, turnips, onions & potatoes.  There were fruit trees in the garden...

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Blueberries, Events & more

Blueberries, Events & more

Fall is starting to show its colors and is sure to be a beautiful one!  Even now in the garden I am picking up falling Chestnuts (OK, it’s really Jim) and watching my Japanese Persimmons as they ripen to the perfect shade of orange. My American Persimmons are attracting a lot of attention too.  These two babies didn’t seem to mind posing for me so long as they could find sweet mushy persimmons upon which to dine. Japanese-American chestnut trees are bread to be resistant to the chestnut blight that devastated our huge American chestnuts in the early 1900s.  If you want Chestnuts,...

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Why We Plant Bulbs

Why We Plant Bulbs

It’s Feb 28th.  The forecast low is 22 degrees tonight and ice Saturday morning.  It is definitely still winter in Greensboro - and Jim reminds me that "Summerfield is always 5 degrees cooler".  I walked outside to pick up more broken twigs from the last big wind. What?!  Where the ground was bare only a week ago, here they are  - a patch of screaming yellow crocus blooms!   I forgot that I had moved them there 10 months ago from another spot where they had multiplied.  (Squirrels, voles & deer don’t eat them.)  So much joy from that original little bag of bulbs whose only requirement...

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Sept 2, 2013

Sept 2, 2013

Even as I pulled up my last pitiful tomato and squash plants, I was rejoicing that my usual “fall” crops are already coming up beautifully.  Already the broccoli, kale, collards, turnips, lettuce and arugula are gorgeous in this mild, wet end of summer.  My figs, raspberries, eggplant and peppers are still producing well too. Perhaps this won't go down as the summer of bugs and mildew after all! The butterflies have been amazingly abundant, and perhaps just as interesting is what has attracted them. They have flocked to the native plants like purple Ironweed and Joe Pye.   Popular...

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Master Gardener Newsletter & Gardening Gala

Master Gardener Newsletter & Gardening Gala

Our Guilford County Agricultural Extension Agent, Karen Neill, sends out a monthly newsletter with excellent horticultural tips and advice.  The July issue is attached below and subscriptions are available to anyone who requests it.   You can get your own sent to your inbox monthly by emailing Karen at kcneill@ncsu.edu.      Click Here to open the July issue:  GGG_July_15_ 2013 Perhaps the most important news is the Master Gardener’s 12th Annual Gardening Gala and Seminar scheduled for Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:30 am - 4:00 pm.   It is one of my very favorite events of the year. Held...

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Oatmeal Hockey Pucks

Oatmeal Hockey Pucks

In the midst of our cold, dreary March, I spent a glorious day at the JC Ralston Arboretum in Raleigh attending the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers annual conference. Can you guess what these gorgeous flowers are?  Would you believe it is a bouquet of tulips?!  Most growers tie them closed at early stages of cutting so they do not open so much, but I think they are stunning in this wide-open bouquet!  Perhaps even more amazing is how they still close up at night. The designer used bare vines to hold the flower heads in place. Save some of your prunings from grape vines, wisteria,...

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