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Ellen’s Blog

May 2021 – Gardening Classes are Back!

May 2021 – Gardening Classes are Back!

Hello My Fellow Gardening Enthusiasts! I hope your gardens have helped bring sanity to your world in 2020. With Covid vaccinations well underway, I feel that we will be safe to gather in my garden again for classes starting MAY 8. Please RSVP and plan to attend ALL 5 classes - You don't know what you don't know til you show up!  We will have a great time! The class schedule is below, and printable here: 2021 Course Schedule Let's make our world more beautiful together. I look forward to seeing you soon. Ellen, AKA 'Garden Fairy" A short 'Thank you" to my Mom for my gardening genes....

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No Stress: Pay-As-You-Go Gardening Classes

No Stress:  Pay-As-You-Go Gardening Classes

Hello My Fellow Gardening Enthusiasts, As much as I would love to have students attend all 5 of my 2021 'Hand-on' Gardening classes, people are finding it difficult to commit to 5 dates. With lock downs ending, everyone is traveling again.  Hooray!  I am committed to stress-free gardening and having you here whenever you can make it. Classes will be offered on a pay-as-you-go basis.  Each 3-hour class is $50. View the class schedule here:  2021 Course Schedule  Classes are small so you get lots of personal attention. If classes fill up, I will repeat them on another day. Feel free to invite...

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Planning for a Beautiful 2021

Planning for a Beautiful 2021

Hello My Fellow Gardening Enthusiasts, After dealing with weeks of minimal sunshine, ice storms and power outages, it feels good to know that spring is around the corner! I have received several calls regarding whether I would be offering ‘Hands-on” Gardening Classes again in 2021. Please know how much I appreciate your interest! 2021 Classes & Consulting I would love to invite you to classes this spring, however I believe it is prudent to wait until more of us are vaccinated against Covid. Experiencing a garden “Hands-on” is so much more joyful than via Zoom!  I DO plan to invite...

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2020 Spring Gardening Classes

2020 Spring Gardening Classes

Its January 12th and the high was 70 degree here.  Wow! Hard to believe we are in the NC Piedmont Triad and not Florida! It's crazy, but I'm hardly complaining. I am thrilled that my landscape has wonderful warm wet weather to help it get a fast start for spring.  If you are wondering whether it is OK to plant trees & shrubs now, the answer is YES!  If you are wondering What or How to plant, this is the perfect time to enroll in my 2020 Spring Gardening Classes. Let's go play in the garden! The Schedule and Registration info are BELOW or you can get a printer-friendly version HERE:...

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Plant Bulbs now for a Vibrant Spring

Plant Bulbs now for a Vibrant Spring

Our hot summer had almost done me in, constantly dragging hoses to keep my new landscape alive. Finally after over 45 days over 90 degrees and less than 1/2 inch of rain in August & September, October brought rain! Yay!! I was especailly happy since my order of  tulip and daffodil bulbs arrived on my doorstep October 15th.  Thanks to a few welcome rains, the ground was soft enough tto start planting them today. Late October through November is the perfect time to plant spring blooming bulbs in our Piedmont Triad. If you plant too early while the ground is very warm your bulbs sprout too quickly...

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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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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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Asparagus!

What vegetable can you plant once and enjoy eating for 20 years?  Yes, Asparagus! If you love asparagus, planting your own is a pretty darn good investment!  I harvest crisp, delicious asparagus spears for 2 months in spring, and  then let the bed turn into a mass of beautiful ferns over summer to rejuvenate the plant for next spring’s harvest. Here it is in June after a morning of heavy dew on the mass of 6’ tall ferns.  I like using the etherial summer foliage in flower arrangements. Asparagus is super easy to grow as long as you give it the right home.  It needs a permanent...

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Pruning: “Crape Murder” or “Ugly Myrtle”?

Pruning: “Crape Murder” or “Ugly Myrtle”?

Although you may have heard the term “Crape Murder” used to describe the ruthless way many gardeners and landscapers prune their crape myrtles, the truth is that we rarely kill them with bad pruning practices - we just make them really UGLY. Crape myrtles bloom on new wood.  That much is true. The fallacy is that they must be topped, cut back or otherwise severely man-handled so that they produce more blooms.  This cannot be further from the truth.  In fact the fastest way to ruin the naturally elegant shape of a crape myrtle is to top it. My “Tonto” red crape myrtle has never...

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