Organic Gardening

Extreme Gardening

This quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s could be my favorite of the year. It is the time when no one expects you to be home, much less answering the phone. Nothing is urgent, especially not in the garden.  It is my quiet time to reflect on the year that is almost over and look back on fun and interesting news I have been too busy to share.

Here are a few of my favorite things – especially some EVENTS you won’t want to miss!

Extreme gardening #1 –   Once every three years, there is an international competition in horticultural sculpture, called “mosaiculture,” in a major city in the world.  This is creating sculptures out of living plants. In 2013 it was at the Montreal  Botanic Gardens.  The greatest horticulturalists in the world, from 20 different countries, submitted plans a year in advance. Steel armatures were then created to support the works (some 40 feet high); they were then wrapped in steel mesh and filled with dirt, moss and watering hoses. There were 50 major sculptures along a path two miles long, planted with over 3 million plants.  Click on the link below to see these incredible plant sculptures. http://myvirtualgarden2.blogspot.com/2013/09/mosaiculture-exhibition.html (Thank you Kathy B.)

Really Extreme … Gardening too boring for you? Just add a shotgun.

Flower Shell is a shotgun shell filled with flower seeds that will produce anything from daisies to sunflowers to poppies to meadow flowers.  Just fire Flower Shells into your garden, and wait for the flowers. (“Meadow” is the key word here – The shells contain a reduced amount of gunpowder and should be treated like regular ammunition.)


Flower Shells


From Extension Agent Debbie Roos: The Chatham County Center of NC Cooperative Extension will offer a Cut Flower Production Workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC.  Details and registration information are on Extension’s Growing Small Farms website at  http://growingsmallfarms.ces.ncsu.edu/growingsmallfarms-workshops/ (Registration deadline is Jan 22nd. Call me if you want a ride from Summerfield.)

If you have never grown cut flowers and are interested in learning more, Debbie recommends a workshop organized by Extension Agent, Kathryn Holmes in Rockingham County that will be held on January 22 in Reidsville. Workshops were purposely scheduled to try and meet the needs of all levels of growers, from beginner to advanced. The Rockingham County workshop will be taught by grower Leah Cook of Wild Hare Farm.  Details are at http://rockingham.ces.ncsu.edu/event/25911806/discovering-cut-flower-production-program/

The 2014 Green & Growin’ Show will be held at the Greensboro Coliseum January 13-17th.  Although the first 3 days target landscape and nursery professionals, classes and trade show are open to the public.  Especially interesting for home gardeners are the Trade Show days, Jan 16 & 17.  For $15 admission, you can visit with growers and see booth after booth of different plants including new introductions you may want to add to your garden. Where better to be in the middle of January than surrounded by lush gardens?! Click here for the show schedule: http://ncnla.memberclicks.net/

The Guilford Horticultural Society’s 29th Annual Symposium is coming up on Saturday, February 22nd, an event that I have not missed in my 12 years in Greensboro.  Check the website for this year’s line-up of speakers: http://www.guilfordhorticulturalsociety.org/symposium/ Held in the Khalif Event Center on East Wendover Ave, there is a huge space for nurserymen and artists who will have plant and outdoor sculptures for sale.  This is usually a sell-out event, so watch the website.  The full schedule and registration form will posted soon!

As 2013 comes to a close I look back with gratitude for the abundance of life – wonderful friends and family, and a safe and beautiful place to live.  Warm wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.


Memories of October …

Gulf Fritlary on Asterssmaller_086

Gulf Fritlary on Boltonia

Bloomathon Azaleasmaller_085

Bloomathon Azalea

Cator Bean 'Carmencita'smaller_084

Castor bean ‘Carmencita’