AND MANY MORE
*Source: Willy Weather/National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Greenville Rainfall Forecast
Fred, Debbie, and Blythe remove plants from pots, divide and plant them in smaller pots while Andrea looks on.
Fred, Debbie, and Nancy continue dividing and potting plants while Lorena adds labels.
Garden enthusiasts and nature lovers gathered at the Pitt County Agriculture Building Mark Owens Auditorium on Saturday, January 27 to hear Marie Mims Butler speak on gardening challenges. Marie, the former Landscape Coordinator for the Virginia Zoo, mixed humor and practical advice in her talk, "I have elephants in my garden, so what is your problem?"
This was the 13th and final January Speaker Event organized by Pitt County's Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.
Many thanks to Master Gardeners Rosanna Davis, Joanne Kollar, and Susan Purcell, who have organized this program for many years. Thanks, as well, to EMGVs over the years who have contributed refreshments, collected tickets, and helped with set-up. The Arboretum thanks Carolina Seasons Nursery, Wild Birds Unlimited, and Quality Equipment, organizations that have sponsored the event.
“I designed the Northside Plant Walks as a way to tour the Arboretum in a unique way with each visit. Rather than a stock tour that would be identical for every group, each monthly plant walk had a different theme and a new group of plants, making each one a totally new experience,” says Matt.
“Many attendees came for multiple walks. In choosing the themes and the plants discussed, my goals were to introduce the attendees to plants that they were not already familiar with and also teach them something new about those plants that they did know. With more knowledge about what plants are best suited for certain landscape design styles and environmental conditions, gardeners can make better selections about the plants they choose for their landscapes,” he explains.
Participants were asked to complete a survey about their experiences. Eighty-five percent said the tours helped improve their knowledge about selecting appropriate plants for their home landscapes, while seventy-seven percent said they increased their knowledge about native plant species in particular. As a result, more than half of attendees said they had made or would make changes to their plant selection habits and increase their use of native plants due to the plant-walk series. Additional impacts of the series included an increase in knowledge of pest management and pruning strategies.
The always-popular annual Wreath Making Workshop has been scheduled for Monday, December 11 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon at the Pitt County Agricultural Center. With guidance from Pitt County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, participants will have the opportunity to create their one-of-a-kind wreath using a variety of greens and berries from the Arboretum’s shrubs and trees.
Cost of the workshop is $20 per person. To sign up and pay for your spot, call 252-902-1709. The workshop is limited to the first 24 people who call and pay in full.
Plants that star in the shade
Director Matt Stevens leads the Northside Plant Walk
During last Friday’s Northside Plant Walk, Pitt County Extension and Arboretum Director Matt Stevens led a group of gardeners on a tour, starting on the Walking Trail and ending at the Wet Sites Garden. He highlighted a dozen plants that star in the shade, differentiating between different types of hydrangeas and when to prune them. He also explained how flower color for the Mophead Hydrangea is determined by soil pH. He identified shade-loving plants that bloom in the winter, plants that have beautiful fall foliage, flower in the fall, and fruit during the winter.
Matt provided handouts listing plants and containing QR codes so that gardeners could easily obtain more information on plants of interest to them.
Local gardeners chose from over 3,500 trees, shrubs, roses, perennial flowers, annuals, vegetables, and houseplants. Most selections had been potted up from the Pitt County Arboretum gardens or from Master Gardeners’ own yards. Additional plants were donated by Carolina Seasons, Plant and See, and both Greenville Lowe’s stores.
Local students in 4-H volunteered, loading plants into shoppers’ cars. Plant Sale chair Teresa S. reported that the event was a great success in raising funds to support the Arboretum and the work of the Master Gardeners.
Master Gardener Wendy P. prepares the herb tables at the start of the May 20th Spring Plant Sale held at the Pitt County Arboretum.
Tour participants asked lots of questions: When do you plant it? Will deer eat it? Does it attract wildlife? To provide more in-depth information, Stevens provided a handout with QR codes that linked each plant to the online NC State Plant Toolbox.
Walking to the iris and spiderwort displays near the rain garden, tour goers passed the holding area where Pitt County Master Gardeners are nurturing selections for their annual Spring Plant Sale. The event is scheduled for
Saturday, May 20th from 9 a.m. until noon and will feature plants propagated from both the Arboretum collection and from Master Gardeners’ own yards.
Maggie K. used the QR code to find out more about spring bloomer Chinese snowball viburnum in the Arboretum’s CPP Plant Collection
Judy P., Joanne K. and Eulalia W. survey the pots they have planted.
It's a sure sign that preparations for the Pitt County Arboretum’s annual Plant Sale on May 20, 2023 are well underway. On February 15, a team of Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (EMGVs) led by Knox C. potted up dozens of plants at Carolina Seasons Nursery. Over the next three months, the delicate cuttings will grow into much larger and sturdier plants ready to take their place in gardens and front- and backyards across Pitt County.
“It was a beautiful day to be outside!” said Knox. The propagated plants are a mix of herbaceous perennials, including Sedges and a few herbs, such as Woolly Thyme, Edible Ginger, and Mountain Mint. Additional plants that were propagated include White African Irises, Cast Iron Plants, Bee Balm, Stoke’s Asters, Ice Plants, Goldenrod, and White Rain Lilies.
Thanks to Andrea Pike and Carolina Seasons Nursery for donating plants for the Plant Sale. Carolina Seasons and the Pitt County Arboretum have a longstanding relationship. In addition to providing plants for propagation, the nursery gives Friends of the Arboretum a discount when they purchase plants for their own home gardens. Carolina Seasons Nursery is located at 549 NC-903 N in Greenville.
Martha D., Eulalia W., and Andrea Pike next to a table covered with small plants.
Pam Beck enchants listeners at January 28 talk on public and private gardens in North Carolina
Noted gardener Pam Beck enchanted the eighty or so audience members at her talk on North Carolina’s public and private gardens at the Pitt County Arboretum on January 28. Listeners were spellbound by Pam's intimate knowledge of gardens, gardeners, and plant nurseries.
The stories, seamlessly narrated and woven from one corner of the state to the other, gave us glimpses into many gardens and gardeners who have broadened the horticultural horizons of North Carolinians.
The vignettes were accompanied by photos of people in their gardens.
For example, Charlotte Gantz was a 100-year-old garden curator who continued to garden by directly instructing willing helpers to prune or weed when she was no longer able to crouch on her knees.
We heard about a couple of professional gardeners who are so busy and passionate propagating plants that they sometimes forget to open their garden center – but will happily do so when asked.
We were privileged to see photos of a historical cemetery in Tarborough where people used to bring bunches of flowers and plant shrubs to celebrate with their departed loved ones.
In addition to giving us a guided tour of many well-known and not-so-well-known gardens, Pam provided audience members with a handout listing gardens and garden centers referenced in her talk.
Thanks to the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (EMGVs) for organizing this delightful presentation at the Pitt County Arboretum.
- By Susann C., Pitt County Arboretum EMGV