Friday, April 30, 2010


We always knew our Wild Flower Garden was wonderful, but now it has the honored distinction of winning First Place at the recent North Carolina Master Gardener Volunteer Convention.  Every year this association hosts the 'Madeline Collier Landscape Design Competition'.  We demonstrated how to take a plot of unhealthy turf and turn it into a sustainable, waterwise, no pesticides or fertilizer needed, glorious garden.  A few years ago our Children's Garden won.  Of course, we think all of our Arboretum is a gem.  If you haven't been out lately, May is a good month to visit. There are many things coming in to bloom.  The Kousa Dogwood  (Cornus kousa ) is a real standout.

Our next Walking Tour will be Thursday, May 6th starting at 10:00 AM.  Click on the map in the right side of this page for directions.  Tours last about an hour and are given rain or shine.

Coming soon will be our annual plant sale.  More information can be found by scrolling down the right to the section about the plant sale.  Be sure to read this Sunday's (5/2) Look section of the Daily Reflector.  Jackie Drake wrote an extensive article on the Arboretum titled Gardening You Can Do .

Saturday, April 24, 2010


At the Arboretum we have two cisterns which we can use to water plants when needed.  One large one catches the rain water off the Ag Center building.  It has a pump attached to retrieve the water.  A smaller one sits by the Green Roof Shelter.  It simply has a spigot at the bottom which a hose can be attached to.  At your home you can set up a simple rain barrel.  Most home improvement stores and some local nurseries are selling ready made barrels.  However, if you can find an old 50-55 gallon plastic barrel, you can make your own.  Here are two sets of instructions with details for this easy project:    How to Make a Rain Barrel or Rain Barrels .  So get busy and start collecting the spring rain that has been forecast for this week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


We have begun mulching the beds at the Arboretum.  We use the free mulch from the Pitt County Landfill off Allen Road.  It is free for you too.  Call 902-3350 and then select #1 for the Scale House to find out if mulch is availabe and what hours they will load it for you.  Pitt County turns your yard waste into wonderful mulch and all you need is a pickup truck or trailer (or a friend with such).  Remember to take a tarp because the mulch has to be covered when leaving the landfill.  According to the Department of Agriculture:  "Mulches are a labor saving device for the gardener. A layer of mulch will help prevent the germination of many weed seeds, reducing the need for cultivation or the use of herbicides. Mulches also help moderate the soil temperature and retain moisture during dry weather, reducing the need for watering. Mulches protect the soil from the impact of raindrops that can cause crusting. Crusting can prevent the germination of seedlings."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


It is easy to find things on the internet about gardening.  It is a little more difficult to find gardening information for us specifically in eastern North Carolina.  A new category has been added on the right side of this blog page titled "PUBLICATIONS".  Here you will find a list of helpful information just for you.  The first one listed is Extension Gardener Newsletter.  After going to this site, click on 'Latest Issue' and then choose 'Coastal Plains' where you will discover relevant information for us here in Zone 7b.   The newsletter is published quarterly.   Also, be sure to sign up as a FAN on the new Facebook page  'Pitt County Gardening' as lots of new information will be posted there.

Friday, April 2, 2010


We have a new source of gardening information just for you here in this area.  If you don't have a Facebook account, sign up now at .  It is free.  Once you sign in, do a search for Pitt County Gardening and become a fan.  You'll have access to current gardening news and events.