Friday, August 27, 2010

ARBORETUM WALKING TOUR

Join the Extension Master Gardeners next Thursday, September 2nd starting at 10:00 AM for a free tour of the Arboretum.  Summer is winding down, but the gardens still have many interesting things to see.  The Master Gardeners will be busy in the days before the tour tidying up just for you.  Even if you have been out before, the landscapes change with the seasons so you are sure to see something different.  It is also a good opportunity to ask questions about your own garden.  The tour begins under the Green Roof Shelter in front of the Ag Center and lasts about an hour.  It is held rain or shine.  Click on the MAP link in the right hand column.

Friday, August 20, 2010

WHAT'S IN BLOOM FOR HUMMINGBIRDS

Even though we don't have a single hummingbird feeder hung up at the Arboretum, we do have hummingbirds.  One of the plants which the hummers will be seen at is Salvia.  In bloom now throughout the various gardens we have:
Salvia guarantica 'Brazilian Sage'
Salvia guarantica 'Black & Blue'
Salvia coccinea 'Scarlet Sage'
Salvia farinacea 'Victoria' Mealy Blue Sage
Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' (pictured)

Most salvias are hardy plants for this area.  They are easy to grow, not too fussy about the soil they are in, prefer the sun, and are drought tolerant once established.  Many will bloom all summer until frost.  Growing plants which hummingbirds visit is much easier than maintaining feeders.  For more ideas about plants which will attract hummingbirds click here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

AN UNWELCOME GUEST

Last week before our monthly Walking Tour, many of the curators were busy tidying up their areas in the Arboretum gardens.  Getting ready for visitors is a good incentive to weed, deadhead, and clean up debris.  Weeds rob desired plants of space, nutrients, and water.  We find that many weeds like to grow right next to plants we want.  Therefore, we must do a lot of hand weeding.  August isn't the easiest month to work outside, but your plants will thank you for it if you take away their competition.   One notorious invader at the Arboretum is the pictured mulberry weed  (Fatoua villosa).  This is a weed that reseeds readily and with wild abandon if it is left to flower and set seeds.    Read more about this unwelcome guest.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS TO DANNY LAUDERDALE

Danny Lauderdale, Director of the Arboretum and one of Pitt County's Extension Agents, was recently recognized by the Pitt County Commissioners for being a national winner in the Search for Excellence in Landscape Horticulture category at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents annual meeting and professional improvement conference held July 11-15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Danny provided 42 hours of training to North Carolina certified plant professionals which resulted in an increased yearly income of $504,000 for the landscapers.  Click here to read more in the Daily Reflector .