Thursday, December 23, 2010

WHAT"S NEW AT THE ARBORETUM?

NEW SIGNS! We have new signage to help everyone navigate more easily around the gardens.  If you can't get out soon to see them, check out the pictures on our Facebook page  Pitt County Gardending.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Descends on the Arboretum

The Winter Solstice is upon us.  We have finished most of the clean up work/mulching that needs to be done at the Arboretum.  One thing we DID NOT do was to cut back the lantana.  Even though it has died back for the winter, we leave the stems attached to protect the crown of the plant.  When we see new growth in the Spring, we will trim the dead stems back to the ground then.

As a side note, if you happen to be awake around 1 AM you'll be able to see the start of a rare phenomenon:  a total lunar eclipse occurring during the solstice.  The full moon will appear as coppery red according to Space.com.  Read the full article here: Amazing Spectacle.  If you miss this, you'll be able to catch it again December 21, 2094.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR GARDENERS

Are you looking for a unique gift for the gardener on your list?  Here are two things to consider:
1)  A year membership in 'Friends of the Arboretum'.  Friends enjoy several benefits including discounts to local gardening centers, access to hundreds of gardening books in our library, newsletters, and a special invitation to shop early at our annual plant sale.  Memberships start at $20 per year and are tax-deductible.

2)  Tickets to an upcoming event "Love, Peace, and Pearl Fryar" which will be January 29, 2011 from 9 AM to Noon at the Pitt County Agricultural Center Auditorium.  The morning will begin with refreshments and a chance to visit our sponsors booths.  Then from 10 AM to Noon, Pearl will speak, answer questions, and create topiaries.  Visit www.pearlfryar.com to learn more about this inspiring individual.  The cost is $10 General Admission/$5 for Friends of the Arboretum.

Call 252-902-1709 for more information about either of these.
Why not gift yourself, too?

Monday, December 6, 2010

HOLIDAY DECORATING FROM THE GARDEN



These lovely arrangements and wreath were created by one of our Master Gardener Volunteers.  She used cuttings taken
 from the Arboretum consisting of magnolias, junipers, 
hollies, dusty miller, and roses.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

PLANTS FOR WINTER INTEREST

The Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia) is a native plant.  You will find it in the Arboretum's Certified Professional Plant Area.  It has dark green leathery leaves with a cinnamon underside.  The leaves can be cut and used in holiday wreaths, garlands, or in centerpieces.  This evergreen tree can grow up to 50-80 feet tall and 30-40 feet wide.  It is suggested that the lower limbs be left all the way to the ground to hide leaf drop which occurs in the spring and fall.  If the Southern magnolia is too large for your own yard, you might consider planting 'Little Gem' which grows 12-20 feet tall and 12 feet wide.  It's leaves have a bronze underside.