Friday, April 29, 2011


Join the Master Gardener Volunteers this Thursday, May 5th, for our monthly FREE WALKING TOUR of the Arboretum.  So many things have come into bloom at the Arboretum and the gardens are in top form.  Additionally, you will see a demonstration on how to make Seed Balls.  This is a fun activity for everyone in the family.  Click here for the history of SEED BALLS.

TOUR:  Starts at 10:00 AM under the Green Roof Shelter in front of the Ag Center
             Last about an hour
             Rain or shine

REMINDER:  The Annual Plant Sale is just two weeks away.  Click on the "2011 Plant Sale" in the right hand column for more information.  We will have hundreds of plants for sale at very good prices!  We have perennials, shrubs, trees, roses, herbs, pond plants, heirloom tomatoes, other vegetables, and some annuals.

Help us help you!

Pitt County Extension is always striving to improve the Arboretum and its offerings.  They would appreciate your comments on what you think are ways to help you more in your gardening endeavors.  Please take a few moments to answer a few questions by clicking on this SURVEY.  

Friday, April 22, 2011


In full bloom now in the Herb Garden at the Arboretum you will find Lavandula stoechas or commonly called Spanish Lavender.  It is also sometimes called the Bunny Ears Lavender.  Searching the web for growing tips, this was found at

Spanish Lavender
Growing Spanish Lavender - Gardening lavender is an easy and rewarding experience and this type of lavender is no different. It will grow in USDA Zones 6-10, but is probably best in Zones 7-8. It requires well drained soil and little water after it is established. Although it is drought tolerant, it also does well in humid weather better than other varieties.
This lavender blooms in the spring and should be pruned when it is done blooming. It propagates through seeds or cuttings. The blooms don't typically attract butterflies or hummingbirds, but honey bees do seem to enjoy them. The scent from these lavender blooms is not quite as sweet as the English Lavenders and has been compared to rosemary."

Friday, April 15, 2011


Phlox pilosa

You will find this native perennial plant blooming in our Wildflower Garden. describes this plant as follows:
"A mounded perennial, downy phlox grows 1-2 ft. tall and bears clusters of fragrant, pale pink to lavender flowers. The petals of the showy flowers are joined at their bases into an elongate tube. Stems and narrow, paired leaves are covered with soft hairs."
At the Arboretum this plant will bloom for about a month. It is sure to attract butterflies and bees.  To find out more about growing this perennial, click here. To read more about native plants for our area, check out this book:  "Gardening with Native Plants of the South" by Sally and Andy Wasowski.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The Spring 2011 Extension Gardener Newsletter is ready for viewing online.
This edition covers:

  • Japanese Maples
  • Dealing with Drought
  • Irish Potatoes
  • Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park
  • Vermicomposting
  • Spring Chores
  • and more.....
Click here for the full Coastal Plain version.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Instead of trying to remember the water:sugar ratio (4:1) or how to clean your feeder (no soap), why not plant a hummingbird garden?  In the Children's Garden at the Arboretum you will find a hummingbird magnet, trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)in full bloom climbing up the Rabbit Hole/Tunnel.
Rabbit Hole with honeysuckle

Close up of honeysuckle
To get started in creating a hummingbird garden check out this resource:  Working With Wildlife: Hummingbirds and Butterflies.  Of course you can always do a Google Search and find lots of information online.  One site, is another good place to start.

Remember that the Pitt County Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale is May 14th where there will be plants that attract hummingbirds for sale.  Scroll down the right column of this blog for PLANT SALE information.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


This month's free Walking Tour of the Pitt County Arboretum will feature Square Foot Gardening.  Wikipedia has a brief description of this type of intensive gardening which you can view by clicking here.  To go to the source though Mel Bartholomew has created an all inclusive web page to view by clicking here. There you will enter his Square Foot World.

On the tour, you will also see how spring weather has started to green up the Arboretum.  Come out and join the Master Gardener Volunteers for a leisurely stroll around the gardens. They will help you understand the diagrams below.   Click on the map in the right column for directions.

TOUR DATE:  Thursday, April 7th
Starting at 9:00 AM

Tours last about an hour and are given rain or shine.
Meet under the Green Roof Shelter in front of the Ag Center.

Diagrams for SFG