Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FELDER RUSHING and 'Slow Gardening'

Join Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and
Friends of the Pitt County Arboretum for a presentation by Felder Rushing, America's Foremost Gardening Humorist on January 28th, 2012 from 10 am to noon. Never thought of gardening as funny? Think again! Come for an hour of offbeat, quirky gardening humor. Felder Rushing is author and co-author of 16 gardening books, including Passalong Plants. He will speak on the topic of his latest book, Slow Gardening, answer questions, and sign copies of his books. A limited number of tickets are only available through the Pitt County Office of NC Cooperative Extension by calling 902-1709. 

Event Location
Pitt County Agricultural Center
403 Government Circle
Greenville, NC 27834


Saturday, December 24, 2011


The last post focused on holly berries, but a further look around the Arboretum reveals more plants with berries.
Pittosporum tobira

Pittosporum truncatum

Pyracantha sp Firethorn

Pistacia chinensis (Chinese Pistache)

Nandina domestica

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holly Berries at the Arboretum

Ilex opaca
American Holly
Ilex x Mary Nell

The hollies (Ilex)  have adorned themselves for the holidays.  What could be more festive?  We have a fair selection of holly trees and shrubs at the Pitt County Arboretum.  As you see, each variety has its own leaf color and shape.  Each has different clusters of berries in varying shades of reds.  Hollies grow in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Keep in mind if you go shopping for one, dwarf doesn't necessarily mean small.  You also may need both a male and female species to get lovely displays as pictured here.  Read the plant tags carefully and ask the nurserymen questions. You can read more about  general growing tips of hollies by clicking here.  You can also 'google' the individual hollies shown here.   But in the meantime, enjoy these pictures taken this week.

Ilex x attenuata 'Savannah'

Ilex vomitoria 'Pendula'
Weeping Yaupon Holly

Ilex cornuta "Burfordii Nana'
Dwarf Burford Holly
Ilex x attenuata 'East Palatka'
Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri'
Foster's Holly
Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens'
Ilex verticillata 'Sparkleberry'

Ilex cornuta 'Needlepoint'

Mockingbirds like hollies, too!
Pictures by TS

Sunday, December 11, 2011


 Sepals of Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)
Photo by AS 
Common names for this herb are boneset, healing herb, or knitbone.  Comfrey is a hardy perennial with leaves that contain allantoin and was used in folk medicine as bandages to aid in healing.  It is not recommended for eating due to the alkaloids found in them.  What is it good for?  Organic gardeners claim older leaves can be tossed into the compost pile to aid decomposition.  It is a deep-rooted plant that can grow to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  It flowers throughout the summer with pinkish blooms.

For further reading, click on these links:

Friday, December 2, 2011


Are you interested in meeting, mingling, and working along side people who
  • Love digging in the dirt (which they often refer to as "SOIL")?
  • Swoon over a just turned compost pile?
  • Have the phone number of the Transfer Station on speed dial to check when mulch can be picked up? (FYI:  902-3351)
  • Claim their favorite wardrobe accessory is a Felco pruner in a leather case clipped to the belt?
  • Own a Hori Hori and can use it as deftly as a chef's knife?
  • Are eager to meet and share the joy and trials of gardening with you?
Then perhaps it is time for you to take the Extension Master Gardening Course.  The Pitt County Cooperative Extension is starting a new class beginning on Thursday, January 5, 2012.  Applications are being accepted now.  Hurry, though, the deadline to apply is December 9th.  Follow these links below for more information.

If you have any questions, contact Sarah Roberson at 902-1709.