Thursday, June 28, 2012


Blackberries ripening in the sun at the Arboretum
Join the Master Gardeners Thursday, July 5th, for the monthly FREE Walking Tour of the Pitt County Arboretum.  This month's main topic will be growing blackberries.  Our Small Fruits Garden was started in the Fall of 2010.  We have two rows of thornless blackberries growing on trellises.
One row is Arapaho and the other is Navajo.   Our Garden Curator will be there to share his knowledge of growing the best berries in Pitt County.

Tour Begins at 9:00 AM
Meet in front of the Ag Center
under the Shelter
Most tours last about an hour.
Click here for directions:  MAP

Thursday, June 21, 2012


This year in our Vegetable Garden at the Arboretum, we have a tomato test plot.  The curator in charge has selected 11 different types of tomatoes to see which do best in our area.  The ones chosen are:  Beef Master, Park's Whopper, Better Boy, Bush Goliath, Juliet Roma Grape, German Johnson, German Queen, Husker Cherry Red, Tami Grape, Big Beef, and Cherokee Purple.  Head out to the Arboretum to check their progress for yourself.  Also, check back with the blog as we will update the successes and failures we may have.  Did you know you can still plant tomatoes?  There is still a long growing season ahead.  Click here for some general information on Growing Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

WHAT'S IN BLOM -Lilac Chaste Tree

Vitex agnus castus - Lilac Chaste Tree
Lantana camera 'Miss Huff'
The Chaste Tree pictured is in our Mixed Border at the Arboretum.  It makes a lovely contrast with our 'Miss Huff', a hardy lantana.  Both plants attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.  Peaking out behind the chaste tree you see a bit of yellow from our Goldenraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata) which has been written about previously and can be found in the archives.

Here is an excerpt from 'Floridata' : The chaste tree is a beautiful little deciduous tree or large shrub with a showy summertime flower display. The leaves are 3-4 in (7.6-10 cm) in diameter and palmately compound with 5 to 7 fingerlike leaflets. Also called sage tree, the foliage is likewise aromatic and is typically grey-green to dark green above and lighter on the undersides. The leaves also bear a striking resemblance to those of the infamous marijuana or hemp (Cannabis spp.) plant which provides yet another common name, hemp tree. When in bloom, due to the similarity of the flowers, the chaste tree is sometimes mistaken for butterfly bush (Buddleia). The chaste tree is a sprawling plant that grows 10-20 ft (3-6 m) and about as wide. Branched flower clusters are produced on new wood in late spring and early summer in a great flush that makes the tree look like a hazy purple cloud. It continues to bloom sporadically until early fall.  

Here is a fact sheet for more detailed information:  Vitex agnus-castus 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Buddleia x weyeriana 'Honeycomb'

We have four butterfly bushes, Buddleia davidii., in the Arboretum's Butterfly Garden. All produce masses of arching flowers that attract butterflies, bees, lady beetles, and even hummingbirds. Ours grow from 4 feet tall (Lo and Behold 'Blue Chip') to 8 feet plus ('Black Knight'). They do best in full sun with well-drained soil. Blooms occur on new growth, so ours are cut back to about knee high in the spring. Blooming will continue until frost if faded blooms are removed.
To learn about more ways to attract butterflies to your garden check this out:  Attracting Butterflies

Buddleia davidii 'White Profusion'

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'

Buddleia davidii 'Blue Chip'

Friday, June 8, 2012


Radishes, carrots, onions and lettuce were harvested last week from the vegetable garden at the Arboretum.  The summer crops of tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, squash, okra and more have been planted and are growing well.  All the food produced in our patch is donated to the local food bank.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


American Lady
Join the Master Gardener Volunteers for the monthly Walking Tour of the Pitt County Arboretum.  This month's tour will feature our Butterfly Garden.  Come out and learn about host and nectar plants as well as other tips to make your garden a butterfly haven.  All of our gardens at the Arboretum are looking incredibly great right now.  You are sure to be inspired.

Tour time:  9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Meet under the shelter in front of the
Ag Center
403 Government Circle
Greenville, NC

Click here for MAP.