Thursday, August 30, 2012


Join the Master Gardener Volunteers on their next free WALKING TOUR. September's Theme is 'DEER RESISTANT PLANTS'. While no plant is 100% deer proof, come let the Master Gardener's show you which are the least tasty to them!  Meet under the Shelter in front of the Ag Center at 403 Government Circle, Greenville, NC.  MAP
10:00 am - 11:00 AM

Friday, August 24, 2012


black & yellow garden spider
This great little (and growing bigger everyday) spider and it's buddies can be found growing in several areas around the Arboretum.  It can grow up to 3 inches from leg tip to leg tip. As with most spiders, it is a welcome site in the garden.  Spiders are generally considered to be beneficial in gardens as they don't eat plants, but do dine on plant eating insects.  From the NCSU Entomology Notes comes this information:

Yellow Garden Spider  The yellow garden spider, Argiope aurantia is
one of the araneid or "orb weaver" spiders that builds the widely recognize
 circular spider web in which they snare their prey. Argiope aurantia is a
common, distinctively colored (black and yellow), large spider that is
frequently seen in the Fall in gardens, yards and along roadsides. The female
(shown here) builds a web that has a conspicuous zig-zag band of white silk
in the center of the web. For this reason, these spiders are often called
"writing" spiders.

For more information about spiders in your garden, read

Friday, August 17, 2012



We have been watching our 'Tomato Showcase' in the Vegetable Garden to see which plants are stand out performers and which are lacking in luster.  To date, about 50 pounds of tomatoes have been donated to the Eastern North Carolina Food Bank.  As a whole, they are producing well and we are quite proud of that.

Our Vegetable Garden Curator, Dan, submitted the following report on the individual types:

Currently, Husky Cherry Reds and Juliet Romas are doing the best. They are fast growers and provide the most tomatoes. About the size of golf balls, the Husky Cherry Red’s are providing many bright red tomatoes in small clusters of 6 to 8 tomatoes. The Juliet Romas are also bright red long oval sized tomatoes ranging 3 to 4 inches in length. 
The Tami Grape and Parker’s Whoopers are the most disappointing. Given the same care and feeding as the other 9 plants, these varieties appear to be struggling. It’s hard to determine the exact reason for poor performance, but it could have been over fertilization or poor quality plants to start with.
The Beef Master, Big Beef, German Johnson and German Queen are plants showing good growth of dark green leaves but very little produce. The plants appear healthy so perhaps they will yield more tomatoes later in the summer. 
Despite its name, the Bush Goliath is currently the smallest plant in the showcase. It appears to be growing more slowing, and is very healthy yielding some fruit each week. 
The Better Boy, Cherokee Purple plants are currently average performers. They are healthy plants producing a few tomatoes each week. 

If you are having problems with your tomatoes, check out this article for help: TOMATO PROBLEMS.  Need more help, call the Master Gardener HotLine at 902-1705.

Friday, August 10, 2012


This Anthony Waterer Spirea is growing next to our Herb Garden and across from the Perennial Border at the Arboretum.  It is a reliable summer bloomer that attracts butterflies.  Here are some details about this spirea from the NSCU Plant Fact Sheet:

Spirea x bumalda 'Anthony Waterer'
Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9
Habit: Deciduous
Growth Rate: Rapid
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade; tolerates range of soil types
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Width: 3 to 4 feet
Texture: Medium to fine
Form: Upright, broad, flat, compact shrub
Flower/Fruit: Small purplish red flowers on 4 to 6" flat cluster in summer
Foliage: Alternate, simple dark green leaves; 1.5" long; new growth is pink-tinged; reddish fall color

Saturday, August 4, 2012



In the Spring of 2011 our Small Fruit Garden at the Arboretum was expanded to include this Brown Turkey Fig.  The tree is now about 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide and as you see, loaded with figs.  Soon they will be ripening and we hope to harvest them before the mockingbirds do.  Click here to read about planting figs in your home garden:  FIGS