Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Garden New Year's Resolutions

Make this a resolution you can keep:
This year in my garden I will ____________________________.

Start your year out on the right foot by coming to the Arboretum for an inspirational presentation by Bryce Lane on January 30th.  Prior to the program, you will be able to enjoy coffee and homemade breakfast snacks while you visit local vendors' display booths.  Click here for the details: BRYCE LANE FLYER

Monday, December 21, 2015


Photo from
"The winter solstice reminds us how remarkable plants are. They have abilities to sense the world around them and respond to it in ways that many gardeners are unaware of. It might not have occurred to you that it is just as important for a plant to know when it is time to bloom or drop its leaves as it is for a farmer to know when it’s time to plant a crop."
Quote from an article by Dan Gill, LSU Horticulturist
Read his full article about why the winter solstice is important to gardeners by CLICKING HERE

And for all of you wanting more scientific information about this year's solstice check out this go to website:  DECEMBER 2015 SOLSTICE

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


They already have the best quality pruners, trowels, spades, loppers, hats, garden gloves...........

Here are two suggestions for gardeners in the Pitt County area:

1) Friends of the Arboretum Membership which helps support our Pitt County Arboretum.  They will enjoy discounts at local garden centers and shops.  Also, they will be admitted to our annual Plant Sale (May 14, 2016) ahead of the general public.  Additionally, they pay a reduced fee for our speaker events (see Item #2).  Click here for APPLICATION and a full list of benefits.

2)  Tickets to Bryce Lane who will be speaking at the Arboretum on January 30th.  Click here to view the FLYER with all the details.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Yes, it is today!  (One of those little known facts to share.)    No, we don't grow poinsettias,  Euphorbia pulcherrima, at the Arboretum.  Although we do have some of its relatives there.  It is a native plant from Mexico.  Over 70% of the poinsettias sold in the US are grown at the Paul Ecke Ranch in California.  While it once was a secret family method of producing full flowering plants, the secret was out in 1991 changing the industry.  Want to know more about the most popular potted plant? 

Are they poisonous?  No.  But neither are they edible.  Best to keep them away from creatures that might chew on the leaves as they may cause nausea.  Some are allergic to the sap in the stems.  With proper care, you can enjoy your plants for months.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Master Gardeners led two classes this week demonstrating an easy way to make a beautiful wreath from our cuttings of the shrubs and trees from our Arboretum and their own gardens.  A total of thirty people took the classes and thirty different looking wreaths were created.  The popularity of these classes may translate to a repeat next year.  Next time we will try to get more to pose with their finished project.

 Class 1

Class 2

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


We are thankful for all those who support us:
  • Our Friends of the Arboretum Memberships
  • Participants in our Annual Plant Sale
  • Attendants of our Speaking Events, Workshops, and Garden Tours

Friday, November 20, 2015


Mums are everywhere this time of year.  Mostly the tidy, rounded type are the ones you see en masse at nurseries, temporary roadside stands, and even at the grocery stores.  However, at the Arboretum we have a beautiful display of old-fashioned mums growing by the front entrance to the Ag Center.  These mums are usually hardier than the potted ones for sale now.   They also form a looser flowering structure and they tend to spread gradually over time.  These pictured are Chrysanthemum 'Hillside Sheffield Pink'.

 For an interesting article on Old-Fashioned Mums vs. Potted Mums CLICK HERE

Looking for some old-fashioned mums?  Be sure to come to the Arboretum's Plant Sale next May 14th.  We usually have several varieties available and it will be the perfect planting time for them.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


With our recent warmer temperatures and rain, we are having a late show of blooms.  With no killing frost as yet, we are able to enjoy this extended season of color.

Photos by A. Laliotes

Top picture l. to r. (Where to find in Arboretum)
1. Crytomium falcatum Japanese Holly Fern (Perennials)
2. Acer griseum Paperbark Maple (CPP Row 1)
3. Nandina domestica 'Firepower' (Mixed Border)
4. Salvia leucantha Mexican Bush Sage (Herbs)
5. Tsuga canadensis Canadian Hemlock (CPP Row 4)

Bottom picture l. to r.
6. Pyracantha coccinea Scarlet Firethorn (CPP Row 4)
7. Pyracantha koidzumi Formosa Firethorn (CPP Row 4)
8. Salvia uliginosa Bog Sage (Herbs)
9. Erigeron strigosus Prairie Fleabane (Wildflowers)
10. Hedychium sp Ginger Lily (Perennials)

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Salvia madrensis 'Red Neck Girl' is putting on a spectacular show in our Children's Garden.  It's 6+feet tall deep red stems have an abundance of soft yellow blooms.  The bees are finding this very alluring.  In general, salvias are long blooming plants.  Most prefer well-drained sites and are drought tolerant.  Hummingbirds also are attracted to salvias.   Read more here:  Salvias for the Sage Gardener.

Monday, November 2, 2015



THURSDAY, November 5th
Beginning at 10:00 AM

Master Gardeners will lead a walk through the Arboretum's Gardens highlighting plants that have showy fall colors.  Tours last about an hour and a half and are held rain or shine.  However, the weather outlook is predicting a beautiful fall day.

Meet under the Shelter in front of the Agricultural Center at 403 Government Circle in Greenville.  MAP

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge'

Anchored in the back edge of our Perennial Border you will find this tough as nails plant.  It is low maintenance, sturdy, and provides year-round interest.  It does best in sunny spots with good drainage and also grows well in containers.  Mature plants will produce a tall spike with creamy-white bell shaped flowers.  Cutting off the faded spike after flowering is about the only task this plant requires.  

For more growing information and additional pictures, click here for a

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


New to our Wildflower Garden this year is Bidens aristosa commonly called bur-marigold or tickseed sunflower.  It blooms from late summer until frost.  It is a native plant which attracts butterflies.  Bidens are used in the NCDOT Wildflower Program.  You may see them blooming now along the highways.
Read more about this wildflower and all the NCDOT flowers used
by clicking HERE.

Biden aristosa in the Wildflower Garden.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Several Master Gardener Volunteers were busy this week replacing the worn raised garden beds.  It was a lot of hard work.  They will soon be filling the beds with new soil and compost.  The new beds will rest for the winter and be ready for an early spring planting.
Click below for some great vegetable gardening links:

Photos by S. Purcell

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Our showstopping Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
 in the Wildflower Garden.

Video by D. Grimes


There is a variety of plants in bloom or showing berries this week at the Arboretum.  You may have heard "Fall is For Planting".  Believe it!  Perhaps you want to include some of these plants in your garden for Fall interest.  Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) is shown in the first pot on the top left below.  It is one easy to grow, fall flowering plant that makes a statement and does not mind the deluge of rain we have had.  It is very attractive to butterflies, birds, and our native bees.  Click here for more about this SUNFLOWER.

Photos by A. Laliotes

#1 Helianthus augustifolius              Swamp Sunflower (Butterfly Garden)
#2 Pyracantha sp.                              Firethorn     (CPP Row #4)
#3 x Fatshedera lizei                         Fatshedera  (CPP Row #2)
#4 Ilex verticilatta 'Sparkleberry'    Winterberry  (Butterfly Garden)
#5  Eucomis comosa                          Pineapple Lily  (Ag Ctr Border-Right Side)

#6  Muhlenbergia capillaris              Pink Muhly Grass  (Wildflowers)
#7  Cryptomeria japonica                  Japanese Cedar  (CPP Row #1)
#8  Metasequoia glyptostroboides   Dawn Redwood  (Cpp Row #2)
#9  Ilex x attenuata 'East Palatka'    Holly  (Cpp Row #3)
#10 Myrica cerifera                            Wax Myrtle   (Cpp#2)

Saturday, October 3, 2015


The Vertical Gardens made from old pallets have undergone several replantings.  Some changes are due to over-vigorous plants taking more space than anticipated.  Some are due to seasonal changes where annuals were planted and needed to be replaced with winter hardy plants.  Some are due to under performing plants picked to do well, but just failed.  It is an experiment.  Like all our gardens at the Arboretum:  trials and errors are a part of gardening.
Pic #1
Pic #2

Pic #3
(Pic #1) We removed everything from the smaller pallet to check that the watering system still worked.  After releveling it, the water flowed as planned.  (Pic #2) Next we lined the front with burlap to keep the soil in until the plants have a chance to root in.  Holes were sliced in the burlap to make room for the plant roots.  The burlap eventually decomposes.  (Pic #3) Some of the old plants were put back in and a few new ones added.  One lesson we learned is that every spot does not need to be filled.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Join a Master Gardener
this Thursday, October 1st
starting at 10:00 AM - Rain or Shine

You will enjoy a walk around the Pitt County Arboretum
collecting seeds along the way.
Seed planting tips will also be given!

The Arboretum is still full of colorful, interesting growing things this Fall.

Meet under the Shelter in front of the Ag Center

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


At an equinox, Earth's Northern and Southern Hemispheres are receiving the sun's rays equally.  Image via Wikipedia
Photo from Wikipedia

Autumn equinox arrives at 4:21 AM EDT tomorrow.  The day and night will be approximately be the same length.  Then the days start getting shorter.  What does this mean for gardeners?  Click below for the answer:  (NOTE:  Although this was written by a Master Gardener in the Charlotte area, the key facts apply to us in Pitt County)

And for more information about the equinox, here's a great EarthSky article:


Saturday, September 19, 2015


It is a good time to divide and plant spring and summer blooming perennials.  This will give them a chance to get established before winter and be ready to bloom next year.  Click here for more information on how to tackle this task:

Some plants of interest this week at the Arboretum:

Photo by A. Laliotes

#1 Ilex verticillata  WINTERBERRY HOLLY  Butterfly Garden
#2 Perovskia atriplicifolia   RUSSIAN SAGE  Perennial Garden
#3 Berberis thunbergii "Aurea'    GOLDEN BARBERRY   CPP#1 
#4 Berberis thunbergii var. atropurea   PURPLE/RED BARBERRY    CPP#1
#5 Ocimum basilicum  RED RUBIN BASIL  Container at back of Perennial Garden

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Summer is nearing its end (in spite of today's predicted temperature of 90).  It is a good time to evaluate the landscape.  What did well, what needs to go, etc.  Begin the process by viewing the Fall Edition of the Extension Gardener for the Coastal Region.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


This praying mantis was recently captured (and released) on Work Day at the Arboretum.  This insect is generally considered beneficial although it is not selective in its diet and will eat good and bad bugs.  While we generally reference you to a .edu site, you will be directed to a some facts mixed with a little humor by clicking this link:

Capture & Photo by D. Grimes

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Join the Master Gardeners

Thursday, September 3rd

10:00 AM

Free Walking Tour of the Pitt County Arboretum

This month's tour will include a demonstration on dividing daylilies.  As we approach Fall there are many plants of interest to see.   Come out and get ideas for your own garden.  Tours last about 1 1/2 hours and begin under the Shelter in front of the Ag Center
(403 Government Circle in Greenville).

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Here are some plants of interest this week at the Arboretum.

Photos by A. Riggs

 1 - Amsonia hubrechtii Arkansas Blue Star  (Perennial Border)
 2 - Hylotelphium 'Herbstfreude' Autumn Joy Stonecrop (Perennial Border)
 3 - Gaillardia aristata Blanket Flower  (Wildflower Garden)
 4 - Gaura lindhiemeri (Wildflower Garden)
 5 - Solensostemon scuttellariode 'Coleosaurus' (Annual Coleus from Container)
 6 - Abellia x grandiflora 'Little Richard' (Butterfly Garden)
 7 - Taxus sp  Japanese Yew (CPP Area)
 8 - Buddleia davidii Butterfly Bush (CPP Area)
 9- Magnolia grandiflora Southern Magnolia (CPP Area)
10 - Osmanthus heterophyllus Holly Tea Olive (CPP Area)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Video by D. Grimes
Thanks to Master Gardener Doug for sharing this video of a bucket of hatching bagworms he gathered at a recent Arboretum Work Day.  Can we say a collective "Ewwww!"?    For a more constructive suggestion:  Click here to learn more about their life cycle and control measures - BAGWORMS

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Ziziphus jujube
In our Small Fruit Garden at the Arboretum, you will find this tree with a good sized crop of ripening fruits.  While it is an unusual plant to grow in this area, it is doing just fine.  Are you familiar with this fruit?
Excerpt from  JUJUBE: Chinese Date  "Jujube fruit is recognized as a nutritious food and important traditional medicine in China, Korea,Japan, and Southeast Asia. Jujubes are richer in vitamin C, sugar, bioflavonoids, edible cellulose, and minerals than other fruit species. Soluble solids content ranges from 20 to 40% in fresh mature fruit.  Carbohydrate content in dried jujubes can reach as high as 70 to 85%. Fresh jujube fruit contains 200 to 500 mg of vitamin C per 100 g fresh weight, while apple, pear, and peach have 1 to 8 mg/100 g fresh weight. Jujubes are also rich in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which is an important “second messenger” in many biological processes in the human body."

Click on the highlighted text above for more information on how to grow the jujube fruit.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Image result for nc master gardener volunteer logo

Everyone is invited to attend this year's NC Master Gardener Convention September 21-22 in Cary, NC.  You will be able to meet and talk with Master Gardeners and take in sessions about Native Gardening, Attracting Pollinators, Composting, Vermicomposting, Natural Remedies to Garden Problems and more.  Detailed information and registration forms can be found by clicking here:  2015 NCMGV Conference

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Our Muscadine Grapes in the Small Fruit Area of the Arboretum are starting to ripen.  These grapes grow well in our area.  Picking time is late summer.  Planting time is early spring.  Perhaps you want to prepare a spot in your garden so you can pick your own.  Click here for more about:  MUSCADINES IN THE HOME GARDEN

This is a sample of What's In Bloom at the Arboretum this week:

Photos by A. Laliotes
#1  Russian Sage     Perovskia atriplicifolia    (Perennial Border)
#2  Black & Blue Sage   Salvia guarantica      (Children's Garden)
#3  Yarrow              Achillea 'Coronation Gold'  (Children's Garden)
#4  Blanket Flower   Gaillardia aristata          (Wildflowers)
#5  Glossy Abelia     Abelia x grandiflora        ( CPP #1)

#6  Muscadine grape   Vitis rotundifolia 'Hunt'   (Small Fruits)
#7  Rose of Sharon      Hibiscus syriacus           (CPP #2)
#8  Threadleaf Coreopsis  Coreopsis verticillata 'Zagreb'  (Butterfly Garden)
#9  Colorado Blue Spruce   Picea pungens        (CPP #5)

Monday, August 3, 2015


Master Gardeners will be leading a
FREE TOUR of the
Pitt County Arboretum (MAP)
Thursday, August 6th
Starting at 9:00 AM
Meet under the Shelter in front of the Ag Center.  Tours last about 1 1/2 hours and are given rain or shine!  Come out and learn about which plants will do well in the shady areas of your garden.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


 Image result for summer vegetables

Take the opportunity this Saturday, August 1st, to meet some Master Gardener Volunteers at the Farmer's Market.  They will have a table set up from 8:00-11:30 AM to answer your gardening questions.  They are usually given a spot under the tent at the back of the building.  If you haven't been out to the Farmer's Market for awhile, you need to go.  If you can't grow it, buy it from our local farmers.  Not only will you find produce, but also eggs, honey, plants, homemade soaps, pickles, salsas, baked goods, pottery, coffee......etc. etc.  Check out their Facebook Page:  Pitt-County-Farmers-Market-by-the-vendors

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Among our plants of interest this week, you will see some grasses that have started to bloom with their plumes or inflorescences adding texture and movement to the gardens.   This article is from a retail point of view, but it has some useful facts for the home gardener:  ORNAMENTAL GRASSES

 l. to r.
1.  Pennisetum alopecuroides (Fountain Grass)
2.  Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' (Coneflower)
3.  Coreopsis verticillata 'Zagretta'
4.  Pennisetum 'Rubrum' (Purple Fountain Grass)
5.  Lantana camara 'Miss Huff'

6.  Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' (Black-eyed Susans)
7.  Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
8.  Nepeta faassinii 'Six Hills Giant' (Catmint)
9.  Hibiscus syriacus 'Aphrodite' (Rose of Sharon)
10.  Veronica spicata 'Sunny Border Blue'  (Spiked Speedwell) 
Photos by M. Endres

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Scutellaria incana  (Hoary Skullcap)
Some flowers flowers fade in the hot days of summer and others flourish.  Here are two  natives that are blooming now in the Wildflower Garden.  Read more about each plant by clicking on these links:
Scutellaria incana


Rudbeckia triloba
Photos by C. Taylor
Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-eyed Susans)

Thursday, July 16, 2015


The gardens are full of blossoms to admire.  A trip to the Arboretum would make a nice morning trip before the heat sets in!
1 - Hibiscus syriacus 'Aphrodite' (Rose of Sharon) in Butterfly Garden
2 - Aster novi-belgii 'Winston Churchill'  (Michaelmas Daisy) in Butterfly Garden
3 - Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' (Firecracker Plant) in Container #3
4 - Tinantia pringlei (Speckled Wandering Jew) in Landscape for Wet Sites
5 - Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoa' (Switchgrass) in Children's Garden

6 - Monarda sp. (Bee Balm) in Herb Garden
7 - Lantana camara 'Miss Huff' in Mixed Border
8- Echinacea purpurea 'Leuchtstern' (Bright Star Coneflower) in Mixed Border
9 - Double Knock Out Rose (Tree Form) in Rose Garden
10 - Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) in Herb Garden

Photos by M. Endres

Friday, July 10, 2015


 Blooming now in our Perennial Border is
The Swamp Rose's large, plate-sized blooms make it a real showstopper.  It prefers moist soil, full sun to partial shade, and will bloom from summer into fall.  It is a native plant to the wetlands of the Southeast.  

Other plants of interest this week which you can see samples in our 'What's In Bloom' display at the Arboretum are:

#1  Calicarpa americana   (American Beautyberry)    - Landscape for Wet Sites
#2  Lagerstoemia indica 'Natchez'   (Crape myrtle)      - Left side of Agriculture Center
#3  Acer palmatum 'Butterfly'   (Japanese Maple)         - Butterfly Garden
#4  Tinantia pringlei    (Speckled Wandering Jew)        - Landscape for Wet Sites
#5  Panicum virgatum 'Shenadoah'   (Switchgrass)       - Children's Garden
#6  Vitus rotundifolia  'Black Nesbitt'  Nesbitt muscandine    - Small Fruits
#7  Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'   ( Littleleaf Sage)       - Perennial Border
#8  Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'      (Purple Coneflower)  - Children's Garden
#9  Gaillardia aestivalis var. winkerii ( Texas White Firewheel)   - Island near Pittosporum Garden             
#10 Echinacea 'Hot Papaya'   (Coneflower)       - Mixed Border

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Image result for basket of produceIf all went right with your Spring plantings of tomatoes, you might be enjoying them now.  If you are having problems with insects or diseases, check out this new site:  TOMATOES for loads of tips.  You can still plant tomatoes this time of year to extend your harvest.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Join Master Gardeners
of the
Thursday, July 2nd
Beginning at 9:00 AM
Meet under the Shelter in front of the Ag Center
The tour leaders will be highlighting plants that grow and thrive in our hot, humid summers.  Tours last about 1 1/2 hours and are held rain or shine!
Wear your hats & sunscreen.
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susans) from Wildflower Garden

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


A good place to start your self-guided tour at the Arboretum is under the Greenroof Shelter in front of the Ag Center.  Here you can pick up a Visitor's Guide and see our 'What's In Bloom' display.  This is a sampling of plants we are highlighting this week.  Of course, there is much more for you to discover on your own.

(l. to r.): Sedum, Vaccinium ashei (Rabbiteye Blueberry), Monarda sp (Bee Balm), Solenostemon scuttelarioides 'Colesauraus', Picea pungens (Colorado Blue Spruce)

(l. to r.):  Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan),  Salvia uliginosa (Bog Sage), Echinacea purpurea 'Leuchtstein' Bright Star (Coneflower), Hemerocallis 'Bloodspot' (Daylily), Tinantia pringlei (Speckled Wandering Jew)

Photos by M. Endres

Friday, June 12, 2015


What garden chores NEED to be done?  What garden chores can wait?  Of course, we want to keep an eye on newly planted things.  Vegetables need a regular supply of water with generally an inch of water from rainfall or irrigation per week.  Read this article for more information on watering:  HOW TO WATER.

A recent visitor to the Arboretum shared more pictures he had taken.  Don't let the insects be the only ones admiring your plants.  Why not take time off from weeding and stroll around your garden to marvel at your past hard work? 

 Photos by Glen Barnett

Friday, June 5, 2015


Our Mixed Border Garden at the Arboretum is a good example of how a smaller yard can be landscaped.  By having a variety of plantings, the area feels larger and is definitely more interesting than having single row of e.g. privet, boxwood, azaleas, etc.  It has tall evergreens, deciduous trees, several types of shrubs, lantana, daylilies, groundcovers and even a rose.  It is one garden that changes its looks through the seasons.  The Mixed Border is located by the Auditorium entrance next to the Herb Garden.
This is the reblooming Julie Child Floribunda Rose growing in our Mixed Border.  It is said she selected this one to bear her name as she loved the butter gold color and the licorice candy fragrance. 

Further reading on creating a mixed border can be found HERE.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Join Master Gardener Volunteers this Thursday, June 4th, starting at 9:00 AM for a tour of the Pitt County Arboretum. The focus will be on plants that attract butterflies.
Meet under the Greenroof Shelter
In front of the Agricultural Center