Friday, December 30, 2016


It's not all brown and bare at the Arboretum.  Hollies (Ilex) brighten the landscape with their berries and/or glossy leaves.  Click here for a descriptive list of the types of hollies you can grow:

Below are ones you can see growing at the Arboretum:

A Holly Retrospective Plus
 TOP ROW (1-5) BOTTOM ROW (6-10)
  1. Ilex vomitoria ‘Pendula' Weeping Yaupon Holly (Mixed Border)
  2. Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’ Dwarf Yaupon Holly (CPP)
  3. Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens' Holly (Mixed Border)
  4. Ilex crenata ‘Green Luster’ Holly (CPP)
  5. Ilex cornuta ‘Carissa’ Chinese Holly (CPP)
  6. Ilex cornuta ‘Needlepoint’ Chinese Holly (Mixed Border)
  7. Ilex ‘Mary Nell' Holly (Mixed Border)
  8. Ilex attenuata ‘Savannah’ Holly (Butterfly Garden)
  9. Ilex serrata x verticulatta ‘Sparkleberry’ Winterberry Holly (Butterfly Garden)
  10. Jasminum nudiflorum Winter jasmine  (Perennial Border)
Photos by T. McDaniel

Friday, December 23, 2016


It's not poisonous, but it could make you or your pets a bit sick if it is ingested. You can read some more interesting history and tips on caring for your poinsettia in this Floridata article. 

Of course, the planting outside would not work for us in Pitt County.

Monday, December 19, 2016

ESPALIER-Our New Experiment

"Espalier is the ancient horticultural art of pruning and training a tree or shrub to grow flat against a support, creating a living sculpture. According to American Garden History, espalier was originally used to create outdoor “walls” in Europe during the Middle Ages and was also planted in interior courtyard walls to prevent late frost bud-kill.  Other records show this technique dates back to ancient Egypt, where hieroglyphs of espaliered fig trees have been found in tombs dating back to 1400 B.C.  The French word “espalier” (ess-PAL-yay) was originally a noun that referred to the trellis or support upon which the tree was grown; today, it refers to the technique itself."

(Excerpt from Stark Bros. Website)

We are trying something new at the Arboretum - A Brown Turkey Fig Tree Espalier.  It is a process that will take several years as we train each year's growth to follow our wire supports.  This link will further explain what we will be doing as the fig grows:  HOW TO ESPALIER A TREE (NOTE:  The article talks about apple trees, but it applies to our fig.)  So, it doesn't look like much yet.  But we will be updating its growth periodically in this blog.  You can see it yourself just outside the auditorium doors at the Ag Center building connected with the Arboretum.

Thanks to Carolina Seasons Nursery for generously donating the fig tree.

Photo by C. Taylor

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Looking for something to give the gardener who seems to have everything?  Here are two ideas for gardeners in the Pitt County area:

1)  A Year Membership to 'Friends of the Pitt County Arboretum'.  The membership will entitle them to discounts at area garden centers and garden supply stores.  They will have access to the hundreds of gardening books we have in our library.  They also receive discounted ticket prices for our events.  And last, but not least, the favorite benefit is early admittance to the Master Gardeners' Annual Plant Sale (May 20, 2017).  For an application CLICK HERE.

2)  A ticket to our Winter Speaker Event on January 28, 2017.  This year we are hosting Tony Avent from Plant Delights Nursery.  He will be speaking about "The Garden, Seasonal  Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall."  Doors open at 9:00 AM so you may visit our sponsoring vendors and have some breakfast snacks and coffee.  The program begins at 10:00 AM.  Follow this link for  MORE INFORMATION.

Call 252-902-1709 for more information.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Thank you to the enthusiastic, creative people who came out to the Arboretum to make wreaths.  Two classes, 15 people in each class, and 30 different wreaths created.  If you missed out this year, mark your calendar for the first Thursday in December, 2017 for another opportunity.  We plan to do it all again!  Here is a glimpse of the workshops: