Well, we’ve got the first month of 2007 in the books, the Super Bowl out of the way, and spring is right behind. Actually, I’m beginning to think spring got delayed in most parts of the country. We were cruising right along with a delightful global warming-like winter and wham… one of those old-fashioned winters arrived. Do you reckon Al will give me a refund because of this inconvenient weather? Even the hoards of robins, who thought spring was here, are now feasting for a long cold stretch by devouring every berry from our 1200′ long Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ holly hedge. Do you know what a mess 80 robins make while eating… geez, manners like some of my other southern-born relatives. Meanwhile some of us aren’t enjoying the dramatic cool down personally, but at least the ice fishermen in Minnesota aren’t crashing through the lakes any longer. The cool down is actually great for our plants which were emerging and flowering far too early, so the cold has put everything back in a cryogenic state until spring really does arrive.
I hate to talk about the closing of more mail order nurseries, but I wanted to mention that Pam Baggett of Singing Springs Nursery in NC has closed her greenhouse doors. Pam built a wonderful business specializing in tender perennials and cool annuals but has closed to allow more time for the less-stressful tasks of writing, speaking, and gardening. On the West Coast, Collector’s Nursery has also closed… at least for the 2007 season. Diana is taking the year off to travel, write, and garden but is considering re-opening again in the future. We’d like to publically thank both nurseries for their contributions to horticulture.
Now that we’re in February, let me remind you that our shipping season begins in a few more weeks… Feb. 26, for those of you in the southern zones. Also remember that the deadline of February 15 is drawing near to enter our 2007 Pick the Top 25 Sellers Contest. Okay, it’s not the Powerball Lottery, but you’ve got nothing to lose and the chance to win a $250 PDN gift certificate.
I look forward to seeing many of you on the road, as I dash across the country during the next few months. One of the treats of 2006 was to finally meet and share the stage with garden author and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy. I had heard rave reviews about Julie’s landscape design talks, but I usually find such presentations to be yawners. Julie was not only a delightfully charming and approachable person, but a splendid and thoughtful presenter. The JC Raulston Arboretum has subsequently booked Julie for an upcoming April 21 landscape design seminar titled, ‘Outside the Not So Big House: Creating the Landscape of Home.’ If you have any interest in landscape design and have not had the opportunity to attend one of Julie’s programs, put this on your calendar. You can find out more about the all day seminar (including lunch) on the JC Raulston Arboretum website [pdf]. Call Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005 for more information about this event or to register.
We don’t get many winter visitors but were delighted to have Dr. Richard (Dick) Weaver, the founder of We-Du nurseries of Polly Spout, NC, stop by a couple of weeks ago when he was in the area to speak to our Rock Garden Society local chapter. For those that remember Dick and Rene from their We-Du days, they are back from Puerto Rico and now living in Florida… both doing very well. We purchased many plants from We-Du, but as the old saying goes, “I wish I knew then what I know now…” and I’d have purchased much more. Dick was really a pioneer in selecting great natives as well as introducing great garden plants from foreign lands. The new owners of We-Du, Jamie and Merri, are once again venturing into mail order, so check them out at www.we-du.com
I hope you have already made plans to attend our 2007 Winter Open House, February 23 & 24 and March 2 & 3, 2007. We’ve got some very special hellebores for you to pick from, along with many other winter goodies. Once again, we are coordinating open house days with our friends at Pine Knot Farms of Virginia (about 1hr 15 minutes north of PDN), who hold their winter open house, but only on Saturdays during the same weekends.
While many plants have their toes curled up during our current cold snap, others don’t miss a beat. One of the stars of the winter garden is Nothoscordum sellowianum. This delightful small bulb has been in flower in the garden since mid-January and will continue through March. The hellebores are looking great, particularly H. x nigercors and H. x ericsmithii. The colder night temperatures have intensified the color of the flower to a near red. Amazingly, we’ve also already got Asarums flowering in the garden including the stunning A. maximum.
Finally, before I close, we have a position open for an Assistant Garden Curator for our Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. The job includes all aspects of garden maintenance from mulching to planting and weeding. The starting salary of this year-round, benefitted position is $25,000. We prefer someone with garden maintenance experience, at least a 2 year horticulture degree, and a passion for cool plants. For more information, email our business manager Heather Brameyer at email@example.com .
As always, we thank you for your continued support and patronage.
Please direct all replies and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks and enjoy