Cosmos sulphureus (sulphur cosmos) at R. C. Raulston Arboretum, N. C. State University, Raleigh, NC, September 24, 2016
As the week begins I join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday, an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.
After some rain during the past week the garden perked up a little. The zinnias responded with fresh new flowers, even though powdery mildew is affecting the leaves. I planted Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ in Spring 2015 and it is coming along nicely. Its gold splotched leaves are the starting point for today’s arrangement, supported by orange and red zinnias.
The light was very low yesterday so I tried to photograph the arrangement in several places around the house.
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’
Porcelain. Rectangle Ikebana Vase Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H)
I am behind lately in reading and commenting on garden blogs and hope to catch up soon. My head is swimming with ideas about gardening Friday and Saturday I attended a horticulture symposium at JC Raulston Arboretum which celebrated the garden’s 40th anniversary. The theme was “Horticultural Bright Lights: The Future of Gardening.” Here is a list of speakers.
Matthew Pottage – “Wisley—The New Chapter for the Flagship Garden of the Royal Horticultural Society”
Rebecca McMackin – “Brooklyn Bridge Park: Growing Biodiversity in the Concrete Jungle”
Hans Hansen – “New Plant Development at Walters Gardens”
Claudia West — “Planting in a Post-wild World”
Claudia West – Designing Plant Communities: The Art and Science of Successful Planting
Aaron Floden, Ph.D. – “Exploration, Discovery, and Bridging Botany and Horticulture”
Jared Barnes, Ph.D. – “Propagating Horticulturists: A Cultural Guide for Cultivating the Future of Horticulture”
Matt and Tim Nichols – “International Maples of Mystery”
As I told a friend this weekend, after hearing these inspiring talks I may not give up on my garden just yet.
We braved the heat and humidity yesterday morning for a brief visit to JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. Most plants are labeled but I could not find a tag for this hibiscus. Hibiscus seem to be everywhere this summer, except in my garden.
Yesterday I worked on a new planting bed that came about as the result of needing a place this winter to offload and store some extra mulch. Selecting a spot where the grass retreats and dies back every summer once the weather gets the least bit dry, in February, I lay down 3-4 sheets of newspapers, wet them, and stored my excess mulch on top.
By yesterday most of the mulch had been distributed. I removed most of the remaining mulch, added a good quality topsoil mixed with mushroom compost. No digging. Touched just a bit by the shadow of a Red Maple, this area receives early morning sun, then is shaded from the other direction by a ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress in early afternoon.
My husband is intrigued with the variegated leaves of coleus, always pointing them out in other gardens we visit (especially at the trial gardens at the Raulston Arboretum). With an emphasis on foliage, this little garden of annuals is planted for him this year. For now companions to the coleus are caladiums and a few impatiens. I might move several Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) into this bed as well. We will just experiment here.
On the last day of 2012 my husband and I visited one of our favorite gardens and a local treasure, the ten-acre JC Raulston Arboretum in nearby Raleigh.
After many gray and rainy days we were ready to be outside. Though blue sky is visible in this picture, the day was mostly overcast and the temperature around 47F made for a chilly walk. Initially the garden seemed more stark than I had expected, yet there were many interesting discoveries as we strolled along.
Founded in 1976 by the late J. C. Raulston, Ph.D., the garden is part of the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. As described on its website “the Arboretum is primarily a working research and teaching garden that focuses on the evaluation, selection and display of plant material gathered from around the world. Plants especially adapted to Piedmont North Carolina conditions are identified in an effort to find better plants for southern landscapes.”
One benefit of walking through this arboretum is that plants are usually well-labelled. On our way toward the Winter Garden we encountered an interesting specimen. A plaque indicated this Quercus robur f. fastigiata (Columnar English Oak) was the first tree Dr. Raulston planted at the arboretum and it is now over 50 feet tall. The layout of the arboretum has been redesigned over the years, but the tree stands at what was the original entrance to the garden.
The oak is still holding its brown autumn leaves. “Unlike many fastigiate (upright) tree selections, this form of English oak was found growing wild in a forest in Germany and was propagated by grafting in 1783. Most acorns from the tree will form columnar trees.”
Just to the right of the English oak is a Platanus x hispanica ‘Suttneri’ (variegated London planetree) with its showy white bark.
A closeup look at a lower branch of the London planetree reveals the patchy greenish-gray variations and interesting bark texture.
Among the many blooming plants we encountered were Edgeworthia, many different kinds of Camellia and Japanese Flowering Apricot, Quince, Snow drops and Hellebores. A special delight was the Iris unguicularis (winter flowering iris) tucked underneath a shrub. (The Edgeworthia nor any of the plants looked as unfocused in real life as some of these images suggest! Click on an image for larger images in a gallery view.)
The Winter Garden was brightened by the use of yellow in the form of Mahonia flowers, berries (yellow-berry Chinese holly) and the variegated leaves of Golden Spangles camellia.
Click on an image for larger images in a gallery view.
We saw just a fraction of the Arboretum on this trip, but having visited there many times we knew the Winter Garden was an appropriate section to explore that day. Heading toward the exit we passed again the weeping forms that greeted us upon our arrival near the new entrance. The trees here are marvelous in other seasons but winter highlights their framework.