Things I See Around Town: Treegator®

There is a new home building project underway next to our church. As the builders have put in landscaping, I noticed several Treegator® irrigation bags installed around newly planted trees. I see them in lots of places around town.

I used Treegator® bags to water new trees in my gardens for over fifteen years and was quite pleased with them. A single bag, holding up to 15 gallons, can drip water around a trunk up to four inches in diameter. Zipping two bags together doubles the capability. I could dissolve fertilizer in the bag, saving time and effort to perform both tasks together. I varied the amount of water depending on the needs of the specific tree. Treegator® was a valuable tool in my gardening arsenal.

Experts recommend this kind of supplemental irrigation for newly planted trees. Many say to continue for two to three years until they are sufficiently established.

CAUTION: Several years ago I left a Treegator® around a thriving ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’) over the winter. Chalk it up to laziness, inattention, or forgetfulness. Whatever the cause, I noticed in spring that there were no buds appearing when they should have. I finally removed the Treegator® and discovered the area around the trunk was alive with various hungry critters. The trunk was girdled. I had created a cozy winter home for those critters, and my beautiful ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud was dead. It was NOT the fault of the Treegator®. The fault, dear Brutus, was mine.

LESSON LEARNED: When you finish the drip, remove the Treegator® to another tree or the shed.

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Spring Signs

Here it is Valentines’ Day in mid-February and we continue to see these wonderful signs that spring is indeed coming to North Carolina.

Are these not cherry trees that have been in bloom for several weeks?

Happy Valentine’s Day to all. May you be with the love of your life.


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Pass the Mustard

Popular winter annuals in our area over recent years include leafy veggies, especially colorful ornamental cabbages and kales. Last fall I “discovered” a new winter veggie that caught my eye for its fabulous deep purple foliage. I had to try it.

Let me introduce you to “Miz America” mustard.

Two of these have been in pots on my porch the entire winter. They have lived through freezing temperatures, ice storms, and heavy winds and continue to thrive, showing little damage.

I don’t know if they will continue to look so well when summer comes, but I will keep them on the porch long enough to see if heat causes them to fade.

I will certainly look for them next fall.

“Miz America” mustard is a winner.



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A Mark in Time

In our culture we revere as special a day that marks an anniversary–a birth, a marriage, a graduation, a start-up–whatever is a new beginning.

Daylily Siloam Double Classic…one of my favorites

Today is one of those special days for me…the FIFTH anniversary of A Walk in the Garden. I started this blog five years ago hoping to spread the word about my ebook, Guess What’s in My Garden. Book sales have not been overwhelming, but I have been delighted with the number of “blogosphere” friends made over these five years from around the world.

I am grateful for your comments and continued support and encouragement. Yes, I have retired from active gardening, but I will continue to share my love of the garden in different ways in this blog.

Thank you for a fun five years, 585 posts and counting.

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Things I See around Town: The Aftermath

A few weeks ago we had a serious storm: ice and wind. This is one of several trees damaged in our area.

I have noticed this tree countless times over the last dozen years on my way to our favorite barbeque spot. What I thought I saw was a mature, strong, hardwood with deep roots and a solid core. The storm revealed something quite different. Without a core, the tree could not stand the stress of that storm and it fell apart.

That is a metaphor that can apply to people, marriages, families, businesses, and other organizations. They look fine and strong on the outside, but then serious stress occurs. Without a solid core of strong values, they can fail just like that tree.


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Things I See around Town: Happiness

Happiness is a daffodil in January

Happiness is the first sighting of forsythia in bloom

Happiness is recognizing the cycle of bloom starting for yet another year.

Happy 2019

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A Step or Two in another Direction

It is a challenge to write a garden blog when you don’t have a garden anymore. I lost mine when we sold our home and moved to a nearby retirement community. The wonderful friends who bought our home have already had us over to see. The garden is not mine anymore, but I am assured that it is in excellent hands. What I didn’t lose was my love of gardening. So I will use my memories and things I see around town to continue these posts.

One of my favorite vistas in my Charlotte garden featuring Weigela florida

I have tended three gardens in my life, two of which I designed and started from bare ground. Wouldn’t it have been nice if I had known then what I know now? That, of course, is not possible; many of my favorite plants hadn’t even been created when I started. And that’s not just about gardening. There is much I wish I had known about getting the most out of school, of raising my children, my work life in the Navy and industry, and my marriage to my Arranger. It’s too late for me to go back and take piano lessons. But, alas, we’re talking hindsight now.

I have learned some lessons and discovered new methods, new ideas, new plants, things that turned out marvelously well (I believe in serendipity) and, alas again, some that were disasters. I will share those in time. I also keep my eyes open when I am out and about so I may report from time to time. I might even share a thought or two of what I could do in my next garden…the one in my dreams.

I hope you will join me on my next journey.

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