Spring open house is history for another year, and despite 3 days of rain, we had very good attendance. It's been a wonderful spring for plants and a cool spring for people. Visitors to open house found everything about 10 days behind. Because of the cool, moist English weather, the garden looks better than ever. Visitors were treated to a new Jim Gallucci (see Botanical Art and Sculpture links) bridge that crosses the stream below Mt. Michelle. We've also finished the renovations on the left side of the entrance drive with the installation of a new sunken garden complete with a marvelous faux stone fountain.
We've also just finished the 2nd Annual Horticulture Magazine Great Plants Symposium which featured an array of fabulous speakers including Ken Druse, Carol Reese, Tom Hobbs, Mike Dirr, and yours truly. If you missed the symposium and accompanying workshops and tours, you missed a superb event...and a great season to see the gardens here at Juniper Level.
Our next event at PDN is the Region 4 meeting of the Garden Writers Association on July 7. The meeting is open to both members and non-members. We also hope you will join us for our summer open houses July 8-10 and July 15-17. If you've never seen the gardens in summer, you've missed quite a treat. If visiting isn't enough, a house and property that adjoins the back part of the nursery is on the market now. We're trying to lure good gardeners to the region, so if you would like to be a Plant Delights Neighbor, come on down.
I'm just back from a June 1 meeting with scientists from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service to discuss progress on the new USDA Hardiness Zone Map. While there are still a few kinks to work out, great progress has been made, and we are looking at a hopeful completion by years' end. The new map will be searchable by zip code or location and will give 30-year average minimum temperatures, accurate down to 1 square meter. Progress was slowed a bit since their top statistician was borrowed by the Department of Defense to help find Osama. Not to worry, Hardiness Zone Map files are still being sent back and forth from Iraq.
If you have fallen into the trap of not being able to sleep at night fretting over invasive species, be sure to read the wonderful article in Discover Magazine May 2005...full article available to subscribers.
Unfortunately, we also have some sad news to report, Michelle Avent's (co-owner of PDN) mother passed away last week after a battle with cancer. Anyone who attended our open houses until last year met Mary Jo Morgan (1925-2005) when she checked you out. Mary Jo was also the one that kept the paper shredded for the shipping department. She will be sorely missed by us as well as nursery customers. If you feel compelled to remember Mary Jo, a donation to Hospice of Wake County, NC would be a wonderful memorial.