Thursday, March 28, 2013

What the Dog Didn't Do in the Night

Shumard Oaks
Bark! - as in bark and tree trunks.  Admittedly, an awkward segue from a literary allusion** to plant material, but what the hey.....

When we think of trees, we commonly think of leaves and flowers and the differing seasons in which they brighten our landscape. But when the flowers and leaves have fallen to the ground, many trees pick up the landscape slack with vivid bark and trunk coloration and textures. 

Herewith a few random pictures of some intriguing bark patterns on trees at our Iles Farm:

Natchez Crape Myrtle

Swamp White Oak
Click 'MORE' for more.....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wanted: A Few Good Men!

We take time out today from our usual fare to bring you the following important message:

No experience necessary
Ben's Creek Nursery is located in Littleton, North Carolina, and has been in business for 15 years. We are a leading provider of landscape services in and around the upscale Lake Gaston area, and are in need of a career-minded, enthusiastic person to join our staff. Compensation will be based on experience. You must be 21 years of age, have a valid NC driver's license, and a clean driving record. Training will be provided, but the ability to operate medium duty trucks, trailers, and the usual lawncare/landscape equipment is a plus.
To summarize: training will be provided, all you need to supply is a clean driver's license and record, and the energy and motivation to get ahead with a growing company. If you or anyone you know is interested, click on Employment Application in the right side-bar, fill it out and contact us!

That concludes this public service announcement.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Steal a March on Spring!

Don't let the cold fool you, Spring will spring. I know because the same thing happened last year.

So there is no time like the present to prepare for the new season and brush up on those yard and garden tasks that will soon take on greater urgency.

Herewith a link to March garden tips from none other than our own NC State Cooperative Extension, an authoritative source if ever I saw one. Not exactly concise, but comprehensiveness is a virtue too. They offer more than 30 bullet points covering everything from fertilization and pruning to planting and lawncare ... and more!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Worm Turns...

...and also toils and tills - your soil. In addition, worms spread a hearty mixture of natural manure (the delicate term is 'castings') throughout your garden grounds. Who among us can resist the multitude of charms of the wondrous worm?

Which brings up the subject of vermiculture. Or as we uneducated call it, raising worms in compost bins. Apart from the killer potency they add to your compost, worms also thrive on old newspapers, kitchen scraps, and even coffee grounds. Can you say, recycling? How about organic and natural?

The idea of encouraging worms to loiter about the house in plastic worm-abodes makes me a bit queasy, so I will leave the details to our friend, Fielder Rushing of
While a lot of folks may not even know what vermiculture is, I can’t imagine growing anything without earthworms, which are the subterranean workhorses of the garden! In fact, everything I do for my soil is aimed towards keeping my earthworms healthy, and in turn they make my garden soil grow the best plants.
Read the whole article, and then raise you some worms. The little wigglers will do your garden good.