Learn With Us, week of January 26

Pruning – South Durham Library
Sunday, January 26⋅3:00 – 4:00pm

South Regional Library
4505 S Alston Ave, Durham, NC 27713
Description: February is usually prime time for pruning and shaping. Charles will discuss the goals of pruning, why it’s NOT cutting back, and how to go about it, including needed tools.

Classes are free. Registration is required.

Register online at the Durham County Library website durhamcountylibrary.org. Click on \”Events\” to find the full calendar of events. Go to the date of the class and sign up.
You can also call the Information Desk at South Regional Library to register: 919-560-7410.

Learn With Us, week of January 19



Where Have All the Fireflies Gone? – Durham Garden Forum
Tuesday, January 21, 2020⋅7:00 – 8:30pm

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708
Dr. Elsa Youngsteadt, Assistant Professor of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University joins us to look at the facts about insect decline. Remember years ago when you had to frequently wash your windshield to remove bugs? Why does that not happen as much now and what does it mean in terms of environmental health for us all?

The Durham Garden Forum is an informal group that meets once a month to enrich our gardening knowledge and skill.
Lectures free for members, $10 general public.
No pre-registration necessary.

CONTACT US: durhamgardenforum@gmail.com



Learn With Us, week of December 15

Citizen Science – Durham Garden Forum
Tuesday, December 17⋅7:00 – 8:30pm

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708
Our program this month is a panel discussion on the topic of “Citizen Science”. Our panelists include Sara Child, director, Duke Forest, and Christine Goforth, head, Citizen Science, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Citizen science brings people back into touch with science, building collaborations between people and scientists for data collection and observation. Both Duke Forest and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences have robust citizen science opportunities. Come learn how you may become a scientist in you everyday life.

Lectures free for members,
$10 general public.
No pre-registration necessary.
CONTACT US: durhamgardenforum@gmail.com

Learn With Us, week of November 10

Month to Month Gardening
Thursday, November 14⋅7:00 – 9:00pm

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Description:Month to Month Gardening by Georgeanne Sebastian and Darcey Martin

Come join us to learn the monthly tasks that are necessary to keep your garden tidy and flourishing. Whether you are new to gardening in the Piedmont or a seasoned gardener, this presentation will keep you ahead of the ‘gardening game’ and save you time so you can enjoy the beautiful spaces you have created!

A New Factor in “Right Plant, Right Place” — low-E Window Coatings

By Wendy Diaz, EMGV

A couple of weeks ago, during the peak of our latest heat wave here in the Piedmont of North Carolina, friends asked me about brown stems on their new foundation shrubs Cryptomeria japonica Dragon Prince ™ which they purchased at a local nursery and planted this spring (Photo).  These compact attractive shrubs were not established, but they were watered regularly in order to sustain them through their first year in this location with exposure to afternoon-sun in a west-facing front flowerbed.

Photo 1 Brown stems on new foundation shrubs Cryptomeria japonica Dragon Prince ™ Photo by Wendy Diaz July 13, 2019

We ruled out lack of water as the culprit and suspected that the location of the shrubs in front of their new low-emissivity reflective windows could possibly be the reason for the browning of the shrubs foliage (Photo 2).  I asked my friend to measure the temperature at the shrubs location and in the early evening it was over 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Photo 2 The location of the shrubs in front of their new low-emissivity reflective windows Photo by Wendy Diaz on July 13, 2019

On closer examination it was observed that the bottom part of the brown stem tip, closer to the trunk of the plant and more sheltered from the surface, still appeared to be green and healthy (Photo 3). A rigorous scientific study was not conducted as part of this article but circumstantial evidence of a thermometer reading over 140 degree Fahrenheit certainly leads one to believe that the intense heat caused by the suns rays reflecting off low-E windows could be the cause of the plant’s distress.

Bottom part of the brown stem tip, closer to the trunk was green and healthy. Photo by Wendy Diaz on July 13, 2019

Could the shrubs brown crowns be the unintended consequence of making changes to the energy efficiency of our homes by causing another problem to the outside home environment during the more frequent intense heat waves? Low-emissivity (low-E) coatings are transparent and improve the efficiency of the glass by reflecting heat out but still letting in light. The coating is applied to the outside glass to reflect the sun’s heat out. It has been reported that heat generated from double paned low-E windows reflecting sunlight was measured in excess of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

A possible choice to replace the front foundation shrubs may not be an evergreen non-native but perhaps a native Yucca filamentosa with some ground cover of Indian blanket flower(Gaillardia pulchella). The Cryptomeria japonica shrubs were dug up and re-potted and moved away from the low-E windows to prevent further damage awaiting replanting in the fall. Evidently some do not like it hot!