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!

Learn With Us, week of July 27

Mosses – Fifth Season Gardening Co.
Saturday, July 27
10:00 – 11:00am
Fifth Season Gardening Co
106 S Greensboro St D, Carrboro, NC 27510
Our presenters will discuss enough natural history of mosses to make establishing and caring for a moss garden understandable. The session then will cover how to encourage moss already on the property, how to plant a new moss area, and how to keep things going. There will also be moss samples for pure enjoyment.

Cool Season Vegetables
Saturday, August 3 10:00 – 11:00am

For Garden’s Sake
9197 NC-751, Durham, NC 27713
Growing COOL SEASON VEGETABLES in the Triangle region presents unique challenges and rewards. Topics will include species and varieties that can be successfully raised when the tomatoes and peppers have finally finished. Planning early for late-season planting as well as the different challenges of Fall temperature, moisture and soil depletion will all be discussed. Also of interest will be techniques and materials that will abet over-wintering of certain crops as well as preparing beds in the Fall for Spring planting next season.

Free/Registration required
To register, email ann@fgsnursery.com or call 919-484-9759

Learn With Us, week of October 14

Durham Garden Forum: Approaches to Planting Design
October 16, 2018, 6:30-8pm
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27705

A landscape design will take shape before your eyes as Preston Montague, landscape architect and artist from Lift[ED] Landscapes, builds a landscape design in ‘real time.’ He will work to meet a user’s goals while also exploring options and possibilities that become evident through the process of design. Learn about contemporary design strategies and how you might apply these in your own landscape. Meet in Doris Duke Center.

$10, payable to Durham Garden Forum (Forum members free with $25 annual membership). For membership information, email durhamgardenforum@gmail.com. No charge for Parking.

New Dates Announced for Master Gardener Information Sessions

Storm conditions last week caused us to cancel two information sessions which are the first step in the application process for becoming an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer in Durham County. The sessions have been rescheduled for Monday, September 24 at 2 p.m., and Tuesday, September 25 at 6 p.m.

Applicants must attend one information session. Remaining sessions are as follows:

September 18th, 10-11 am
September 20th, 6-7 pm
September 24th, 2 pm
September 25th, 6 pm

All sessions take place at the Durham County Extension office at 721 Foster Street in Durham.  Advance registration is required. Call 919-560-0521 to register for a session.

Durham County Extension has nearly 100 volunteers in the Extension Master Gardener program. We help county residents learn more about a myriad of gardening topics, answer questions, conduct demonstrations and workshops, and help maintain a community garden at Briggs Avenue.

Once interns have completed their initial training, they volunteer 40 hours of their time to the community every year. Beyond their initial training experience, they are able to attend lectures and workshops offered by state and national experts. To find out more about the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program visit http://www.ncstategardening.org.