Welcome! Here’s What’s New…

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The Mary Louise Turner House on Hancock Street in New Bern is the house where the Garden Club will serve as docents and floral designers.

Our next meeting is March 14, at Town Hall. Our speaker is Mickey Miller, who since just last year has been Executive Director of the New Bern Historical Society. Mickey is a retired attorney and Army colonel who spent most of her 30 years of military service in the Army JAG Corps. She is a dynamo of enthusiasm and know-how, and is bound to make this year’s Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens extra special. The April 7 and 8 tour, celebrating its 50th anniversary, includes private homes, gardens and churches in downtown New Bern and Ghent historic neighborhoods. Members who serve as docents and floral arrangers for Melinda Robinson’s house on Hancock Street can purchase tickets for $10 instead  of $18. Contact member Phyllis Hoffman to get on our docent list. You won’t be sorry!

Third Saturday workshops are a tradition at the Craven Ag Center. In March, Extension Director Tom Glasgow will be giving a two-hour talk on lawns, entitled “Warm Season Turfgrass. If you are new to this region of the country, this class is a must, because our weather presents special considerations when it comes to lawn care. Free. Begins at 10 a.m. on March 18.

March 11 is the date for the next in a series of gardening lectures at Tryon Palace. The topic for March is vegetable gardening. These lectures start at 10 a.m. and typically wind  up with an 11:00 question period. Admission is free, and the speakers are always top notch.

Are you ordering seeds online? Do you want a list of our favorite sources for seeds, bulbs and other gardening supplies? We have a page for that!

Forsythia

There is almost always something flowering in the Memorial Garden, even at the tail end of winter.

What’s blooming in the Memorial Garden now? The list is long but fairly typical for late February, early March: daphne, forsythia, daffodils, flowering quince, magnolia, and loropetalum. The camellias are about to burst into bloom and hydrangea buds are swelling. It’s delightful to follow the brick path and see what’s popping up.

Every gardener loves gardening books. The ones the New Bern Public Library sells every year at their bi-annual book sales are perfect for building your gardening library or to give gardening pals as gifts. They are that nice! The sale is held as usual at the Sudan Shriners’ building at 403 E. Front Street in New Bern. It’s on Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18 from 9 to 5, and on Sunday, March 19 from noon until 4. There are thousands of books of every kind on sale – fiction and nonfiction, hardcover and paperback. You’ll find gently used books  on travel, biography, hobbies, foreign languages, DIY, politics, history, current fiction, classics, children’s books, audio books…you name your interest and you will find something to tickle the bookworm in you. Some people do their Christmas shopping at this sale. Coffee table books, anyone?

The winter months are a challenge for our Adopt-A-Plant Committee. When members don’t have plant divisions and cuttings to donate at our general meetings, the table takes on an uninviting look. What to do? Come to the meeting bearing current garden catalogs you won’t need, cuttings from houseplants, gardening books, seeds saved from last year, and even garden-related decor and craft items. For many members, the freebie table is the first stop at meetings, so let’s keep it stocked and interesting!

Plan to attend the annual Heritage Plant Sale at Tryon Palace during the downtown tour of historic homes. Mark your calendar for April 7 and 8. People who regularly volunteer at the Palace get a chance to buy the previous day!  These are plants with a history that do well in our climate.

Maybe “getting organized” is one of your New Year’s resolutions. If you are cleaning out your garden shed or potting area, you can donate all those plastic flower pots from last summer to the Tryon Palace. The Palace is happy to have your excess pots — all sizes — so they can propagate and transplant the many seedlings they grow. Take your pots to the maintenance area off the Palace’s main parking lot.

How Tweet it is! River Bend Garden Club now has a Twitter account. You can follow us and stay up-to-the minute with gardening news, tips, photos, and other surprises. Search Twitter using a hashtag #RiverBendGardenClub or #WeMeetMonthly.  Who said we were just a bunch of old ladies in gardening clogs? You don’t need to have a Twitter account to read our Tweets and view the photos we Tweet. You can see the Twitter feed at the bottom of this page as well as the posts we add to our Facebook page.

Club membership is now higher than it has been in the past decade or longer. The roster now totals 90 people. Bring a friend or neighbor to a meeting and encourage her to join. Let’s plan a celebration when we reach 100 members!

“Like us on Facebook.” You hear that all the time. You can get friendly reminders of River Bend Garden Club’s upcoming activities and other pass along info by Liking us on Facebook. If you want a lively feed of local gardening facts and fun stuff, click Facebook’s “thumbs up” at some of New Bern’s other garden groups while you’re there. Learn to be a better gardener at the Craven Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers’ page. See what the gardeners are doing over in Fairfield Harbour here. Check out what’s happening at the New Bern Garden Club here, and the Trent Woods Garden Club here.

Tap into the local experts. Do you have gardening questions? Need info on soil testing? Wondering what vegetables or ornamentals to plant when and where? Curious about lawn maintenance, weed control, or pruning? Got fire ants or cabbage worms? Advice is available! Every second Saturday Craven County’s Master Gardeners are stationed at their booth at the New Bern Farmers Market to answer your questions. They’re there from 8 a.m. til 2 p.m.

 

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