Monday, August 31, 2009

Howdy! A few notes on recent events and ones soon to come..

This past weekend I participated in a small plant rescue in the research triangle park. The site will soon be a large toll road that cuts through EPA property. The plants we were there to rescue are part of a relic piedmont prairie, a once-widespread ecosystem in this part of the state. I've been there a few times, each visit focusing on rescuing a different group of plants. Saturday I went for diversity rather than quantity, and came back with twelve different species of flowering perennials from the site. I've been working jointly with the North Carolina Botanic garden, the NC Native Plant Society, and the EPA to work out a rescue plan that will help ensure we can save a diverse representation of this ecosystem. If you'd like to learn more about the site, what species can be found there, or the piedmont prairie ecosystem, e-mail me at

The "walk on the Wild Side" this Thursday will focus on plants with unique stories. I'll pick eight to ten species of native plants with interesting natural/cultural histories and spend time speaking about each of them. As always, meet at the Blomquist gatehouse at 11:00.

A week or so ago, I took a trip up to Martinsville, Va to look at an interesting native plant project. Employees and volunteers at both the Piedmont Art museum and the Virginia Museum of Natural History had heard of my work in the Blomquist Garden, and a group of them had come to visit me a few weeks ago here at Duke. They are part of a team charged with designing a native plant garden adjacent to both museums. We toured the Blomquist Garden here, and then a week later I visited Martinsville and chaired a design meeting to discuss their needs going forward in the design of this new garden. It's an exciting project, integrating the cultural history of the Martinsville area with the natural history of the Virginia piedmont into a cohesive garden setting with an emphasis on education. Following the meeting, I recommended they contact a landscape architect colleague of mine who will help them put the ideas we fleshed out onto paper.
Fun stuff!

Also... I'm helping design a native plant garden for Easley Elementary off Guess rd. in Durham. We're having a volunteer workday there on Saturday, September 12th to rip out the old stuff on the site. Anyone interested in helping should contact me for more info.

Finally, I'm helping St. Phillips church in downtown Durham design and install a drip irrigation system for their community garden on the church grounds. Anyone who might be interested in volunteering to help with the installation sometime this fall, let me know and I'll put you on my community project volunteer list. This is a GREAT community garden that provides food for a variety of organizations/residents in the downtown durham community. You would be proud to help with this effort.

See you soon,


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