Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Finally First Frost/Duke Gardens

Finally on December 01 we get a frost. Did not even expect it, both of us watched the weather last night. Meg had to scrape her windshield too.

I'm sitting here waiting for Chapel Hill inspections to tell me they have not lost my building permit application I submitted 3 weeks ago(normally 2 weeks is long to get a permit). Just heard from inspections I did not file for a zoning compliance permit hence the reason my building permit has not been processed.

I've got a 14 x 30 deck to tear down and replace and a 14 x 20 screen porch to build on it in the most lovely gardens. The good news is I'll be able to see all of her hellebores as they bloom and she'll be giving me some babies. The bad news is it is now winter and the days are short and if I'm lucky I can work a week out of every two weeks outside.

Our last zucchini plant covered in frost glowing in the morning light. I pulled the last two tiny zucchini this past Saturday. Done for I'm sure. We are expected to get 28 degrees on the weekend.

Leaves frozen to my windshield.

Glazed and all swirly the roof to my little car.

OK so now let me take you back to Sara P Duke Gardens. Here is the latest garden, not open yet so I'm not sure what it is. I posted this for Dave as I'm sure he would like the architectural details in the construction of this. It appears as if they have built this using 1 inch square pegs instead of nails.

This fence surrounds the entire garden and because of the slope the fence allows one a wonderful view of the gardens largest pond. I liked the way the fence steps down the hillside.

If you look closely at the photo above you will see that all the lumber is custom cut cedar(cedar sells for a lot here in the eastern US). This fence is likely 400 to 500 foot long in all. Actually in all of the gardens 55 acres and 5 miles of paths it is the only fence inside the gardens.

Peeking over the fence here is the main feature. They did a great job of blending this into the garden, I'm sure at great expense.

Above and below is the water lily exhibit, bad timing for the photos. I just wanted to show them to you. They have weddings here a lot. The day we visited they were having a small memorial service and burying ashes in the terrace gardens and a wedding inside the main building.

Here are just two of the bridges in the gardens. The bridge above was tucked away in a part of the gardens I'd never explored. The bridge below had a circular sitting area which I though was pretty cool. One of these days I'll do a post on just the bridges of Duke Gardens.

Here are two of the Encore Azaleas I found blooming in the garden last week.
Above is Autumn Twist and below might be Autumn Sangria. Both were huge masses about 4-5 foot tall. I still have a hard time with seeing azaleas blooming in the fall it just does not seem right.

A word about the Belize trip I was supposed to be going on tomorrow, postponed until the third week in January. I'm going with a photography buddy, meg is staying home with the dogs and cats.


Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Randy, good luck with your project!Before getting to the wood, you need to deal with paper(s)!
The azalia bloom is oh so pretty! The Duke Gardens look very attractive even now, in winter. Those cedar structures will last forever. Well, almost forever.

Becca's Dirt said...

I have an Encore Azalea blooming too. Aren't they beautiful and you are right it seems the wrong time of year for an azalea.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Hope your permit shows up and it in order for the powers that be. We still haven't had our hard frost yet.....you can keep it there if you like.
Love the gardens, one of these days will get to see it in person.

Lauren over at Carolina Victory Garden was wondering about Camellias in full sun....I haven't a clue. Let me know if you need a link to her site.

Nell Jean said...

I love looking at botanical gardens, but never thought of having my ashes interred there. Best just leave me with the relatives at the lovely old cemetery.

White azaleas here are prone to some out-of-season blossoms if the weather is warm. I think what makes the pink ones look so odd is that azalea pink is a spring color, clashes with our fall show.

Anonymous said...

Randy~~ Duke gardens look magical. The craftsmanship that went into the fence blows my mind.

I hope the building permit red tape eases up soon. Brrr. Your windshield looks like its shivering. Or maybe that's just me. :)

Randy Emmitt said...

Duke Gardens is incredible, they get money big money to add to it.

I left Lauren a note about camellias on her blog. I did get a zoning compliance application in the works today and I might have a building permit on Friday.

Neil Jean,
Duke Gardens is not a botanical garden, although they do tag or sign most of their plants. It is really a showcase garden for Duke University. I know you would love all the roses they have there too.

The permit is happening soon! Yes it was cold today, I went garden hopping after spending 2 hours at Chapel Hill Townhall.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

thanks Randy

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

We haven't really had our first frost here, just a light freeze with some hail.
The fence and the way it's built is just beautiful. I love when you can see that so much detail was put into a structure like that. You just know it'll be pretty inside as well.

sweetbay said...

I've always told my husband that if I go first, I want my ashes to go on the garden. Hadn't thought of ashes being put in a public garden, but that makes sense for someone with an attachment to Duke and to the Gardens. I've had Encore Azaleas for several years now and I love that they bloom in the fall, especially since they are purplish in color.

sanddune said...

You should try getting a building permit in South Florida. Took me eight months to get my own design for a square screened outbuilding approved. Ever since Hurricane Andrew the building codes here are the strictest in the country. Had to have my plan approved and signed off by a structural engineer to withstand 130 mph wind before it was approved. crazy!

Gail said...

It's a lovely garden~~the creativity and workmanship that went into the fence is fantastic. Good luck with your deck and screened enclosure~~Getting a few hellebores will be nice! gail

Country Mouse said...

Man I love that fence. Seems Japanese in inspiration but maybe not. we have some beautiful Japanese public gardens around here, so serene, buildings so simple and well crafted. As far as permits in our area - not so much compliance. Would have doubled our cost for my dad's cottage (which Rat built). And delayed the completion by maybe a year. If it was easier and a more reasonable price, we would certainly have gone that way, and all is built to code so we can come into compliance at some point. Doesn't make you feel good. Creating a home for one's elderly pa - that does make you feel good though.

Chloe m said...

Too bad about your trip being postponed. I hope it is fun and educational! I look forward to seeing what your capture with your camera.
The woodwork on that fence is spectacular! Those gardens are just splendid, I can see why they have weddings etc. there, such a fabulous backdrop!
Your season is extemely long! Where are you located? zone, I mean. Thanks

LeSan said...

Randy this was such a great post. The photos are terrific. I love the roof of your car and the frozen oak leaves. The azaleas are so pretty. I have had the worst luck with them. It's kind of sad since everyone and their dog grows them here. Me- not so much.
The Duke gardens are spectacular. I too admire and envy that awesome fence. We have a big cedar fence here too...it's still in tree form though.

Randy Emmitt said...

I agree 100% on azaleas this time of year!

Yesterday I visited Duke Gardens again and the new garden was open! The building had a sign take off shoes before entering, so I did not go in. Instead I just admired the construction, bad lighting so I did not get any good photos.

I guess if you give them enough money they will plant your ashes. Got to see your garden sometime.

Thanks for stopping in! I installed several automatic sliding door at the coast of NC and they were built to Dade County requirements. So much extra steel and bracing they were extra extra tough to put in. Glad I'm not working in southern FL. Do stop by again.

Given all the excellent workmanship in Duke Gardens they have to keep topping it. Just to get to this garden to do the work is a

Yes it is Japanese as the structure has paper in the windows. At town hall yesterday I was informed any outside repairs they need to have notice even to replace existing structures, no permit required.

We are in zone 7a. We are still going to Belize, I did pay an extra $150 or so the expedite my passport which was not needed.

I wonder why you are having bad luck with azaleas, they do like shade and sandy soil. I've never been able to get them to grow very fast but have good blooms every year.

compost in my shoe said...

Had a chance to be up in the garden for the Garden Writers meeting in September. Saw the new construction in your pics. I love that place. very peaceful. What a great resource!

Karen said...

Wow, that one has to go on my gardens-to-visit list. Love the woodland setting. Thanks for your vote on my mystery grass - I had never heard of Johnsongrass before, it sounds truly evil! Another big candidate is Pampas grass. If I can swing it, I'm taking a sample to the local hort lab tomorrow and they may ID it definitively.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

That fence is awesome! Thanks for posting it! I was trying to figure out how they made the cap for the fence. I really like the stair stepping along the slope. One sturdy looking fence. I definitely like how the entry gate is fashioned. The bridges are pretty nice too!

Kelly (The Sorry Gardener) said...

Thanks for letting me know you stopped by, Randy. I wasn't aware of your blog. That fence is absolutely to die for.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Some of the wood and stone work is incredible. I'm making a list of places to visit in the spring. I really need to see these gardens in person. Gorgeous.