Now that the warmer weather is here it is time to get outside and get working in the garden! If you are looking to add some beautiful color by planting Bearded Iris in your landscape there is no better place to get them than the Rocky Toad Road Iris Farm in North Raleigh. They are located at 1216 Rocky Toad Road off Falls of Neuse Road just a little north of Raven Ridge Road in North Raleigh. The farm is only open for a limited time each season when the Iris are in bloom and they just announced this week they will be opening TODAY Friday, April 23rd from 4pm-6pm.
I love planting Bearded Iris in my yard becasue they add a nice splash of color each spring, are super easy to grow and best of all the deer don’t touch them so you can plant them almost anywhere! Don’t worry if you can’t make it over on opening day, they will also have hours this Saturday (10am-5pm) and Sunday (2-5pm) and will be open each weekeday from 4-6pm, but make sure you don’t wait to long to stop by. They are usually open for just a week or two before they sell out for the season!
When you go to the farm be sure to bring cash to pay for the plants. The unique thing about getting Iris plants at Rocky Toad Road is that you actually get to walk the fields and point out plants you want. Proprietors Robert Wilson or Randy Ray then dig up the plants for you. They are a lot of fun and happy to give you gorwing tips and advice. Last time I was there the plants were 3 for $20 or you could try your luck with some pre-trimmed pot-luck bulbs that go for 5 for $20. All of the plants they have are sourced from a great selection of show winners they divide each year. There are lots of colors to choose from and you wouln’t find a better stock of Iris around. Happy Gardening!!
The Annual Wake Forest Herb Festival returns to Festival Park in downtown Wake Forest April 18-19-20 and April 25-26-27. After a long cold winter now is the time to start planning your summer garden and thinking ahead about the veggies and herbs you want to grow this season. The Herbfest is a great local source to help start your garden and it a fun way to spend the afternoon in downtown Wake Forest.
At the festival you will find the largest selection of Non GMO organic herbs, heritage tomatoes, heirloom vegetable plants & local grown perennials for our climate The festival also features live entertainment, beer from local White Street Brewery and gardening educational seminars.
The Wake Forest Herbfest
While this is a small town event by “festival” standards, the Herb Fest is recognized as the largest herb and perennial festival east of the Mississippi. There is a ton of free parking along White Street next to the park and the festival provides wagons and carts to load up your plants (and to tote your children). For details about daily festival events you can visit their website here.
This week’s picture comes from a backyard garden experiment I am working on. I started a square foot (raised bed) garden a few years ago to avoid having to dig through all the clay soil I have in my backyard in Raleigh. Only problem I had was the wood frame I built around it to hold the soil in started to rot from all the exposure to the elements. So, I decided to get rid of the wood and repurpose empty wine bottles to create a new boarder around my garden. The only problem is I don’t drink that much wine these days!
Fortunately my friends at Vinos Finos y Picadas, a wine & tapas bar in Lafayette Village, had lots of empty bottles they were kind enough to donate for my project. I still need to add a few more bottles to round out the boarder and then plan to add some deer-resistant flowers and ornamental plants. I’ll post a follow up picture later this summer once it is all in full bloom.