A Few Updates

A healthy farm in Snow Camp, NC

Greetings, faithful blog followers! I apologize for my lapse in communication. I am busily writing these days for organizations I support. Just published today is a piece I wrote for the blog of the New Hope Audubon Society about a cattle farm in an adjacent county that is being managed to maintain biodiversity. I was lucky enough to tour this farm last month. I found it inspirational on many levels. It was also quite beautiful. If you have the time, please visit the link above and read about the great work done by the farm’s manager, Nick Harper.

In a moment of perhaps excessive enthusiasm, I agreed to write several articles for the spring edition of Conservation Gardener, the magazine of the North Carolina Botanical Garden. That magazine is a benefit of membership, so if you’d like to read it and you aren’t a member, please consider joining. Articles in the upcoming edition will all address various aspects and issues concerning biodiversity, including a piece I’m writing on ways to increase biodiversity in your home landscape — and why that’s a good idea. Those articles are still in process, so I may not be writing here as much as I’d like until I crank out what I’ve promised.

Finally, in a nod to what I hope will be a post-COVID world by late spring of next year, I am considering ways I can share my years of experience with small groups. A younger friend of mine recently pointed out that my greatest asset is my breadth of knowledge about the southeastern Piedmont landscape. I am considering offering small classes to be held on my five acres of green chaos. Topics would reflect the interests of attendees, but I could offer tips on vegetable gardening, how to recognize and enhance microenvironments in a landscape, favorite shrubs, favorite trees, pollinator gardens, plant propagation, native plant identification, invasive species, and so on. If there’s interest, I could also offer tips on writing about the natural world and nature journaling. These classes would be held entirely outdoors.

I’m thinking attendees could compensate me in one of two ways. Either they could pay me whatever fee we settle on, or if attendees are able and willing, I’m toying with offering a class in exchange for a hour or two of weeding time by attendees. Certain parts of my yard are being overwhelmed by invasive, non-native Asian Hawksbeard. My aging joints cannot pull these weeds as fast as they are appearing. I would welcome help in exchange for some teaching time from me.

If you live within an easy drive of the Chapel Hill, NC area and you think you might like to attend a small class, please write me at the e-mail address listed on the About page. If you do so, please mention the topics that would be of most interest to you. If there’s a topic you’re interested in that’s not listed above, please mention it in your e-mail.

I hope to offer a post on the occasion of the imminent winter solstice, but if I don’t make it, please know how much I appreciate you, my blog readers, and I wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season.

One of the ponds on the farm I recently visited.

  1. #1 by Julie Higgie on December 16, 2020 - 7:56 pm

    Catherine, I admire the work you do, the ideas you come up with, and your love of the natural world. Thank you for your writings! Sounds like you might be too busy to write anything for the plant society, but that’s ok. Wish I were closer to Chapel Hill so I could come up and take a class! It would be fun to see your beautiful property. Merry Christmas!

    • #2 by piedmontgardener on December 16, 2020 - 8:15 pm

      Hi, Julie! Thanks so much for your kind words. My writing to-do list is rather long at the moment, but perhaps some time next year I can put together something for the NCNPS. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy Post-COVID New Year!

  2. #3 by tonytomeo on December 16, 2020 - 11:33 pm

    Oh, I know how that goes! I also know that it is not easy to lighten the load while it involves such important projects.

    • #4 by piedmontgardener on December 17, 2020 - 6:31 am

      I am sure that you do, Tony. Your sympathy is appreciated. 🙂 Happy holidays to you and yours!

  3. #5 by Craig Nishimoto on December 17, 2020 - 7:59 am

    Catherine, I love the idea of the outdoor class. I’ll recommend it to anyone I meet with an interest in these topics.

    • #6 by piedmontgardener on December 17, 2020 - 8:12 am

      Thank you, Craig, especially since you are the young person to whom I refer in the post! If we can all just get to the other side of COVID, I would very much enjoy sharing my love of the native landscape with others who are interested. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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