Connections: Tribute to Thurman and Milkshake

Ian and I were blessed to have our little dog named Milkshake. I don't bandy the word blessed around very often. A neighborhood acquaintance, Thurman, who later became a friend, gave us care of Milkshake in July 2016. About ten years ago, I met Thurman at our neighborhood park while walking with other family pets. He had the cutest little Maltese with him named Milkshake. Thurman warned me not to pet him. Milkshake was quite defensive and wouldn't hesitate to snap. Long story short, you quickly learned to admire Milkshake from afar. Several years later Thurman became terminally ill. During this period Thurman and Milkshake would go barreling through the neighborhood together on his m

Late Winter 2018 and the Effects of Record Breaking Cold

Oh, the ups and downs of gardening: arctic cold and drought. Durham County has been upgraded from "moderate drought" to "abnormally dry" just in time for Spring. The arctic weather in January negatively affected two plants in the garden that are classified as being zone 7 thru zone 10. The edgeworthia (paper bush) and mahonia Soft Caress really suffered. I think the Mahonia might be dead. On the flip side, the late winter bloomers Royal Star Magnolia, Tulip Magnolias, Forsythia, Camellia Japonica and Hellebores are thriving. Their cold tolerance is greater than zone 7 plus the last two weeks in February have been gentle so their blossoms haven't been hurt. When purchasing plants I hav