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Capture the Water

A SIngle Drop Saved

As temperatures and humidity soar in August our heat pump works harder, and a substantial level of condensation from the heat exchanger in the attic trickles down to the back yard. Instead of allowing the water to pool as a mud hole I capture it with a cheap threaded (male) PVC fitting slipped over (not […]

Time to Cease Deadheading


We don’t deadhead our coneflowers even though they appear ready for the compost heap in the August heat. Each year we have bright yellow winged visitors who arrive in the garden and perform acrobatics as they hop from flower to flower devouring seeds. Goldfinches. Some days we will have nearly ten at a time bouncing […]

The Garden Ambassador

In my NicholsNotes blog I posted an article on the responsibilities of an ambassador. As one who is trusting Jesus Christ as my Savior I live on this earth as His ambassador. That can be a scary thought. Follow the link for the full story, and please, use the comments section to add your insight […]

Crape Myrtle on the Move

Black Diamond 2021 (1)

My son-in-law, Daniel, donated several outstanding trees from his collection to our gardens at Paths of Hope. Along with a stunning coral bark Japanese maple (acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’) and a fascinating acer palmatum ‘Virdis’ we now have a Golden Full Moon Maple (acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’) and a dwarf Mikawa Yatsubusa Japanese maple. The last […]

Drunken Bees

They stagger and move sluggishly early in the morning, but most of us over the age of forty-five do the same. A few seem to be unconscious, impervious to the rising sun and the hubbub around them. I could not believe it when a fellow gardener dismissed their behavior as being “hung over” from the […]

The Stately Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower 2021 (1)

Hummingbirds flock to the garden when cardinal flowers (lobelia cardinalis) are available. Bees find it difficult to navigate these tubular flowers so the hummingbirds handle pollination in exchange for the abundance of nectar produced by the flowers. Specimens of cardinal flower can be found along creek banks and lake shores across North Carolina though the […]