Author Archives: kingwood

Kingwood Center Gardens First-Ever Capital Campaign Goes Public

On Friday December 1st Kingwood Center Gardens announced the public phase of our first ever capital campaign. We have been quietly soliciting foundations and potential major donors for several months and are now on the cusp of reaching 7 million dollars in pledged and received donations. Our goal is 8.5 million, but, if truth be told, 9 million would more fully achieve our phase one construction goals, especially as it relates to the garden aspects of the project.

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Seasonal Plant to Houseplant – 6 Steps for keeping a Poinsettia as a Houseplant

By Doug Schuster

Most people at one time or another have purchased/received a poinsettia during the Christmas season. I have come across many who are bound and determined to keep their poinsettia not only through the new year but for next Christmas as well. They are always perplexed when their Poinsettia does not become what it was last Christmas. Here are 6 steps to keeping a Poinsettia as a houseplant rather than a seasonal plant.

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The Fraser fir

By Shawn McClain

Thinking back on the years of selecting Christmas trees for the Kingwood traditional display in the house, many have questioned why we haven’t tried other types of Christmas trees in the house. Let me reassure you that we have tried a blue spruce once in the dining room. It was extremely heavy and hard to work with in the stand, not to mention that the needles didn’t make it through the season. Hence, the desired effect was less then satisfactory. The next attempt was to try a Douglas fir for the foyer tree as you walk into the house. It was so much better to work with and filled the requirements for the height and space available.   The reason for this selection that year was finding a suitable Fraser fir tree. We determined that in a pinch  this could be a good alternative to our all-time favorite Fraser fir.

Christmas tree production in the mountains of North Carolina

Christmas tree production in the mountains of North Carolina

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Best Evergreens for Wreath Making

By Glenna Sheaffer

When you are making your own wreath out of fresh greens, there are some things that make the job easier.  One major item to look for is evergreens that have smaller stems like Taxus [yew], Juniperus [juniper],  Pinus [particularly white pine], and Thuja [arborvitae].  These choices make wire wrapping the stems to add to the wreath so much easier and assures that the observer will see only the greens not the brown stems.  Using only 6-10” stems of these evergreens keeps you at the tips of the branch where the stems are smaller and easier to use.  Another excellent choice is Abies fraseri [fraser fir] with it’s wonderful fragrance.

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Ornamental Grasses

By Karen Frazier

The end of October, beginning of November is the perfect time to focus on putting your landscape beds to sleep for the winter. This should include deciding on what to do with your ornamental grasses. Should I or should I not cut them back. Is it bad for them, good for them, or does it even matter. Whether your grasses are big (Arundo donax, Giant Cane) or small (Pennisetum orientale, Oriental Fountain Grass) there are a few things you should consider to help make the decision easier.

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Moving & Planting Trees

By Shawn McClain

Spring planting gives the trees all summer to grow and get ready for winter. Developing leaves to make food for the plant and new roots. Both of these growth processes require sugar reserves that are stored in the roots and stems. Trying to grow both leaves and stems at the same time is taxing for the plant and can cause the processes to suffer. A limited root system, can also create problems getting enough water causing the newly planted tree to drop some or all their leaves after planting. They are unable to actively absorb enough water, requiring routine watering to compensate during dry periods.

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Garden Sculpture at Kingwood

By Chuck Gleaves

By my count Mr. King had eleven garden sculptures on his estate, twelve if you include the bronze “Duck Baby” fountain by Edith Parsons in the foyer of the house. We don’t know where they all came from, but we are privilege to some background information about the two pieces Mr. King commissioned with sculptor Anton Vozech. Years ago, a volunteer interviewed the models giving some unique insight into the creative process, but what I thought was most amusing was how intent each model was on distancing themselves from the impression that they modeled in the nude.

"Lady Of Gaillarida" one of two original pieces sculpted by Anton Vozech for Mr. King.

“Lady Of Gaillarida” one of two original pieces sculpted by Anton Vozech for Mr. King.

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The Importance of Fall Clean-up

By Mona Kneuss

Fall maintenance is one ways to keep your plants healthy so lets get started.
By now most of your plants are looking tired and ready to be put to bed for the winter. All of the annuals in your pots will need to be emptied and the pots emptied of their soil so they don’t freeze and brake. The soil can be stored in a plastic container with a lid of some kind to be used next year.

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