• Kalmia Gardens - ''The Laurel Branch''

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    September 09, 2022

    Welcome to our e-newsletter, "The Laurel Branch."

    Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve Trail Closed

    In this edition, we have an important heads up to all of our lovely hikers, walkers, and adventurers: there is a trail closure on the Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve. The trail is closed for maintenance, and the closure requires all of our adventurers to choose another path for the time being. We apologize for any inconvenience this closure may cause. We also greatly appreciate your respect for the trails and the time they need to become better for everyone's tomorrow. Additionally, staying on the boardwalks and open paths is very important to the soil's health, and what better time to mention it than now? Soil friability is when normally healthy soil gets overly compacted to the point of losing its air pockets, becoming crumbly and unhealthy for some plants. This is why paths are so important— they help keep our beautiful plants looking their best for us all of us to enjoy time and time again. Happy hiking, and stay safe out there!

    Hidden in plain sight.

    There is nothing like a cold drink and a snack while you take in the beautiful scenery of Kalmia Gardens, but no one likes to see the remnants of someone else’s snacks lingering where they come to connect with nature. Between forgetfulness and carelessness, trash often ends up far from its rightful place in a garbage or recycling bin. Once left behind, it becomes the duty of the Gardens’ staff, mainly Chris Pierce, to make sure litter does not pollute the wonderful ecosystem at Kalmia. His hard work in keeping the Gardens clean and healthy is a fight that often goes unnoticed until it is left undone. In many ways it is like a ballet: on stage, ballerinas make each move look effortless and dazzling. Behind the scenes, however, they dedicate hours of effort to be able to put on a big smile and make it look like they are not even trying. The same could be said for our tireless trash patrol, making sure the garden gleams no matter which trail you venture down to enjoy the natural beauty. There is a large volume of work done behind the scenes in these beautiful gardens so that the show can go on without a hitch, or in this case, without trash. Ballerinas and the Kalmia team both put in hard work because we love what we do. Making the Gardens a better and more gorgeous place is what we all love here on the Kalmia team, but we could never find every piece of trash left by the wayside. Please give us a hand at our labor of love keeping Kalmia clean and lovely. Make sure trash makes it to where it belongs in the many trash cans all over the Gardens. Together we can keep Kalmia Gardens looking its best for all of our tomorrows.

    The trash pictured above represents one day of collection on the roadside!

    Chris’s Tip

    It is rapidly becoming the time of year to say goodbye to our lovely summer heat-tolerant plants and begin planning for the winter on the horizon. The pretty summer flowering plants and yummy food-producing plants have had their time in the sun, literally. Luck favors the prepared, and the same goes for gardening. It is never too early to start laying out a game plan to bring in the new winter plants to keep your gardens full all year round. A couple of plants you may see in the Gardens as the seasons change include beets and carrots. These root veggies are great for winter planting and make the farewell to summer veggies easier knowing you have some yummy underground gems growing for the future. Remember, pine straw can help insulate and give even hardy winter plants an edge against brutal temperatures.

    Dan's Interesting Plant

    This issue’s interesting plant is the Abelia grandiflora. This evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub is known to have a dense packing of small glossy leaves, earning it the nickname “glossy Abelia.” These plants are adorned with small clusters of bell-shaped blooms that make their appearance during late spring to fall. The pale, pink blooms have a very soft and subtle fragrance that almost mirrors the faintness of their color at times. In the winter, despite its lack of flowers, the Abelia remains beautiful, with its leaves turning to a purple-bronze color. No matter the time of year, this shrub keeps up appearances and is easy to sustain. The Abelia is happy in full sun but also thrives in partial shade. It can grow as large as six feet tall and wide and is great for making an informal hedge, as this low-maintenance beauty does not require much work or pruning. The genesis of the plant’s name stems from naturalist Clarke Abel. A steady and reliable plant, the Abelia is beautiful in all seasons, making it a very lovely inhabitant of the Kalmia Gardens. But don’t take my word for it; come on over and see this cool shrub for yourself.

    Find Us On Facebook

    If you are on Facebook make sure you “like” Kalmia Gardens. It’s a great way to hear about events, stay up to date on what’s happening, and view some nice pictures. We look forward to seeing your “thumbs up.”                                  

    Beautiful Plants of September at Kalmia Gardens
    Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)
    Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
    Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)
    Blue-curls (Trichostema dicotomum)
    Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidin)
    Chives, Garlic (Allium tuberosum)
    Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstremia indica)
    Dogwood (Cornus florida)
    Elephant's foot (Elephantopus sp.)
    Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)
    Hearts-a-bustin' (Euonymus americana)
    Hempweed, Climbing (Mikania scandens)
    Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum)
    Lantana (Lantana camara)
    Lilyturf, variegated (Liriope muscari variegata)
    Edge of beds in parking lot
    Meadowberry (Rhexia sp.)
    Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
    Memorial Garden, along paths
    Poke (Phytolacca americana)
    Pyracantha (Pyracantha koidzumin)
    Rabbit-tobacco (Gnaphalium obtusifolium)
    Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
    Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
    Smartweed (Polygonum sp.)
    Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
    Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata)
    St. Andrew's Cross (Hypericum hypericoides)
    Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
    Viburnum, Possumhaw (Viburnum nudum)
    Waterlily (Nymphaea ordorata)
    Yucca, Mound-lily (Yucca gloriosa)


    Wreath Making Class TBA
    Christmas Open House December 4th, 3:00pm-5:00pm
    Copyright © 2016 Kalmia Gardens of Coker College, All rights reserved.
     Laurel Branch

    Our mailing address is:
    Dan Hill
    dhill@coker.edu, (843) 383-8145