Saint Phocas Garden at Saint Titus is a shared project with Saint Luke’s, and part of the Good News Gardens Movement of the Episcopal Church.  If you would like to receive their newsletters and/or start a Good News Garden of your own at home or with others, please visit the Good News Gardens website (linked above) for more information. 

Big work day coming up, December 3

As we settle in for winter, we are continuing to take steps to prepare the soil for spring awakening.  In order to do that we need your help.  We plan to build a hugelkultur bed and refresh all of our other beds with compost.  Hugelkultur is a great way to use all of the fallen branches and limbs we have been collecting this year from under our great trees and turn them into fertile soil for one of our beds.  If you would like to learn more about hugelkultur, and the Good News Garden program, please join us and lend a helping hand.  We will meet from 2-4 on Saturday, December 3 in Delaney Park next to Saint Titus, 400 Moline St. Durham.  Please contact Greg Jacobs ( from Saint Titus or Carla Knip ( from Saint Luke’s and let him or her know if you plan to come.  Bring a shovel and/or a soil rake if you have one.  We hope that you can join us!  This will be the last time we meet until it’s time to start planting in spring.  

Settling in for Winter

We gathered up all of our watering gear, timers and soaker hoses so that they won’t be damaged by frost.  Next year we plan to install a proper drip irrigation system.  The soaker hoses sprang leaks this year and several arrived damaged from the store.  We had a hard time getting the water right for our plants this year and the harvest suffered for it.

Refreshed for Spring!

Part of settling in for winter involves tucking things in properly for their winter rest by building up beds and replenishing the soil so that everything will wake up refreshed and ready for spring.  It can also mean planting perennials that have gone dormant so that they can work on establishing their roots every warmish day between now and the return of warmer weather.  With that in mind Hannah and Mary Beth planted two Carolina Allspice bushes in the area we hope to adopt for pollinator plants next spring.  They are truly tiny right now, but with love and soil amendments they should grow to be about 6 feet tall and wide and fill the area with their lovely fragrance in spring and early summer.

Sweet Baby Squirrel

In late October, Hannah and Sarah found a baby squirrel that had fallen from its nest in the garden.  Hannah contacted a local wildlife rehabilitator who gave her step by step instructions on how to keep the baby warm and reunite her with her mother.  After a scurry of activity and then an hour of patiently waiting at a discreet distance, Mama did not return so the baby was transported to the wildlife rehabilitator where she can safely finish growing up and be released back into the wild.  In the meantime she was an adorable, but frightened little visitor to the garden while we figured out how best to care for her.  

Hurricanes and Mushrooms

What do mushrooms have to do with hurricanes?  It seems that mushroom logs will often spring to life after a heavy rainfall which is precisely what happened after Hurricane Ian passed through.  We were just about ready to give up on our logs, but they have finally started producing and the shiitake are delicious!

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