Educational Opportunities

Learn about creating pollinator habitat!

The month of June presents three opportunities to learn about creating pollinator habitat! Chatham County Agriculture Agent Debbie Roos will be giving tours of N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Demonstration Garden at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro on these dates:


  • Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 2 p.m.


The garden was designed to provide forage habitat for pollinators such as honey bees, native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, plus other pollinators and beneficial insects. It features over 215 unique species of plants, 85% of which are native to North Carolina. These plants were all procured from local nurseries!


No registration is required…just meet on the lawn in front of Chatham Marketplace a few minutes before the start of the tour, rain or shine!


The garden is looking great and has over 65 different species in bloom this week.


Visit the pollinator garden website!


You can view my favorite photos of the garden on Extension’s Growing Small Farms website.


The garden is at 480 Hillsboro St. Pittsboro, NC 27312.


The “What’s in Bloom” section of the garden website features snapshots of the garden as well as photos of all the plants currently in bloom.


View the 2019 Pollinator Garden Tour Schedule for other tour opportunities through the end of the year.


I hope to see you there!


Debbie Roos
Agricultural Extension Agent 
Chatham County Center

North Carolina Cooperative Extension

For our bee enthusiasts, NCSU will be hosting intermediate level beekeeping short courses across the state. For more information, keep posted at:

We’re pleased to announce the launching of a new extension initiative for beekeepers—the BEES Academy. We will be holding multiple 2-day trainings for intermediate beekeepers on a wide range of topics, held at and thanks to Cooperative Extension Offices across the state in late-summer and early fall. Please note the dates in the attached flier and stay tuned for more information at:




Along with myself, Jeff McManus will be speaking and every attendee will receive a free copy of his book, “Growing Weeders Into Leaders.”  I’m fortunate to call Jeff a friend and someone I look up too, as he is one of the most impactful people within the Green Industry.  You DO NOT WANT TO MISS HIS TALK!

Register at:

Southeastern Plant Symposium

 June 7-8

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Colleagues Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum at NCSU, and Tony Avent, Founder of Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery, will launch the first Southeastern Plant Symposium in Raleigh, North Carolina, June 7 and 8.

“The Southeastern Plant Symposium is an incredible opportunity for professionals and non-professionals to hear many of the world’s renown plant speakers in a single event,” said Avent. “We are bringing in the most knowledgeable and most passionate plant lovers to speak.”

“There are many great new plants entering the market from plant breeders, from explorations around the world, and from collections of botanic gardens,” added Weathington. “We’ll be talking about cutting edge plants at the forefront of new trends in gardening and new plant selections that reinvent how we think about gardening.”

“The Symposium will provide accurate information from people who know and grow the plants, as opposed to the frequently incorrect information that’s perpetuated online,” said Avent. “Our speakers will cut through the new plant clutter to expose attendees to what is truly exceptional.”


Southeastern Plant Symposium speakers include:

  • John Grimshaw, Director, The Yorkshire Arboretum, Castle Howard, York, UK
  • Scott McMahan, Manager, International Plant Exploration, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Ted Stephens, Owner, Nurseries Caroliniana, Augusta, South Carolina
  • David Creech, Professor Emeritus, SFA State University, and Director of Stephen F. Austin Gardens. Nacogdoches, Texas
  • Julie Moore, Office of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington, DC
  • Tony Avent, Founder, Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Adam Black, Director of Horticulture, Peckerwood Gardens, Hempstead, Texas
  • Leanne Kenealy, Plant Breeding and Nursery Technician, JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Buddy Lee, Director of Plant Innovations, Plant Development Services (PDSI), Loxley, Alabama
  • Guy Meacham, New Plant Development Manager, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Company, Boring, Oregon
  • Tom Ranney, JC Raulston Distinguished Professor and Mountain Crop Improvement Lab, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, NC State University, Fletcher, North Carolina
  • Kim Shearer, Tree and Shrub Breeder and Manager of New Plant Development Program, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois
  • Tim Wood, Product Development & Marketing Manager, Spring Meadow Nursery, Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Donglin Zhang, Professor, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

“Targeted attendees include, private plant collectors, landscape architects and designers, nursery and botanic garden staff, members of HOA landscape design committees, city and county horticulturists, parks staff, new homeowners who want to create a distinctive landscape design, and members of the public who are passionate about new and different plants,” according to Avent.

“Horticulture and landscape plants are among our most basic needs after food and shelter,” Weathington said. “Study after study shows that stress levels go down when we are surrounded by plants, and concentration goes up. Nature Deficit Disorder and Plant Blindness are climbing because we are increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Gardening is one of the best ways to combat these modern problems.”

“Plants are great at sequestering carbon, so more plants in the world are always better,” added Avent. “The New York Times recently reprinted one of Oliver Sacks’ great articles on why ornamental plants are essential.”

“North Carolina’s Triangle is one of the greatest centers for horticulture in the country,” said Weathington. “Juniper Level Botanic Garden and JC Raulston Arboretum will be open for Symposium attendees. Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham is a great place to visit as is the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill.”

The host hotel for the Southeastern Plant Symposium is the Embassy Suites by Hilton near Research Triangle Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Southeastern Plant Symposium Information and Registration

Media photos, logos, archives


Mark Weathington, Director

JC Raulston Arboretum

NC State University



Tony Avent, Founder

Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Raleigh, North Carolina


The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a Pollinator Garden Design Workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on three dates this spring: Wednesday May 29, Saturday June 8, and Tuesday June 11. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. til 4 p.m. at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro. This is the same workshop offered on three different dates to accommodate participants’ schedules and keep class size small. 


This is a NEW two-part workshop. Previous workshop participants had requested a design workshop so this offering is in response to this need. The first part of the workshop will focus on designing habitat for a small farm or home landscape that will provide resources for diverse pollinators. Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent Debbie Roos will talk about design principles but focus on the practical such as winning plant combinations and the best pollinator plants for each season. Participants will be given the tools to create a basic pollinator garden design that can be planted at their farm or garden. We will also discuss garden installation and maintenance. The second part of the workshop includes a tour of the Chatham Mills “Pollinator Paradise” Garden in Pittsboro to see over 215 species of perennials, trees, shrubs, vines, and grasses, 85% of which are native to North Carolina.


Participants will receive 10 native perennial plants grown by local nursery Mellow Marsh Farm to take home to plant for pollinators!


Angelina’s Kitchen will cater a delicious locally sourced lunch.


Advance registration is required for this workshop. Space is limited so please register early to reserve your spot (workshops usually fill up before the deadline!). The cost of the workshop is $60 and includes a lecture/slide show, hands-on design activity, garden tour, a light breakfast, catered lunch, handouts, plus 10 native perennial pollinator plants. Call 919-542-8244 or email debbie.roos@chathamnc.orgif you have questions.


This workshop has been approved by the North Carolina Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board to provide 4.25 credit hours for landscape contractors. 


The workshop will be offered on three dates: 

  • Wednesday May 29 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – deadline to register is May 22
  • Saturday June 8 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – deadline to register is June 3
  • Tuesday June 11 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – deadline to register is June 3


Click here to register on-line (select the date you want from the drop-down menu on the right side):



On June 1, 2019, the Blount~Bridgers Arboretum will be presenting a Spring Garden Symposium for our 6thtime!   This highly anticipated event features two outstanding speakers, Brie Arthur and Mark Weathington.  Brie will be addressing, “The Foodscape Revolution” and Mark will be discussing, “Slave to the Goddess Flora:  Plants and Plans from a Lazy Gardner.”

Attached is a PDF flyer for your membership to view outlining the schedule of events and cost for this all day event.

The Blount~Bridgers Committee hopes to see you on June 1stat this exciting Symposium.   If you have any questions, please feel free to call me for further information.  My cell is 252-326-9334.


Patti Opacinch

Patti Opacinch, Symposium Co-Chair


Pearson’s Falls and Glen –

Pearson’s Falls and Glen is a remarkable botanical wonderland that lies hidden in the foothills of the great Blue Ridge Mountains. Only a short 45 to an hour and 5 minute drive from Gvl(65 min.), Sptbg(50), Avl(45) to just off Hwy 176 between Tryon and Saluda, NC.