Friday, June 9, 2017

Some of the Rest of the Gardens-I Can Finally Share Some Pictures

We have a new mascot for Tiger Way Gardens! If you know whose mascot it really is all I am saying is it's a tiger-wildcat!
Just below our mascot is a bunch of daylilies just about to pop. Did you know you can eat daylily buds? I eat a few every year. One of these days I really need to prepare some stir fry with them for Mr. Fix-it. He likes to eat what we grow and flowers count.
Some of the daylilies are beginning to open up. It's daylily time in Tennessee!
Allium 'Millenium' is beginning to open up. I really love this allium as it is not a self seeder and looks cool all season. Check the link for more information on this great perennial. I have noticed it is showing up in local nurseries just recently. I purchased my starts in Ohio.
Hydrangeas are by far my favorite shrub. I have a lot of hydrangeas here in Tiger Way Gardens of all types. Here we see 'Annabelle' hydrangeas and 'Sikes Dwarf' oakleaf hydrangeas in a foundation garden.
Gro-Low Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica) is also located in the foundation gardens. I love native shrubs and this one is a good one that deer leave alone. I have my shrub growing on the outside of the large foundation gardens as a deterrent to the deer and so far it's working. And NO! This sumac is not poisonous to anyone like poison sumac or poison oak or poison ivy! Rest assured, touching the leaves will not leave you with a nasty rash. This is a suckering shrub that stays less than three feet tall but will spread to eight-ten feet. It blooms with yellow flowers very early in the spring then the berries appear. The berries are eaten by wildlife. It grows quite well in dry shade and does even better in the sun in good soil. I also have the native Rhus aromatica growing right next to the hybrid Gro-Low and that one is also a nice shrub, but it is much taller. This native shrub is a great replacement for some of the invasives people buy at local non-informed nurseries. Use it instead of barberry or burning bush.

Astilbes are making quite a nice show this year. I really need to divide them and spread them around.
Some of my hostas the deer haven't found yet are getting quite large. It's nice to see that in the garden!
The fence garden is filling in. This location gets the run off from the house and has been difficult for me to develop since it is in an out of the way spot, but I persevere and my efforts are finally paying off. There are berries growing on the black chokecherry bush and soon all those rudebeckias that my friend Eddie gave me will be blooming brightly. I'm excited to see them all! Birds will flock to them. Speaking of which, we have a pair of bluebirds nesting in the birdhouse in this garden. At the base grows a great clematis that was stunning in bloom. This garden is also filled with Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). I ordered and planted about 100 plants last summer. This is a photo of one about to bloom below. I am really surprised the swamp milkweed is doing well as I have had no luck with growing the 'Soulmate' cultivar of this very same type of milkweed.
Gingko 'Jade Butterflies' looks pretty when up close. It hasn't grown even an inch in three years I don't think.
Our wild area in a corner of our backyard contains three huge 'Carolina Moonlight' baptisias and several wildflowers. Notable among the wildflowers are the American Columbo you can see in the background. They are the tall spiky candelabra looking plant. The bloom has gone by now but the stalks remain for the seeds to form on. The seeds are the shape of sunflowers but without the shell. The plants that are blooming this year will die since this plant is a monocarp. It's a really unique plant!
American Linden (Tilia americana) is a new addition to the garden last summer. I purchased this one and also the European linden (Tilia cordata) and both trees are doing great. The American one is blooming beautifully. It is not really the bloom that is so great for me as it is the white bracts that hang down like leaves. They make the tree stunning and a stand out! I've seen mature ones in Hopkinsville and oh my did my heart ever go a racing! As a bonus this tree is native and my honeybees should really love the blooms.
Native swamp milkweed just about to bloom. These plants had tons of monarch caterpillars on them late last summer.
I have a special hosta garden since the deer ate all the hostas that were out in the gardens. So far they have left this lovely and relaxing garden alone.
The Butterfly Garden (formerly the Prairie Garden) is coming into its own. This side of the Butterfly garden is brand new this spring. It is really looking good with Coreopsis 'Sienna Sunset' (peach color), and 'Moonbeam' yarrow blooming together.
The other side of the Butterfly Garden has been weeded and mulched. It is also doing quite well and attracting the pollinators. Our goal at Tiger Way Gardens is to garden naturally for the pollinators and to raise our own food. So far we are doing pretty well as the years fly by....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Red Garden is Bumped Up

I confess, the above picture is not from the Red Garden (the subject of this post), but I liked it anyhow and I wanted to share it. I'll be posting more random pictures of the garden very soon and that may be where the above picture belongs, but the 'Forest Pansy' is red and that counts in my opinion. The shrubs at the feet of the 'Forest Pansy' are Spiraea 'Ogon'. I love the color combination and I especially love Ogon! It blooms very early and simply glows in the garden. As far as the Forest Pansy, this small tree was a replacement to these new gardens since my Forest Pansy at my old gardens was way too big to move. This tree has been here three years and still has not made much progress with its growth. I am holding out hope it will finally begin to grow in this perfect spot for it.
Here is the Red Garden, so named because of the Red Drift roses in the foreground. Also, I have tried to pick a theme and/or color for several of my gardens and this one is the Red Garden since not only does it contain red roses; which bloom all season; but since this garden is located in full sun in the front of my home I have tried to keep reds and yellows and bright dark colors in this area since I think they show up better in the harsh light of full sun. This garden is also a butterfly garden and is quite visible from my kitchen window where I can enjoy the many butterfly visitors while inside the house.
Here is one of those visitors, an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. I can never find this particular plant without several visitors. It is rare there is only one butterfly visiting it for nectar. This plant self seeded itself in the Red Garden and since it is such a wonderful butterfly plant and does not clash with the reds, I have let this native bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) grow and prosper in this garden. This particular bee balm grows wild all over our property and is always covered with butterflies. It is a great blender of colors for all sorts of garden flowers because the soft lavender does not seem to clash with other colors. It can easily take on reds and yellows and looks equally at home with blues and pinks. I highly recommend this bee balm.
The far end of the Red Garden contains some spireas along a slight hill on the back side of this garden. You will soon see why this post includes 'bumped up' in its title. The pink spireas are a great erosion controller and work well in the somewhat shady conditions of the back side of this garden. On the level part of the Red Garden we see dark red lilies (cultivar unknown) and 'Aphrodite' sweetshrub. In the foreground is the foliage of Siberian irises-already gone by.
In the middle of the garden we have daylilies, 'White Swan' coneflowers, blue asters, 'Annabelle' hydrangeas (along the edge of this bumped up garden), a Japanese cedar tree, and miscanthus grass in the far corner.
Here you can see some sedum, more daylilies, tatarian asters, and cut leaved coneflowers along with the Red Drift roses and miscanthus. From this shot it looks like all is level with the surrounding orchard-but it can be deceiving.
Getting closer to the edge we see the Red Drift roses which are bordered by baptisia that has gone by. Baptisias are a must have plant in any perennial garden because they provide year round interest are easy to grow if given the right conditions. After the bloom is gone the foliage looks outstanding and helps to keep down weeds by shading the ground. Brown pea pod like seedpods remain on the plant most of the year and in the fall the leaves will fade away and you'll be left with a bunch of branches you can leave in place for the winter for winter interest if you like.
Flipping around to the other side of the Red Garden and the Red Drift Roses we find five 'Limelight' hydrangeas, blanket flowers, and lambs ear growing on a lower level with concrete pilings behind the front part of the Red Garden. Now we can see that the entire Red Garden is actually not level with the terrain on the lower end but it is leveled with the lawn closest to the house due to the concrete barriers.
A closer look really shows the barriers from a better perspective. I had purchased fourteen of these very heavy concrete barriers in order to barricade a road on our property. We then opened the road and the county moved the barriers to a location near this garden. When Mr. Fix-it and I built the house I had a good idea to use these barriers to level up the lawn and to reduce runoff and to reuse these no longer needed barriers. I had a great backhoe team that kindly put these fourteen big blocks of concrete into an L shape in this location creating me a new garden area during the house build three years ago. 

We then filled the space in with backfill and I began landscaping. Prior to landscaping tho I did paint the front of the concrete barriers with a green concrete stain in order to help the barriers blend into the garden a bit better. It has taken a few years to really get this garden going and to pack down all of the infill. Once a piece of dirt has been dug up then refilled it seems like nothing ever goes back together properly and so it was with the entire front lawn since it too was dug up, and not just the Red Garden. I had to continually refill the location and work the rainwater run off from the higher ground by directing it to where I wanted it to go. All in all, bumping up the front yard to create this garden was a great idea and has worked well for us....

in the garden....

Barriers like these are available from any concrete supplier for a nominal cost. In my area they were $50 per barrier. The real cost comes in with getting someone to not only pick them up and deliver them, but to put them in place in your landscape. If you have the means to do this then all the better but you do need a good sized tractor or machine to maneuver them around the landscape so be prepared.  These barriers worked better than any retaining wall and were a lot cheaper to use as well.

Happy Early Birthday to my twin daughters who turn 36 wonderful years young this week!! 

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden