Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

I had to wait until an overcast day to take this picture. Good garden photographers say that is the best time to take pictures. Not sure. Anyhow, this is a Brugmansia versicolor, aka Angel's Trumpet. A fellow gardener here in Woodlawn (Doris) gave me this plant over three years ago and this is the first year it has bloomed! This plant is not normally hardy to this area and I had been carrying it under my house to my crawlspace for the past three winters. But, I have many gardening friends who have had it come back each year and so I finally decided I would plant it out in the ground. Maybe this is why it finally bloomed? The blooms seem to be late this year. If you read the article on the Master Gardener plant sale the gentleman on the front page said "he could not wait until his Angel Trumpets bloomed." Now you can see why. Angel Trumpets are stunning and truly worth the wait. I have waited three years. Another dear gardening friend (Gerianne) gave me hers from last year which I have planted in the ground as well. She gave me a yellow one since it is my favorite color in the garden. Do you suppose I will have to wait three years for it to bloom as well? Oh well, patience is a virtue and gardeners need a lot of patience. I have a sign in my garden that says, "Patience is a gardener's most precious commodity" and this is so true!

in the garden....


  1. Tina,
    This is a beauty. I don't have much success with my gardening..maybe because I don't have this "Patience" you speak of haha. I have a beautiful Jasmine that I bring in each year and I am amazed that I haven't killed it. It has even bloomed and blessed me with its fragrance several times during the winter. I wonder if they are hardy enough to be planted outside? I have tried Gardenias every year for the past 5 years and I finally have given up. I just can't seem to get one to live past the first bloom. Does your angel trumpet have a fragrance? I tend to like blooms that have a fragrance but this one is so pretty it doesn't need one.

  2. Hi O'Malley. Thank you for joining in! It sounds to me like you must have at least some patience to bring in a jasmine every year AND to get it to bloom; that is splendid! Lucky you! I love the smell of jasmine. I am not sure what kind you have but I think if I were you I would continue to bring it in and enjoy it in the winter inside the house. Is it yellow and how big does it get? Is it hard to care for? It sounds lovely.

    Funny you say you tried Gardenias every year for five years. I too have tried them and they have NOT survived for me so I gave up (after only two years so you were a VERY determined gardener to try them for five years):) I was at the Nashville Fairgrounds Flea Market where a nice lady was selling gardenias. I asked her why she did not label them as "not hardy" and she replied, "They are hardy (pause-pause) in the greenhouse." I was flabbergasted as most people do not have a greenhouse and expect that if they can buy a gardenia here then it should be hardy. I guess the old adage "Let the Buyer Beware" would apply in this case. Did you leave the gardenia out each winter? Gardenias might survive being placed under the house or garage in the winter if you wanted to do that. I am not sure as I have not tried. They are lovely plants though.

    The angel trumpets are fragrant. Fragrance is always very nice but not a major criteria for me in choosing plants. This angel trumpet is special to me because a fellow gardener wanted me to have it because she enjoyed it so much. She didn't even know me but was adamant I receive one from her. I am glad you liked it, they are truly beautiful.

    I know of one type of jasmine you might like that does grow here year round. It is a night blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum). It roots easily from cuttings. A friend (Phil) gave me one last year and it is now about three feet high and bloomed this year! The bloom is not so great but the smell is intoxicating. It can be found easily enough and I am always happy to share cuttings as well!

    What other plants do you have? And what is your favorite fragrant plant? Is it jasmine? Do you bring in other plants? That is a lot of work and the time is coming close to do this-steel yourself. How does the jasmine do outside in the summer? Does it bloom? Let me know.

  3. Tina,

    I don't have many plants at all actually. We moved here from lower AL where I had quite the rose collection. I struggle with a few roses when we first moved here but realized the different soil and climate was too much for me(translation-I am too lazy to make them work!) So I have just started adding a few plants last year. Last year a friend gave me some black-eyed Susans and they bloomed wonderfully this year. My husband spoiled them by planting tomato plants right next to them and the tomatoes ended up taking over. I have a new spot for his tomatoes for next year! I have quite a few hostas- nothing fancy tho, just the variagated (spelled that wrong I'm sure) type which grow around my fishpond in the shade under my deck and a few of the clematis. I also have a lovely flowering thing (haha) that I brought from AL with me. My neighbor called it wild grass-said you can't kill it- but it has a beautiful purple/blue bloom on it and it does spread like crazy. Nice for a spot that you don't want to work very hard on or maybe keep semi-natural. I am hoping to begin landscaping our yard a bit more this year as it is pretty barren. I am trying to find out more about native TN trees, shrubs, and flowers that I might have better luck with.

    My jasmine has white blooms and it smells absolutely divine. I cut it back last year and it has still done amazing. I still have it in the large container that I brought it home from the nursery in. I would say it is about 3 feet tall and mine is in tree form. Are all jasmines trees or are some bushes? I will have to see if my tag is still on it telling what kind it is. I do plan to continue bringing it in and enjoying it inside. I did bring my Gardenias into the garage and even brought one into the house one year. I must be doing something wrong as far as the water, soil or nutrients. But who knows, they are so fragrant, it might be worth one more try. Maybe this time of year I can find one at clearance price at Lowes!

  4. You sound like quite the gardener! I am surprised the gardenias didn't do well in the garage and let me know if you do try it one more time. I would not recommend it!

    What part of Alabama did you live in? I lived in Enterprise for two years and gardened there. I really liked it except for the red ants! My husband and I last visited there in 2004 when we sold the house and do you know my roses and a few perennials were still blooming after no care for seven years! Roses must like it down there and must be easier to grow than here. I tend to stay away from them because I do not spray and they are not rewarding if you don't intensively maintain them. I do have a couple though. 'The Fairy" rose is great here. The Fairy can make new plants easily and I picked one up at the Perennial Plant Society in Nashville. Do you know this rose? It is a low grower and repeatedly blooms with small pink roses. It is so easy! I also have a few floribundas that hang in there great.

    Does your husband also garden? Mine likes tomato plants as well and uses lots of Miracle gro, is that what your husband did? If so, no wonder the brown eyes were spoiled!

    What kind of fish do you have? I am sure the hostas by the fishpond are lovely. I have a couple of goldfish in my garden. They have survived over one year and I am thrilled because it was hard for me to get them going. People probably do not believe it unless they have fish, but fish have personalities and are fun! They also keep down pests by eating bugs by the little 'pond' I have them in. (It is actually a cast iron bathtub someone was giving away for free).

    I looked jasmine up in my Southern Living Garden Book and it says some jasmines are vines as well as shrubs and small trees. If you don't have this book it is well worth the money to buy it. I cannot live without mine! It is a good source for native trees and plants. Of course you know the Redbud and Crepe Myrtles and even though Japanese maples are not native I love them and they do well here. We are blessed in Tennessee because so much more does well here than in the extreme south or north. For instance, we can grow peonies! When I moved here in 2001 I did not think they grew and was surprised to see them blooming beautifully. You can bet I put some in. (I am from the north so I like those 'Yankee' plants as well as southern plants).

    Let me know what type of jasmine you have. You sound like a true gardener and I know you have that tag somewhere!

    Hi O'Malley,
    I just spent some time answering your comment on my email and it failed to post so I cut and pasted it to here. I am learning-albeit the hard way.

  5. Hey O'Malley, How do you keep your cats out of the fish pond??? LOL... with having a pool, you should go with a tropical feel like lots of elephant ears and the such…

    I have Confederate Jasmine and love the scent it gives off. I have it in the ground but I live in GA so it may be a GA thing! It is a climber and I have it planted in the shade under and around the base of three trees surrounding my baby Skeeter as he rest in his spot in the ground by our patio. It gives off such a smell that a neighbor smelt it as she was in the front yard! I see jasmine climbing light poles in Savannah and also in Charleston and it just looks and smells beautiful!

    I planted some gardenias the first year we lived here and they did great that first year then died from some kind of blight or something. I don’t like to fertilize or spend too much time working on plants once in the ground so I decided to not try them again. Too much trouble I was thinking and not to mention they were not cheap! I don’t do roses as they seem to be picky for me…

    In our front planters we have Camellias and were lucky enough to have them in place by the previous homeowners. They do require me to trim them to keep them below the front porch. But we enjoy their beautiful white blooms in the late fall early winter timeframe…

  6. Oh sorry, forgot to mention on main patience topic... I am patience with my flowers and plants and act like a proud mama when one blooms or changes! I will drag the poor Saint out to get a peek and he could probably care less but does act excited for me. I think in his own way, he enjoys all my yard work too, He sure does brag on me when people take notice….

  7. Your spouse sounds just like mine. Likes the gardens in his own way. Mine loves to work on old cars and I can tell you the two hobbies collide in a big way. He is slowly losing real estate to gardens and so we had to come to an agreement. He doesn't understand I think his big huge garage in the middle of the yard is enough but then he explains he needs and area to turn around and park his toys and so on. I understood his pain when I had to use his trailer and not overload the truck. I ran over my vegetable garden so now I am trying to figure out how to adjust the boundaries. Probably can't and he says it is ok. We compromise on it and despite his loss of real estate in his own way he too loves the gardens. Loves to weedwhack the plants.....:)

  8. Tina,

    How neat, we lived in Enterprise for 5 years prior to moving here and we also arrived in 2001.Did you move here from Enterprise? As small as Enterprise is, we probably share some of the same friends. I absolutely loved it there. I think the nuts that bought our house cut down all my roses. They also cut down a wonderful fig tree in our yard that produced the most delicious fruit. My neighbor-a wonderful older southern lady-taught me to make fig preserves with them.

    My husband plants a garden every year and then usually deploys. I don't like vegetable gardening so it ends up being a big pile of weeds that the deer enjoy!

    I have great big goldfish in my pond. They have been very friendly with each other over the past couple of years and I think I have about 15 now. I really need a much bigger pond and plan on doing this maybe next spring. I do like my fish also. They are so much fun to watch. My husband built me a fishpond in Enterprise and I was hooked. I so loved listening to the frogs at night and watching them swim around in it. For some reason we don't get the frogs here. I get them in my swimming pool but not the fish pond!

    My neighbor gave me some peonies and I get the greenery every year but never any blooms. I wonder why? And I have looked and looked but can't find my tag. I will have to find the book you mentioned and see if I can look it up.

    Skeeter, My cats drink out of my pond but can you believe they have never ever bothered the fish? They are good kitties! How lucky you are to have the camelias. Another of my faves from Alabama. I always take my daughters picture and use it on our Christmas cards to mail out to people we don't get to see. One of my favorites from a Christmas in Enterprise is of my girls taken in front of my neighbors camelia bush that was about 8 feet tall and hanging so full of dark red flowers that it was unreal. From a distance it looked like a huge rose bush. I had a few bushes but they were still small when we left. The only thing I didn't like about the camelia was that is was so pretty you expected it to have this stunning aroma to go with it.

    Well, hubby just got off the plane last night from over there so I guess I better go and spend some time with him!haha. Skeeter he has not killed me over the cat yet but he says its gotta go. I am still looking for a home for this baby. Hope I can find one soon.
    Tina I have a sweet boy cat that is declawed and neutured that I am trying to find an inside home for. His home didn't want him anymore-not sure why-he is really sweet.
    Let me know about your E'prise connections!

  9. I just asked about the kitty on the Pet Blog O'Malley! Thanks for the update. Maybe you should post a picture of him as that might get him a home. Send me a picture of him today and I can post as a Topic since Sandy is off work today. Get it to me ASAP though as we are headed to Atlanta for the weekend. We are going to the zoo to see the panda. Not my favorite zoo due to the age, but I must see the baby panda....

    I planted peonies two years ago in honor of my grandmother! We had them all over the yard in the house I grew up in. They are funny as I got them at Wal-Mart as these strange root looking things. I planted them and the first year, they had huge blooms with little greenery! They looked so funny. This year they are much bigger and gave me more blooms but no two of them are shaped the same! One is dwarfed in size growing low to the ground and only has one or two blooms. Another one grows tall and full and has lots of blooms but the stems are not strong enough to support the blooms so they fall to the ground. They are really strange but I love them as they remind me of home in Clarksville…

    Funny about the garage getting in the way of your garden Tina! My flower garden was started due to us erecting a shed to store our pontoon boat. The thing is huge and really taller then most. The Saint wanted one tall enough to keep the boat in with the top up and open in the shed. So the thing is really tall. I think it is an ugly eyesore so I needed something to sway the eye away from the shed. Next thing you know, I have flowers all over the place. I started with the butterfly bushes but they did not grow good that first year so it was too bare for me. Then I took them out and started adding this and that over the next two years and now I have a full fledged garden! I only wish I had planned it from the beginning as I would have planted things much differently then I did and maybe had a design of sorts but it is just a bunch of stuff here and there. But it does look good but just not as perfect as I would like to have. After seeing the English gardens in England and Europe, I would much rather prefer something on those lines. But it is pretty and I do enjoy it. Maybe some day I will take some stuff out and make a walking pathway garden…

  10. Hey Skeeter, if you stay in your house long enough you WILL wind up taking and redoing your garden I just bet! I redo mine all the time because I never plan! It seems to be a common problem with us gardeners. We know what will grow where but then something new catches our eye and we just have to make room and before you know it the garden is-shall we say-a little chaotic? That is how most of mine are but I have reworked several including one today. Now if I can only discipline myself not to move things around or add things...but what the heck, tomorrow is another day.

  11. This was the first year that I did not have to do too much in the garden other then have fun. If I start from scratch, I will be up to my knees in debt again! I love to buy stuff and wish I was more knowledge but I am learning. I love to read the tags on the plants and can do it for hours! When I find the right one for me, I will grab it up before someone snatches it from me! After all, I don’t want my plant in someone else’s yard! LOL

  12. Skeeter, I forgot to ask you if your peonies are still growing down there in Georgia? I hope so and if not, someday you will surely get back here to Clarksville where you can grow them:) I hope for you. I love peonies. I bought all Wal-mart had last year because they were on sale and I thought they wouldn't all grow. Haha. They all grew. They are white and the variety 'Immaculee'. Not having much success though because I don't have much sun and what am I going to do with a dozen white peonies? A few bloomed this year, I moved others today and have more to move again, they might not bloom ever again for me.

    Don't start from scratch with your garden-just reorganize! I once read gardeners are not true gardeners unless they dig up something and replant it at least two times. Then I started meeting more gardeners and this simply is not true-some gardeners actually plan and put the plant in the right spot the first time. Not me.

    Hi Shannon, I was wondering where you were. We left E'prise in 1997 when we went to Germany. My house was on Oriole Drive and we really liked it but were only there two short years. We made nice friends we still keep in contact with to this day. E'prise was very small and I liked that but did not like that there was never anything to do and there were too many red ants! I ran into the safety officer of Lowe Heliport (when I was there) the other day at Lowes, of all places, and he hadn't changed at all. He is retired and it had been 10 years since I had seen him. It was nice catching up. The world is very small.

    I am glad to hear someone else has some goldfish. My mother came down to visit me this summer and could not believe my outdoor cat had not eaten the fish. Do you all suppose the cats know the fish are pets? Kind of like dogs know the new cat or rabbit or bird is a pet and not supper? They just know and so don't bother them?

    I hope you find a home for the kitty. Did you ask Sandy to post it? I saw someone said you should send in a picture. Also, Freecycle allows you to post offers of pets. I think all the pets on there are adopted quickly. Don't know why. I guess because they are free and the new owners have the assurance the pets are well taken care of. You might try, so hubby doesn't get too upset. Can't have him upset especially with him being on vacation from over there.

    I totally agree with you about the camilias. How come they can't have an aroma? You just automatically expect them to smell as great as a rose then no smell. They do grow here. I prefer the camilia sasanquas and have them planted on the north side of something-tree, house, garage, arbor. They have done super here. The first one I planted is 10 feet tall and blooms every December with pink blossoms. I had one in E'prise also and that is where I first learned about them. I love them. I bet yours you left behind have grown as big as your neighbors now in these past six years.

    Your peonies might not bloom if they are planted too deep. I have had to dig mine up to plant shallower. Since we have so many warm days mixed with some cold if peonies are planted too deep in the soil they might not get all of the cold time they require. Planting shallower helps them to get more exposure to the cold. Or maybe the peonies are too young to bloom. Sometimes it takes a year or two. Did you ask your neighbor why they haven't bloomed? Does the neighbor's bloom every year?

  13. Yep, my peonies are still growing but like I mentioned earlier, no two are the same size. I grew mine from a strange root cutting and not a plant. I guess I was lucky they came up at all but our soil seems to be perfect for certain things and I guess this is one of them. I have no idea what type of peony they are as the bag containing the strange roots only said Peony, white and pink.... I will send you pictures…

  14. The pictures arrived no problem and I am amazed the peonies are growing in Georgia! Let me know the variety and is there anything you did special when you planted them?

  15. I have no idea the variety! Just found them as these strange roots in bags at Wal-Mart. I think you got 3 to a bag for about $5.00. I picked up a package of pink and a package of white. I did not know there were different types of peonies until you mentioned it! Ya learn something new every day!