Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Garden of the Month

It had been hard for me to pick a January Garden of Month. I thought I had exhausted the ones I had in mind. Then, I happened to pay a visit to Lowes and passed a garden I have looked at a million times (or so it seems) over the past six years, and the light came on. Of course! I had forgotten about this privet garden and I wanted to talk about and spotlight it.

The garden I am highlighting this month is more like a hedge, but you remember when I started this blog that I said a garden can be as small as a houseplant or as large as an estate and everything in between-just as long as you are growing something. In this case, the something is a large and well maintained hedge of Variagated Privet and Leyland Cypresses along an entrance road into Lowes from a side road. One can't help but see the privet along the privacy fence, but in case you haven't noticed it, look the next time you go to Lowes.

I stopped in and asked the homeowner if she could tell me about the hedge and what kind of an impact it has made on her and her family's life. Tracey Dunn and her lovely daughter, Vianne, were happy to talk with me (Tracey was at least-maybe not Vianne though she did give me a picture she drew in school before I departed. Vianne was taught well not to talk to strangers such as this particular gardener!). Tracey told me Lowes planted the privet hedge and put in the privacy fence. Good move Lowes! I know the houses were there before Lowes was built and in order to keep the homeowners happy, it was only prudent Lowes try to block off their commercial business from the surrounding homes.

It was amazing to me what a big impact this hedge made on the house and environment at Tracey Dunn's home. The traffic noise was seriously reduced and unless you knew there was a busy road on the other side of the hedge, you could almost forget that fact. Tracey likes the hedge very much. She said she hasn't had to do anything to maintain it except a little pruning on the inside of the hedge. One leyland had to be taken out because it was blocking road views for drivers, but basically the hedge and privacy fence have been a BIG asset for the neighborhood.

Tracey gardens a little too. While she appreciates the hedge, she really loves irises, many of which were passed down to her from family (if she can just keep hubby from mowing them down). Tracey also started some Japanese maples from seed and has sown narcissus and wildflowers in the garden. Her hedge and garden are my choice for January's Garden of the Month due to the fact the garden has added so much to the property and community.

in the garden.... hoping for privacy from a nice hedge.


  1. It's good that Lowe's did what they could to help the community. The privet looks good along the fence with the Leyland cypress there. Leyland cypress makes a good screen but can soak up all the nutrients from the soil so other plants can have a hard time growing around them. I know why they used privet (it's inexpensive and grows fast) but it's becoming invasive in TN. It's one to watch out for. I think it's the Chinese privet that is becoming a problem.

    It was very nice of the homeowners to talk to a complete stranger about their hedge!

  2. You are up early and on here early! I was just commenting on your blog and looking at Frances's blog. Good information on yours as always.

    This particular privet is doing so well. The best I have ever seen privet do anywhere around here. I didn't notice too many plants under it but that is okay because the hedge is just for privacy. Yes, I think you are right about the Chinese privet. Terrible problem! I am always pulling it and multiflora roses from my gardens. I haven't seen the variagated type spread though. I hope it doesn't start.

    Nice talking to you this morning! And yes, it was nice for the homeowners to talk to me. Imagine a complete stranger knocking on your door with a weird request to talk about their garden?! It has worked out so far so good. Let's hope it stays that way.:)

  3. I had often wondered if Lowe's had done this for the homeowners. Very nice addition to the area.

  4. Very nice of Lowe's. People must hate it when stores move next door. Heck I HATE it that I now have a neighbor that is only there part time, as you know. After over 20 years I never thought I'd have a neighbor and liked it that way. Can't imagine how I would feel if it were a store. But I guess there is not much chance of that out here in the boonies, and thank God for that.

  5. Tina, have you got a new post on Dave's blog today? I have checked there 2 times and it is just what was on yesterday. Love you.

  6. Good morning mom,
    Yes, I visit his blog every morning and since he talks to me, I always talk to him. I like his writing! and he is close by being located here in Tennessee. Hope he doesn't mind me commenting so much. I posted on trimming perennials.

    I thought it was great of Lowes to put in the hedge and privacy fence. There was an article in the Leaf awhile back and someone was quoted as saying how great it was Lowes did do that. It wasn't Mr. Dunn, not sure who it was.

    Even with your new neighbors and their beautiful house, you can put in a little hedge and be done with it in a few years. Put some spruces there. It would be beautiful and I know they are great neighbors, but everyone wants peace and quiet and privacy when they are in their home.

    I have pretty much nothing to do today-so nice! The ice did not materialize as threatened, but I am working on designing a garden on the software. Wish me luck with it. It is so nice to have an easy week and I feel I am getting spoiled. The Jimster got himself up and off to school-for a change! He missed the bus on Friday so he went out extra early this morning. Gotta love him in that case.

  7. Jean, like you I dont know how I would deal with a huge store as a neighbor, but it could not be any worse then the eyesore I must deal with next door to me each day! Those people just dont care what their place looks like. Drives me nuts. Lowes is at least attempting to be a good neighbor to those around them…

    We have a vacant wooded lot across the street from us that is up for sale. Wish we had the money to invest but not so fortunate. We fear some type of business will move in but I have decided to make lemonade out of lemons if that should happen. I will apply for a job and then get money from them so as to not be angry at them! What a solution, walk across the street and earn money each day! LOL...

    How creative going with a hedge as a Garden of the Month Tina! I love that idea and think you are right when you say a garden can be as simple as one container! As I have said, I am not a huge gardener but more so like some color and beauty around me. So I plant some things here and there, therefore, I AM a gardener!

    We are lucky in our county here in GA. they have codes before allowing a business to build. We have a Green-space code (or something like that) in place. When clear cutting for a parking lot, one must plant “X” amount of trees for “X” amount of parking spaces. I think one tree for about every 10 parking spots. Not as many as I would like to see but it is something other then a huge cement parking lot! Landscapers seem to go for Bradford Pears, Crepe Myrtles and Bald Cypress as the favorites…

  8. Hi Skeeter,
    You are on early this day. Good to hear from you. I like your idea of getting some money from the business should one move across the street. But really I don't think any amount of money would make me forget living next to a store. Don't know though..in Germany stores could be close and it was the norm.

    Sounds like your area is proactive in making the environment a nice place to live for all. It is only good sense to be good neighbors and plan for the long term by minimizing the impact on the surrouding areas.

    I tell you, you need to plant you a big shrub border betwix you and your neighbors-and fast. Either that or put up a privacy fence. My mother has great neighbors but she is upset because no one was ever supposed to build next to her since the garden club owned the property. If they were bad neighbors like yours, it might make a difference. Right mom? Well, maybe they will move. I am still awaiting the adjacent property owners near me to move too! Not all neighbors are as good as Lowes tries to be. I think they should have picked an area where no houses were close by, but that sometimes can't happen. sigh.

  9. I don't have neighbors, our property is bordered by a brook(send you a pic this spring, its lush with ferns and vegetation) a substation on one side and transmission lines going across the road in front of our lot. Only a mobile set back in the woods on one side, the guy is in NH and begs us to buy it, he can't move it.
    BTW, Tina when we first move here cmp cut all the pines sheltering the line and took a small right away on the corner of our property, we are end users going the other way. Well, what a stink I made. They dragged paperwork out from the fourties and made it quite clear it was 30 ft from the center of the road and if they felt so....that meant any tree that could reach the 30 foot area by falling on it! I gave up, I make darn sure I,m on the "notify of tree cutting" list. They poke each other when Jack of all trades strolls out to see what they are doing, and they make sure when they are next door, they let me know they are next door! One nice foreman addmitted the guys got over zealous at times, course he was refering to a stripping of a beautiful spruce for about 15 ft on one side. Later

  10. Dawn with peaches,
    You are lucky with your ideal little piece of dirt in the boonies in Maine. And here mom thought she lived in the boonies! You know better don't you?

    I am glad you made it clear to me why the tree trimmers trim outside of their right of way-Why it is because any tree that COULD fall in the right of way has to go too! That is definitely it and I think they get overzealous too much. For the other readers on here, cmp stands for Central Maine Power. Our equivalent of CDE or CEMC (my electric carrier). I know they will work with you dawn with peaches.

    well, gotta go, just got back from school. i do so enjoy it. and this is for one of my classmates, Ula, if you have any questions on how to do the homework since you didn't have nancy last term-just email me and maybe i can help. Her key thing is to underline the latin names and don't misspell even by leaving off a dot on an i or you will lose points!:)