Friday, February 15, 2008

Community Garden of the Month

My choice for February's Community Garden of the Month is First Federal Savings Bank on the corner of Fort Campbell Boulevard and Hwy 374. When I stopped in there yesterday afternoon, the ladies at the bank were quite nice and were happy to let me take pictures. They referred me to Mr. Bill Harpel, a Vice President of the bank who works at their main office off from Madison Street.
I may have confused Mr. Harpel when I said I wanted to spotlight the bank's garden. My idea of a garden is not always the same as others. I feel landscaping around a business is a garden because there are growing living things in it. Most people and probably also Bill, think of the landscaping around a business as landscaping and not a garden. It is definitely that too.
While at the bank the ladies asked me what made me choose their bank's garden and how do I make my choices. It is usually quite easy for me. Each garden I chose is a garden which has a special structural feature or is a garden which spotlights the building it surrounds and in doing so, enhances the community. Up to this point it has been a garden I often see, so most of them have been limited to the north side of town, which is where I live and travel. I will try to discover some gardens in other parts of town that I can work in, but do not promise. I do try to vary my travels and am always looking so please, readers in other parts of town not highlighted, do not feel slighted.

I like the unique and I like low maintenance, and I especially like it that someone at some point had the foresight to think about the landscaping around a business. Landscaping is SO important to not only homes, but to businesses. I am sure some business owners may think that landscaping is an expense they can do without, but the bottomline would say no. The amount a business owner invests in his or her business is returned twofold in the goodwill it brings to the community. When a community feels good about a business, that business will be recognized through word of mouth and return business. Great curb appeal will also bring in new customers. It is then up to the business to keep them returning.
The community can also appreciate the business owner who cares enough about his or her community to actually take the time to fix up his or her business. It is the same about a homeowner. How you maintain your home says alot about how you feel about your community. Simple maintenance does not require a great amount of money so that is not an excuse not to spruce up a home or business. So many businesses in town are in need of sprucing up that the ones which are spruced up just seem to shine. And let me tell you, I NEVER enter banks so for me to go into this bank took a lot, but I felt strongly I should talk about it. That is all due to the landscaping, and in this case the hardscaping as well.

This particular bank is on a corner of two roads I traverse many, many times. I have always noticed the garden and especially the huge block wall in front of the bank. The huge block wall in front of the building is actually a wall for the retaining pond. Mr. Harpel told me the bank built this building in 1996, and I believe the bypass came through after it was built.

People sometimes don't realize just how much runoff is caused by roads, parking lots and buildings. The retaining pond area in front of the bank is used to contain some of that runoff from both the bank and the bypass. When runoff is contained, we all benefit in that erosion is reduced and there is less chance of pollutants flowing directly into the drinking water. I have a special concern for runoff water, but that is a subject for an entirely different post.

This wall is visible from Fort Campbell Blvd and looks absolutely great. There are cascading plants hanging down the blocks, and seasonal color during the growing season. Upon driving into the parking lot, something I had never did before, I was even more delighted to discover the landscaping continued all the way to the bank. Just look at their marquee sign, what is planted next to it? A great southern magnolia.

The second picture shows the wall with the cascading plant, which I believe is some type of juniper, though I did not check it closely. But if you look past the wall and the juniper, what else do you see? Even the lighting is quite attractive and is a step above traditional parking lot lighting.

The third and fourth pictures are along the parking lot. I did notice the crepe myrtles were pruned but I won't hold that against the business. Maybe they were pruned after the late freeze last year, let's hope so, but even so, it is their garden.

The next time you are in the area of Hwy 374 and Fort Campbell Blvd heading south, be sure to look over at First Federal Savings Bank. Maybe some of the features they have used in their landscaping can be used at your home or business. This garden is definitely a structurally sound garden; which highlights the business and enhances the community, that is why it is my choice for February's Community Garden of the Month.

in the garden....


  1. Good morning Tina, I agree that this is some very nice landscaping. The retainer wall is very nicely done.

    I also like to see people take pride in their homes and businesses!

  2. yes nina, that is important. sorry this post is so long. i just don't realize when i am typing. words on paper are so different than spoken words, aren't they? they say newspapers get so many more words in an article vs. the television news, perhaps because tv news is timed, but i can always speak more words than write. sorry again!

  3. Tina,
    I love this post, it makes me want to look around at all the good gardens in Nashville. I have been known to write letters or send postcards to folks complimenting them about their yard... people don't get enough positive reinforcement in this very critical world.

  4. As a regular on this blog I would like to say hello and welcome to Gail. Hope you join us often as we have a great bunch of folks on here and always like new great people.

    My goodness Nina and Tina, you sure do get up with the birds.

  5. Great Garden of the month choice Tina! I admire the landscaping all around our town. I dont know if it is mandatory or not for a business to landscape here where I live in GA but most every neighborhood entrance and business has beautiful landscapes for us to enjoy. It keeps me at peace while driving in heavy traffic also! If you lived here, you would have to post a Garden of the "week" because there are so many!

    Tina... THANK YOU sooooo much for the seeds!
    They arrived yesterday as another Valentine surprise! Cant wait to put them in the ground! Hey, when should I do that???

    Hello Gail. That is a wonderful thing to compliment someone on a their hard work!

  6. Wonderful post Tina --it is nice to see places in town make the property attractive. Had a crazy morning but things are calming down. It sure is pretty --I have to get out with the small model and check out the flowers.

  7. hi gail, thanks for the compliment. i have been doing a post monthly on a community garden of the month, plant of the month, garden of the month and gardener of the month. i feel like since this blog is on a community website that i should include the community.

    plus, selfishly it gives me a voice to say what i want to say about the community and gardens and whatever. it has been fun. something else to knock on complete stangers doors to ask permission-i am not sure who is more leery-me or them!

    you all, gail has a garden in tennessee and her blog can be found at:
    i have already told you all about dave's at the home garden, and frances's at faire garden. now, i guess there are a total of four tennessee bloggers registered with digindirt? at least that is where i found dave and frances. i found gail through frances' blog. i think gail and i will meet up on tuesday night-hope so! that will be fun.

    thanks mom for giving gail such a warm welcome. i am sure she will stop in frequently though she may not always comment. running a blog can be a busy thing!

    is your pain better? i hope so!!!!

    i get up to get the jimster off to school, but also i have a certain few babies in the house that without fail, let me know at 5:30 they want out. they are good that way but it is early! especially on the weekend. i compensate by hitting the sack very early. you know, early to bed-early to rise. the only real caveat i have fallen prey to, is an afternoon nap is i am able and that is a luxury!

    hey skeeter, you're welcomed for the seeds! i probably gave you some i had already given to you but you can always give them away. the cosmos are my favorite along with the flowering tobacco. the butterflies just love the cosmos. so i am like my mother in that way.

    getting pictures can be a hard job and i know georgia is beautiful so i could not even imagine! no thanks. i stick with monthly and sometimes that is a job or ordeal, but so far all people have been receptive to someone saying something positive about them or their landscaping ONCE they get past the fact they don't know me. what is wrong with them?! you all know me! i mean come on! just kidding.

    i knocked on someone's door tonight that i have read HIS articles on agriculture in the leaf for 6 years, yet i did not recognize him! what is WRONG with me?! the light bulb came on once he said his name. too doggoned funny. his house will be up next week though it will be a dark one...

    anonymous, hubby said you called. i understand completely and wish you well! if you need anything, just call.

  8. forgot to say, mr. fix it picked up baby from the vet today. she is doing fine but needs to catch up to her brother and sister. they are so cute! and good too.

  9. Tina,

    I left a verbose answer to your question at my website.

    You are so right, I never imagined a blog would be a part time job.

    Thank your Mom for welcoming me to your website. Mom's are the best, I just got off the phone with mine...she lives in St. Louis. She hasn't a gardening bone in her body and she can't figure out where my 3 sisters and I got our love of gardening.


    Looking forward to meeting you at the March perennial plant meeting.

  10. Hi Guys,
    Love the wall, its great when something will grow cascading like that.
    I'm glad baby is home I think that sometimes when everything living gets real sick, they end up taking everything they need from the food to recover. Sounds good to me.
    Bought my stainless fridge and stove, GAS! stove today, as a bonus we got a flat hdtv thing-a-ma-gig today. I knew it was coming, matter of time. Now I'm being bugged about it, wants to show me how its working, gotta go. Just a tv...right? Right.

  11. Tina I am so glad that Baby is now home. Good going!!!!

    The pain is acutally a little better today. It is a funny thing, these darn flare ups. And boy oh boy is that a heck of an oxymoron! But when it started the other day I got up at 7am to go potty, laid back down for an hour and everything was fine. Got up and it was killing me. Today I could not even get my compression stockings on and it hurt worse than ever and went up to my elbow.
    Two hours after I got up I could actually straighten my hand out (it was in a claw) almost all the way out and could hold a glass of water fairly secure. So guess I am on the upswing.

  12. Hi Tina --thank you for the book --I'll get it back to you but it will take me some time. If you need it right away let me know. My wild crew are in bed --I'm so glad we have Monday off -we need this long weekend. I did get outside to look at my flowers and I might even have two bulbs popping up by the mailbox --we fed the ducks today. The kids love to go over there --the trails are nice to walk when it's warm and not about to get dark, lol. The oldest was visiting a friend --see I can let go for a few minutes --hey he had his cell on him:) hahaha Well, I'm sure it will be a long night --catch you later:) And, so happy you have those puppies all back together now --they sound like a wild little bunch:)

  13. Gail I only have a couple of gardening bones in me....Dawn with Peaches and Tina get it from their grandmother. Then I have a daughter that has one gardening bone and 1 that has none. But I do enjoy Tina's blog and I also read Dave's every day and now will no doubt read yours. I rarely comment on Daves but yak all the time on here.

    Anonymous, Congrats on all you great new things. Now you DON'T have to throw things out just cause you got new stuff, well maybe the stove and fridge.

    I think vines would look great on the hand truck but if you wanna put a garbage can on it you can find really long bungie (not sure if that is the way you spell it) cords in some stores if you look hard enough. Or you can always use 2 or 3 bungie cords.

  14. Whoops, anonymous was me, pushed the wrong button I guess. Was wondering when I'd do that.
    Mom, Zack won the arm wrestling in winter carnival today, 'member last year he was disapointed becauce he came in 2nd? Out of 7-8th graders? he won the entire high school this year including a jr he works out with. Doesn't know yet if he will have a plaque in the hall, that is why he wanted so it bad last year, out of his disapointment he causally mentioned he was voted carnival king. (could lost everything else and it was still worth while, DUH). Only prom king and queen this year. bummer. He had alonnnng exciting story when I got home. Had to arm wrestle the cop for a extra bonus, got beat bad, real bad. HA!

  15. Whoops, anonymous was me, 'bout the stove and fridge, guess I clicked the wrong button. Was wondering when I'd do that.
    Mom, Zack won the arm wrestling in winter carnival. 'Member last year when he wanted the plaque, in the hallway of the middle school, for winning the arm wrestling amoung 7-8th graders? and came in 2nd? (Then causally mentioned he was voted carnival king. Coulda lost everything and came home with that! DUH) Well he won entire high school today, he had a lonnng story to tell me when I got home, was very excited. To end it, as a bonus, he had to wresle the cop. Got beat bad....very bad. HA!

  16. Well now that is funny!!! I figured it was anonymous in Clarksville. When I read it I thought to myself, oh Dawn is having all stainless steel. Just figured you already had it. What have you been using the stove and fridge in trailer? You already had the dishwasher did'nt you?
    Well glad you got it all and those tv's are great. I wondered where you were as you are usually on again at night so was getting ready to go to bed and figured I'd check 1 more time. Lola has not been on today and Nina only early this morning. Hope they are just taking a break and nothing wrong.

    COOL ZACK!!!! In 10 no maybe 5 years look that cop up and ask him for a rematch. You will get him then. Maybe even in 2 years.

  17. Great blog Tina. I notice the landscaping around businesses. It looks more inviting. I do hesitate to enter a business if the garden doesn't look good unless I know the business pretty good. Most places around here doesn't go into that area--only around Wal-mart.

    Welcome, Gail. Glad you came aboard. Bunch of great people on here. You will enjoy.

    jean, I hope you feel better real soon. I can relate to pain real good.

    So glad the babies are all together now. They will really start to put the weight on.

    Congrats on the stainless steel. It looks so good. And always makes a kitchen so clean & crisp looking. Enjoy.

    I'm doing ok, just late getting on here. Now it's morning again.

  18. i go to bed, get up with the pups and happen to check the blog-tons of comments. wow.

    gail, whenever i comment i subscribe to follow up comments. i already read your response and checked your blog and am looking forward to learning more about a cedar glade. thanks! i'll see you tuesday. looking forward to it!

    dawn with peaches, i thought you were my anonymous friend too! couldn't figure out why she would be buying all that stuff though. glad you cleared it up and happy you got your new gadgets! lucky you!

    good for zack! carnival king and wrestling champ! we can see you are proud as well as his mimi.

    anonymous, that book is YOURS! there is a used book warehouse in nashville that has dirt cheap prices on great books. i went in there to get you your own flower book so you could learn and ended up buying some for me too-bad me. enjoy. it is a really good book (and i already read it prior to giving it to you:)

    i will call you today and see how you guys are.

    mom, so very happy you are feeling better!!!!!!!!!!! lola came on here after you so i am sure you can see that and i bet nina will come back in the morning. believe it or not, not everyone checks in 10 times a day! just kidding. i am so glad everyone can talk and learn and so on and especially happy you are enjoying this blog so much. i also know dave and gail will appreciate you reading their garden blogs too.

    lola, good morning all. where was your husband from that he never heard of a rick of wood? even that term is in maine and i think down here too. was he from florida? is that what took you from erin?

    thanks everyone for your well wishes with the pups. they woke me up awfully early this morning. sigh. back to bed i go!

  19. Hello everyone, Skeeter went to Lowe's yesterday and I found the double tuberose bulbs. They are beginning to stock the garden center.

    Received an e-mail from Wayside Gardens that they had shipped my order. It's a little too early for me!

    Dawn you'll enjoy your new appliances, but they are a booger to keep polished!

    Jean glad you are feeling better.

    Gail, I checked your blog and will do so periodically. Welcome!

  20. Okay, now last night and early this am, I thought my first post did not post. When I got back here to answer, I see both are up there! How does that happen!
    We are still using the trailer as the water has not been dug out and hooked up yet, found alot of ice going to get to the well last weekend. My fridge and stove will take 2 wks. I have the microwave and dishwasher(it will be nice to NOT see dirty dishes for two weeks) BTW anyone wanting Maytag--H depot is the ONLY dealer, and , you guessed it , they don't deliver to my area, poor Jack of all trades but I think maytag is worth it. Alittle bummed that the new in color is "Graphite" but I do like the ss.
    Tina, I'm with you-what is a rick of wood Lola?

  21. Mom, forgot to tell you, apparently so tired last night, Zack got a pair of sneakers as a prize. (lucky they had a size 11, teenagers are too expensive!) White with shamrocks on the tongue, shamrock on the side with a red "B" for the soxs. Good thing, his Pats were well worn out!

  22. Yes, my husband was born in Fl. Been here all his life. No, he's not the reason I left Paris {wish I were back there}. Another story.

    A rick of wood is 4x4x8. That's all I ever knew it to be called till my better half called it a cord. Same measurement different local.

    I'm glad to hear Lowe's has started stocking up. Will have to check out local store & see if they have the tuberose. I intend to get one as I miss it. I love the smell.

    I agree Dawn, teenagers can break you. So much they need now a day.

    Have a good one all.

  23. Okay! Makes me want to yell at him to get down!! Everytime I do, the thought of startling the climber into falling occurs to me! Jumping up and down waving my arms doesn't work either, my kids are so use to the attention grabbing, madwoman play. OOH, What is a mom to do.....

  24. Whoops, did it again! (gotta STOP opening too many windows) Can anyone tell me how to delete? GEE WIZ, this was meant for Jimmy in the tree. Time to take a nap, hit them all within 24 hrs.

  25. Don't know Dawn cause there is no trash can. But when you see a trashcan in at the bottom you click on it and it will delete.

  26. Oh I see. The trash can only shows on your own comment. So look in the lower left corner of the comment that you wanna delete.

  27. hi nina, i think we all started something. we'll all have tuberoses growing! it will be fun to get pictures of all them and post on here-kind of join everyone together.

    skeeter, keep checking lowes and home depot. if we have them here, they should also get them where you are.

    dawn with peaches, he is up high and we knew you meant that comment for the monkey picture. i bet you are tired-moving can do that to the heartiest of folks.

    can't believe you all up there never heard of a rick. lola, thanks for defining it. i think up north they just go by cord or 1/2 cord but rick is fairly common. they must not use it much in fl since your husband hadn't heard of it. that is funny. yes, localities are their own dialects.

    yep mom, the trash can does show. but like o'malley said i think it is there for only a certain period of time? but it is perfectly okay to leave comments on here-even double posts. no problem.

  28. I looked everywhere and clicked everything blue, thought is was because I have no profile. Try again, and yes we are very tired, spent most of the day sewing more curtains.
    I knew it was the wrong page the minute I pushed publish, did not have a trashcan appear. I remembered what o'malley had said.

  29. Nope, no trashcan, it must be because I don't have a profile, either that or my cheesy computer. I found if I check all the posting, post on one, I must close the window before it will show. That is what I did last night and almost just now. Course in my hast to SEE tv I clicked the wrong button and posted anonymous. I did not check it til later. I was wondering who mom was talking too. I'll have to be more careful and less tired (doubt the latter) Nikki went to a b-day party last night (sleep over) Man! Does she get grouchy without sleep, gives me a run for money, Zack has company again, no rest for me.
    PS. I had Jack of all trades check for trashcan also because I thought I was losing it, nope. Course he can't hardly see anyway. We seemed to have lost our warrantees at around 40 years old. Later.

  30. Checking by the E on lower toolbar, doubt it.