Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don Shadow & a Busy Weekend!

I know the months of May and June are pretty busy months in the garden, but did not realize just how busy and how tired out I would be at the end of the day-each day! The Montgomery County Master gardeners sponsored a bus trip to Winchester Tennessee to visit Shadow Nurseries. Above is a picture of the 'Venus' cultivar of Cornus kousa x Cornus nuttali that Don Shadow sells (and I believe patented). The dogwood is supposed to be an improvement on the standard Cornus floridus; which is a dogwood I am not a fan of at all. I purchased one of these trees and hope it does well. The bloom gets larger as the tree matures so be patient with small trees if you own one of these dogwoods. Now to find a location and to plant it...

Here is the entire group on the wagon Mr. Shadow drove us around his farm on. It was a VERY hot day to be in the sun and all people aboard were sunburned by lunchtime. Shan and I jumped off to snap the picture of the Venus bloom and we also snapped this picture of the group. His garden will be on the Montgomery Master Gardener tour on June 21st. I can't wait to see his because judging by all he purchased on this day, it must be extraordinary. He and his wife Susan were just some of the very nice folks I met on this trip.

Mr. Shadow is world renowned for his unusual plants and his amazing memory. He shared many many anecdotes and useful tidbits with our master gardener group. I was honored to have met him and to be around him. He even shared some knowledge my father-in-law imparted to me a few years ago about a special bush. I couldn't believe it. I will post on that another time and talk about 'mountain' people. Mr. Shadow has a fondness for mountain people it seems. I have read he has quite the 'Tennessee' accent, but I personally think it is more 'mountain'-the Great Smoky area of Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia. One of Mr. Shadow's passionate interests is his animals. He has quite the zoo with many cranes, deer, antelope, llamas, emus and tons of other animals. The cranes cracked me up! The birds stood about 3 feet tall and took off running at us while we were on the wagon. They went airborne and DID NOT STOP when they came close to the fence holding them in. THEY CRASHED INTO THE FENCE! No, they were not injured but I thought it was too funny and was quite happy the fence was there. Time to clip those wings!!!! They missed clearing the fence by mere feet.

Here is Mr. Shadow himself. He is looking at his animals and shielding his eyes from the merciless sun. We on the wagon were happy he at least had a roof over his head as he is a red guy from all the sun he gets. This is one amazing gardener. While we walked through the greenhouses and gardens, he picked weeds. Now who amongst you can relate??? All gardeners have this habit of picking weeds, but what commercial gardener would do this?? I was impressed.

The day after my ALL day visit to Don Shadows Nursery, my great blogging buddy Skeeter and her husband the Saint visited Mr. Fix-it and I. What a pleasure. I wished we had had more time to visit but she had a family engagement to attend and we may have kept them overly long. Sorry Skeeter's Mom and sorry you had to rush Skeeter! Those who know me know I very rarely smile in pictures. While both Skeeter and I were hot and sweaty since it was so hot this Memorial Day weekend, I love this picture because you can see both sets of teeth! I think Skeeter may smile broadly more than me, but this is one picture I do like because I am smiling big too. I will try more often to smile this way-okay to my family?

in the garden...hoping for a slowdown.


  1. Sounds like you had a good trip. I was wondering about the bird! Maybe that's why his head in permantly blushed, embarassed! And yes, very happy looking picture of you and Skeeter.

  2. Tina, I remember what you said the night you got back from that day trip...4:00am and sunburn. All those people and no one had sunscreen?

    Great pic of you and Skeeter!!!

  3. Hi everybody and especially to Tina the postee!

    What a fun time....boy do I wish I had made the deadline for Master Gardener sign up...Wish they held the training several times a year.

    It's nice to see you and Skeeter smiling away....although, I didn't know you had this thing about teeth;->


  4. What a fun day! Even with the sunburns I know you had fun.

  5. Dawn, Those birds should've been embarassed-they were surely trying to do us in!

    Mom, Most of the folks were smart enough to apply sunscreen before the trip-but not me. :( I did not ask if anyone had sunscreen. It looked like it might be cloudy when we departed at 6 am!

    Gail, The Master Gardeners are such a good group of gardeners and we are lucky to have a cental point for avid gardeners. You'll get it next time! I don't really have a thing with teeth-only my smile. It is so hard for me to smile and show my teeth. Long standing complex-no therapy please-I am working it out as you can see from the big smile.:)

    Hey Jillybean, I am still hoping to win a prize sometime. Almost all of the barbeque sauce is gone-victim of a spoon.

  6. Mom-whether it is cloudy or not you should always wear sunscreen! Cold days cam burn you too, if not worse.
    I am glad that you had a great trip. Oh I sent Roger a 60 minutes interview that was sent to me from Gino on Myspace. It is on Matt Binney. Check it out. He became a Green Beret Medic.

  7. Christine, I was wondering what you were up to! Glad to hear from you. Send me the video too. Love ya. Have a great day and I hope Maine gets some much needed rain.

  8. Tina, you have a beautiful smile - it shows how much fun you are having with your friends. What a colorful state you live in! I love the name Mr. Shadow.

  9. Hi Tina, sunscreen and a hat! always. What a wonderful day you had, very chock full of good things. HA to the teeth, what will Gail analyze that to mean? Mr. Shadow's garden will be a thrill, tell us all about it. Can't wait to hear about mountain people, we have met some around here, so interesting.

  10. I forgot to say how cute you and Skeeter both look!

  11. Tina,
    Look for a contest soon...the prize...SAUCE!

  12. Okay, while we are on the subject of pictures, I have to take a bragging moment......yearbooks. Tina, if Jimmy hasn't had a yearbook yet, prepare to pop for 50 to 60 buck-a-roos next year. I paid 50 for Zacks and 7 to emboss his name on the front because I was afraid of him loosing it.....better be worth it. It was. Between football, baseball and winning the winter carnival, he is in the candids 12 different times, even snapshot him pitching, 6 shots of football alone. These books are not what we had, baby pics of the seniors, several baby pics. All the name alphabetized with the picture page # after their names and ad space from parents wishing seniors a howdy do goodbye! Hope he takes care of it, it will mean something someday.
    PS. Had a ruby breasted grosbeak and my two hummers are back on Memorial day. The feeder is 5 inches away from the window but my hummers are camera shy as of yet. You can hear them when the window is open, cats not allowed on the balconey anymore!

  13. Sarah, Thanks so much!

    Frances, You for sure know the mountain people where you are located. Such a neat bunch of folks. In-laws are mountain folks. I always smile-but no teeth so I am not sure what that means. My mother had an awful time getting me to smile in pics. What Gail would say, I hope only good things. Thanks for the compliment on Skeeter and I. Not sure where she is but I am thinking busy. It was nice meeting her and my other blogging buddies. The plants you gave me are all doing awesome! I planted the last of them yesterday in the new spa garden. The ferns are super there.

    Jillybean, We are all looking for a contest-to win!

    Dawn, Sounds like that yearbook is precious. Good shots of Zack. Did you read it? Always interesting reading your kid's yearbooks. $50 is a good price. Down here they are $60. The Jimster didn't want one but I told him he had to pay half if he did. He definitely didn't want one then. lol

    Be patient with the bird pics. Poor kitties...

  14. Cool Dawn. Tell my grandson ya ya for him!!!! I know the yearbooks are terrible now. Sandra's was $70.00!!! Unreal. I have them from my school from 1958 to 1965. I can remember that Mum and Dad thought the $??.?? for them back then was high. Since I was such a spoiled brat it did'nt seem much to me, whatever it cost. Guess in the long run they are worth it as I still have all mine and so does David. Just had mine out not too long ago, in fact it is still in the computer roon and I need to put it back in bookcase in den. When we had our one and only class reunion for our 20th year, I made updated ones for the whole class. I copied the oringinal yearbook and updated it with martial status, kids, work, address, ect. and bound them all together. It was a big hit.

    I have not seen a hummer yet, guess I should get my feeder for them out. Will do that tomorrow and I should get the bird baths out. Bought a new pole (2 of them, actually) with 4 hooks each this year and also need to get them up. Was going to do that today and Rothwell showed up.

    I have got my new trellis up and it looks so good and I have been really giving attention to my Seven Sisters Rose and it is doing much better than I thought.
    I planted the orange rose bush on the corner of the main house. Pretty stupid, huh? Beside Seven sister!!!! What was I thinking?
    Maybe I will move it next year.

    I miss all our blogging friends!!

  15. Hi guys, Mom I think it is wonderful you planted the orange rose next to the 7 sisters, the orange is hybrid so it will grow low and the pink/red will look nice with it.
    Yes, the yearbook is precious, his girlfriend had alot of candids for v-cheerleading. He is the most photogentic for the freshman.
    Mom, that was nice of you to update all your classmates, I remember when you did that. Nice, esp at your cost.
    Yes, we got hummed on Memorial day with the small hummer buzzing the pic window, put out the feeder and now they are chirpping at each other. Yours are there. We need a shepards hook for the bigger birds, 12 bluejays on my deck requires attention, gotta get one for a "big bird" feeder.
    Concert went well 'cept the boy who locked his knees did it again but the (piano teacher) music teacher caught it before he fell.
    Hoping skeeter, lola, nina, and anonymuous come back! Nite all.

  16. Hey Tina! Actually, I didn't grow cherry tomatoes last year. But I wouldn't be surprised if someone, namely my grandma, put some rotten ones in my compost pile. That's the only way I could see this happening. Just one of those nice garden surprises!

  17. Hi Tina,

    That is a gorgeous dogwood. It looks much fuller than the traditional ones that I'm used to. It's so pretty. :-)

  18. Hi Mom, Wonder where everyone is? Maybe a slow down due to summer being here. Mom, sounds like you are giving those roses extra special attention. I hope they bloom soon!

    Dawn, You will have tons of birds in your garden and lots of babies. Such fun.

    Well Read, It will be interesting to see what comes of the volunteers-if cherries you know for sure your grandma put some in your compost. :)

    DP, This dogwood is VERY full and pretty big. It is blooming right now and looks super. An improvment on the standard Florida one. I hope mine does well.