Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Drive to My Garden for a Tour

Do you remember when I did a post on the Master Gardeners? At the time I posted this post, I was not an 'officially' certified Master Gardener. I did attend and successfully complete the training, but had not received my certificate. That has been remedied and I am now a certified Master Gardener.

As such, it opened up a lot of gardening and learning opportunities for me. The most fun part is the meetings and getting to be around MANY other avid gardeners. One of the upcoming fund raising projects the Master Gardener Organization is sponsoring is the Master Gardener Garden Tour. My garden was chosen to be one of seven gardens on this year's Master Gardener Garden Tour scheduled for June 21 between the hours of 9-3.

I am very excited about it and a bit nervous. I love showing my garden but showing it to numerous STRANGERS will be a different animal altogether. Fortunately I will have some good friends helping out here on the big day. Plus, many of my friends are planning to buy tickets and tour the seven gardens, so I'll see many familiar faces. Tickets are available for a mere $10 from any master gardener, the Extension office located on Cumberland Drive, Betsy's Barn, and Quick Print located downtown. I plan to get my hands on some too and do some selling as well. The Master Gardener Association expects to sell approximately 300 tickets this year, so get your tickets early. All visitors, including children, will require a ticket.

Come June 21st, my garden will not look anything like it does it now, so I thought I would share a visitor's first impression now, during the spring. The above picture is my aptly named the 'Driveway Garden'. It is on the left as you pull in the driveway.

On the right of the driveway and facing oncoming traffic, visitors are greeted with some peonies and a small garden, also with some peonies.
The above peonies are white, but the pink ones tend to wake drivers up coming north on my road.
Pulling a bit further into the driveway we spot the house nestled among the gardens. So far it hasn't turned into a jungle and I rue the day it does-if it ever does! The checkerboard pattern of concrete stones and lawn makes a good overflow parking area. Just be careful you don't run over the plants. This is a view on the right side of the driveway.

The driver will pull into a little cutout and be greeted with a look up towards the road through the driveway garden. The small stone wall defines the garden, but a bit of the garden is overflowing into the parking area. It is OK, they are hardy plants and don't care if they are run over occasionally. I just love that artemisia 'Powis Castle'. This area of the garden was re-worked last fall due to the loss of three large white azaleas from the late freeze. It is kind of sparse looking but will fill out nicely. The anchor plants in this area are three oak leaf hydrangeas, barely visible in the picture since they are small seedlings.

On the right side of the cutout is the 'Perennial Garden'. This garden is the oldest and most established garden here at Tiger Gardens. Most folks love it right away. It is one of my favorites as well, mostly because of the fact it is established, it is generally very low maintenance. I don't have to do anything to this garden. Absolutely nothing unless you count a slight bit of weeding.
No annuals grow in this bed, though it is a mixed border consisting of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, and bulbs. What is blooming now is: Snow in Summer, Dianthus (the pink and new red 'Heart Attack' type), irises, and catmint. The roses are coming on strong and will soon be open. This garden does not have something blooming in it all year since there are no camellias located in it. But it does have year round interest with the River Birch, crabapple, nandinas and yews.

Now the visitor heads up the front sidewalk to the front door. The 'Foundation Bed' has finally filled out and is looking lovely this spring. The gardener (me) is quite happy with this bed this year. I switched to pretty much all perennials in this bed last year. I wish I could take credit for it all, but the daises and 'Love in a Mist' are self seeders here. I believe the daisy like flowering mass past the lambs ear is chamomile. It is a frequent grower here in the spring without help from me. When I tried to grow it, it refused. Isn't that the way it always is?

If the visitor can look away from the 'Foundation Bed', he or she might notice the 'Sidewalk Garden' on the right of the sidewalk. This garden is another mixed border, as are all of my gardens. There are annuals in both the foundation bed and sidewalk garden though.

Here is a view from the front sidewalk looking toward the driveway and Driveway Garden. It gives a totally different perspective. The problem with pictures and blogs is that they can't really give the whole feeling of a garden. It just isn't the same as being there. The next stop is the front door.....

Oops! How did we wind up in the backyard? I'll save that tour for another day. Don't forget to get your Master Gardener Garden Tour tickets and come see seven gardens! See them in person; which is a whole different experience. Like I said, this garden will be completely different come June, but at least you know the way to front door now. Hope to see you June 21st!

P.S. BJ will be there to greet all visitors. Don't worry, he is the big friendly dog with the ball in his mouth waiting for a quick throw of his ball from visitors so he can show you all his prowess at catching it in mid air. Do you see him by the front porch? He is showing the way.

in the garden....


  1. Tina,

    Your yard looks wonderful and I so wish I could visit during the tour...I have a conflict all day and cannot be there!

    I am working on making my garden beds have better year round interest...we'll see how that goes!

    I forgot about the tours last Saturday, aren't there some this weekend?


  2. Congrats Tina! Having someone come tour my garden would stress me out quite a bit. I could foresee several quick trips for filler plants. You garden looks great so I bet your guests will love it!

  3. Good morning all! Another beautiful day! I will be inside cleaning my kitchen. Spring cleaning. Urrr!

    Gail, I think there are some tours this weekend. I plan to attend a few sometime. You can come anytime-tour or not!

    Dave, Stress is the word. Generally speaking the garden stays in good shape but how can one predict Mother Nature? Filler plants I would never need as I have one huge fault when planting. I over plant. Perennials grow through and around other perennials and shrubs. Though there are a few blank spots. Good thing I have a plant trip coming up to Don Shadows. Should be fun.

    Everyone have a fantastic day!

  4. Hi Tina --love your gardens. I almost didn't recognize the front of your house --see it's been a long time since I was out that way:) Dan and I love the stones and garden out front --very, very nice. Another great day but I think it will be hot later on. CDE was just out front staking another wire into my yard:( They don't even ask --I ran out thinking they were going to tear up my dogwood tree and I would be fighting! Don't you think they should have to ask? Or at lesat knock on your door to tell you they will be digging in your yard? They now have at least 2 stakes with wire holding up a telephone pole. I am a wee bit upset --hubby is just fine, lol. I wouldn't be so upset but we do have the sprinkler system running around the front yard and if they hit it --we'd know:( Of course, they just look at me like whatever lady, lol. I have to go keep an eye on them --see you all later!

  5. Your yard looks great Tina and you will do well on the Garden tour! It looks like we may have Sunday morning available while we are up there so maybe the Saint and I can have a quick peek to inspect before your big Tour Day! We will of course pay a nickel for our tour because the Saint will be working that ball with BJ. LOL...

    I forgot to tell y'all, yesterday while by one of the azaleas picking up debris, I noticed the back side had a small patch of blooms! Azaleas blooming in GA in May, How funny is that?

    Errand running in town for me today. Will give my arms time to heal. They are really sore today. Feels as though I have been throwing a baseball for 8 hours! LOL... I should be in the yard working though as it is another beautiful no humidity day with light breeze in the upper 70’s… Perfect in my book!

  6. Mom- Congrats on getting your certificate! The yard looks wonderful! You will have to design my gardens when (lol) I get a house and yard! Though it will not be as close to you as Liz lives. I think Brian and Sarah (at least Brian) are thinking about staying here now. Brian likes his job and got promoted so who knows what will happen there. Either way, I'll be far from them as well:(. Enjoy your tour. I really do love the gardens, wish I could make it there sometime this year, but I think just going to Liz's is all I'll be able to do, if that! I hate to miss it, but such is life.

  7. Anonymous, I think they should as a courtesy let you know what they are doing. It will work out. Check your plat.

    Skeeter, Breaks are good! Sounds like you got good exercise. They always told me in the Army-when it hurts-do some more. Yeah right. Rest.

    Christinelynn, I will of course design your gardens. You really need to start with a plan. Not like me and wing it. I know Brian is really happy where he is and whatever they decide to do is fine. I will miss them. Hope you settle down in your dream location too!

  8. Wow! I am green with envy. Your gardens are truly beautiful Tina!

  9. Gail you will just have to go visit Tina at another time. That would be more fun anyway cause you can take your time and visit for a while!

    Dave she has been stressing for MONTHS about the tour. When she would call it was....gotta do this and gotta do that....

    Anonymous tell hubby a fence would look better than the stakes and wire. Funny he does not want a fence but is okay with that.

    Skeeter the way BJ wants to go and go and go Tina should have to pay you!! He is relentless when it comes to that ball.

    Tina your yard if always great and the people will love it!

    Been quiet with Nina and Lola. Hope things are okay with them both.

  10. Hi Tina --thanks for the advice --had hubby check and the sprinkler is working just fine:) Sigh of relief on my part. Apparently they are running fiber optic wire for some new CDE stuff --like I told hubby I'm okay but please ask me/tell me what you are doing in my yard, lol. Tina --I love your gardens but the one thing that keeps catching my eye is the stone you put around the house --I remember you did a posting on it --it really is beautiful! It totally changes the look of the house --stone houses look so pretty --especially when you have all that lush garden, flowers and grass around them --and you will do excellent with the garden tour. I haven't seen many yards around here with so many cool designs:)
    Hi Jean --and Skeeter --sorry your arms are feeling the blunt of all that work --take it easy for a bit. You'll be back out spreading gravel/straw in no time --I know you can't stay still for long. Just like Tina --always on the move, I enjoy hearing what you all did each day in the yard.
    Lola and Nina --probably busy in the yard --just know we are thinking about you all:)

  11. Thanks Jillybean! I am anxiously awaiting the results of your contest. I hope my other readers are participating too....

    Mom, Not stessing too much. Just having to get certain things done and I need to pace myself. Five month notice seems long enough but not with other things going on. It will be what it will be.

    Anonymous, I am glad all is fine. They will take care. Everyont in Clarksville has been having to deal with the new fiber optic cable-unless you live outside of the city. No fiber optics here. I am just grateful to have cable. lol You should come visit sometime and really see the house and yard. It has been several years now. Where does the time go????

  12. Forgot to say, hi Lola, Dawn, and Nina!

  13. Tina, Beautiful gardens! I am so looking forward to seeing them. Will call you tomorrow, hoping it isn't raining, if so we may cancel. nina

    3rd try -

  14. Your gardens like wonderful and congrats on the certificate. I bought a mock orange today, beautiful, as tall as me. Good thing Mom didn't got to mardens. lol. Too many trees.

  15. Whoops, me with the above anonymous, distracted withe my homebound son. BTW he got his cast off yesterday and tried to get the dr. to prescribe video games! As hand therapy. How crafty! No way! Get a better grade Bucko! Bone healed real well, in fact the dr was so excited by it he was point ing it out on the x-ray I don't know how many times. Later

  16. Hi Tina, that is so great that you are an official master gardener now. It is something that I have always wanted to do, but would involve major travel to Knoxville to get it, and with the gas prices and my big ole suv, no way. Your garden looks tour ready! It will be a big hit with everyone, I am sure. Looking forward to meeting you and hubby!

  17. Hey everyone...
    Glad that cast is finally off Dawn. Am sure Zack was super happy!

    Yes, Tina, I forgot to say congrats on the Certification when on earlier!

    Ran errands and check in on the Garden center. Oh, they had so many new plants in since I was last there! I was so upset I was in the car and not the truck! Arggg, will have to get back up there once the other chores are finished but afraid some good stuff will be gone. Had great looking Lambs ear and hosta... I NEED some, so will get up there soon...

    I washed the car while in town. She is now clean and ‘purty’ again…

    The Saint was filling holes in the butterfly bush island and I just could not sit in the swing and watch him. Before you know it, I had raked the entire island free of the old pine straw. I then hooked up the wagon to my Little Red Rider and up the street to county right of way to spread the old stuff. We found so many holes in the island. We cut 4 huge Sweet Gum trees down a few years ago and had the stumps ground up. They are now rotting away below the surface so we have to fill the holes with dirt. Tough job but has to be done or I will hurt my ankle when pruning the bushes...One more small island to go and then all old pine straw gone gone…

    Believe it or not Tina it is true. I was still feeling some arm pain when I started raking and then it was gone! So hopefully tomorrow, I will get to the other half of the hedge.....

    Night all...

  18. Dawn I do not have a yellow rose so that will do just fine. Can't wait to see the orange one! My thornless climing rose is doing great this year but my poor ole 7 sisters does not look so good. I trimmed all the dead wood and not much left. Only 2 canes. One cane is about 3 feet long and the other 2 feet. Golly that was so big, at one time it was on the roof of the house. I have no idea how old it is as I dug a piece up from an empty house and I have had it over 25 years and I have cut it back to the ground 3 different times. Oh well.

    Skeeter if you only do half of what is left on the hedge and do the rest the next day you might not get the arm pain again.

    Gee where is Lola. Hope she is not near the wild flowers, OMG I meant to say wild fires. Must have flowers on my mind!!!! LOL

  19. CONGRATULATIONS, TINA. MASTER GARDENER. WOW!!!! Now I know what has been going on with you & school. I think it's great. Your gardens look grand. Wish mine looked half as good. Your tour will go off as smooth as butter.

    Dawn, glad Zach's cast is off & now he can play games. Yipeeee.

    Hi Gail, Nina, Jillybean, Dave & Christinelynn. Hope you had a lovely day.

    Anonymous, I too would like to be told if someone is going to be digging on my turf. Or doing anything for that matter.

    Skeeter, better slow down a bit. Your bod is trying to tell you something. Like mine does me sometimes.

    Jean thanks for the concern. Been in yard trying to get some more things done that need to be done. Will have to go at a slower pace--don't like those chest pains.
    I cleaned out a bed on West side of house. It had a lot of that rose & I had to dig it out. I hated to trash it but could not give it away. Miniature wandering Jew all over the place--thick. Then unloaded 11 bags of topsoil & put it in bed. That bed is ready for Canna Lilies--they love the sun. Got my Clematis planted--hope it does ok. Also got some other plants re potted that needed it. A few more--hopefully will be done re potting.

    Tina, what is the name of those dark blue iris. They are gorgeous. I found 1 baby iris in all that mess that I cleaned out of bed. Also some other plants {can't remember the name but is called Lucifer, a dark red}

  20. Jean you are too funny. The fires are all over. Sometimes I can smell the smoke. Some of them are arson.

  21. Forgot Jean. Where did you find a thorn less rose? That is what I need being in town.

  22. Nina, It is a 50% chance of rain hit or miss. Whatever that means. Call if the weather is bad. We'll do it another day. No problem whatsoever.

    I am wondering if there is some reason you are having trouble posting? A security setting?

    Dawn, Good for you! My mock orange is in full bloom but no fragrance. Darn:( Glad Zach's bone's healed and his cast is off. Playing video games could actually help it.

    Frances, Thanks! I actually went thru the program in the 90s when gas was about .93 a gallon. We are lucky to have a good program in town. I think the master gardeners should let experienced gardeners or anyone for that matter, pay a fee, say $50, then take a gardening test and if they pass it, wahlah! Certified. Sometimes people don't need to go thru the course if they are already trained in other ways. Don't you think? I think that a test will come to pass at some point. We'll see you next week. The Jimster will be there too. He likes plants but hubby doesn't.

    Skeeter, Works everytime. I used to ache from all the running and whine about it. I was always told to run some more-of course under motivation. The pain went away and I felt great. You'll get the hedge done and be all the better for it. You do have an electric trimmer don't you?

    Mom, Have you fertilized your rose in any of those years? If not, add some rose fertilizer and a bag of compost scratched into the soil. Roses do sometimes die but if it is growing at all it may recover. Be sure it has plenty of water. I am sure Lola is busy like anonymous said, in the yard like most of us. I actually got the kitchen halfway cleaned today-in between weeding, digging and mowing. lol

    Goodnight all. I am so glad we haven't had any spammers. Knock on wood.

  23. Lola, We must've been posting at the same time! I have no idea what the name of the purple irises are-but I have tons and am willing to share. The 'Lucifer' is crocosmia. I LOVE crocosmia! It is very underused here in my neck of the woods but a perfectly agreeable plant which blooms a LONG time! They have an orange and yellow one too but I think I like the red best. What color are your canna lillies? Mine have not come back well at all but I have a few. I think I moved them last year. You have been busy! Take it easy. Did the ggs plant their corn?

  24. Congratulations on your certification. During your first year as a MG you were chosen as a garden tour stop. That is high praises my friend.

  25. Hi there Aunt debbi/kurts mom, I actually went thru the program in 1997 and only recently got my certification transferred to here. It is a high honor being chosen at all! Something I never ever expected. We'll see how it goes-wish me luck!

  26. LOLA, LOLA, LOLA, If you are having chest pains I think it is time to SLOW DOWN. I do hope you stop and rest when you get it. I get chest pain once in a while and when I do I rest and take an asprin and it goes away.

    Yes I heard on the news that some fires were a case of arson. Terrible. My brother lives in Ft. Meade, 20 miles from Winter Haven so I have been wondering about him also.

    I have had that thornless rose for years so have no idea where I got it, sorry. But when I have the time I will try and research it.

    Tina I have NEVER fed my roses or anthing. Just trim the dead wood and have not done that. On Mothers' Day when Kenny was murdered I was trimming the seven sisters when I got the call about it. Since then I have only done that a couple of times. However, I did buy some rose food for it last year. Guess now is the time to do something. I did some trimming a while ago and I made some cuttings. Have several in dirt and several in water. Have a few in the water getting roots and one has a small rose on it right now. The ones in dirt seemed to have died off but there are nice new leaves popping up around the canes!!

    I am glad no spammers also as I hated that darn thing!!

  27. Mom, I think your rose has run out of steam and needs some compost and food. It should perk up then. Good luck.

  28. Congratulations, master gardener! I can see you have well earned the title. I especially enjoy seeing the peonies and irises.

  29. Hi Sarah, Friday's post will be on my irises. They can't compare to Dr. McEwen's, but are joyful for me. Maybe they'll be blooming in Maine still? Peonies are blooming. I have one that is really fragrant, Duchess de Nemours. Love it. Take care say hi to Stella.

  30. Jean, I did. Came in & took aspirin & rested. It gradually went away. Dr wouldn't write another script for Nitro. Oh well.
    I guess it's an old wives thing but if you take egg shells & over ripe bananas peels & all put into blender with water then take & pour liquid around base of roses, scratch in shells & banana it makes the roses smell sweeter & helps keep black spot from forming. It feeds the plants like crazy & they love it. I saw my cousin do it. Her rose was on side of drive way on a down hill grade.

    Tina while cleaning out that bed I happen to unearth the Crocosmia bulbs so I took them & put them in a pot so I could watch them better. They are red--I don't won't to loose them. They sure looked funny--like snowmen--one bulb on top of another. Do you think I could pull them apart & have more bulbs? Or would that kill them? Yes, ggs got his corn planted & it is already up. Next the beans & squash. Hopefully he can do that before he leaves for Tn.

  31. That sounds easy and interesting Lola. Thanks....I will give it a try.

  32. Lola, I have never heard of that. My grandmother had a rose garden and it was beautiful. She always dreamed that I would get married in it some day. She did not live to see me get married. Sniff sniff... I have never had luck with roses but my brother has great luck with them.

  33. Lola, That is such a great idea for the roses! I heard the bananas but not with eggshells but it would make sense. Do it mom! Rose gardens are nice, but so not for me.

  34. I'm going to try it!