Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Visit to North Carolina

On a recent trip to visit my in-laws in North Carolina, I was of course in the garden, though not my own garden. Maybe you could consider it my garden. First of all, let me say my father-in-law is an awesome gardener. He has taught me a few things about gardening and loves to garden himself. His main focus is on vegetable gardening. We have enjoyed many a fresh vegetable from his garden during our visits.

My mother-in-law is the one who really likes ornamentals. She works many, many hours at a local textile factory and does not have time to garden. A few years ago she and Jimmy's cousin, Sara, made up an ornamental garden in a highly visible spot. No vegetables allowed there. She purchased several plants, edged the bed with landscape timbers and added some ornamentation. It is a nice garden. I volunteered to tend it for her as I could. So on each and every visit I would either bring plants from my garden, or purchase whatever was in season (and on sale of course) and plant it in her garden. I have been doing this for two years.

The garden is located below a very thirsty Tulip Poplar tree, aka Liriodendron tulipifera. I think this tree to be a beautiful tree, but a very thirsty tree and somewhat of big bully. It is quite difficult to garden under tulip poplars, but this is where her garden is located. While visiting this time the tree was in full bloom. Since Frances showed me the macro feature of my camera, I was experimenting and took a good shot of the bloom. Most tulip poplar blooms are too high for enjoyment, but not these blooms. The first picture is of the tulip poplar bloom.

The second picture shows a 'Powis Castle' I planted two years ago. I was amazed at its growth. This is an ideal spot for the Powis Castle and you can tell it is quite happy in its location. So happy that it has rooted in several spots. I have not had this happen in my garden in Tennessee because I cut my Powis Castle back each spring. I like the effect at my mother-in-law's house, but she is worried it will take over. I assured her we want it to grow large and big as we gardeners dream of growing big plants. The bigger the plants, the less dirt, and less weeds! Works for me and I have her convinced. Alongside the Powis Castle are my favorite yellow irises. I also planted some lambs ears and tulips. The tulips were the biggest surprise for her this year and she enjoyed them very much. As mother-in-laws go, she is a pretty good mother-in-law because she raised such an awesome son, my husband. I am happy she has been able to enjoy this little garden and a piece of my garden. Now this particular tree is maybe a big part of Mother Nature, or maybe a big part of Mr. Don Shadow. On a recent trip to the Shadow Nursery in Winchester, Tennessee, I saw this stunning tulip poplar tree. Since I started the post with a picture of the bloom from a tulip poplar, I thought I'd share this picture of a variegated tulip poplar Mr. Shadow is working on. It was a sport he has worked with to grow and stabilize and evaluate for landscape use. The 30 or so of us gardeners who enjoyed the tour thought this tree was MOST unique. Look for it at some point in the future. I will be doing a post on this very educational trip very soon.

Speaking of Mother Nature, the Jimster was overjoyed to find a baby rabbit. He found two, but the other was dead. Both were victims of a cat. This little fella had one small puncture wound, but seemed OK. Sara, the Jimster's cousin, took the baby home with her to nurse it back to health. I was very relieved when the Jimster let him go so easily. We do NOT need another bunny here at Tiger Gardens. As much as we all hate bunnies in our gardens, isn't this baby the sweetest little thing? Just as tiny as can be, but his eyes were open and it had plenty of fur. We figure he is about 10 days old, but even at that age we are not sure of his prognosis. I don't think it good, but we won't tell the Jimster-will we?

in the garden....


  1. Hi Tina, great post. I should have dug some things for your mil's garden too, or did you give her some? Next time. Great photo of the tulip poplar, it's beautiful. We had many of those trees in our Kingsport garden, but the hostas and ferns still did great there. Not grass though, but that never bothered me. ;-> Thanks for the link. You are a master linker now! All the plants you brought me look good, they have been watered well until we finally got some rain last night, more coming today they say. Hooray! The baby bunny is cute, don't know anything about raising them though. Good luck, Jimmy.

  2. Good morning all! I had to put the word verification back on. We'll see for a while. Someone keeps leaving links at the same time each day and does not have a profile. I am sure it is a spammer-so a little word verification, an extra step I know, but necessary.

    Good morning Frances! So happy you got rain too. It was unexpected here. We got over one inch-yahoo! I planted my mil a bit of the sedum you gave me (saw this sedum at Don Shadows and was thrilled you had given me some) and a wee bit of the pinks and yarrow. I hope it does well for her. The rest of my plants have almost been planted now. I am waiting to do the garden around the spa for my J. ferns. The fescue has all been divided and spread around. Can't wait to see if it will grow like yours! Isn't that tulip poplar with the variegation cool? So neat. You have a super day in the garden.

  3. Tina,

    The tree is good looking...it would be nice in a big yard. I have enough water grabbing trees here!

    I used to do a little work in my mom's yard but as I shared she didn't care about gardening.

    We have tons of rain in St Louis and all the way home yesterday. What a drive! Was I tired last night. This morning a cold paw smacked me awake and the cat (can't get bunnies he lives inside) woke me up demanding breakfast, A rude awakening....I see more rain, tomorrow might be good for weeding.


  4. I love tulip poplars they are so pretty when in bloom. I have one in my yard as well it was planted by the previous owners. It is just starting to bloom!btw thanks for visiting my blog :)

  5. The bunny is very cute...we have had several in our yard each evening. I have just been letting Roxie out to chase them. I am so glad to hear ya'll liked the sauce.

  6. I didn't know the tulip poplar is so pretty. Years ago I bought one but it didn't make it. Everyone around here moans at the poplar tree because it is so abundant. Hum, maybe I should try again.
    The baby bunny is so cute. Lucky for you Jimmy let it go. Nikki would be wailing over that, fortunately all we catch are snakes.
    Hot, Hot day today but back in the fourties for tonight and tommorrow.

  7. Good morning all and hope you all have a great day.

    Wish you guys down south would send some of that rain up north. Have had no rain for a month here. Well a couple of times we had a few sprinkles. We did'nt even have a mud season. Unusual for us. Hope that does not mean it will rain all summer.

  8. Just might.....Have games all weekdays this week including yesterday. And wow just noticed my pic is up!

  9. That bunny is so adorable, but I am so glad that there are no bunnies running around in my garden!

    The tree is gorgeous!

    Thank you for welcoming me to the world of TN gardening. I never knew so many TN gardeners blogged!

    Square Foot Gardening in Nashville

  10. Gail, I HOPE for more rain. The 1.5 inches we got yesterday was delightful, though it spoiled outdoor activities.

    Karen, You are welcomed! You are not so far from Tennessee that we wouldn't have things in common in the garden. Hope those pesky birds fly away.

    Jillybean, Is Roxie a kitty? Or dog? I have heard the baby rabbits have an awful scream. Jimmy said this one was making a noise but quickly stopped. The baby bunnies actually sit quietly ALL day alone in their nest waiting for mommy. Amazing.

    Dawn, Nice pic, glad you added it. I am not sure if the tulip poplar is in the same family as your poplars up there. Maybe. They sure self seed well. They are Tennessee's state tree and beautiful, but like Gail said, large and need lots so water. They also prematurely drop their leaves in the summer when it is dry. Do they grow up there? I don't see why not.

    Mom, We all need rain and I will hope some comes your way soon. It is so frustrating not getting any at all. One month is a pretty long time. Raindance here we come!

    DP, Welcome to blogging. We bloggers know to welcome one another and talk pretty much daily. I will be interested to follow your blog to see how the square foot thing works. I use the French Intensive method of gardening in my garden. It is similar, but I think simpler. My friend just started a square foot veggie garden. I found the lattice work interesting. Bunnies are eating her crops. That is funny. No bunnies in my yard, too many dogs. You must have dogs too-or just good luck to keep the bunnies out. They are cute.

  11. Roxie is a dog...but thinks she is human.

  12. Jillybean, The dog who thinks she is human? Sounds like a cat!