Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Garden

As I stated in my introduction over one year ago, gardening is life and life is gardening. That gardening can be done anywhere! Literally and figuratively. Well today I thought I would share a definition of my garden with you. Some general facts and what is here at Tiger Gardens.

Mr. Fix-it and I purchased the house and property seven years ago. I am not sure how much area the hardscaping takes up, but the whole lot is 1 acre, or 43,000+ square feet. That is a lot of square feet when you think about it! If I were seeding a new lawn I would need 250 pounds of fescue seed-quite a bit!

I haven't counted the number of gardens lately, but they range somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 gardens total. The gardens names and areas include: Shade Garden, Woodland Garden, Perennial Garden, Hydrangea Garden, Northside Shrub Border, Greenhouse Garden, Foundation Beds, Redbud Garden, Center Front Garden, Front Walled Garden, Crabapple Garden, Hydrangea Garden, Driveway Garden, Cutout Garden, Sidewalk Garden, Vegetable Garden, Picket Garden, Weeping Redbud Garden, Wild Garden, Front Shrub Border, Mahonia Garden, Dogwood Garden, Cosmos Garden, Bottle Tree Garden, Witch Hazel Garden, and Mailbox Garden. I know, lots of funny names. The names are a must though in order to keep track of where I plant new plants. If you get into this habit early in your gardening career, it will make things very simple in the long run. These gardens probably take up about 13-15000 square feet of the property. Yes, I maintain them all-by myself. No landscapers here, and not even the teenaged son works in the garden.

I have designed my gardens around or in spite of or because of some kind of feature in the yard while keeping in mind traffic patterns and the way we use our garden. I have had issues with Mr. Fix-it's traffic patterns and have had to re-work my entire vegetable garden, but I am more careful now and have slowed down my expansion of the gardens so this will hopefully not ever be a problem again.

We are blessed with a multitude of trees, both mature and newly planted. I planted about two dozen small trees including: Japanese maples, crabapples, redbuds, dogwoods, and crepe myrtles. I have also transplanted several Eastern Red Cedars. The mature trees include: oaks, one pine, a couple of Easter Red Cedars, a Black Walnut and a few wild cherries.

There are approximately 400 different cultivars of perennials, shrubs, bulbs, vines, and trees that I planted. This does not include the mature trees on the property. There are many things I do not grow, but many more that I do grow. I am a plant collector, no excuses, just a fact. Plants come from everywhere! Friends, cuttings, seeds, birds, garden centers, garden shows, the wild and even gas stations. Most of the time I study books, magazines, AND blogs to learn more about gardening; in addition to actually doing. Many bloggers have helped me out when I have asked for it and even when I haven't asked. Just reading many blogs is a learning experience. I will be posting on this aspect of my blog tomorrow.

I have pretty much got the bones of my garden down. Now I am merely defining, maintaining, and designing (rearranging and moving of course!). My problem when I began gardening was not having enough plants, now my problem is having too many! I hate to get rid of any so I just tend to shift them around. My new wild garden is the recipient of most of the plants I can't fit in anywhere else. I also share a great deal with friends. No one leaves here empty handed. There will be a master gardener plant sale on October 11 for which I will be digging some plants (if we ever get rain). I am sure-POSITIVE- I will not miss any plants, nor will they miss me.

The soil is not rocky, it is a bit clayey but has been so well amended by the multitude of leaves and compost (most all from on site) that for the most part I am happy with the soil. The plants seem happy too. My lawn is mainly fescue. I am one of those gardeners who is as obsessed with the grass as I am with the plants. I tell you this about my grass and soil because if I gardened in pure clay or solid rock with Bermuda grass growing, I would have an awful hard time maintaining so many gardens. I realize I am very lucky!

This garden is forever. I have planted many trees and long after I am gone they will still be thriving. My youngest son appreciates all we do here and perhaps he will one day get the house and garden. It won't really matter to me though, because while I am here and have my family, I am very happy with my little one acre of property and all the gardens and plants. It is the only reason I blog. No garden or love for it, then no blogging. Clearly I have a great big love for it all since I do both so often!

The above flower is turtlehead. A favorite native in full bloom at this time. It has a long period of bloom and is a delight....

Don't forget about the contest if you haven't yet made a guess. You have until Friday. $10 is not much, but it can buy two whole gallons of gas!

in the garden....


  1. That's amazing that you have such a variety of different plant collections. You might as well call your property a botanical garden!


    P.S. I like the turtlehead picture!

  2. Hi Tina, you are a font of information with these last two posts. Well done! I think an acre is a perfect size for a property, to have some woods and some sun is the best of both worlds. It is what I left in my first TN home. (tear rolls down cheek). I agree that no garden would be no blog, but is that really true? The blog would not have been started without the garden, but what about now? There are bloggers who have left gardens but who still blog successfully. I don't know that I could give up the blogging even if the catastrophic happened and the garden was no more. Are you sure about that?;->

  3. That's way too many gardens for me to take care of! Cute names. Get Jimmy to help! Whew, least I have Nikki.
    ps. 2 whole gallons?

  4. I wish my garden in the backyard would take off. I know it's going to take some time, and it doesn't help that all of it is shaded, but sheesh! And then there's Yasso, who chases all the critters, thus stomping on what has been established!


  5. Parsec, They say variety is the spice of life:)

    Frances, The garden post was probably a post that I should've done a year ago. Just minor info. Yup, I am certain, no garden no blog. Friends have been made, plants exchanged, gardens visited (Faire Garden) many pluses to blogging but for me it is still about the garden. I might comment on others blogs but don't think I would post myself with no garden. We'll see but I am pretty sure.

    Dawn, Jimmy would be too bored in the garden but out of all my kids he showed an early interest in it more than any. Funny now, as the older kids like to garden and I think all love this garden. Brian helped (compost turner) with those muscles of his. Hey, two whole gallons is better than none! Not sure what the winner will choose, the gas card or stone. Will be interesting on Friday.

  6. Good morning Sophie! Hope the floor is coming along well.

  7. Tina,

    So many gardens! I love it! Can you hover over your garden so I can get the bird's eye view! I know it must be wonderful.

    Gardening is a passion for me and blogging allowed me to meet like minded folks. I adore my friends and none of them feel as passionate about gardening as my blogging friends. I treasure both groups! I wouldn't want to give up gardening or blogging.

    One of the reasons I hired Sarah was to get my hardscape and bones into shape. It is all coming together...except for the big bed in the front yard!

    This grass thing;-) My goal was to have very little grass! Lately, I am rethinking the whole giant bed in the middle of the yard phenomenon I have going on! Grass would be easier to take care of...especially since I grow native sedges and grasses and mow them down! No need to fertilize, etc. You knew I would get a plug in here for native grasses, right!

    Thank you for letting me guest post!


  8. Gail, You can guest post anytime! This is what I like on here-your experiences as well as mine. The big bed in front will come together and what I have seen of Chez Cedar, it a gem, just like the gardener.

  9. I would love to have that much property to garden on Tina. I have a standard lot for a suburban neighborhood. I pack alot in for the punch & still have room to grow. I have to leave some lawn in the back for the animals not so much for the boys anymore because their about grown. :) Your Turtlehead is gorgeous by the way and I love all the names you give your garden beds. I do the same thing so I can distinguish between them & keep track of where things are planted as well. Nice post today! :)

  10. Wow, Tina, you have been one busy woman! I am like Gail--I'd love to see a bird's-eye view. Maybe you have a friend with a plane who could take an aerial shot, or maybe you could just climb up on your roof for a photo:)

  11. Gardens galore!!!

    BTY, thanks for telling us to check out Sophia, I really love her blog and have read it all. I am still laughing about the fake floor and the end of the discussion. She has a strong will and great sense of humor.

  12. Hello All.
    Great post Tina. I loved all the names of your gardens. It would be nice to see an Ariel view but we know that's not in the plans. I have started to name my gardens so Young'un will know where I'm talking about. Of course it's all Greek to him. He in NOT a garden/yard person. Has a fit when he has to mow.
    I cleaned up my gate garden & rearranged the planters. Now I'm paying for it. I still have a couple things to tidy it up. Went to get my cart at the Asparagus garden & as I touched the cart a snake took off. Needless to say I decided NOT to be around that garden for a couple days. I have my flag pole garden with cannas, {soon iris}, lilies, some wild flowers now. Also glads, volunteer asparagus & an ornament that looks like a chariot that holds about 5 pots. Of course there is the platform where a gladiator would stand.lol Need to move it as a tree has started growing up through it. lol The one that has the sticky balls on it.

  13. PG, I am very lucky to have all this room. We would've liked a bigger lot, but it is a good thing we don't have more room since I'd be gardening every bit of it. lol

    Rose, Funny you and Gail should mention a bird's eye view. I have lots of pictures from the second story. Saving it for a post in the winter. I am going to find a person who can do aerial photographs. When we lived in Germany a pilot came by and offered us an aerial photo of the house we lived it. For a bargain of about $45. Not bad really.

    Mom, You know it! You were here when we had none back in 2002. It has really changed and matured. Sophie's blog is MOST FUNNY! Not a garden blog at all but really super her style of writing.

    Lola, You are on early this morning and good morning! Be careful those snakes. Many bloggers are talking of them. I think your young'un does pretty good for you, gardener or not. Good luck tidying up. I need to do the same but still no rain.

  14. You are expanding and I'm shrinking...in gardening space that is;) I'm cutting back, probably eliminating the roses eventually. Things are ever changing.

  15. I thought I was happy with the way my yard and garden was until I started to chat about it all on here! LOL, Blogging has opened up my passion for gardening and I am adding new things often, well often for me. LOL... I enjoy playing in the yard in the spring and fall but not the hot summer so I must keep the heat in mind when adding new things. Drought tolerant is the way to go for me!

    You have some good answers on the quiz Tina. Some thought with creative guesses there...

  16. Tina, I am completely in awe. What a wonderful gardening life you have. I will look forward to an aerial view someday!

  17. Tina HELP I need help with it!


  18. Marnie, Why would you get rid of your roses? You would miss them so much.

    Skeeter, Gardening is an ever changing process even if you are pleased with it today, tomorrow something changes. Talking helps too:)

    Jan, Aerial views this winter (at least from the second story:)

    Gail, When I come visit maybe I can give you my very un-expert opinion BASED on how the rest of the garden fits in, but I think you are already in good hands with your garden coach so just give it time.

  19. Wow that is a lot of gardens! Too many plants sounds like a good problem to have. :) That's a good synopsis of your landscape!

  20. Happy Blogiversary, Tina. Since I only met you a couple of months ago, it was great to get a sense of your "landscape"--I'd love to see it in person someday. And thanks for your previous post on the Turtle-head--I got some and I love it!

  21. I am so amazed at your gardens and your knowledge Tina.
    And I am so glad I found your blog!
    Thanks for sharing all your pictures and thoughts with everyone!

  22. Dave, You should come visit sometime as you would not have to do so much propagating, I promise:)

    Cosmo, Great on the turtlehead! It is wunderbar as you can see. Yes, we've been talking for a while and it is so rewarding to have established a good relationship with you. This is one very important reason why I blog (the garden too:). You come visit Tiger Gardens anytime and you never know when this traveling lady might show up in your neck of the woods. I hope school is going well. I went to my class tonight and found the roof had fallen in so there were like hundreds of dazed students walking around looking for their newly assigned classrooms. It was kind of funny.

    Meadowview Thymes, Thanks so much! I love talking with you and your blog too. Look up butterflies on here and see my hatched butterfly. You can do the same and maybe you already are. Not sure why more don't but it is great fun, especially for kids and this big kid (me), though the Jimster enjoyed it too.

  23. Gardens are never finished; which means, they're forever. Just as you said. ;~)

    (I chose that topic for next week's article.)

  24. TC, I will be looking forward to reading your article-you'll post it on your blog as well? Do you post your articles after they have been published for the rest of us? Just wondering.

  25. Tina ~ Your love of gardening and blogging come through in every post you write. I'm always learning from you :)

  26. Thanks Cindy, I learn from you too and all the bloggers out there who love to garden and like to share. Beats magazines any day!