Monday, June 22, 2009

Dr. John Matthews' Garden

From In the Garden
Here is another one of those gardens you just simply love. Dr. Matthews, the gardener, is a Montgomery County Master Gardener (MCMGA) and a beloved gardener and mentor to many within our county. He is also a retired Austin Peay State University horticulture professor so you can imagine the countless gardening souls he has touched in his life.

He recently opened his gardens to the MCMGA and I know many folks took him up on the visit. Mr. Fix-it and I were there standing tall and having fun. I must tell you Mr. Fix-it's thing is not gardening, but after some heavy persuasion on my part, he good naturedly agreed to come along. I think he had a grand time too.

Dr. Matthews has an orchard, a vegetable garden, a sunny perennial garden, shade gardens, lots of great whimsical artwork, brick paths, name tags on almost all of his plants, and a great assortment of super plants. He is plant collector of the highest caliber and a great designer to boot. Most of these pictures are of the perennial beds and don't need explanations from me. Enjoy.

Just look at those textures! Joy, do you see 'Golden Spirit' here?
How about those fabulous daylilies? Just look at the contrasts!
Here is one of my favorite shots. I just love the colors.
Dr. Matthews is experimenting with adding more ornamental grasses into his beds. They are drought tolerant and practically carefree-and beautiful to boot!
All paths through this VERY large home garden were made from brick. This is brick Dr. Matthews collected from his old homestead.
And here is the 'Gardener Extraordinare' himself! He's busy explaining something to Mr. Fix-it and I. I think I could follow him around all day every day just to learn what ever little bit of knowledge he'd like to share.
One last shot on our way out. Here is his house, surrounded by plants that include conifers, shrubs, deciduous trees, and perennials. All collector plants. The entire garden is such a treat!

in the garden....


  1. That is such a beautiful garden! I think I could spend days just wandering around it. Lovely!

  2. Those look like beautiful beds - lush, full and no room for weeds. Who would want a lawn when you could have something like that.

  3. Tina, what a special treat to visit this garden! I know you had a wonderful time and learned lots. Whenever our mentors open their gardens it is a great time! Love the various grasses.

  4. That is an excellent garden! he has a marvelous eye for contrasts, textures and shapes...When I see gardens with this much sun, I do have a slight bit of envy! gail

  5. Tina ... what a wonderful garden ! I especially love the ornamental grasses and the stone pathways : )
    Just beautiful !

  6. What a beautiful garden! I especially loved all the grasses. That is one thing I would have in my garden if it were large--I love ornamental grasses!
    Thanks for the tour Tina! Is it hot there? It is suppose to be in the 100's this week here! Ugh! :)

  7. Morning Tina.
    That must have been a big treat for you. It's such a luscious garden withe so much contrast & the grasses are something else. I like those grasses. I could wonder around in that garden forever.

    Morning All. I hope everyone has a glorious day. Enjoy the garden.

  8. Good morning all!

    Sunita, It is indeed.

    Les, The cool thing is he does have lawn too. And a shade garden. He has a bit of everything and it is all immaculate. Quite wonderful for sure.

    Janet, It was most special to learn from him and hear him talk of his garden. Such a beautiful sight!

    Gail, I did not post the pics of the shade area but he has many shade areas and some really unique combinations and hydrangeas. Not to mention a variegated dogwood which is quite big. I was fascinated with the sun since I have so little of it in my garden so I focused this post on that area. The specimen trees were great and included many unusual varieties of redbuds, magnolias, beech and others. I liked them all! He also has a vegetable garden which is quite beautiful and most fruitful. I really need to dedicate like three posts to Dr. Matthews garden. Maybe later:)

    Joy, It is quite wonderful. All plants labeled too. What a delight!

    Linda, Those ornamental grasses add such structure and interest in the garden. I like them very much. It is MUGGY here. I expect hot in June, but so so muggy it is almost unbearable. I heard how hot it is there and no rain either. Ah summer. Time for fall now:) Just kidding.

    Lola, It was wonderful! I am on the same thoughts-wish to wonder around for days.

  9. Hi Tina. Dr Matthews has a beautiful garden. The perennials are wonderful against the backdrop of shrubs. I too am moving daylilies around so they will have a greater impact on my gardens and adding more grasses. I wish I had the doctors eye for design.

  10. Marnie, You are so right with Dr. Matthews eye for design. I wish I had it too. And he makes all this look effortless and still finds time to attend to all duties outside of the garden AND chair a plant sale. Wow! Not only do I want his eye for design but also some of his energy; which is lacking around here lately.

  11. What a treat to see photos of a garden as beautiful as this! I love the the stones he's used, the grasses, the whole look! Thank you, Tina.

  12. Beautiful! Gardeners like him are such an inspiration; you must have had a great day and come home with lots of new ideas.

  13. Oh how pretty! I always find gardens like this to be such an inspiration!--Randy

  14. Sounds like you and Mr Fixit enjoyed your visit. I too love magenta and yellow together (and purple and orange). Hello! :)

  15. This is gorgeous - I love his use of grasses!

  16. What a fabulous garden! I love his use of grasses, all of the different colors and textures, and the way it all harmonizes... Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures.

  17. Kanak, You are welcomed and glad you enjoyed the garden this morning.

    Rose, More like lots of plant envy:) But yes, a few ideas too. Especially for yard art. He has the best! We are working on some now here at Tiger Gardens. I'll post it when done.

    Jamie and Randy, This is a simply splendid garden. Clarksville is so lucky to have him and his garden!

    Monica, I dragged Mr. Fix-it kicking and screaming (figuratively) but I believe he had the best time. I got a shot of him talking with Dr. Matthews but did not post it-just for me to remember hubby actually visited a garden with me! Then we went yard saling and had such a great day. I'm so happy to have him home.

    JGH, Oh yes, gotta love those grasses. Such wonderful and underused plants really.

    Sweet Bay, He is really a fabulous designer. And to think he used to teach it! I'd love to take a class from him, but I'll have to suffice with visiting the garden and taking copious notes. Good thing no tests that way!

  18. Incredible gardens with his eye for what looks great. Thanks for sharing it with us and I hope you will do a couple more posts of his garden.

  19. What a beautiful place! Did you show Mr Fix-it how his yard could be?

  20. His gardens are gorgeous. What a treat to be able to tour them with him. It's looks like a great place to find lots of garden inspiration.

  21. Dear Tina, thanks for showing us this master gardener's garden. A lifetime of designing, planting and redesigning is apparent here. So glad Mr. Fixit went along too, it is so nice to be able to chat about what you have seen long after the visit is over. I do believe it piques their interest in your garden too. All good.

  22. A beautiful lusk green garden! I like the way he used shades of green and texture! Looks like a wonderful place to visit..

    I have been working in the yard with my dad all morning long. He is on the riding mower now and I have just peeled off the wet clothes and showered! I have a spliting headache also so time for rest and cooling off. I dont take the heat too well. sigh.... I had fun trimming the ivy, vining vinca, pulling weeds, watering flowers, cleaning birdbaths and feeders. The best part was taking the clippings to the woods. The creek looked so cool and I almost jumped into it feet first! Deer ate all the lily blooms during the night. Stinkers....

    Time to go rest now.... Wet hair under the ceiling fan feels wunderbar!

  23. Tina this yard is just beautiful!!! I would love to stroll through and admire such beauty. You were so lucky to see and get such great photos to share with us:) It is another hot one --we get out early and then stay cooped up all day until the sun sets.

    Skeeter you are such a great daughter --glad you were able to help out --that yard is HUGE!!!! Enjoy the inside time with the fan swishing your cool wet hair around --although you know you could just come over and hop in our pool:) Even if we aren't here --jump right in --it does feel great:0)
    Hello everyone --Lola stay cool, Jean I am sure you'll catch some of this heat soon enough. Hi Dawn and Nina -I'm sure you girls are busy, busy, busy. Summer is upon us and always lots of fun stuff to do. Ciao!

  24. It is a very beautiful garden, so many colours and textures. The brick and stone paving adds the finishing touch - the materials are used so well. I'm sure you had a great time exploring!

  25. Hi Tina~~ I think garden touring, whether virtually or in real time, is one of my absolute favorite things to do. The world is lucky and blessed to have gifted men like Dr. Matthews. It looks like he's achieved the balance between collector and designer--something I'm always striving for.

  26. 94º at 8:18 P.M. 2º cooler than an hr ago.
    Tina in the 5th pic. what is the name of the bi-color tall grass in the middle? Looks like corn but bi-color.
    There is a place where an old house stood that has this plant. It really is eye catching. If it's not invasive I would like to find out who I need to see to get some as I like it.
    Hi Anonymous, trying to stay cool. So hot out a person can't stay long.
    Hi Jean, Dawn & Nina, do hope you all had a great day.

  27. What a gorgeous garden. I'm glad you were able to persuade Mr Fix-it to tag along with you. :)

  28. Mom, I'll post Part II of his garden tomorrow. It is such a big garden and I wanted to share some shade plants for you all.

    Dawn, Awesome indeed! Mr. Fix-it wants all the gardens here to go away-ha! He sure doesn't want all these flowers on only one acre, but I can still dream.

    DP, It is indeed!

    Catherine, Tons of inspiration for sure.

    Frances, It is a lifetime for sure. And a marvel at how effortless he makes it all seem. Like your neighbors garden, these are such gems.

    Skeeter, Good job! It was mighty hot today. Hope you've cooled off. I finally finished my one paper, have another due by Friday, but at least I was able to go outside for a wee bit. Got the cukes planted finally! And some beans. Now onto zucchini tomorrow. Hopefully! And I have to ask the obvious-how come you didn't jump in the creek? I sure would've-at least to wade and relax for a bit. Sounds cool on this hot day. Hopefully headache is gone now.

    Anonymous, It IS so hot and muggy lately. Hard to breathe for sure. Good thing you have the great pool. Hang in there as it will cool off before we know it. Just look, now the days are getting shorter already. Boy do the years pass fast.

    EG, I could have easily stayed several hours but alas, Mr. Fix-it was there and it was time to go. But what an awesome visit. Those brick paths are pretty nice indeed.

    Grace, I too think Dr. Matthews has achieved a great balance but somehow I have the feeling he is always on the hunt for the next great cultivar and plant to come out-and you can bet he'll be first and fit it in well. Your garden is lovely and also chock full of really neat plants. I enjoyed touring it too. Gardening in the NW seems so much fun. Thanks for dropping in.

    Cindee, Thanks!

    Lola, Hang tough. Stay in the A/C. Summer will be over before we know it. I think that grass is known as 'cane'. You may know it as that? I think it spreads and also grows wild, but don't hold me to it. I really don't know, but you may recognize it as I think it grows most everywhere.

    Racquel, It was most nice hubby came along. Yes indeed. He understands how much gardening means to me, but usually doesn't partake in it. He does do flea markets though so I can forgive him:)

  29. A great garden. Really effective use of the grasses.

  30. I so wish my husband would tour gardens with me. What a great area he has created!!

  31. It's a beautiful garden! I wish I could come across a source for all that brick.

  32. Ryan, he has used those grasses to great advantage to show off the wonderful perennials. Great that they are drought tolerant too.

    Darla, You really have to be persuasive and choose your battles-like I could never ask Mr. Fix-it to go each time, but once a year or two or three seems acceptable to him:) Hubby might come around with that caveat.

    Dave, You and me both! I was so lucky to get all I did from a Freecycler, but most salvage operations jump on the brick now a days. It is so hard to find and such a part of our history that this use is wonderful.

  33. He is a talented garden designer and you are a wonderful garden tour-er. Oh to have that kind of property to play with! Thanks for the wonderful tour.

  34. famous !!!! liebe Grüße von Kathrin

  35. It's a great garden. My favorite sort of garden, a space that's all about the plants. The paths pull you through the garden, and they look great underfoot, but it comes back to the plants. Wonderful spaces!