|From In the Garden|
It has been just about one year since my little garden was on the local master gardener garden tour. It was an exciting time for me. I've always enjoyed sharing my garden and to have folks come here and visit was a fun event for me. You may remember a neighbor of mine stopped by with a special present for me. She had never met me before, but was a gardener and only came here to say hello to me-another gardener and neighbor too. (There is a nice picture of the two of us on the earlier post.) She brought me a branch of her St. John's Wort (pictured above). I tried really hard to make that one branch grow roots so I could have it in my garden, but alas, it was not meant to be.
Well, guess what? This same neighbor was thinking of me this year when her St. John's wort bloomed. She called me to find out if I'd like one for my garden. She had extras as she was potting plants for her garden club's plant sale (27 June-Veteran's Plaza), and it would be no problem if I'd like to come on over and get one. I said sure! See a garden, uh uh, I'm there. Turns out Naomi does not live far from me so it was a quick trip.
I was astounded by the beauty and maturity of her garden. First of all, as I was getting out of my car I was greeted by three blue peacocks and one green one. They were the most iridescent ones I'd ever seen. Naomi said they were wild and she hoped they would move along to greener pastures soon. They sure were pretty.
While I knew what the peacocks were, I have no idea what this plant (pictured below) is supposed to be. Anyone recognize it? Naomi did not know what it is as she starts so many plants from seeds it is hard for her to remember them all. I am sure I should know this plant, but cannot think of it, so if you can help me out I'd sure appreciate it.
Naomi's garden is bordered by a small stream and is surrounded by fields and woods and wildlife. It was a veritable dream for someone who totally loves seclusion and country living. It was also the site of an old iron furnace. Did you know Tennessee's history is rich with iron smelting days of years past? There are remnants of furnaces all around this area. From the history I've learned, these furnaces were used to smelt the mined iron ore. The iron would then be shipped via boat down the Tennessee River. Here is a good picture of the old furnaces. What does this have to do with Naomi's garden? This waterfall and pond were made on the remnants of a iron furnace on Naomi's land. If you look closely along the waterfall, you can see the rock is cut in regular forms, it is part of an old furnace. Naomi made this waterfall by using concrete to form the wonderful waterfall down the furnace. The huge pond at the base of the furnace/waterfall is also made of concrete; which Naomi fashioned all on her own. The pond is filled with large koi.
This picture shows the top part of the waterfall. I hope the picture can truly show the uniqueness of the waterfall, but here I wanted you all to see the Verbascum thapsis, aka Mullein, that is surrounding the waterfall. How cool is that? Of course mullein grows wild. Naomi chose to leave it there. I think it is spectacular and adds to the stateliness of this very tall waterfall.
There were so many areas of Naomi's gardens that fascinated me. Her vegetable garden was most innovative. She has many contraptions that help to keep the wildlife at bay. I may post on one soon. She also grows a clematis at the base of her trees. I was excited to see that! But one of my most exciting finds was all of her Japanese maples. Most were of the weeping variety. Naomi likes weeping trees and I can't say as I blame her, they are splendid. Here is but one of about 1/2 a dozen mature Japanese maples. I am not sure of the cultivar but it is probably 'Crimson Queen' or maybe 'Garnet' or even 'Tamukeyama'. I could not believe the size of the trunk! it was a full 6 inches in diameter at least. The largest I had ever seen. She tells me this tree has been here only 12 years (she has lived in her home for 34 years). All of Naomi's Japanese maples were severely damaged in THE late freeze of 2007. In fact, Naomi thought she'd lost them all, but they have slowly come back to life. She simply cut out the damaged areas and left well enough alone. She was most lucky. Trees like this are nigh on impossible to replace.
I really liked this blue cornflower/yarrow combination. The amount of color in her yard was amazing, but what really floored me besides the Japanese maples, were the immense numbers of zebra swallowtails fluttering around. I have seen only one at my house in all the years I've lived here. While Naomi and I talked, there must've been three happily sipping nectar from some nearby flowers.
I was so honored Naomi thought of me-one of her neighbors. And I am happy to say my St. John's Wort is snuggled down in my garden, along with a nice white wild geranium Naomi also dug for me. I love them both and will think of my neighbor often.
in the garden....