Sunday, August 23, 2009

In Nina's Garden

By Skeeter

I left my Georgia Garden for another week long visit with my family in Tennessee. This go round Tina and I were able to squeeze in a visit with Nina. Upon Meeting Nina on previous TN visits, I found out that Nina grew up in a house next to some of my mothers relatives! Amazing what a small world it is out there. My mother has been wanting to meet Nina ever since. It was my Mothers Birthday and I decided it would be a perfect day to take her on a Mother Daughter Day out in the country to visit with Nina and Tina.
Nina and her husband Gene, live on the most serene spot one can imagine! I could sure wake up to this view in my front yard every morning. So peaceful and relaxing.
As you drive up the driveway, you are greeted by this beautiful patch of color.
At first glance, I knew this would be my favorite garden within Nina's paradise.
So much color, full and lush just calling out to butterflies and bees to drop in.
Our eyes were captured by this Red and Gold beauty. Nina tells us this is one plant. Or is it two plants? Hum, this beauty is Helen's Flower or Helenium Autumnale, red-gold. You tell me, is it one plant or two plants? Quite impressive and all coming from the same root!
Nina has one of the Tipsy Pots that Lola inspired me to make this past summer. They are such a fun touch of whimsy in the Garden.
This Cypress Vine caught my eye with lots of activity from the Hummingbirds. Nina says this plant is very invasive but I must have one in my garden! I was enjoying all the Hummingbirds and it would go great close to the Saints Bald Cypress Tree! The camera focused on the foliage instead of the blooms but you can still see the star shape of the red blooms. Nina, I will be looking for those seeds as this is a must in my garden. :-)
Then I spotted my new favorite garden in Nina's yard. The gold fish pond! I have always wanted a pond but the Saint has not taken that bait as of yet. "Too much trouble to fight off the wildlife" and he is probably right. So for now I enjoy other ponds such as this one at Nina's house.
The goldfish are so happy swimming around and I was about ready to jump in the water with them as it had started to heat up by this time. Gotta love those Dog Days of Summer...
A blink of the eye and I had another favorite spot! Nina is not happy with this area of her yard. She says it needs work but I found it very inviting with being such a natural type spot to view.
Little touches such as the fallen pot spilling greenery make this a very interesting place in the garden. Nina, we are usually our own worse critic so don't fret about this spot. I found it wonderful.
The Cosmos were blooming to beat the band! Yet, another Southern Term out of my mouth.
See the tiny bee having a sip of nectar?
I then spotted this special planter in the garden. This lunch box belongs to Nina's father who carried this to work for many years. At this point of the Garden Tour, I stopped looking for a favorite spot. How could I chose just one with so much beauty surrounding me? Instead, a favorite memory of Nina's Gardens, found in the love and care with these little touches throughout.
What would normally be a blank wall on my house has become a cute work of art in Nina's Garden. I found this to be a great way to display a window and pan from the old house Nina once called home.
I forgot to ask if this wagon once belonged to Nina's children but for now, it holds plants and makes for another great focal point.
I don't have this plant but I think Tina and Nina called it Joe Pye Weed. It was in full bloom and the butterflies were having a feeding frenzy.
Here you see three of the flutterbugs busy at work.
My mom does not know too much about flowers but she enjoys viewing them. She says the flower bug skipped a generation with her. Her mother was an avid gardener and belonged to the Clarksville Garden Club. But one thing is for sure, my mom knows her Air Conditioners! She retired from Marketing at Trane Company and she was most impressed to see the newer model in Nina's Garden. Okay mom, that is not a flower so on with the Garden tour now....
I was in awe of the ivy growing up the tree trunk along with the ferns below. More little touches of whimsy with old candle holders used for color amongst the ferns.
I like the way Nina used old dishware to create a nice little statue to brighten up a spot. If only I had known of this while working 3 days at the Cats Are Us yard sale in June! They had lots of things for me to use to make one of these. Note to self: Keep Nina's dishware creations in the mind...
Ah, one of my favorite statues of all times. The little Savannah Girl made famous with the Book and Movie "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil" I did not care too much for the movie but the statue is adorable.
Hosta looking healthy and with so many woods around. I know there must be deer in those woods. How do you keep the deer away?
I was baffled by this bloom. Does anyone recognise it? I have seen Rose of Sharon before but never have I seen a Double Rose of Sharon.
The bushy tree looks like a Rose of Sharon for sure but the blooms are so not Rose of Sharon as I know them. I learn something new in every Garden I visit!
The silhouette of the bird was familiar to me. That is because Tina has posted on this spot before with a previous visit to Nina's Garden. This little bridge has been painted white since Tina's posting. It makes me want one ever so more now. Saint, are you listening here? Ah, Magnolia trees make a perfect front drop to the woodsy backdrop. I spotted signs of the Yellow Belly Sap Sucker (woodpeckers) on the trees. I hope they leave them alone as they can do massive damage.
A shady spot but still hot day as the humidity was starting to take its toll on us by now.
Beautiful planters on the walkway to the front door where air conditioning awaited us.
Nina was a great hostess and had us a wonderful lunch prepared. We sat and ate lunch (a simple Sandwich my foot) while gabbing up a storm. As usual, the time flew by and it was time for us to head on down the road. Thank you Nina for a wonderful time and we must get back out your way again some time when the weather is cooler for a longer visit outside in the garden.
And Thanks to Gene for letting us ladies take over the house for a few hours. We don't bite and with the next visit, I expect you to join in on the fun. We do talk about more then just flowers you know. Gene gets credit for the beautiful trim job of this evergreen! Gene, I have a hedge you can clip if you ever get to our neck of the woods...

We said our goodbyes and Tina took off to greet the Jimster from school. Nina gave us some backroad directions to the old homeplace so we took off in that direction.

A beautiful curvy drive through the woods and we were at the old Church where my grandmother and her family gathered for events and worship.

Mom and I spent a little time walking around visiting with the family members buried on the chuch grounds. I learned more family history and here you see my mothers Grandparents stone.

We drove up to the old homeplace spot and also past the creek that I would wade in as a child.

It is nice to slow down the fast pace of life and go down memory lane at times. We must never forget where we came from and to occasionally go back, stop and smell the wildflowers growing along the creek or roadside.

We sure enjoyed our stroll IN NINA'S GARDEN...


  1. I really enjoyed that lovely stroll through Nina's garden. A nice way to start the morning.


  2. Hello there Skeeter girl !
    That was such a beautiful place to visit : ) thank you for taking such great pictures and sharing with us !
    Red and Gold helenium is one plant .. I have had it in my garden too and it is very pretty.
    I would love to live in a place such as Nina .. heaven on earth just about .. all those wonderful touches are perfect !

  3. skeeter,
    that sure was a great trip into nina's gardens...serenity it right. that picture of your mom looking at the a/c is so funny that the flower loving gene skipped her and landed squarely on you. looks like you were able to enjoy a wonderful mother/daughter time away together.

  4. Wow, absolutely fantastic! I love, love, love your yard Nina. So many pretty and welcoming areas to look at --I am so glad Skeeter captured it on camera for us to enjoy.

    Have a great day everyone! Ciao

  5. What a nice visit --the garden was lovely, so many places to enjoy. I like the hostas under the big trees, it looks like a nice cool place to be on a hot day.
    The family church and cemetary are interesting to visit. Did you take lots of notes as your mom shared family history?

  6. Thanks for sharing your wonderful visit with us. Great ideas for next year, no? That double Rose of Sharon is commonly seen here in Ohio. I've never been tempted by one till I saw your photo, though. Gorgeous. The cypress vine isn't invasive here, and Joy Pye IS a butterfly magnet. It grows in the wild here and I'm always tempted to try and transplant some into my garden.

  7. Good Morning Everyone! The Saint is hooking up the boat so soon we are off to the lake....

    Flower lady, Glad you enjoyed the stroll this morning!

    Joy, You are so welcome! It was wonderful getting to see Nina's gardens after hearing about them through comments over the years. Nina does not comment much any more but I do remember her talking about certain things in the past. Was so much fun strolling around spotting the little touches and the two colored Helen's Flower was awesome to see!

    Marmee, It was indeed a great Day spent with my mother in Nina’s garden and revisiting our past. She looks at flowers and may water a plant or two in the house but that’s about it for her and plants. The flower bug defiantly skipped her bones. lol, she enjoys the things my dad plants in their yard so she does have beauty around her as well...

    Anonymous, Glad you enjoyed Nina's Gardens through my eyes! It is always so much fun to get to see someone's gardens after reading about them through others eyes. I had no idea her yard was so large and full of such beauties!

    Janet, The shade was cooler but with humidity in the air, there was really no escaping the heat. It was sticky that day. I knew most of my mom’s relatives as I went to Concord often as a child with my grandmother. We had those huge Southern Pot Luck get-together’s. The ones where everyone brought Tupper Ware and Corning Ware dishes filled with homemade delights! I snapped pictures of each stone of a Petty so I now have them on file. I did learn a new thing or two but only took mental notes. It was a nice visit with them all.

    JulenaJo, Thanks for stopping by this morning! I am glad you enjoyed the stroll in Nina's gardens. I have some ideas from the stroll but plan to adapt them next year. Too hot for me to work in the garden any longer this year. Get yourself one of those double Rose of Sharon's. They are beautiful for sure and you would enjoy having one. We have the JPWeed here also growing wild and I have thought of transplanting some as well as Golden Rod but so far, I have let it be in its preferred spots on the roadside. Maybe one day I will dig up some and give it a try in my garden...

    Everyone have a wonderful day!

  8. Good morning all! I am enjoying my break very much this weekend! Just dropping by to say hi. You did a fantastic job on Nina's beautiful garden! It sure was a fun day. I love the glass whimsy too-glad I can refer back to it! So great you and your mother got to travel around the area and share some memories. Everyone have a great day!!

  9. Nina has a beautiful yard and garden and pond! I could sit there all day, well, I'd have to move from seat to seat!
    Have fun on the lake, Skeeter.

  10. Wonderful post Skeeter - I enjoyed every minute of it! Nina has a beautiful place - I could wake up to that every morning too.
    Skeeter I say "to beat the band" and didn't know it was a southern term. But I probably picked it up from my Mother who is originally from Arkansas. I still have many relatives there and in Alabama.
    Funny about the double Rose of Sharon. I showed mine the other day and Catherine said she had never seen a double either. I just bought it somewhere years ago and didn't have a clue that the singles were more common.
    Anyway great tour and fantastic pictures.

  11. What a beautiful property, and they've done so many nice things with it!

  12. What a beautiful garden. I love the combination of neatness and cottage style. It's so pastoral.

  13. What a beautiful garden Nina has ~ so many wonderful ideas to learn from it too. I also love that dish creation!

  14. She has quite the garden, so many little areas to enjoy. I can't believe the butterflies on one plant at one time. I love her pond, I'm always drawn to them too.

  15. Good morning to all. I have been wondering if we were going to hear about Nina's flowers with your visit to it. Thanks for giving us a great post.

    Nina, we know your father was a farmer but was your mother also a great gardener?

    If I had to predict ahead of time I would have said that I bet Nina's yard and gradens was a showplace and I was right. It is magnificencely gorgeous. She has done a great job of blending it all together. I love all of it and can't pick a favorite but the pond and the glass are up on the top. Those fish are so bright, they must really be happy. Just awesome yard.

    Skeeter I also must say that "to beat the band" is also used all the time up here in the far northeast!!

    I can relate to your mother....I do love flowers and I also do like to garden some but I am not good at it. It skipped from my mother to Tina and Dawn and also left out my other 2 daaughters.

  16. Fantastic post on Nina's garden. It is a show stopper. I loved every nook & cranny of it through your eyes, Skeeter. A lot of hard work has gone into this lovely sanctuary.
    I don't think I could pick a favorite spot but I sure would like to try as I sat on each bench.
    Thanks, Nina.
    I hope all are having a lovely day.

  17. Hi, thanks for charing Ninas garden with us. What a great place to live in / gittan

  18. Thanks to each of you for your great comments!

    We had a lovely visit. It was especially nice to finally meet Skeeter's Mom. We must get together again soon.

    Jean, My Dad did most of the Vegetable gardening, my Mom did the canning and freezing. Flowers in the yard were not so important a few 4 o'clocks, touch me nots and zinnia's were about it!

    Tina thanks for all the input you have given me, you have been an inspiration!

    I don't plan to expand any gardens, just concentrate on maintaining the one's I have. At some point "age" comes into play!

    Skeeter, what great photography! You made things look great!

    I must run and visit with my Dad, for those of you who have kept up with him, he is doing o.k. Still very alert and sharp! Still very independent. If it be God's will he will celebrate his 101st birthday in October. Nina

  19. I especially like the spilling pottery idea. All of the gardens are beautiful.

  20. Marvelous post! Loved all the flowers. The Petty headstone caught my eye and I emailed Eddie Hunter about it. Eddie has 35 years of Genealogy behind him, and has 26 separate posts on his blog about the Petty family. You might find some kin there.

    Eddie's Blog, Chicken Fat

    Eddie has other interests, so you'll have to scroll down a couple of posts to get to the lastest Pettys. He knows that I am writing this. If you are interested, or find common ancestors, please let him know.

  21. Thank you for a pleasant visit to Nina's garden. It was delightful. Like you there were several spots I could call favorites! Please let me know when you come to within shouting distance of Nashville...seriously! gail

  22. Sorry for the forgotten "Thanks" for the link. Memory has taken a vacation of late. lol

  23. Tina, It was a wonderful day but so quick as usual. We must plan a day with breakfast and lunch then maybe we can get all caught up on the chit chat, Ya think? Probably not...

    Dawn, This is my type of garden. Lots of points of interest to keep one moving along from bench to bench! Wish you could have been there with us as there were so many fun things to see and chat about…

    Raingardener, I just found out today that My Mother in Law has a double Rose of Sharon! It has never been in bloom when I was in VA though so never knew it was a double! I think a lot of "sayings" travel the nation and no longer are considered Southern Terms but since I have heard that one all my life, I assumed a Southern Term. lol...

    Sweet bay, I only showed a little of it as there is more for me to see on a cooler day sometime in the future…

    Lzyjo, You have summed up Nina's Gardens well. With the rolling green grass in the front yard and that beautiful white fence, just wonderful...

    Kathleen, I am sure a lot of readers today will keep that dish creation in mind for a future craft. I know I will...

    Catherine, You dont know how badly I wanted to stick my feet into that pond as it looked so inviting! I decided the fish did not deserve hot stinky feet so I opt out :)

    Jean, you would have enjoyed the day with us. Cant help but think of the missing "original Seven" when any of us are together, Sigh, maybe one day we can all meet up somewhere. I think those Southern Sayings are pretty much no longer just Southern. So many people move North to South, South to North, East to West and West to East thus the sayings seem to follow. When I write a Blog, I post the pictures first then add the words. I add the words as if I were talking to someone and at times a funny saying pops out of me. I keep them in as I think they are a part of us all at some point and a bit fun. hee hee. Isn’t it funny how the garden bug skips a generation or a few of the siblings. All 3 of my brothers have plants and or veggies in their yards. I think we learned a lot about gardens by us sharing one with the neighbors in the old house I grew up in. We kids used the veggie garden as our battle field when playing Cowboy and Indians, Cops and Robbers, Cabin builders, etc. One learns a lot by observation and we did a lot of observing in that garden as children...

    Lola, We did indeed have a lovely day! I hope you did as well. As usual, it went by way too quickly. But another will be here before we know it! Nina and Jean have done a lot of work in their yard and it really is a glorious spot to call home. So quiet and peaceful in their surroundings. Wish you too could have been there as you would have enjoyed the day right along with us, gabbing and all. Glad I could share it with you through the blog!

    Gittan, It is a beautiful paradise and full of life all around!

    Kathrin, I wish you all could see Nina's beautiful gardens with your own eyes. Just beautiful indeed...

  24. Nina, Thank you again for letting us share your garden with the blogging world! You and Jean Truly are surrounded by a paradise that you have created! I like your motto of just maintaining what you have. I have an issue with adding more and more each year then struggle to keep it alive in the heat of the summer. I should just maintain what I have but then the warm temps start to arrive in the spring, I cannot help myself after the boring cold winter. Have you heard of the program on Ft Campbell of being an honorary Screaming Eagle when one turns 101? You may want to check into it. I dont know if it only applies to local people or any Tennessean but would be a nice thing to help celebrate your dads 101 birthday.

    Tina, do you know about that 101 program?

    Misty, Wasn’t that a wonderful idea? I thought that was cleaver as well...

    NellJean, thanks for the tip on the Petty Family, I will check out the link when I get a chance. Who knows, we may be related!

    Gail, I was shouting distance as I went to a Titans game the day before I returned back to GA. I was with a group of people though and rode up with them and did not know what to expect. As it turns out, it was a preseason game and you could have walked right up to where we were tailgating! I did not know the set up or could have had you stop by for some great foods and chit chat. It was my first NFL game in person and it was awesome! I only wished someone would have warned me about the fireworks with each touchdown! Yikes, I jumped out of my skin. On second thought, glad you did not hook up with us that day, I was one sticky, stinky girl from the humidity that day! Ick, you would have smelled the garlic from my skin. lol, Thank goodness for bottle water and ice chests! I will get to your place at some point. I wish I could have stayed a few more days as Tina met up with you but I just could not leave my hubby any longer. The house was falling apart without me... Men.... Argggg...

    Lola, my memory takes lots of vacations it seems :-)

  25. Thank you for taking us on a tour of this beautiful garden. I am sure it kept you busy for quite awhile.


  26. Jake, if only it were not so humid that day, I would have spent more time strolling around. So much to see in every direction I looked...

  27. Thanks for showing us around Nina's garden. I enjoyed the tour.

  28. Hi Skeeter, thank you for the tour of Nina's garden - it's lovely! Sounds like you had a great time there, and it must have been wondeerful revisiting familiar childhood haunts and family memories.

  29. Sue, I am glad you enjoyed the tour with us. It was a wonderful day for sure....

    Garden Girl, you are so welcome! It was a treat to see Nina's gardens. And yes, going back to ones childhood days in the country is awesome. Those memories will never leave my brain from the chicken coop to the scary outhouse, all great memories!

  30. Wow, so many pretty flowers and other interesting things. I love the cypress vine.

  31. Dot, I hope to get some seeds from Nina so I too can have one of those hummingbird attracters!