Sunday, August 2, 2009

Virginia Beauty

By Skeeter

The Saint and I left our Georgia Garden for a few days in Virginia over the 4th of July. One stop we made along the way, was in North Carolina for lunch.

We took a special route in order to try out the Barbecue that Cameron, of Defining your home garden talked about on her blog a while back. If you would like to see that BBQ Blog Click HERE. I wish you could smell the scent coming from the smokers as it was awesome to our hungry bellies. The chopped and sliced BBQ were yummy but we were both disappointed with no chicken or ribs on the menu. Cameron, it was worth the visit and thanks for sharing this BBQ tip with us.

The Saints mother is a wonderful gardener and has taught me much about plants in the 23 years I have known her. We arrived to two beautiful pots full of pretties by the garage door. What a welcome mat indeed to two tired travelers.
The Front door had another pot to greet us.
Here is a beautiful shade bed of hosta in the front yard as well as a great spot for a bird to take a bath.
Ah, Look out birdies, Missy may be looking for a snack! She is a good Vole catcher.
On the deck sits this interesting pot of flowers. The tropical looking palm tree is a Spike Plant that is over wintered each year in the house. I love the way it has been trimmed up each year and how it looks like a tree!
This Mandevilla was a gift to Mom B by the Saints sister. What a beautiful plant and full of blooms trailing over the deck.
I could hardly keep my eyes off it when I was on the deck.
Ah, look up to the sun pretty Shasta Daisy.
Not sure of this name but interesting bloom don't ya think?
Oak leaf Hydrangea, I do believe. Such a beautiful bloom on the hydrangea.
Here is where I discovered Butterfly Bush. In Mom B's back yard! I just love it and am so happy she planted it as now I have a Butterfly Bush Island in my yard. Thanks for showing me this plant Mom B!
Queen Annes Lace was in bloom all over Virginia and in Mom B's yard as well. For years I have called this Milkweed but now know it is Queen Annes Lace! I also found out that my Butterfly Weed is a type of Milkweed, after posting on it last week. I noticed where many had mentioned the word Milkweed when I never mentioned it. I googled Milkweed to find out my Butterfly Weed is indeed one of many in the Milkweed family! Queen Annes Lace is also Wild Carrot! Ha, learn something new every day!
I was so envious of the yellow Gladiola as the few I had bloom had black spots on them as if molded.
Look closely in the above picture to see a Japanese Maple tree. Mom B said it came up voluntary as she did not plant it. She thanks the birds for the gift. I love the natural look of this garden.
The Lilies were in full bloom and so pretty while in Virginia. It is so much fun to travel to a different zone to see what is blooming that has already past in our zone. Kind of like extending the season for me.
A Mum popping open.
Liatris or Gay Feather and Lily by the lake front.
A round planter by the lake front. Close-up of the Shasta Daisy in the round planter.
I did not catch the name of this purple beauty in the round planter but it sure is interesting.
Spirea bush below the deck.
Close-up of the Spirea bloom.
Oh no, Say it is not a Japanese Beetle on the Lily! Don't worry, this one will do no more harm. I took care of him...
The planter with the Spirea continues around the corner to this Hydrangea that I showed you last week. It has lots of pretty things to keep it company. Don't you just love that rock wall that Mom and Dad B built?
Creeping Jenny keeps the set stone in place to make for a beautiful walkway to the boat. Mom and Dad B worked really hard to get those in place. See that Mandevilla peeking through the deck rails?

This is only a sample of the yard that the Saints Mother has created since moving into this house back in the year 2000. When they moved to this house, she said she was going to retire and not do much yard work. And with the yard being full of Red Clay, well, that would make sure of little gardening. Ha, I had to laugh at her as I knew she would not be able to keep out of the dirt. The yard is full and I do mean full of Red Clay and we have no idea how she was able to transform it to this beautiful setting.

Tomorrow, we will get on the boat and see what kind of VIRGINIA BEAUTY, we can spot, On the Lake...


  1. Skeeter, your Mother in law has created lovely gardens throughout the yard. She really likes to spend time in the garden and it pays off.
    The orange and yellow flower looks like a Gaillardia and the purple/lavender one looks like a Bee Balm, Monarda.

  2. Hi Skeeter, your M.i.l is very artistic. I love the pots near the garage door and the front door. Those little details like the bird/dry decoration are lovely! And the garden is such a delight! Enjoyed all the views...the blooms are gorgeous! I've seen yellow mandevilla only (only on the net)! Thank you for sharing such beauty!

  3. It's beautiful Skeeter! I am especially impressed with all that creeping Jenny on the walkway. It makes for a welcoming and bright walk. I agree with Janet on the gallardia and bee balm. I think the white flower may be a mum. Your MIL has a great deal of variety. Hey, retiring is the best time to take up gardening-helps keep you young, work or not:)

  4. Forgot to say I think that is SO awesome you stopped by that barbeque spot Cameron posted about. I enjoyed that post but would love the barbeque even more I think.

  5. Skeeter -- I wish you had told me you were driving through and stopping in Lexington! We would have driven over there if possible that day! :-)

    That's a hot gaillardia at your MIL's house. Wonderful! I am really loving gaillardias and keep extending the selections. Is that Tokajer? Not sure as there are so many these days.

    For a "more domesticated" Queen Anne's lace, you can get ammi majus (lace flower) that isn't related to the wild carrots. I love to see the QA this time of year.


  6. Good Morning everyone! A cloudy dreary looking Sunday for us so a good day to relax inside in the cool Air Conditioning today! We did a lot of sweating in the yard yesterday so today we relax...

    Janet, I do believe you are correct with the Gaillardia and Bee Balm. Now that I hear those words, I do recall MIL mentioning them to me as we strolled along. They are beauties and I must remember them in the future. I planted Bee Balm once but it did not bloom so I need to give it a try again...

    Kanak, Yes, MIL is very creative indeed! She does little things that no one else thinks of to make her pots a bit different. I like the way she added the tree branches to the pots. Something so simple makes a big impact. I tell you, that Mandevilla kept my eyes busy while on the porch or even looking out the window of the house! It took over my lake views as I was captured by its beauty...

    I do think I mis-spoke on the Mum being a Carnation Tina. My oops for sure as I know what a Mum looks like. lol. I had a Senior Moment and I am not even a senior by far. Oh gee, they say the mind is the first thing to go but as I was saying on Dawns Blog recently, I think it is the eye sight to go first. hee hee. I will go in and correct that one. Thanks for the heads up! The Creeping Jenny is now taking off nicely. MIL planted tiny sprigs of it all along the walkway and it took lots of time as it was all clay. Urg, dont know how she has done what she has with a yard full of Clay dirt. The Saint and I enjoy trying different types of BBQ so when Cameron posted on this place in NC, I kept it on file as I was thinking that we drove near Lexington one time on our many different routes to VA. BBQ is so different everywhere we eat it and fun to try but I still prefer the Middle Tennessee Chopped BBQ the best!

  7. I have been living in NC for several winters now and still havent had the famous bbq. I will make sure i do this winter.

  8. Cameron, Cameron, We were not sure if we were going to make it to Lexington BBQ as we did not know how far off the interstate it was located. We Map Quest it and the directions were a bit goofy and we had a difficult time finding the place. We almost gave up and then as we turned around to go back, we ran across it! Plus we had no idea what time we would make it there with traveling such a long distance so did not want to bother you and then be late or not find the place. We did not want you to wait on us for any length of time. We made it there at high noon on Friday and were thinking oh boy, not going to happen as the line was out the door! But we noticed the line was moving quickly so we stayed. It only took us about 10 minutes waiting so not bad at all with how many people were there. I looked up Tokajer and dont think it is that same bloom. I have never heard of Lace Flower before, Hum. Queen Annes Lace is everywhere in Virginia and so pretty!

    Flowrgirl, Oh you must get to Lexington BBQ as it is yummy! Their hush-puppy’s are so awesome as well as the BBQ! Funny how a little thing such as a hushpuppy can make us happy. hee hee...

  9. They have done a lot of work in 9 years and it has paid off with a lovely landscaped place to give them much pleasure.

    Oh how I love hush puppies, with onions if you please!!!! They are not a northern food but I still make them once in a while, maybe today after thinking of them. I did not like it at all when I lived in the south except for the food. Southerns do know how to eat well but I must also say I did miss my seafood. I was so hungry for lobster one time that I went to this out of the way place cause it was the only place I could find lobster and I got a lobster roll for very pretty price and took one bite and threw it out. Nowadays one can buy anything, anyplace but back in the early 60's times were different. Funny how the mention of one little thing can bring back a flood of memories. aThanks for that on this otherwise dark and dreay day in Maine, but then again I guess that is normal for this summer.

  10. I, too love the creeping jenny, but I like the matting kinds.
    Your mil has a beautiful yard and so lucky to have a lake at the back door!
    You all have made me hungry....

  11. Skeeter,

    I stumbled into Lexington BBQ 12 years ago or so. It still is the best BBQ I have eaten. Great choice Cameron! Don't tell Cameron but the Barbecue Joint in Chapel Hill has some really great food and the barbecue is pretty good too. Now I do have to say that no where in Virginia have I ever had even close to decent BBQ like our NC BBQ. Lovely pots by the garage!

  12. I am sorry you did not get your chicken or ribs in Lexington, but no self respecting BBQ joint in NC would have those on the menu, it's all pork, all the time. Even though NC is the home of great BBQ, you can get good Q in Va, inspite of what Randy said. If you are ever in Williamsburg, search out Pierce's.

  13. Your mother-in-law has a beautiful garden! It's always nice to have a gardening mentor in the family, not to mention the possibility of some free passalong plants:)

    I don't know the names of a lot of plants, either, Skeeter, but living on a farm I learned the names of many weeds very quickly. Queen Anne's Lace was one "weed" I always loved, and that name seems much more appropriate for such a delicate flower, don't you think? The common milkweed is one weed we always had to cut out of the soybeans. I grow butterfly weed here and wouldn't dare call it "milkweed"--my husband would pull it out:)

  14. We could get into barbecue wars if the Texans show up! I guess no folks from Memphis, TN on here?


    PS Randy -- oh yes, I've been to the BBQ Joint on Weaver Dairy Rd many times. But, I live just 10 minutes from Allen & Son -- the one near Pittsboro that is the same as the one on Hwy 86 near Hillsborough.

  15. She does have a beautiful garden! I love the branches she's used in her containers, what a great idea I just might have to copy :)

  16. Skeeter, your MiL has a gorgeous yard with lovely gardens. I like also the branches she's used. I also like the Creeping Jenny but for some reason I have trouble growing it.
    Not many places around here for BBQ except Sonny's. I'm not too crazy about the vinegar type sauce.
    I have a friend that makes his own & it good. Gd won't eat any other kind. She's hooked.
    Looks like we may get more rain.

  17. Jean, I am sorry that you and Dawn are having such a cool and dreary summer. Hopefully, you will have some sunny warmer days before fall sets in but I know that fall is just around the corner for you. That is an advantage of living in the south as well as the good foods! We have long warm seasons. We had great seafood while living in Louisiana but not here. Strange that we are only 2 and half hours drive from the ocean but we dont get really good seafood here. Red Lobster is a joke but most people we know, like it. But nothing like the fresh stuff at the beach!

    Dawn, did you make fresh hushpuppies for lunch today? hee hee. The Creeping Jenny is growing real fast and I do like the look of it. It is very durable as well as they step on it at times with no damage...

    Randy, Shsss, I will not tell Cameron but I bet you just did! lol. The only BBQ we have found in Virginia is a chain called "Red Hot and Blue" or something like that. They are okay if you have not had BBQ in a long time! We have eaten some good BBQ in Virginia but the Saint cooked it in his parent’s back yard! :-)

    Les, I have heard that NC places dont have chicken and ribs. Being from TN and TX I guess we expect all places that sell BBQ to have one or the other. It looks like we have started a BBQ debate here today LOL I thought that maybe you were going to say the good BBQ in Virginia was located in your backyard! :-) I will keep Pierce's in mind for our next Williamsburg visit...

    Rose, MIL is great with her knowledge on plants and has been a wonderful mentor where gardening is concerned. She and my dad are my two biggest living idols of blooms! We pass along plants to each other as well. That is too funny about the butterfly plant and your hubby. I was telling the Saint about the butterfly weed being in the milkweed family and I think it just kind of went into one ear and out the other, But bless his little heart, he acted interested when I was telling him about it...

    Cameron, How funny, I am reading and responding in order and here you talk about Tennesseans and Texans and we are both! I am from Middle Tennessee and dont really care for the Memphis BBQ! Middle has it like no where else in TN. And the Saint is from Texas where they slop sauce on BBQ at some places! Even the BBQ out in Colorado is different. Everyone has their own style and way of smoking or grilling it. We prefer smoking over wood. Saint prefers Mesquite while I like Hickory or Oak. Okay Cameron, I am jotting down those names as well. We now have a GPS so hopefully, it will get us there if we are in that area!

    Catherine, MIL is a giving person so she would love for you to copy her branch idea! I think they are great as well and need to add branches to my few pots that I have but so hot down here, I dont have many pots as they require daily watering. Hum, the ones on the front porch last longer though...

    Lola, we finally had some greatly needed rain falls the past few days. We still can use some more but with the humidity in the air, now things are turning that green mossy, mildew color. We will need to pressure wash the patio again soon. We have eaten at Sonny's once as it is a chain and easily found. It was okay but we only ate there once. I like brisket and it is hard to find on a menu around here. It was everywhere in Texas. We found it on the menu at the chain “Famous Dave’s” and I order it every time we go there which is not often but a few times a year for sure as the Saint has not quit concurred smoking a brisket yet...

  18. Did you pick the sour or sweet BBQ in NC? I missed the Texas sweet and tangy BBQ.

  19. Lovely gardens --very inviting. Would make a great adventure area for my boys:0) The proximity to water would be that added bonus for frogs and fish, hehehe. Hubby loves his TN BBQ -pulled pork -mostly shredded. A great day here -boys have finally weed trimmed, yeah!!! Hope everyone has a super week!!! Ciao

  20. I think that is the healthiest most beautifully grown Mandevilla I have ever seen.

  21. Vuejardin, It was moist and wonderful to our taste buds. We miss the BBQ in Texas also even though I am not too crazy about all that sauce. We loved the Brisket the best and can hardly find it around here...

    Anonymous, your kiddoes would love the lake living indeed! They live in a quiet cove so lots of critters to enjoy verses being on the open water with lots of boat traffic. I love my TN chopped pork also! I have been known to bring back 7 pounds at a time and freeze it for future use! Now I get home more often so no longer bring it back to GA with me. Gives me a reason to get to TN more often. hee hee...

    Mother Nature, It was awesome to the eyes. I was captivated by its beauty and so full of blooms. I could hardly look at the lake view for taking in the Mandevilla…