Friday, April 2, 2010

Tennessee Yards Done Right and A 'River of Daffodils' in the Yard!

From In the Garden
The daffodils are such a joy in the garden. These bulbs reward the gardener with years of beauty and one can't help but to smile when you see all their sunny faces in the garden, or in this case, in my yard.

Speaking of yards, this post is really about the Tennessee Yards and Neighborhoods Program. This is a fairly new statewide program that is modeled after similar programs in Florida and North Carolina. The purpose of the program is to help Tennesseans learn how to have a yard that is in harmony with Tennessee’s native flora, soil and topography.

At it's heart are nine principles that will help make our yards more compatible with nature and better able to-ah how to put it-look good, be more functional, and reduce our water run off and poison use. I think we all want this in our yards and neighborhoods. The nine principles are as follows:

  • Right plant, right place
  • Manage soils and mulches
  • Appropriate turf grass management
  • Water efficiently
  • Use fertilizer appropriately
  • Manage yard pests
  • Reduce storm water runoff and its pollutants
  • Provide for wildlife
  • Protect water’s edge
Did you know the number one source of pollution in our streams and waterways is 'point of source' pollution? That is pollution coming from home use. It is the oil someone dumps down the drain, the sediment running off our properties, fertilizers leaching into our water table and running into our storm drains, and much more. While each of us contribute only a little bit the amount all together is staggering. This program helps to make us all aware of the problem and works with us to find better ways of reducing the pollution in storm water runoff from our yards to protect a precious resource we all need to live, that is water.

The University of Tennessee (UT) is working in conjunction with county extension agents and master gardeners to get the word out and to teach Tennessee residents how to work with their yards in a harmonious way that is beneficial to all. Karla Kean is our local extension agent and she has a workshop scheduled for Saturday, April 10, 2010 at the Civic Hall located at 350 Pageant Lane. The workshop begins at 8:30 and lasts until 3:30 pm. The cost is $35 per individual or $50 for couples. For that $35 you get several goodies, including a certificate for a soil test, a rain gauge and other helpful items for your yard in addition to learning how to do your yard right. The fee barely covers program costs. If you are interested in this workshop give Karla a call at (931)647-5725 or email her at: She needs to know how many to expect so she'll have the supplies available at the workshop but if you wish to show up that day, I think that will be fine too though the class is limited to only 25 persons so call a head to be sure to save your spot.

In the meantime enjoy my 'river' of 'Ice Follies' daffodils....

in the garden....and a yard done right.

P,S. I'll be teaching a class there about landscape design-think right plant-right place. Come on out and join the fun.

Everyone have a great Easter from all of us here at In the Garden!

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden


  1. Nice daffy's! And it sounds like a great program, good luck with the teaching.

  2. Tina that is my kind of river girl ! I am a nut for daffs and a planting like that is true eye candy girl !
    The program sounds perfect .. I think we have similar ones for Ontario gardeners too .. mother earth needs all the help she can get !

  3. Hello tina

    Your daffodils are so lovely! I have some daffodils in my backyard but not so many as you do. And I was also very impressed with the stunningly beautiful red camelia bloom!! What a gorgeous and elegant flower! Love it!! You'll be teaching a class!! I wish I would be your student!!

  4. I love your river of daffodils! Sounds like a great program -- I wish more people in NC followed those kind of guidelines.

  5. Great post Tina, good information. Our extension office also teaches good stewardship--- we have one earth and we all need to take care of it. It amazes me that state funding wanted to cut some extension offices-- makes me upset.

  6. Congrats on your class Tina! I love your river of daffodil. What an awesome program. I'm going to check out their webpage.

  7. Lovely daffies.

    Great information. I cringe at all of the chemicals in the garden centers right now. I put compost on my garden last fall and have very few weeds compared to the pathway and I went to work hand digging those out in March. Mostly all of my weeds right now are Johnny Jump-ups and there so cute when they bloom.

  8. Dawn, Thanks!

    Joy, Yes indeed!

    Sapphire, Thanks so much! I'd love for you to teach me about Japan as it sounds so elegant through your blog.

    Sweet Bay, Oh yes, it would make for a better world I think.

    Janet, It seems nothing is safe from cuts. I hope it doesn't come to pass but even Fort Campbell is cutting back. Gasp!

    Lzyjo, they may give the classes in your county. It is a worthwhile program so do check it out.

    Cameron, Homemade compost makes all the difference. I love johnny jump ups whereever they happen to show up-they just make you happy!

  9. Sounds like a good program!

  10. You have a river of daffodils--I have puddles:)

    Wonderful program but they should teach it in grade/high schools before the next generation begins to set bad habits. These kids are the ones who will be most effected by all the negative things homeowners are doing today.
    Still, its a start and that is positive.

  11. Good topic!
    Everyone in Colorado talks about Xeriscaping because of our semi-arrid climate.

  12. Love your river, Tina! I have a small stream:)

    Sounds like a great program Tennessee is starting. You know I've always envied all these workshops and programs you've mentioned here before, Tina, but now that I'm in the Master Gardeners class, I've found out we have so many similar opportunities here as well. Our local Extension Office is in danger of having some serious budget cuts because of our state economic crisis, which is a shame because it offers so much to the community.

  13. Dave, You may have heard of it thru your MG?

    Marnie, I agree totally! We must start young with teaching people the right way. Many younger folks don't remember the pollution in rivers and streams where the river was nothing but a mass of frothy foam. It has come a long way and will hopefully stay fairly clean in the future with education.

    Rosey, I couldn't even imagine living in a dry area. Colorado is most unique with its weather.

    Rose, The extension office if often underutilized. Such a shame considering all the good things they can help residents with in their homes and gardens. This is perhaps part of the funding problem. But also, states everywhere are having to cut back. The economy is so bad and it is a shame.

  14. Great show of the ever loved DD'S

    That sounds like a wonderful program and Marnie has a good idea, maybe we should all get out there and lobby for something like that. At the very least put a bug in officials ears. But then again, with all the cuts all around us and the officials in their ivory towers, they would probably just laugh at us and not see the end results.

  15. The river looks beautiful. Nice post - food for thought and I am amazed at how easily you jotted down the principles. They're simple yet important!
    Good luck with your lecture, Tina! Have fun.

  16. Love the daffodils! Sounds like a great program. Carla

  17. That program sure does sound like a great idea. I wonder if my state has anything like that, I'll have to check.
    I LOVE your daffodils! They look so pretty planted like that.

  18. This is a great post with good points for us all to remember. I love the daffodils!

  19. Tina -love your daffodils! And, Happy Easter -lots to do but it's all good:) Ciao

  20. Happy Easter all.
    Love you river. I only had a few to bloom. Will add more.
    Great program. Good luck with you lecture. Wish I could be there to listen.

  21. Love the river! Ice Follies is an especially lovely daf. Gail

  22. ps Have a sweet weekend. gail

  23. Beautiful daffs, Tina!
    We learned the hard way about how damaging polution can be - thru a leaking underground oil tank. Luckily I'd read about potential problems with them and purchased insurance before we bought the house. Of course it leaked in the ground and cost $10,000 to remove! The other thing I know we have to correct is our use of snow-melting salt. It's very bad for the environment and pets.

    Happy Spring & Easter xox

  24. Hi Tina, I love the river of daffodils, and am happy UT is promoting sustainable gardening. Happy Easter!

  25. Love those daffs! And good luck with your class, wish I could come, I'd sit up front and heckle ya! ;~)

  26. Beautiful river of daffs Tina. I wish I had that many. I guess I need to buy a zillion more! They are much more show-stopping in mass like this than alone, aren't they?
    Good luck with your class and great principles to follow.

  27. Awesome yards should adorn these beautiful flowers.... Very beautiful & glowing daffodils..... I love your space..& forever feel 'J'..... when I land here at your space...just this NET..... What would happen to me when I land at your REAL space.... I would be dumbstruck!!!!!

    Happy Celebrations!!!!


  28. You make me want to add more and more daffys every time I see this grouping of your fun yellow faces!