Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Garden Tour Post


Are you up for another garden tour? Tis the season for garden tours in my part of Tennessee and I've been having a ball! Sometimes, being an avid gardener with gardening friends, the best garden tours are not on the tour route. This garden is a private garden in the same neighborhood as one of my friends (thanks Helga for the tour). And wow, I must've taken 50 pictures but have chosen a select few for your pleasure today.
This garden is a designer's garden. The gardener (Angie) does NOT have a collectors garden-her garden is what I would call a designed garden. She designs about the best I've seen anywhere. Her plant choices meet no criteria other than they look good and she likes them. This garden goes non-stop all year and I look forward to heading back and seeing her daylilies. Angie divides, masses, and knows what she likes and is not one to jump on gardening trends-you know them-buy this hot plant or garden this way. Angie has no part of trends and gardens to please herself in an artfully designed manner. I'll try to explain what I mean.
This garden has a limited palette of plants-as compared to a collector's garden-like mine. Angie must have hundreds of cultivars of irises and daylilies, yet her plant palette is fairly limited to choice perennials that include not only irises and dayliliies, but peonies (probably over 100 of the SAME cultivar, veronica, poppies, crinums, roses, and topiaried junipers and other evergreens.
The concrete paths in the garden were all laid by Angie's husband. He is the muscle while she designs. Together they are quite a duo and have been married over 38 years.
Just look at the color! Can you see all the spent irises and peonies? We'll get to them soon.
Angie's house sits at the end of a cul-de-sac. Can you imagine having a neighbor who gardens like this? I should be so lucky to have a neighbor like this!
At first glance you would think the topiaries are the main draw but no, they are the framework and serve to add interest to a fantastic garden with lots of great bones, whimsy, and beauty.
The mulch is rock mulch with landscape fabric under the rocks. I just cannot imagine gardening like this but the more gardens I see with this beauty and rock mulch the more I become a believer. This is a pathway right in front of Angie's beautiful home. Note the squirrel on the log in the distance? The surprising whimsy was a treat and totally unexpected.
This picture does the greatest job of showing all the peonies. I'm told by Helga these are all the single pink Japanese style peonies. Wowser!!! Angie divides-a lot. She has lived in her home over twenty years so her garden is a mature garden.
Now we shall move to the backyard-yes-all of that was just in the frontyard! Rounding the corner we run into a beautifully managed vegetable garden. Everything was dress right dress and there wasn't a weed in sight. By the way, did I tell you this was not a planned tour? Naomi, Helga, and myself went out for a bit of plant shopping and upon returning to Helga's home we decided to stop by Angie's house since she and Helga are neighbors. I have posted about Helga's Garden and my friend Naomi's Garden in the past. Just check the links.
One of several pathways in the backyard. There wasn't a blade of grass behind the house.
Here we are moving toward the end of the cul-de-sac area. Due to the odd shaped lots in a cul-de-sac Angie's property is quite large on the side of the house. She has an extensive lawn area bordered by gardens filled with more topiary, perennials, and vegetables such as sweet potatoes.


I leave you with one more picture. Helga had been telling me about all the irises in the 'iris field' at Angie's but I was skeptical. Until now. I will make plans to go and see these irises in bloom next spring! Remember, this is one person and a private gardener at that. Angie is not part of any gardening circles though she has many gardening friends. Can you imagine? At the beginning of this post I said this was not a collector's garden-I stand by that comment. That being said however I would say Angie is a collector just based on the sheer number of irises (about 252 cultivars) that Angie grows in her garden. There is a difference between a collector's garden and a designer's garden but a designer can still be a collector. Here Angie's collection is all grouped together so she can enjoy the blooms in one spot. Can you just imagine the sight of this iris field in bloom.....

in the garden....

I know most of you realize what that prominent peachy/pink dahlia looking flower is that is displayed in these gardens but in case you don't, it is a peony poppy. They make for quite a show. 

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. I think I'm going to rant this morning Tina. Feel free to delete if..... I do love your garden tours. Perhaps living in the middle of corn, soybean and hog country I thirst for the opportunity for tours. The farm folk here don't have much time for other than a few aimless plants and lots of grass to mow. That is a very popular activity. Here nature is to be conquered not beautified.
    As to this particular tour topiary always rubs me the wrong way. Its too artificial and European snobby. Ok not I feel better. Sorry :)

  2. It's a beautiful garden, I love all the whimsy & pops of color. Thanks for the tour today Tina. Would of loved seeing that Iris field when it was in full bloom! :)

  3. It appears we might need to follow her trend as she is right on spot with her designs in her gardens. I so want to know the proper name of the poppies in the first photo. I just bet those irises in bloom would blow your socks off. And the topiaries, wowzer!!

  4. That is a beautiful garden. She grows what she wants and it looks great. That iris field is amazing! Lucky you to get a tour.

  5. Wow, What a garden! I had smiles with every picture. And to think of a garden with no weeds, oh my where is the landscaped cloth and rocks in my shed??? LOL, I am so impressed and would love to see this garden with the iris and peony in full bloom. Must be awesome. I would feel like I had won the lottery if I had this house on my street! I have a stump waiting for a place and something on its top. Me think I may borrow that squirrel idea….

  6. Thanks for identifying the gorgeous poppy, Tina--I knew it was a poppy, but not what kind. What an amazing garden! I hope you get a chance to go back when the irises are in bloom next year and can post a photo--what a show this must be! I'm not a rock mulch person, either, but I do love all her stone paths. Alas, I think I'm too much of a plant collector to ever have drifts of anything:)

  7. Troutbirder, I value all opinions so no deletion here. My mantra has always been gardens are all different and are a reflection of the gardener-and there is beauty in all. Your garden style happens to be naturalistic, a fabulous style but not like this designed garden that is also most beautiful-to me.

    Racquel, I'm going to try to see those irises next spring. I need to go see her daylilies soon as they are what is shining now.

    Darla, I think they are peony poppies? Don't you have some of the same? They are sure eye popping.

    GOSS, I consider myself so very lucky every day and seeing gardens sure helps.

    Skeeter, Come up here next spring and we'll go on a tour! She'd be a great neighbor indeed.

    Rose, I'm a plant collector too. Sigh. You can really see the difference between a designed garden and plant collector's garden but ultimately the garden has to please us-the gardeners!

  8. How very beautiful! Thanks for the tour as there aren't any garden tours in my area.

  9. Lovely lovely lovely garden. I got so excited looking at poppies. Simply love them very much. Counting the days to wait for their bloom in our garden. Thank you for taking us along;-).

  10. Wowser is right!! It is all a big wowser but I just love the way all the topiarys just seem to flow like a beautiful ocean wave. She must spend a lot of time trimming them all.

  11. Abe, Thanks!

    Alexis, Bummer on no garden tours.

    MKG, Those poppies really shine.

    Mom, She is in her garden all day long as long as there is light. It is not a low maintenance garden at all.

  12. The iris field must have been am amazing sight in bloom!! I love those frilly warm pink poppies.

  13. Hi Tina, I agree that it would be wonderful to see al those irises in bloom! Angie has a beautiful garden. I especially like her red poppies. I don't have any annual poppies this year and I miss them. I'll have to add some for next year. Have a great weekend!

  14. WOW, what an exquisite garden. Love the way it looks, but I am the natural kind. I really don't like the gravel mulch. I think down here it would tend to make things hotter. Besides I couldn't play in the soil. lol

  15. What an amazing place. The topiary really are unusually - and I think your description is a good one-"framework, bones, whimsy, beauty".

    I enjoy seeing all types of gardens and usually pick up an idea or two to incorporate into a bed of my own.

    Yes! The iris field will be worth returning for! Be sure to take your camera!

  16. What a great garden! I used to have some of those peony poppies, loved them!!
    I am like you, a plant collector. So hard to be a design gardener....I like too many plants!

  17. Have to admit...I'm getting ideas from her garden. So many topiaries and they work well. Her design with all the pathways is very inviting. Shoot, I thought I was finished with garden plans now you've given me more plans for the near future.ha

  18. I have only seen those types of topiaries flanking doorways. But I LOVE the way she is using them - as a backdrop, almost like a hedge, but lighter. Love it! Gosh, where I could I do this in my garden? :) I hope you go back when the irises are in bloom and show us a pic. It has to be stunning!

  19. thanks for this most fascinating post Tina. I think I am a designer more than a collector. I found this garden original and different to any I had ever seen. The topiaries are wonderful, and I look forward to seeing the irises in bloom.

  20. Tina, here I go again obsessing about mulch and rocks and landscape fabric. Talk to me about the weed factor, and does your friend fertilize these plants? I apologize for being so annoying. :-)

  21. I bet those irises were impressive when in bloom! I like the concrete paths, I've thought about trying that mold system before so it's good to see how theirs turned out. Peonies look great too!

  22. I thoroughly enjoyed that tour. Her poppies are just so pretty! And all those tidy little paths. A great garden to share.

  23. Tina--that garden is gorgeous! Thanks for taking us on a tour! (and yes, I thought I was seeing dahalias!) :)

  24. What a pretty place! Yes! I would want a neighbor like her!

  25. I am a collector that has learned how to design with her collections...what a fab tour..I loved it and would die to see the irises in bloom ..oh my...

  26. Her garden is lovely. Thanks for sharing such great pictures, Tina. Carla

  27. You have to admire a gardener who knows what she likes and sticks to it. I see her vision thru your photos and all the work that has been put in to make it come to life. I have a few of those same peony poppies blooming here right now but of course, not nearly as many as her!
    I wish I had another gardener living on my cul de sac ~ everywhere I've lived, I've been the only gardener. Maybe someday...
    Glad you are enjoying the tours. I love them too.