Monday, April 30, 2012

Zephirine Droughn Rose

Longtime readers of this blog will know roses struggle to grow in Tiger Gardens. This is in mostly due to the great deal of shade found here in Tiger Gardens. As a rule I don't add new roses to the gardens simply because I know that most roses don't do well. There are some exceptions such as 'The Fairy', a David Austin rose 'Falstaff' and a couple of unknown floribunda roses that somehow manage to survive here in the shade and still look good. When I was perusing garden catalogs last year it was with great interest I found a thornless, shade tolerant climbing rose. The price was right so I ordered it. Jung's shipped me my rose just in time for planting last spring and in the ground it went. The rose is called 'Zephirine Droughn' and it was listed as being fragrant. Bonus!
 I planted the rose right by the gate leading to the backyard. There is a metal arbor over the gate and I currently had clematis growing on the arbor. The clematis are still there but even though clematis are pretty in bloom and have pretty seed heads their presence is not at all that substantial. I wanted a rose to grow over the arbor and felt the Zephirine would be a good fit. 

All summer long last year that little rose grew and grew and was hardly ever watered. The Zephirine kept its foliage all winter and looked so good once things warmed up a bit that I was beginning to get most excited about blooms. Right on time the blooms came and are pleasing me so much that I am wondering what took me so long to buy this rose? It has actually more than quadrupled in size in the one year it has been growing here and is putting out so much new growth and blooms that I have been able to guide the rose not only over the arbor but along the top of the chain link fence. And about that fragrance, does anyone remember Avon's rose cream from the 1970s? It is the exact same smell as that; which is of course a true rose scent. I can hardly walk by the pretty pink blooms without sniffing the flowers.

Another rose that works well here in Tiger Gardens is an unknown. It is a fairly common rose because I see it in many front yards around town. This rose has no discernible scent but what a nice dark color it has. I have trained mine to grow on a split rail fence and for about two glorious weeks in the spring it really shines despite not receiving much sun....

in the garden....

Any favorite roses you'd like to share?
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Friday, April 27, 2012

Angie's Garden Part II

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You all really don't need words from me about this beautifully designed garden....

in the garden.....

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Caterpillar to Butterfly

A few weeks ago, I spotted many of these beautiful caterpillars in my Georgia Gardens.
I have never really noticed these caterpillars before but they seem to be every where. On the front porch, in the driveway and in the gardens. As if they had fallen out of the trees. Which I think they did as we had high winds the night before.
I snapped a picture of the one on the front porch and a few days later, discovered this in the spot where the caterpillar once stood. Hum, After a bit of research on the Internet, I think I might have had a Mourning Cloak Caterpillar and now a Chrysalis!
I found the Chrysalis to be interesting with its spiny cover.
I kept my eye on the Chrysalis and low and behold, I saw the butterfly resting by the shell! If only I had been lucky enough to see the butterfly emerge. Oh well, can't have it all...
I carefully placed the butterfly in a container for safe keeping over night. It was listless as if dead and I was sad. Upon further investigation, it was moving a slight bit as if not completely ready to take off. The following morning, I warmed it up with the Desk Light and it rewarded me with open wings! A few snapped pictures and I carefully took the open container into the gardens. The beautiful butterfly fluttered off high into the trees from the warmth of the sun shining on its beautiful colored body. I smiled like a proud mama watching her baby leave the nest! It was a thrilling moment for me. This was the first time I have ever seen a CATERPILLAR TO BUTTERFLY, In the Garden...  
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Angie's Garden Part I

 (Phil's Picture)

Garden tour season is upon us and is in full swing starting with Ray's Pond and Gardens two weeks ago. Now we shall move on to a designer's  garden here in Clarksville. This special garden belongs to none other than Angie, a wonderful gardening friend and splendid (the best I've seen) designer of gardens. I posted about Angie's garden last year but like all gardens they change on a daily basis. Here are some pictures of her garden from this year.
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 (Nancy's Picture)

Angie lives on a quiet cul-de-sac in Clarksville and for all of my local readers you are in for a treat as Angie's Garden will be on this year's Montgomery County Master Gardener's tour. My garden will also be featured but I tell you I am humbled when I visit Angie's garden. Angie is a Gardener Extraordinaire (my term for very very dedicated and smart gardeners) who is not really a plant collector like most gardeners (myself included). What Angie is instead is a designer though she is very modest about her talents. She has taught me quite a few things and I'll share at least one in this post. I show Angie's home because it is worth noting that when you pull into this cul-de-sac you will immediately know a special gardener lives in this home. This garden is a high maintenance garden and Angie does not disappoint. I think she spends a lot of hours in her garden yet she still manages to keep a beautiful home, spend time taking care of her husband and dog, and tends to other necessities of life all in a seemingly effortless manner.
One thing I like about the gardens (this is but a small part and is in the front yard) is that the garden is functional and easily navigated. Concrete paths Angie's husband poured for her are splendid additions to the garden. Here we can see the bones of the garden. Look past the phlox and peony blooms and you'll note a great deal of foliage. Notably the poppy foliage is standing tall and proud. A trained eye will find the next great perennial already preparing for its big day in the limelight. You see, Angie gardens with a limited palette but plans her garden in such a way that all of the plants are massed and there is a clearly defined pattern in the gardens. Angie's garden is somewhat formal and is on a grand scale. Plants that Angie uses a great deal of are: roses, peonies, coreopsis, poppies, rudbeckia, zinnias, irises, daylilies, mums, phlox, columbine, Japanese anemones, lilies, and violas. I am sure there are many more but the blooms and foliage of these plants are what stood out to me on my recent visit to Angie's Garden.
Of course I forgot to mention the amarylis and crinums in the above paragraph. The amount of groups of these two hardy bulbs in Angie's garden is mind boggling. They are all so beautiful. Be sure to look at last year's post for some more of the crinums.
Irises are probably Angie's most ardent love. She has maybe two to four hundred cultivars and I am not talking the ordinary run of the mill irises either. These are mostly all mail order irises from specialty nurseries. Angie has all of her irises in a large area dedicated solely to irises. One trick she uses in her iris bed is to apply Treflan. Treflan is a pre-emergent herbicide that allows Angie to garden on the grand scale that she does in her iris bed. You simply weed the beds then apply Treflan in accordance with package directions and you can pretty much forget about weeds for several months. Angie uses Treflan only on her iris bed for several reasons but mainly because weeding out weeds amongst irises is nearly impossible. I find that if I get weeds in my irises I might as well dig up the clump and replant. There is another consideration when using a pre-emergent on irises that anyone who grows irises knows. Irises cannot stand to have their rhizomes buried under dirt or even mulch. The rhizomes need to bake in the sun and all of the weather elements and the rhizomes need room around them. This fact allows all sorts of free dirt for weeds so Treflan is a big help. I plan to try it on a few of my beds as soon as I can get to the Co-op. I'll use Treflan in beds that I do not normally garden in and in beds where mulch does not help with the weeds.
More irises in the iris bed.
When I visited Angie's garden last spring the Japanese peonies were done blooming but I could still tell what they were and I thought wowser! I need to come and see them in bloom. Well, here they are.
(Phil's Picture)
More of the irises with the Knockout roses beginning to bloom. Boxwoods and junipers are a big part of Angie's garden. She always has something interesting going on in her splendid garden. I tell you I am excited she is on the Master Gardener Garden tour so that everyone else can see this garden in person too! Tickets will be going on sale soon so be sure to look for them. I'll have some available as well. The date is June 2nd so mark your calendars. 
(Phil's Picture)

The irises are amazing. I never knew there could be so many different kinds. I must also note this important fact-Angie does not breed irises. She is unlike other iris gardeners in the local area in that she simply enjoys the irises and her garden is a private garden-never before opened up to the public. However, Angie was most generous in allowing my garden club to have a private tour last week. All who toured the garden were wowed. Garden clubs can be most fun especially if you are into gardening!
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(Phil's Picture)
I think I like this picture of all of the ones of the irises because it shows the scale so well of the iris bed.
Or maybe this one shows the scale of all of the irises. I suspect there are waaay more than two hundred cultivars located here. Some of these cultivars have found their way home to my own little garden. I feel very lucky to be gifted with some irises from this splendid garden and from Angie herself!
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 (Phil's Picture)
Angie does not like her picture being taken but you all must know the gardener as well as the garden so I am taking liberties here by posting Angie's picture. I'll beg her forgiveness later:) This young lady is just as beautiful as her garden!

in the garden....

Come back Friday for a Part II of Angie's garden. I hope to get caught up and post some of the 70 pictures I took this past weekend when I visited her home. 

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chairs but not this Snake


Look what I spotted on the roadside. Yep, some ding-a-ling had discarded these old ladder back chairs right on the side of the road. Difficult for me to believe such things still happen in this year 2012...
I passed them by several days before getting the notion to clear the county right of way of this debris.
The Saint was kind enough to toss them into the back of the truck and bring them to our Georgia Gardens... Too old to sit upon but not to old to recycle into a thing of beauty. I failed to snap a picture of the chairs alone after I had worked my magic on them.
But here they are with a fresh coat of red paint. They are now on display in my woods to greet everyone that drives past our house.
The bunny's clothes were bargain finds at the Goodwill store.
I always have fun picking out the decor for the woods display and had wanted to add chairs to change it up a bit from the hay bales. What luck that the awful person that tossed these chairs on the roadside, tossed them near my home! Now I need to find a discarded table but hopefully, not tossed on the roadside.
Look what else we spotted over the weekend. Our first Copperhead snake in the garden!
Since this one is poisonous, we feared risk to the neighbor kids, cats, dogs, horse's and yes, ME too! So we killed this one. Sorry Mr. Snake but your triangle head really did give me the creeps when snakes normally do not bother me at all. I like my new CHAIRS BUT NOT THIS SNAKE, In the Garden...
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Robin Fights Back and Stands Its Ground


Being the proud owner of three dogs is not without its downfalls. One of those downfalls is when the dogs tangle with the wildlife here in Tiger Gardens. Recently I went to let the dogs out the back door onto the deck and they were most excited and ready to go too. Then all of a sudden I heard some chirping and a bunch of excitement from the dogs. Acting quickly I ran outside to find a baby robin tangled in some screening on the deck and it was in its fighting mode trying to hold off three large dogs-and it was winning! Jimmy was with me and quickly scooped up the bird to safety while I gathered the dogs and put them back inside the house. Isn't the baby robin cute? We let it go and that is the last we have seen of it. Lately it seems baby robins are everywhere in the garden so we really have to be careful not only with the dogs but on where we walk and mow....

in the garden.... 

Any close encounters with wildlife in your garden?

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

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Most Amazing Azalea-Mount Saint Helens & Other Spring Photos

I have to say I think the most stunning azalea I have ever seen is this Mount Saint Helens deciduous azalea. It is literally a beacon of sunshine (lava) in my garden. The infloresences are huge! Not only are the flower clusters huge but this azalea is not a one week wonder. It has been in bloom for at least two weeks now and still looking strong.
This is the first year of bloom even though I've had my three shrubs since the spring of 2010. I purchased these commonly found shrubs at Lowes as mark downs. I had visions of them lining a privacy fence here in Tiger Gardens but that idea did not pan out due to the severe drought conditions in the area intended for their planting. Instead, the three small shrubs spent that whole summer and most of the fall living in a kids wading pool in the backyard. I finally planted them in the Non Pool Garden and wow are they happy. When I took these pictures I figured I'd Google this azalea and see what I could find on the web about them. It seems at least one other blogger finds this azalea to be the most stunning one he has ever seen too. I am afraid the above picture does not do the shrub justice but take it from me Mount Saint Helens azaleas is quite the fire hot azalea!
And, since it is spring and I like to do big posts on Fridays I thought I'd throw in a few photos of some of the gardens. The two irises above wound up being a perfect match in the Overflow Garden. They share this space with tons of different things and sometimes I think it is one of my best gardens. Weird since I don't do anything to it. The light purple phlox looking plant to the left is Dames Rocket. Darla sent me some seeds and I sprouted them out last spring. This past fall I planted the seedlings in the ground and wow on the blooms and large plants. I think I shall have to watch Dames Rocket because I think it can seed around a bit but I really do like the lovely purple blooms. The dark purple is columbine. This columbine spreads itself around all too readily but it is a sweet plant.
The eastern edge of the Overflow Garden has some PPP compliments of Gail, Sheffield mums from Frances, and St. Johns Wort from my friend Naomi. I'd say this garden must be my friendship garden-what do you all think? Maybe I should rename it to the Friendship garden instead of the Overflow garden.
The Rear Center Garden sees deutzia 'Chardonnay Pearls' still blooming but now it has been joined by 'Edith Wolford' irises and some medium yellow bicolored irises. 'Chardonnay Pearls' is a Proven Winners selection and I tell you I adore this small shrub. I saw two pots at Lowes in Nashville just the other day and they were marked down to $5 each. That is not a bad price but I have no room for anymore shrubs so I passed on them. I hope they find a home soon as the owner will adore 'Chardonnay Pearls'. The large green plant behind the 'Edith Wolford' irises (the purple and yellow iris) is Carolina Lupine (Thermopsis villosa). This is a native plant I purchased last spring from the Cheekwood Wildflower sale. This plant has grown at a phenomenal rate and I am ever so excited to see it bloom this year. If you don't have this plant I would highly recommend it as it is very drought tolerant and looks good most of the growing season. The blooms are beautiful. I'll be sure to post a few photos once it blooms.

I close with a landscape shot from the front sidewalk looking toward the road across the Front Sidewalk Garden and Front Center Garden. It looks like one large garden but there is a ten foot grassy area between the two gardens. The irises were planted along the edge of the Front Center Garden under the old pine tree and they have all done wonderfully this year. Spring is such a grand time....

in the garden....

I know it is gardening season when I start getting busy with landscape designs and it is looking to be a busy year! I wanted to tell you I am also busy touring gardens and will post at least one of the gardens next week sometime. I hope everyone is busy in the garden and enjoying this most wonderful spring!!

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