Monday, July 15, 2013

Phillip's Garden Tour Part I

Good morning! You all are in for a special treat this week as I have another garden tour to post. These three posts will cover Phillip's garden in Florence Alabama. It is not often anymore that I get the time to go and visit a fellow blogger's gardens but on a recent trip to Huntsville to visit Mr. Fix-it I took the chance and emailed Phillip to see if I could swing by his house for a visit. Skeeter and I had met Phillip and his partner at the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling in Asheville last year plus Phillip had started blogging about the same time as me nearly six years ago. His garden was one I had long wanted to see because his location is quite similar to mine and his style of gardening is also similar. I felt right at home in his garden. We start with the trees. Listen all of you sun lovers, I won't bash sun gardens (at least not too loud) but if you live in the south it would be wise for many reasons to have shade trees. Amongst the reasons are: savings on energy, less radiation exposure, more comfortable living and gardening, and trees add curb appeal and value to a home. There are many reasons not to have trees as well: they dry out the soil due to roots, not as many plants grow in the shade, trees can fall on homes, they take a long time to grow, not all trees are suited for lawn trees, and probably many more but for me, I must have trees in my landscape whether I live in the south or not and especially since I live in the south. How many people go and have a picnic in the middle of a field? None! Trees have it for me. No matter your style of gardening I have never seen a person seek the sun to relax in and trees are especially welcomed in the summer in Alabama and Tennessee. Phillip's garden is dominated by trees. Just look at how pretty they are!!
Phillip has planted many a tree on his three quarter acre garden in Florence but I believe these hackberries were already here when he moved in many years ago. Phillip tells me hackberries are hard to garden under and I believe him. But you can do so successfully as Phillip has found out when he planted things such as camellias and hellebores.
The orientation of the garden allows some sun to penetrate so there are also a lot of sun loving plants growing in this shady garden. Yes, if planned correctly you can have the best of a sun loving garden and shade!
Phillip's love is roses. This arbor was quite a presence in the center of his backyard. The second love is hydrangeas as you can see.
Container gardens abounded.
There was lots of hardscaping (love broken concrete in gardens) and a couple of water features. I spoke of this before but read of a study of what is the most important outdoor feature for people. The answer: a water feature. That was interesting to me.
We'll finish this post with a long view looking through the trees and across the broken concrete walkway to the rose arbor. You can get a feel of this garden from this view but there are many surprises yet to come in two more posts this week....

in the garden....

Quick question: When is the best time to plant a tree? 
Answer: TWENTY YEARS AGO. The next best time-fall to winter as long as the ground is not frozen. Do not plant oaks in the summer-I am learning the hard way. But do get those trees planted!
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. You lucky lady, getting to visit Phillip's garden. I have always wanted to see it. I garden in a lot of shade too. His garden is always an inspiration to me. I like see it from your point of view too. Trees are great!

  2. I don't know why I haven't visited Phillip's blog yet. I will remedy that situation. We have added many trees since moving here nearly 10 years ago, but most of them were planted in just the last few years. It does take a l-o-n-g time for them to reach maturity, and it's especially difficult waiting on the fruit trees to mature.

  3. I love Phillips garden! I've been a guest there several times and I could never get tired of it. :0) It's amazing.

  4. Envy, I have envy of you seeing Phillips garden in person! This is a garden I have seen over the years through the eyes of others. To see it with your own eyes, well, did I say Envy? Love what I have seen thus far...

  5. His garden has a lot of personality that shines through. Really enjoyed that tour and will look forward to seeing more!

  6. Sure wish I had some trees for the shade here. The only one I have is dying & it's a dbl trunk. Too dangerous here due to weather. Thanks for the tour & look forward to the others.

  7. Everyone seems to know Philip but me. I went to the blog and am still unfamiliar, but he has a nice property with many large trees. I love gardens with tall trees.

  8. That garden is amazing. Love the trees, the stones and the containers tucked in everywhere. Really dig those white caladiums. They sure pop in the shade.

  9. Oh, what a treat this must have been! I didn't realize when I saw Phillip in your header that you were referring to THE Phillip we met in Asheville; I'm so glad you were able to visit his garden! I agree about having trees--I couldn't live in a new treeless subdivision, no matter how beautiful the house. Everything about Phillip's garden is beautiful and serene, and I love the more natural look of plant combos he's chosen. I can't wait to see the next installments!

  10. This is a garden I would like to visit as well. I am ambivalent about trees, I do love them, but sometimes resent how they deny sun entry to my garden. I guess the trick is to have a big garden where you can have lots of each.

  11. Beautiful pictures, great colors, gardens are magical places :) Regards

  12. I have several trees waiting in pots for fall planting....I adore the trees and foliage in this lush garden but that arbor is just amazing.