Friday, March 29, 2013

More From Bok Tower and Gardens

Bok Tower and Gardens is a rather large place that is so varied I thought it prudent to divide up the pictures for you all. We now continue our tour in the main area of the gardens near the visitor center. There were gorgeous irises blooming. 
A rill set up with the wonderful sound of water provided some ambiance to this garden in a courtyard. 
Eating al fresco outside is a little furry squirrel who was most happy patrons shared their lunch with it! This squirrel was almost domesticated so unfazed was it by the people eating their lunch nearby.
The view from the patio was gorgeous. Agaves were a central feature of many of the gardens we saw in Florida-not just in this public garden but all along the roads in private gardens as well. I don't think agaves would ever grow this large in Tennessee. 
Can you tell the difference between the real agave and the metal one in the above picture? It is of course the one with the glass stamens that is closest to you in the picture. Seeing this vignette in real life made it seem as though the metal plant was real. Myself and several other visitors had to get up close to confirm this was indeed a metal sculpture. 
Eye catching tiles decorated the courtyard. I really enjoyed the tropical nature of these tiles. 
Lastly, a sea of monkey grass and river pebbles. This vignette was so ideal I just loved it! There was a pre-teen girl walking back and forth on the pebbles in her socks. She informed me that if you take off your shoes and walked on the pebbles then your feet would get a massage. I just smiled. I was already familiar with pebble walks like this but had never seen one with the stones set in concrete and one so large as this. The juxtopositon between the grass and undulating rocks was so perfect that one could almost envision this walkway a river....

in the garden....

Sunday, March 31st is the final date to be entered into the giveaway I am sponsoring. Check this post here for further details. 
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Treasured Abandoned Gardens and Cute Babies

Have you ever explored an old abandoned garden? I have not-until recently when I visited my daughter in southern Alabama. What a rush of feelings I felt seeing a much loved garden now neglected and overgrown but still growing and still blooming.

The 'Secret Garden' was located behind this large overgrown hedge of privet. Have you ever thought to peek behind such a monster? Have you dared?
Behind the hedge you will find a long abandoned old home site with a falling down house that has been overtaken by the homeless. This ten acre home site is smack dab in the middle of several subdivisions. Developers have circled the wagons and are trying their best to get their hands on this beautiful land that lays claim not only to the old house, but to old garden gates, a still functional chicken house and other structures as well as what I believe to be an heirloom garden. The garden was amazing. 
My sixteen month old granddaughter Adella was not as impressed by the garden as I was. She, instead, got a kick out of me eating a Cheeto. Each time I would pop one in my mouth I got this cute smile. We should all be so easily amused shouldn't we? 
Her mother (my daughter Christine) took Mr. Fix-it and I over to this garden to look at the plants. I was able to identify several plants to include: laurels, cedars, camellias (in full bloom), daffodils, spider lillies, and an unknown plant that smelled strongly of onions but which had a flat leaf. I am still not sure what it could be but will try to find out. As I walked through the garden I thought of the long ago gardener who had planted the garden. Where is the gardener now? Was the gardener a man or a woman? Does she or he know the garden they planted still grows strongly and blooms? Does she or he care? Was there a vision years ago when each bulb and shrub and perennial was planted in the ground? What will become of the garden? Do others know of the Secret Garden? Perhaps they come there to dream of the long ago gardener just like I did. Maybe they even imagined walking into a stunning perennial garden through the charming old garden gate? I have never felt the pull of gardening so much as on this day....

in the garden....

What do you think about when you explore an old abandoned garden? 

Don't forget about my giveaway-it's not too late to qualify. Check this link found here

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Visit To Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales Florida

I am just back from Florida and wanted to share with you all some of the sights of sunny Florida this time of the year. While we here in Tennessee are in the 20s-40s mid Florida enjoyed temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Wow! It was rather warm. I loved the tropical air and the gardens too. I am not so sure I'd love them so much in the summer but for March it wasn't so bad. 

A sight we can see here in Tennessee this time of the year is a camellia. The one shown above was growing amongst many more in a public garden held privately, called Bok Tower Gardens. It's cultivar was listed as 'Akashigata'. 

To my understanding, Bok Tower gardens and the adjoining Mediterranean styled mansion (to be posted later) are gardens the public can visit but they are held in a private foundation's hands. That is what I mean by public garden held privately. Therefore, this attraction must be self sufficient because I don't believe it gets any endowments from the government.  For further information check the website. 
On our way to the mansion, named Pinewood, we passed a Gopher Tortoise crossing sign. And lo and behold there was the tortoise! Our cart driver knew right where he was sunning and stopped so I could snap a photo. According to this website gopher tortoises are one of the oldest living species and it originated in the United States 60 million years ago. It is on Florida's endangered list so of course, in this garden, you must protect it, hence the sign to watch for these tortoises crossing. Tortoises are land dwellers; a big difference from turtles. 
You can't visit Florida without seeing large elephant ears. 

Or tangerine trees. These trees are part of the garden belonging to the Pinewood Mansion. More on that next week. I was intrigued by their topiary form. Most of the tangerines had been picked a few weeks ago when these trees were trimmed. 

A perfect view of the gardens, complete with Spanish moss draped off from the tree. 

Finally, a highlight of our visit was the HUGE koi pond. Our cart driver also told us there was a tilapia pond just below this one but we did not get to see it. These koi were gigantic. There was a nearby feeder dispenser that we were able to buy some food to feed the koi. Mr. Fix-it enjoyed hand feeding this big female. 

More on Bok Tower Gardens next week. As always, I like to highlight military friendly places to visit. While Bok Towers is not a major attraction as compared to Disney it is still a wonderful place to visit and as a bonus, offers a 50% discount for military! You can't beat that. The atmosphere is laid back, unhurried, and delightful. There was a wonderful restaurant that served organic food and was reasonably priced. The reasonably priced part is oftentimes hard to find in attractions like this. If you ever get the chance to visit the middle of Florida look up Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Garden Blogger's Visit to Red Top and Local Wildlife

Hi all! I've been busy spending time with hubby and doing gardening. I happened to check this post and realized it had no words. Oops! That would've been interesting had it posted. I wanted to share some of my excitement with you all reference an Eastern Newt we found in our pond last weekend when Skeeter and her husband the Saint came by for a visit. The link above will take you to Tennessee's Wildlife Resource Agency. It is a great asset we Tennesseans have to help us identify local fauna. We are very happy to have found some native fauna on our new farm and hope to find more as we explore. 

This was some local fauna found growing in the field. I can't identify and have asked some Facebook friends for some help as well. Maybe one of you readers recognizes this? It is growing in our field and has a tuberous root. There are several of them. 
Now this is not of the local flora and fauna kind but the hunter who padlocked his deer stand to a shagbark hickory probably looks for deer on our property. That will change soon. I have contacted a neighbor who said he knows whose deer stand this is. I asked him to kindly let the owner know to remove it right away. We'll see how that goes. 

I think one problem with owning land is everyone seems to think it is okay to use it as they see fit. My husband and I, on the other hand, like to think of our property on the farm just like our front and backyards in our little plot of land where we currently reside. No one would dare come into our yard and padlock a deer stand to a tree in our yard so why do people think it is okay to do this to land they don't own? Well that is another story. 
We had fun visiting the land with some friends readers of this blog will recognize-Skeeter and the Saint~! Yup, they came all the way out to visit with us and it was splendid walking around the property with them. All we needed was some bratwurst to make it a German Volksmarch and we'd all feel right at home!
Mr. Fix-it is still smiling too! 

in the garden....

Don't forget to comment on the giveaway post found here or on my sidebar!
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Small Town America

 A couple of counties over from my GEORGIA GARDENS, we find our self in Taliaferro County for a day of Geocaching.
Taliaferro County is a small town of about 1,717 people. A very small but interesting town with a really neat courthouse which was established in 1901. This is also home to Alexander H. Stephens. He was a US Congressmen, Governor of Georgia and Vice President of the Confederate States from 1861-1865.  
 A beautiful small church was full of people on the day we walked past here. Hence, the cropped photo, removing the parked cars.  
 William Bartram is once again mentioned. His trail is all around us here in Georgia.
 Old downtown is not bustling as it was in the past. But a lot of movies have been filmed in this small town of Crawfordville, GA. "Sweet Home Alabama" with Reese Witherspoon
"Coward of the County" with Kenny Rogers
"Get Low" with Robert Duvall
To name a few.
 The old Train Depot has not seen foot traffic in many years.

The Train still runs on the tracks as we discovered just as we had crossed the tracks by foot! I have not been that close to a train in a long time. The shake of the ground was exciting.
 An old Mural still appears on the side of the Depot. Can you tell it is the Last Supper?
 A new Mural is on the other side of the street.

This whimsical sign really got our attention to the point that we all got into the car and headed over for lunch. I wish I had snapped some pictures as this was a wonderful place to eat and stroll about. Antique vehicles and just about anything else you can imagine are within the restaurant and grounds. We plan to go back again some day soon.  We discovered, there is a Geocache located there! Ha, we did not know it at the time so we will be back. One never knows what they will discover by exploring SMALL TOWN AMERICA, In the Garden...

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

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Peepers are a Peeping!

If you are new to Tennessee or do not live near a pond it is possible you do not know the sound of spring peepers. They are, for me, one of life's most magical sounds because they tell me spring is near and all is well in our world

I don't remember ever hearing peepers before I moved here in 2001. In February of 2002 the chorus began and thus began my love for the sound of our friends, the spring peepers. I found a YouTube sound bite that can make you think you are outside listening to the very frogs I hear each evening. Listen to their music and picture catching fireflies and running barefoot through a fragrant field of grass....

in the garden....

Don't forget to check out the awesome giveaway I am sponsoring on this blog

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

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Giveaway For You!

I love daffodils! Do you all love daffodils? Let me tell you if you don't you have not explored them enough. There is a daffodil for everyone. Some are small, some big, some single, some double, some fragrant, some are white or yellow or orange or pink or a combination and the list goes on!

I have posted on daffodils many many times during the past five plus years that I have been blogging and I don't ever see that changing. Today's post is special in that I am sponsoring a giveaway in honor of all the friends who have ever given me anything--daffodils included. The above pictured daffodils just happen to be my recent gift from a friend named Carrol. I do not know what cultivar these daffodils might be but I think they are either a Jonquilla division or a Miniature division type daffodil. They are blooming right now in Carrol's garden so I would consider them an early daffodil. The flowers are the size of a quarter and are so fragrant they rival edgeworthia for scent. That is a big scent let me tell you! The foliage is rounded and very stiff but not so significant. When I saw these daffodils in bloom I did not even think they were daffodils. I have tried to research the cultivar but am not having good luck. If anyone has a suggestion as to what type they might be I'd love to hear it. Carrol received these lovely daffodils from a fellow gardener (Mrs. Wooten) who lived nearby. Don't you know passalong plants ensure the person who passes them along is always remembered? I did not even know Mrs. Wooten but now her daffodils will grow in my garden and I will always remember this.

Mr. Fix-it and I were visiting Carrol to pick up some rocks Carrol and her husband were getting rid of as they downsize their garden. Carrol offered the rocks to me. I guess most of my friends know I love rocks and free things so I am almost always right there to get them. My garden is a bit eclectic (just like me) and part of the reason is because I have so many good friends who share not only plants but hardscaping and other garden treasures. In fact, I took home a few other things from Carrol but I'll save those for a later date. Thank you Carrol and Tom!

Now on to some garden pictures featuring daffodils and a few other early blooming perennials. 
'Ivory Prince' is blooming. This is one of the best cultivars of hellebores for all gardens in my opinion.
Right next to the Ivory Prince are a bunch of hyacinths. The combination is quite lovely.
A long shot of the garden with the hyacinths and 'Ivory Prince' show the 'Tete e Tete' daffodils blooming in the lawn. These daffodils were just planted last spring but they will soon be dug and replanted again-on the new property. A gardeners work is never done, or so it seems to me. Sigh. Now on to the giveaway to make your work nicer in your garden!

To make the garden more enjoyable for you, to thank you for reading this blog and being interested in gardening, and to give exposure to a garden related company that I happen to like very much because they are kind enough to allow me to give one of you readers a VERY NICE prize for your garden, I am going to do a giveaway for you all. 

The company is called Serenity Health and Home Decor. You may remember they sponsored a giveaway last year that a very happy fellow blogging friend won and posted about. This year they are very generous with the choices I can give one of you lucky commenters and visitor to their site. Let me first say I don't normally do a lot of these but when folks are as nice as they are at Serenity Health, put no mandates on me to do a giveaway or how I do it, and are so generous to make one of you happy I am all for it. 

Okay, the three choices Barbara at Serenity Health gave to me to giveaway to you all included:
I looked at all three and actually really like all three. I could see me using all of them in my garden. Especially the hammock-providing I ever rest! Taking naps outside is a great thing to do! The Lion Head Solar Fountain was awesome too. A very classic choice for a garden. The 3 Jug Fountain is also wonderful. Who wouldn't want to hear the sound of water while gardening? Go take a look at all three and come back and let me know which prize you would select if you won the giveaway in a comment below. I'd love to know your reasoning behind your selection because each and every garden is unique, as are the gardeners. While we could all use all three of these prizes in our garden only one can be awarded. The winner of the prize I selected for you will be announced on April 1st; the drawing will take place Sunday, March 31st at 6:00 PM CST. That gives you three weeks to ponder over the choices. If you like check out Serenity Health on Facebook as well. I will need your name and address to give to Serenity Health once the drawing is complete. They will be sending you your prize directly. This giveaway is open to United States addresses only.

in the garden.....

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

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Daffy Bulbs

 Hyacinth are blooming in my GEORGIA GARDENS! I am so happy as they have the sweet smell of Spring in the air.
I have colors of Blue, Pink and White.
 I love that bright blue color and wish I had more then I do. I don't seem to have much luck with bulbs in my gardens other then Daffy's. However, these few Hyacinths seem to be doing well and have returned for 2 years. I think it may be time to add some more Hyacinths.  
 Daffodils and Narcissus are blooming even though I only planted them about a month ago! Yep, I was late getting them into the ground but they did not seem to care as they look happy to me.
 I went outside the box with my love of plain yellow and got different types.
 But I still love the plain yellow the best as they remind me of my childhood.
 Miss Vain Crocus is also happy even though only planted about a month ago.
 They are small blooms but pack a big punch in an otherwise gloomy garden this time of year.
I have been purchasing daffy bulbs the past couple of years and by fall, I am too burned out from the humidity in the air to get them into the ground. I put them into the shed where they are almost forgotten then in December or January, I find myself getting them into the ground. This year I added the Crocus and also Muscari to the fold. I will try to do better this Fall with getting DAFFY BULBS, In the Garden...
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bird Watching

 I have some Red Blooms in my GEORGIA GARDENS this week!
The Fringe Bush, (AKA: Loropetalum) is putting on a pretty show for me.
 Nandina is looking pretty as well. This is one of 4 that we have in the front porch planters. We plan to move the Nandina elsewhere soon. They are starting to crowd the Japanese Maple trees. Since  the Maples are the focal point in those two planters, the bushes must go.  
 Do you see what I see on the front porch post? Look up high.
 A birdhouse, which the birds have decided is not good enough for a home. But good enough to support a nest behind. Ha, those silly Wrens.
 It looks as though, the Wrens are using leaves from the Japanese Maples I just mentioned. I see pine needles and other leaf as well. The Wrens did this last year as well and there was not enough room to lay eggs. But they are back giving it a second go. I have 9 birdhouse's on the front porch for the birds to use and they are the least bit interested in them. Geesh....
Small Flocks of Robins are starting to show up in the gardens so they are on the move. Oh yes, Spring is near and I am BIRD WATCHING, In the Garden... 
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden