Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Biltmore: Azalea, Tulip, Redbud and Wisteria

 A year ago, the Saint and I discovered beautiful Biltmore House and Gardens during the Garden Blogger, Asheville Spring Fling 2012. This past weekend, the Saint and I went back for another visit. This visit was compliments of Del Holston of Explore Asheville. I won the Bloggers contest thus, our return visit this year! Again, Thanks Del for hosting this contest at the Fling!
 Last year was a very early spring in Asheville and this trip was very different in the gardens of Biltmore.
 When booking Spring visits to gardens, one never knows what will be happening too far in advance. Mother Nature is always keeping us on our toes.  
 The Saint left the booking up to me and I picked the last weekend of April in hopes of seeing azaleas and tulips. Little did we know at the time the weather would not be too kind for our entire trip. More on that later, on this day, it was glorious!
 We drove to the Azalea Garden area, parked our car and enjoyed a Pimento Cheese Sandwich and chips atop the gardens.
 Our stroll through the Azalea Gardens was such a treat.
 We had never seen Redbud trees this full of blooms. We do not see many Redbuds in our area here in my GEORGIA GARDENS.
Although, this year we seem to notice more then in years past. I assume they had a good year here in GA.
 Azalea's were bursting with color throughout the gardens!
 We headed up to the Formal Gardens where we were shocked to find Tulips still hanging around for our visit! The tulips above were my favorite. Do not ask me what they are named as I was only here to admire them.
Double Tulip's were a treat as I have never seen them before.
 The Tulips were on their last few days of putting on a show but beautiful none the less.
 Red, Pink and Purple is not a color combination I would think of but I loved it!
 Flingers will recall sipping Champagne in this spot last May. This photo does not give the Flower Combination here justice. The blooms ran down both sides of the arbor from front to back! It was stunning.  
 With the sun shining bright on this day, the Yellow Tulips were glowing!
 The Sea of Tulips went on and on.
 I like the shape of this planter.
 April is the month for 1000's of Tulips to shine!
 The Arbor taking one from the house into the gardens, had blooming Wisteria. It was not as full as I had expected but pretty just the same.
 The Purple Color did not stand out as I expected but the bees seem to enjoy it.
 Wisteria reminds me of grape clusters.
 When I see Wisteria covered Arbors, I desire to have one in my gardens.
 But such vines must be maintained and at times cut way back such as this area in the middle of the arbor. Maybe this empty spot was the reasoning behind my disappointment of the Wisteria Arbor.
 The Arbor was pretty, it just did not pop like I thought it would with the sun shining upon the purple petals. Plus, the petals were not all opened just yet.  
The Arbor by the House was bare at this time. The Trumpet Vine will be blooming in time though.
 The size of the vine keeps me captivated.
We headed back down into the gardens and caught views that stopped us in our tracks. 
 I remember the view being much different a year ago when standing in this spot.
 We worked our way back down the hill taking in all the colors.
 I have some of the same azaleas in my gardens but none are as spectacular as these large beauties.
 The colors just glowed with the sun hitting them. Notice how some have yet to bloom.  
 Pink and Purple, so pretty. 
The Saint and I spent about 5 hours strolling around the grounds never making it inside the house! We toured the house last year and we did not want to spend time inside with such a beautiful day filled with AZALEA, TULIP, REDBUD AND WISTERIAIn the Garden.... 
Stay Tuned for more of Biltmore's Spring Gardens, Christopher's Mountain top, North Lodge B&B and a meet up with some Garden Bloggers amongst other fun things... 

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

Monday, April 29, 2013

Apheloria virginiensis-A Fascinating Millipede


One of the bonuses of owning a bit of land that has been left wild for many years is to discover all of the new and wonderful (and some not so wonderful--like ticks) native flora and fauna. We've already discovered a rare in its range native plant called American Columbo.  We have also recently identified one of the trees we left in our field to shade our house as a persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana). I am very excited about that as I've not grown persimmon before. Persimmons can be messy but they are actually a well recommended shade tree and Mr. Fix-it and I really do want to grow fruit. Our newest find is a large millipede. We spotted it on the leaf litter as we were walking up our driveway. Mr. Fix-it videotaped it for me. I believe it to be an Apheloria virginiensis. We think it most neat and never kill these kinds of things unless we know they are harmful. One other native that grows quite robustly all along the tree line on the property is poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). We will have to be very careful with all of the wildings because while we are having fun exploring and learning sometimes things are meant to be left alone....

in the garden....

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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tennessee Dixter Part III

My last post on Tennessee Dixter, the garden of Jimmy Williams, takes us through his lower garden which is mainly a woodland garden.
These paths were made of moss! I so covet moss paths and have worked hard here in my gardens to change the grass in some areas to moss. It is not an easy thing to do.
The garden ornaments were very graceful and appropriate. They ranged from the above formal pot to homemade cedar trellises with a bowling ball on top.
Evergreens are a necessity in a well rounded garden. I liked the informality of how these evergreen boxwoods were displayed for interest on the hillside below the house.
Another pond with goldfish. I happen to think Japanese maples and ponds go together. This Japanese maple is centrally displayed as a focal point.
Pieris japonica (the white flowered shrub) is a lovely woodland shrub. For more information check my post found here.
Some of Jimmy's evergreens were shaped into forms. Here a bunny says goodbye to us on our way out.
Snowflakes (Leucojum vernalis and aestivum) play well in the spring garden. Here they are paired with ajuga and camassia.
We are now on our way out and back to the parking area. This small lawn with a raised bed area holding an urn was a bit of formality.
And one last picture I could not let get by. This wonderful display color garden was designed to be viewed from the balconies above. The garden is in the shape of a half pinwheel with evergreens separating the 'pie' into slices. The rock wall was wonderful. Behind this garden and barely visible is Jimmy's Voodoo Room, aka his gardening area. It was quite a neat area and probably should have a post of its own but for now I'll just leave you with these three posts on Tennessee Dixter....

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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blue Moon Phlox

 I have been working my rump off in my GEORGIA GARDENS the past few days! And I am loving every minute of it too! Cool mornings and evenings with what I consider perfect sunny and warm yet not humid days!
 I have never really had much Spring color before as most of my gardens were full of summer blooming plants. The past couple of years, I have been working at getting more Spring color. I think I did a great job on the East side of the house by the Chimney Planter. I have discovered that Blue Moon Phlox, (phlox divaricate) loves my gardens! This area was bare until last fall when I divided a couple of plants from the main planter. I transferred the little saplings along the boarder of this new planter in hopes for some filling in of a blank spot. My plan worked but I had forgotten the plants were Phlox!  I keep saying that I am going to make tags and even have the supplies to create them, I have just yet to be motivated to make them. 
Tina do you remember asking me what this plant was when you were visiting with us in Winter? Well, I told you wrong as I thought it was something different then this beautiful BLUE MOON PHLOX, In the Garden...

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tennessee Dixter Part II

We continue the tour around the side of the house where we find an espaliered tree and small pond filled with goldfish. There are several water features in Jimmy Williams' Tennessee Dixter home.
Speaking of Dixter, have ever heard of the Great Gardens of Dixter? Jimmy and his wife took a trip to England years ago. When he came home he was all set to do some garden rearranging based on what he had seen in England. The end result is what you see here. You know gardening in Tennessee is very different from gardening in England. Jimmy has adjusted quite well I think.

Once you get past the long perennial border you enter into a woodland area. This garden was a favorite because of shade. Our new property has very little shade in the field where we plan to build our house. I have planted 4300 daffodils in that sun and I tell you the sun is kicking my b$%^. I will work very hard to get some shade trees going soon! I was most grateful for the shade in Jimmy's garden.

The garden through this wooden arbor is a mix of self seeders that include our friendly and prolific fleabane (the white flower) and ragwort. Isn't it lovely? Just those two flowers looked great! I never would've thought to let fleabane hang out in my gardens but after seeing this garden I'm leaving some in my gardens for interest. Normally fleabane is considered a weed. I am told ragwort can spread itself about quite a bit but since it is very new to my gardens I am hoping it does. Those sunny yellow flowers are a treat and bloom for a long time.
Native azaleas, rhododendrons, and other woodland plants such as sweetshrub, aucubas, and hybrid azaleas all played together well.
Just look at the color of this hybrid azalea....

in the garden....

Part III will finish out out garden tour week on Friday.
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden