Cultivating a Culture of Gardening™

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 180 - Oh, The Thinks You Can Think!

Kangaroo's paw, exotic impatiens, asparagus ferns, calla lily, and dracena - one of McKinney, Tx's Flower Ladies masterful creations!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 179 - Today's Blog Broadcast From Dallas Airport

Stayed at the Marriot Courtyard in Allen, Tx and these were the containers in the cozy courtyard area in the middle of the hotel. Clever idea. I asked them if I could update their planters for a free hotel room; still waiting for response and I'm already headed back home. Guess I can assume that's a no.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 178 - Delightful Displays From Denise

In in Allen, Texas working with my cohort and fellow flower lady, Denise Meier at our Waters Creek development. I loved these planters with jasmine to trail up these cool signs. Lobelia and midnight blue petunias complete the ensemble. Come on over to Waters Creek in Allen, Texas to see 250 fabulous planters this spring!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 177 - Pardon Me, Can I Steal Your Ideas?

I spy Hosta, Alocasia, Lotus, Oregano, Blue Stem Grass, Black Pearl ornamental pepper, and a couple of other things that I'm not too sure of.

I saw this planting at a wonderful nursery south of Athen, Ga, a few years ago. The container plantings there were fabulous, and they had peaches that were out of this world. And I can't for the life of me remember what the name of that nursery was!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 176 - That's One Way to Deal With Weeds

If you look closely at this front yard, you will notice that it is planted up almost entirely with planters. Oh-kaayy, well the green row of hosta planted containers is nice...

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 175 - A Prickly Peck of Planted Pots

Low maintenance at its thorniest. These folks were missing their southwestern roots.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 174 - I Am Not Going to Say "I Told You So"

But it did get down to 31 degrees last night so I still have time to show you some more winter/early spring planters
Camellia, vinca vine, black mondo grass
Evergreen dogwood, Scotch broom, sedum, heuchera, camellia

Red twig dogwood, nandina, iberis, Algerian ivy

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 173 - My Husband Plants This to Attract Ducks

The folks at Watercolor Place on the Panhandle of Florida planted this to bring in the plant quacks like me. I make a special detour through this development every year to see what interesting and beautiful plantings these folks have come up with and this one really rocked my boat.

Millet! Surrounded by interesting things like Scaevola, Verbena, Candy Corn vine, or the variegated potato vine in the top photo. I'm wondering if this is Ornamental Millet Purple Majesty.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 172 - Remembering the Novice Gardener's Champion: Roger Waynick

Several years ago I sat across from the founder of Cool Spring Press and I heard his story of hunting through bookstores trying to find a book that would help him learn the basics of gardening in Tennessee. Nilch, nada, nothing was out there to guide him.
Most people would try to find another hobby.
Roger Waynick started his own publishing company to bring new gardeners like himself the info they need to simply get started.
His voice struck a chord with me, stirring the stories I'd experienced of helping that young mom keep her planters going all summer or helping the retired couple finally have the lush, colorful courtyard they'd been dreaming about. Roger's publishing company gave me resources to pass on to these novice gardeners - books like Judy Lowe's "Month by Month Gardening in Tennessee and Kentucky" and "Tough Plants for Southern Gardens" by Felder Rushing. Helping new gardeners find a little success keeps them coming back outside each spring to try something a little more challenging.
So here's one of my favorite combos in memory of Roger Waynick, founder and president of Cool Springs Press, who passed away March 22, 2011, at age 5o:
Red Pentas - host plant to the Sphinx moth. This is a tribute to how Roger's publishing company has helped bring gardening up from the ashes of a lost art to become one of the top areas of interests in our society today.
Dusty Miller - a plant known for being tough and reliable, a perfect example of the type plant to introduce to the first time gardener.
Evolvulus Blue Daze - a plant whose name comes from the Latin meaning to "untwist". Unraveling the mysteries of gardening was the passion behind Roger's beginning Cool Springs Press.
I know that there is so much more to who Roger Waynick was than what I knew as one of his writers. But this one part of his life left a huge impact on my life for which I will be forever grateful.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 171 - Spring's Reflection on Winter Planters

Nestled between all the tulips and daffodils I saw these winter planters springing with new color - the Red Twig dogwood leafing out, the brilliant gold of euonomous against the purple Heuchera and pansies.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Beware the Deceiver - An Annual Reminder

A rerun from my Garden Compositions in Nashville House, Home, and Garden March 2008:


Some call him the seducer, the way he woos us with his warmth. He skews our perspective and flirts with what he knows are our ultimate intentions. Last year, I hate to admit, even I found myself succumbing to his overt advancements. I’m not talking George Clooney here. It’s the month of March that can lure even the most faithful gardener to transgress our prudish adherence to not plant annuals until after Tax Day. The seduction of early spring, the lure of brilliantly colored flowers topping tables at all the big box stores, the longing to feel the dirt in our hands – all these combine to bring down the florally starved gardeners who think, “Surely this year we won’t get caught with a late freeze!”


Last year we all learned our lesson. With February and March of 2007 bringing temperature that aligned more with April and May, many folk were convinced that global warming had eliminated our winter. By the end of March I was seeing annual beds being planted, baskets of spring flowers being hung, and Boston ferns placed in urns. Granted, in some years the meticulous gardener can escape the damage of late frost by covering their flowers or bringing containers into their garage. But last year’s three day deep freeze in early April defied preparation and protection. It’s time to encourage the Victorian Age rule of planting for Middle Tennessee: “Don’t plant your annuals and tropicals until after April 15!” I’ll even add another word of caution here. Many of the gardening old-timers that I love to glean information from swear by the fact that they will not plant annuals until after Mother’s Day (a good two weeks after April 15). Late April 2005 brought temperatures in the upper 20s at night – enough to decimate plants like impatiens, coleus, or mandavilla vines.


With warm afternoons beckoning us to action but responsibility controlling our purse-strings, here’s a list of early spring activities that help you prepare the way for a gorgeous and healthy spring display of annual color. Just so we’re all on the same wave-length, I’ll give a quick explanation of what I’m talking about when I discuss annual color:

Encarta Dictionary describes “annuals” as a “plant that dies after one season”. In our area this is a long list that you can best explore by checking out these two web sites:

  1. Visit the websites above to read about which annuals and tropicals best handled our past two scorching summers. You’ll find plants listed by botanical name, but you’ll also find the name that grandma used to call it! Make note of the specific variety – for example, not all geraniums perform the same. Look for these varieties in local nurseries.
  2. Amend your annual beds with products such as Erth Food, soil from the Compost Farm (794-1483), Nature’s Helper Soil Amendments, or other good soil enrichments.
  3. Visit the Bloom N Garden Expo (April 8-10) at the Williamson County Expo. Not only do they have great displays, but this is one of the best places to buy plants and garden accessories, plus learn lots from their line-up of speakers.
  4. Start planting in your perennial beds. Two great new books out to help you decide what to plant where: “Southern Shade: A Plant Selection Guide” or “Southern Sun: A Plant Selection Guide” both by Jo Kellum.

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Day 170 - Escape to the Desert on Your Own Back Porch

Come on... admit it... How many times could you so relate to that frog?

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today in Middle Tennessee


Japanese Magnolia 'Jane'

My yellow Japanese magnolia 'Butterfly' typically gets nipped by a late frost. A big treat for me when I returned from Florida yesterday was finding this tree full of blossoms for the first time since planting 6 years ago.

Azalea blossom

The blossoms on this cascading Japanese maple are so brief that I rarely get a chance to enjoy them.

The bud on this Japanese Magnolia looked golden - thought maybe I'd found the ever elusive money tree. Alas, a few hours later the blossom had broken out and the the gold had faded to brown.
Anemone blanda

Full moon rising


Day 169 - Dr. Seuss Visits Seaside, Florida

Looks like Dr Seuss dropped this palm planter on the sidewalk here in Seaside, Florida. I think i heard someone from Whoville saying, "We are here, we are here!"

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 168 - A Little Tabletop Beauty

Lysimachia aurea (golden creeping jenny), red verbena, hibiscus 'Red Wave', and carex grass make a sweet, bright outdoor tabletop planting.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Last Night on the Beach - Sunset, Moonrise, Car Packed To Go

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida