The Growing Zone – Dec. 26

My friend, Kathy Wallace, had several families over for a Christmas eve luncheon and wanted to do something quick, easy, and inexpensive for her two empty front containers. She found two fresh wreaths at the abandoned Christmas tree lot (all they wanted was for you to leave a donation for whatever you took) and these silver spray painted stems and instant pretty planter!

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The Growing Zone – Day 49

Just in case some of you wondered how some of us Tennessee rednecks decorate for Christmas…


Or how we winterize our garden tools…


Or DIY a garden swing…

yes, it’s true, I didn’t take any of these pictures – got them off an email. But you havta admit they are pretty funny.
This is redneck Wednesday.

The Growing Zone – Day 48

‘Twas A Week Before Christmas

The Myth of Winter’s Rest

‘Twas a week before Christmas and all through the ground

The roots were all resting and no moles could be found.

The mulch was all laid in the garden with care

With hopes that no weeds would try to grow there.

The roses were nestled all snug in their bed

While visions of blossoms danced in my head.

The overalls, gloves, and my wide-brimmed had

Were hung by the fireplace where I leisurely sat.

When out of my mailbox there came such a flurry

Of plant catalogs that were saying, “Buy! Hurry!”

I read “Plant Delights” from cover to cover

‘Cuz Tony Avent knows his plants like a lover.

New hostas, agaves, hydrangeas abound –

Each catalog offers a new treasure that’s found.

I jump in my wandering car to explore

Mary’s Greenhouse, Randolph’s Greenhouses, Saul’s Plants and more!

At Hewitt’s I ask John Bradley about trees

To replace those I lost from the drought and the freeze.

On the phone I am calling to locate a new vine

That I saw in “Fine Gardening”, “Horticulture”, or “Garden Design”.

I dash away over to another seminar:

Southern Garden Symposium” in Georgia – it’s not very far.

I fill up my mind with garden books that I’ve read.

(Allan Armitage’s books are all piled by my bed.)

Redesigned my old garden to include a new plant;

Cleaned and sharpened my tools and replaced those I can’t.

I wiped off my brow and gave a low whistle

‘Cuz the winter all flew like the down off a thistle.

I shout as I’m running from spot to spot fast,

“Hurry planning your garden because winter won’t last!”

(with greatest respect to Clement Clarke Moore)

The Growing Zone – Day 47

My friend, Joan Benton, reminded me recently about what a wonderful place Moore and Moore Garden Center is for getting container gardening ideas. Here are a few Christmas container ideas that I snapped a few weeks ago.


Kinda leaves you wanting…
…Moore and Moore!

The Growing Zone – Day 46

One of the harsh realities of growing is the inevitability of dying.

Today’s post is for one of my sons’ most lively high school friends, Meredith Fara Avery: June 8, 1991 – December 17, 2011. This beautiful gypsy girl had a passion about life that was inspirational, a faith in Christ that was genuine and transforming, and an enjoyment for life that was contagious. Her random pop-up facebook chats – “Hi Mrs. Wise! Are you still planting lots of flowers?” were a reflection of her warm thoughtfulness and engaging heart.

This was a picture that Meredith posted on Facebook on April 15, 2011. Her time was short, but the life she lived was time fully used to enrich those around her. Life takes time, yet we know not our time – love deeply, laugh often, forgive easily, work diligently, listen intensely, and never let fear keep you from that great adventure in life.

The Growing Zone – Day 44


I was crazy about this container with its mix of textures between the banana leaves, lobelia, calibrachoa, Autumnal fuschia, black petunias, and a couple of other plants. What I enjoyed the most about the container’s placement was the echeveria flowers growing in front of the container that seemed to be saying, “Look at me, look at me – I’m pretty, too!”
(The Epping’s home in Seattle, WA.)

The Growing Zone – Day 41


Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott


Today, I just needed to be reminded of hope and one of the greatest symbols of hope are bulbs – tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and fritillaria.
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. Winston Churchill