Around The Garden World – Day 19

If you are looking for plants from around the garden world to enhance your garden, check out these exotic hibiscus!

 And what about this groovy bougainvillea.  All seen at the Gulf States Expo in Mobile Alabama

Around The Garden World – Day 18

Sometimes I get all starry-eyed thinking of all the beautiful gardens I have seen over the few years and of all those hope to see. But sometimes I need to just look around me at the beautiful gardens that could be right next door. 

Today I was at a client’s house to pull and prep the beds for their fall flowers. Finding planters like this (yes, we did plant this one) remind me that beautiful gardens, and beautiful containers, can be simple and easy to care for. This planter has Mandevilla Sun Parasol Crimson, Setcresia, and Dorotheanthus Mezoo Red. The Bloodgood Japanese Maple behind the planter is surrounded by Lantana Confetti and Knockout Roses on the other side. All of these plants are easy to care for, especially the container planting that thrives in dry soil and sunshine.
Yesterday I very tongue in cheek talked about gardening for those who don’t like to garden. This is a planting for those who don’t like to water.

Around The Garden World – Day 17

 In my quest to view all types of gardens, this one grabbed my eye. While walking with my daughter-in-love around her neighborhood, we saw this in the front of a home in Richmond, Virginia. Sweet Caitlin had been patiently waiting as I took pictures of front yard gardens and tried to sneak peeks at backyard gardens. As we came upon this, she looked at me and said, “These…. look…. fake?”

 Yep, these are the type of flowers that my clients keep asking me for – always blooming, never need water, never need to be deadheaded, and attention grabbing.

Uh, huh – plastic. Definitely got our attention. And our laughter.

 And they did have these almost plastic looking peppers that were growing right next to their authentic plastic flowers.

 I guess because they don’t have any gardening expenses they can buy this really car.  (or at least have a really cool car parked next to their home)

Around The Garden World – Day 16 (Chicago!)

Yesterday I talked about visit Lurie Gardens. What I didn’t mention was that the walk from our downtown hotel room to the Lurie felt like I was walking along a botanical boulevard.
This was the garden bed in front of a bank on one of Chicago’s busy downtown streets

The median in Chicago are works of art that almost rival  Agora  – seen in the background of this photo.
#4 son might have been the model for this sculpture

Canna, pink vinca, Setcrecia, pink Penta and Caladium – colorful planters!

Something is always going on in these raised planters along the sidewalks.

Cordyline, petunia and lime coleus.

Get a HEAD start in your gardening imagination along Michigan Avenue

Around The Garden World – Day 15 (The Lurie Garden Chicago)

Today I’m going to take you on a quick tour of Lurie Gardens in downtown Chicago. I was able to visit there with my #4 son during his college orientation, which conveniently is right down the street. Looking forward to seeing The Lurie throughout the year!

Eryngium yuccifolium (rattlesnake master)


Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’, Echinacea ‘Pixie Meadowbrite’

Around The Garden World In 365 Days – Day 13 (The gardens of Monticello)

 So here’s the reality of writing a post every day. I just got back in from driving all day from Virginia, it took me an hour to sort through and upload my pictures of Monticello, it’s almost tomorrow and I need to post this today, and I’m about to fall asleep. So enjoy this visual tour of Monticello and check back tomorrow ‘cuz I’ll have added the details…

Robert (#2 son) and daughter-in-love enjoying the smokey mountain view from Monticello’s museum shop porch.

The vegetable gardens – Jefferson used this for experimenting with new varieties and hybrid of vegetables and to provide for his household. 

Rhododendrons blooming in September

Jefferson used these flower beds to grow cut flowers and trial new varieties of annuals and perennials.

hubby loving the Jefferson history while I’m plant nerding my way through the landscape surrounding the mansion

Balsam Apple – Momordica balsamina

Princess feather – Polygonum orientale

Amaranthus Tricolor – Joseph’s Coat (Summer Poinsettia) 

Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal flower

I think this is Tassel flower – Emilia javanica. But there was no tag – it looks like an orange version of Gomphrena fireworks

Does this view of Monticello look familiar? You’ll find this sans flowers on the back of the US nickel.

they are just so cute….

The celosia looked fabulous paired with the rudbeckia

I would love to work in a garden with this view

Jefferson was one of the first to push for mixing ornamental plants with edibles. The trellis behind this asparagus holds Hyacinth bean vine, which will cover the trellis by October. 

Nasturtiums flowers and leaves were grown both as an edible and an ornamental.

The gardens were an example of Jefferson’s resourcefulness to use local materials for building trellis and plant stakes. These were holding up what Jefferson called Love Apples (tomatoes). 

These clay pots are used to cover the sea kale to make them turn white (inhibit chloroform) – Jefferson thought they would be more tender that way

Even though Jefferson is often spoken of as a connoisseur of wine, no wine was ever made during his lifetime due to his continual replanting of grapes that wouldn’t survive the Virginia weather. 

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The hallway under the house that led to all the service rooms – kitchen, wine cellar, stables, ice storage – had these lovely little windows that offered glimpses to the back gardens.

For those necessities of life…

the forerunner of the rain barrel – Jefferson created cisterns to collect rainwater. 

Celosia, Heliotrope, cleome


loved this tree in the front of the house – Linden tree

Will the real Jefferson please step forward? 

Around the Garden World In 365 Days – Day 12 (Carter Mountain Orchard)

This morning #2 son, our daughter-in-love, and hubby packed a picnic lunch and headed to Charlottesville, Virginia to pick apples and peaches before heading to Monticello. The views were breath-taking, the country store was charming, and the apple and peach picking was a fun activity mainly because it involved some hiking and taking in beautiful vistas.

Trees loaded with apples

View back toward the country store from the peach orchard

Queen Anne’s Lace along the way

Caitlin’s finding more peaches on the ground than on the tree 

but she’s taken ’em however she can find ’em

the lone peach we found left on the tree

Bachelor buttons along the way

Coming back down the mountain – beautiful!!

Adorable store perfect for all ages – with yummy apple cider!

Great food, cute products, and a nice winery round out this friendly orchard destination. Pick your own apples and peaches! 

Caitlin’s new picnic basket ready for unpacking.
“Mom, quit taking pictures and eat”

Nothing like finishing off a morning of harvesting with an intense game of checkers.

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Wanna guess who’s winning? 

Around the Garden World – Day 11 (Brent and Becky’s Bulbs)

I am so excited about finally getting to visit Brent and Becky’s Bulbs retail center and my #2 son (not a plant person)  is lagging behind wanting to eat his Countrystyle donut. While eating donuts from this Richmond icon is high on his bucket list, Brent and Becky’s Bulbs has been high on mine for years. Hurry up Robert!!
Hubby is at least enjoying the garden while he finishes his donut.

Beautiful caladiums found here.

sweet oxalis

Becky has the gardens set up in order of the catalog

Bishop of Landoff dahlias and gladiolus

 Besides the display gardens containing what was in their catalog, Becky has created an impressive and inviting botanical garden to enjoy throughout the year.

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The butterflies were flitting throughout the garden.

This was Brent’s boat that never was used – so Becky used it in her recycled garden. One of the things that impresses me about the Heaths is their resourcefulness. For a company this big that uses no chemical fertilizers, fungicide, or insecticides, they have have been incredibly resourceful using compost and beneficial insects to manage their garden. 

The beginning of Becky’s quilt garden

A corn crib

Rhodophiala – bifida

Rock garden

a very 21st century way to explore and learn in the garden

Check out Bent and Becky’s catalog online. 

spray painted allium so cool! 

one of the highlights of the day was lunch and a boat ride at the Heath’s home (side note – lunch and a boat ride are not part of a typical visit to Brent and Becky’s bulbs!)

 Brent and Becky built their home, their business and a welcoming garden with their own hands, their hard work, and their passion for unique and quality bulbs and plants. I have enjoyed getting bulbs from Brent and Becky over the years and gotten to know them through the garden writing world, but my family and I fell in love with them as we experienced the story of their lives and witnessed the genuineness of their passion for their industry. They are the American dream in real life.

Brent and Becky built their home from surplus building supplies and abandoned barns.

creative way to load kayak at the Heath’s boat dock

Enjoy this short video of butterflies in Becky’s garden

Around the Garden World – Day 10

The container gardens in Merchants Square in historic Williamsburg, Virgina

Today, before we went to Williamsburg, we spent an incredible day with Brent and Becky Heath at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. But there is too much to tell you this late at night so enjoy these pretty planters from Williamsburg and I’ll fill you in on the Bulb mecca tomorrow!