- [Narrator] It's a treat to tour a mature, well-established home garden, especially when it belongs to an old designer friend. Troy Marden and Sally Reynolds discuss the reliable, the show-offs, and the changes over 30 years. Then, Jeff Poppin tours the Mansker Station Community Garden, supported by the Sumner County Master Gardeners. Join us. First, trees and shrubs at mature size in full glory, well-establish perennials, and shrubs that shine. - Some of you may remember my friend, Sally Reynolds. She's done a number of segments on "Volunteer Gardener" with us, over the years. And we're in Sally's garden today, celebrating 30 years and the garden still beautiful and bringing you tremendous joy. - [Sally] It is bringing me tremendous joy and it has had many changes over the decades. - [Troy] Right. - [Sally] I mean, where we are standing now, was completely full sun. We now have a beautiful over story of mature trees. - [Troy] Golden Rain tree, Styrax. - [Sally] Styrax japonica. A real favorite of mine, the Lilly of the Valley tree. - [Troy] Right. - In beautiful full bloom over the Mother's Day weekend, and many days after. Although, you do have to pay for all of the flowers that fall on the deck. - Like snow . - So, like snow . So, you are-- - Yes. - Doing some cleaning but, as far as I'm concerned... - Worth every bit of it. - It's worth, it is. - [Troy] A lot of beautiful vignettes in this garden and I know that you are all about views. - [Sally] I am. - [Troy] And there are places to sit, there are places to stand and look, and look across different views and vistas from every vantage point. - [Sally] A garden environment. I mean, to me, to create a garden, you have to have some rooms and spaces. - [Troy] Right. - [Sally] And, as you are thoughtful to develop a space, and how it could transition to another space. - [Troy] Mhm. - [Sally] A vision that certainly wasn't completely there at the very beginning, starts to take shape. - I think, doesn't really matter the size of the garden that you're in. You can get - Exactly. - a very small garden. - You can be. Yes. - And still create a view, even if it's a borrowed view. - Absolutely. You certainly can. - Yeah. - You know, we're fortunate here. We do have some space. We're, you know, the vistas are a little bit longer. - Right. - The views are a little big longer but still, yes. - So, one of the most important things you would say, as you're designing a garden is to think about those views and vistas. - Absolutely. Absolutely. - You also are a plant collector. You're - I am. - a plant nut like all of us are and you have quite a collection of plants here but I know, certainly, hydrangeas have been important to you over the years. - Extremely. - As I drove in this morning, the oakleafs greeting me at the front gate were spectacular and, as I look around us now, there are a great many hydrangeas, either in bloom or getting ready to flower here in the next few weeks. - [Sally] Right. - [Troy] Any favorites? - [Sally] You know , I love the macrophyllas and the serattas. Obviously, - Right. - [Sally] they take shape. I love the oakleafs and they can tolerate a combination of shade and sun. - [Troy] Right. - [Sally] My most recent introduction, which I had on my list for years and didn't have until a couple years ago, was the Limelight hydrangea, which is in the Paniculata family. - [Troy] Right. - [Sally] Which is, you know-- - [Troy] Flowers later in the Summer. - [Sally] It does, it does and it's, you know, it's a full-sun plant, very vigorous. I mean, you can just prune the heck out of that and it's just going to bounce right back for you. - Right. Flowers on its new wood. - [Sally] Flowers on its new wood. - So, you can prune it hard and still get blooms, - Exactly. Exactly. - unlike your serratas and your macrophylla, where, if you prune them, - Exactly. - a lot of times, you lose your bloom, if you do it - You could. - at the wrong time of year. - You're right. You're right. - So, let's talk about serrata hydrangeas for a minute because I think those are some that a lot of people aren't as familiar with. - [Sally] Uh-uh. - [Troy] That's the Japanese mountain hydrangea. Similar to the big mopheads, but almost, almost always, not always, but almost always a lace cap type bloom. - Correct. Correct. - [Troy] And, in my experience, a little bit hardier. As far as the flower buds, a little more reliable blooming. - [Sally] I would agree with you 100% on that. - [Troy] So-- - [Sally] I would agree with you 100% on that. - You get a more reliable show, I think, out of the serratas, like blue bird, and blue billow, - Yes. - [Troy] and blue deckle. So, in addition to beautiful hydrangeas and beautiful over story, you've got hosta collection, you've got some day lilies in places where you have enough sun to do it, you have some other magnificent specimen trees but I know you've mentioned to me before, three perennials that you just wouldn't be without. - [Sally] Wouldn't be without. - [Troy] And what are they? - [Sally] Biokovo geranium. - [Troy] Geranium. - [Sally] Very low, very well-behaved, very hardy, beautiful fall color. Walker's Low Nepeta. - [Troy] Mhm, the Catmint. - [Sally] And dianthus. My fav is Bath's Pink. - [Troy] Still my favorite, too. Only four weeks or so of bloom in the Spring but magnificent-- - [Sally] Ground cover. - [Troy] And a perfect evergreen ground cover for full sun. And we don't have - Exactly. - [Troy] a lot of really good ground covers for full sun, - You are absolutely right. - [Troy] in our climate. Until you get - I agree. - [Troy] into things like junipers but perennial ground covers, that give you a really good season, year round, of foliage. - [Sally] Yeah. - And then this spectacular four weeks of bloom, where the air is scented with cloves and... A wonderful plant. - [Sally] And, you know, you can just mow that Walker's Low down, cut it back, and , here we go. - [Troy] Right back out it comes. - [Sally] Right back out it comes. - [Troy] Starts looking a little ratty, cut it to the ground. - [Sally] Cut it to the ground. You can do the same thing, you know, the Biokovo, yes, groom it down. It will give you some re-bloom. Dianthus will not but it's a beautiful ground cover. - [Troy] Right. One other thing that you mentioned, a little bit ago, was the changes that have happened in 30 years and I think, - Oh gosh, yeah. Yeah. - to be a gardener, you have to embrace change. - [Sally] You have to . - [Troy] And, if you are the kind of person who cannot embrace change, gardening is gonna be a really tough hobby because it changes from morning to night, changes from week to week, month to month, year to year. Storm comes through, takes a tree down. The pine trees die - There you go. There you go. - [Troy] from, you know. - [Sally] I had all of that. - So, and sometimes we just choose to make changes, also. I know, when I was here the first time, 25 years ago, there was a magnificent, big Koi pond, and Sally chose to change that at one point. - I did. - Yeah. - I did. - But life changes and... - Life changes. - [Troy] So-- - [Sally] The evolution has been wonderful and I don't have any regrets. - [Troy] No regrets. - [Sally] About anything. I really don't. - That's good. - [Sally] I really don't. I think the basic bones and shape of the garden, which has evolved with different plant material, over the years, has all been good. - [Troy] Yeah, I think that's a good point to make. If you have good bones, if you take the time in the beginning to create these beautiful spaces, with great stone walls, and great walkways, or whatever kind of walls you choose to build, or no walls, but if you create the bones, - Correct. - [Troy] first, - [Sally] Right. - [Troy] and spend some time, and probably a little bit of money, - [Sally] For sure. - [Troy] and get that part of it done, then the rest of it is kind of the icing on the cake. - [Sally] It is and, over the decades, it will, it will reap benefits and things will change, and your palette of plant material will change somewhat, probably, because your light level is gonna change, probably. - [Troy] Right. - [Sally] But it's a wonderful journey. It is a wonderful journey. - [Troy] Always a pleasure to be here, and thank you so much for letting us come and visit again. - [Sally] Thank, Troy. - [Jeff] We're at Mansker's Station with one of the many projects that the Sumner County Master Gardeners are working on. And Susie, thank you so much for having us here. - [Susie] We're glad to have you here, of course. - So, tell us a little bit about the garden here. - Well, we have several projects here at Mansker's Station. One of these is our herb garden. Jennifer Kirk really takes care of that. She's staff here but we have medicinal, culinary, and dyes because she does some flax, - Oh, yeah. - [Susie] dyes the flax. So, we have that also. Few that we have here. This is horseradish. Of course, which is culinary. - Yeah, and it's a very pungent root. - [Susie] It is. We haven't dug it. I'm interested to see how big it is. - [Jeff] Uh-uh. - [Susie] And then, catnip, and then comfrey. Comfrey is one of the herbs that we grow here and we were talking about this. You know more than I did . Tell 'em about comfrey. - Well, comfrey is also known as Knitbone and it's a good plant to help help a broken bone. You can put it on externally or even make a tea out of it. It's very healthy and easy to grow. You can just take a little bit of the root and plant it, and you'll get another plant. - [Susie] We have lots of it, yes. - [Jeff] And gardeners are known to grow it just because it extracts nutrients from the soil, and then they compost the leaves, and it's a way of getting more nutrients in their soils. - [Susie] We also have, like I said, we have some other culinary. We have oregano, thyme, horehound, chives, - Yeah. - [Susie] there's some hyssop. - [Jeff] Right. - [Susie] And then we have some also fennel over here. - [Jeff] The fennel but this is the indigo plant. Tell us about that. - [Susie] Indigo plant is what Jennifer uses as a dye. She grows several things here to use in dyes. We grow flax and she processes that and spins it, and, as part of that, she uses avocados, all different kinds of things for different colors that she's wants, and indigo is one of those that she uses. - Yeah. Great. Susie, you have a Junior Master Gardener's Program here, don't you? - We do. We started about four years ago. University of Tennessee, Extension Service, has, of course, the Master Gardener Program, but we also have Junior Master Gardeners. - Great and what ages would that be? - That would be third through fifth grade. We've had it for four years. They come in June for a week and each day, we have a different program, and one of the programs we had this year was planting, not only planting a garden, but building the raised garden. - Oh, okay. - We had some that needed to be rebuilt, so that gave them the opportunity to learn how. - Oh, great. - And this is the garden that they planted. We have, you wanted to show 'em a pumpkin. - Yeah, look at the size of the stem on that pumpkin there. Isn't that something else? And that's a white pumpkin. - [Susie] They also planted peppers, our corn. - [Jeff] Lima beans? Yeah. - Lima beans. They got a little bit of everything. They had the best time. Some of 'em are a little too close but we didn't care. We just let 'em plant. - Yeah. - And they enjoyed it and we know we've had some that have come back to see what has happened to their garden-- - [Jeff] Oh, that's great. - [Susie] Since they planted it in June, is when they did that. - [Jeff] That's wonderful to get kids out in the garden, isn't it? - They love it. We usually have about, oh, about a dozen each year. - Okay, neat. Well Susie, a garden this size must take a lot of work. How do you get all this work done? - It does and we have a wonderful group of Master Gardener volunteers. We work - Okay. - in conjunction with the city. We have certain areas that we take care of, which is this. Our pollinator garden here. We have another pollinator garden at Bowen House. - [Jeff] Okay. - [Susie] We have a wildflower garden that is also not in bloom right now but we also take care of that. And we pretty much do whatever they ask us to do but those are our usual projects, and, each Wednesday, we gather here and there are usually anywhere from three to eight people that come and work each Wednesday for two hours. - [Jeff] Oh, great. Besides the Juniors Master Gardeners program, you do have school groups come here and tour? - Yes. We have many school groups, from all over Tennessee, that come for our demonstrations. They get to choose the curriculum before they come, as to what they want to concentrate on. - [Jeff] Oh, okay. - [Susie] And that is provided by our staff here at the city. We have heritage days, we have the school groups, we have something going on all the time. We have Yule Fest. There's something going on here all the time because we want to focus on education, and educating our children, and what happened before them, and how it will affect them in the future. - Oh, that's great. Well, if anybody wants to come to Mansker Station, you can learn a lot about vegetables, herbs, and pollinators, along with the wildflowers that they grow here. - If you love gardening, cooking, but happen to live in an apartment complex, you don't have to forfeit growing plants. In my apartment, I grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs in containers. Some of the plants that we do have in my garden include a variety of mint, including grapefruit mint. This has a bit of a larger leaf and, while the fruit itself is a hybrid from the original mint, Mentha spicata, it is a bit more of a subtle grapefruit flavor. We have our lemongrass. Harvest really by plucking just one stem at a time and this has a very pungent lemon scent. It's wonderful for flavoring water or if you want to use it as a cleaner. We include some of these flowering plants also to attract our pollinators, such as this African blue basil. The leaves themselves make a wonderful tea. So, as we explore some of our more Mediterranean herbs, in the terracotta plants, I have rosemary officinalis and this is a wonderful herb for really if you're not as vigilant about watering your plants. This one here likes to have drought. It's from the Mediterranean region and you can let the pot dry out a bit, whereas, for this mint, I make certain to water it a bit more frequently because it is more of a wet site tolerant plant. And so, you really wanna make sure that your mints don't lose out on their moisture. As far as the lavender, this one is particularly an English lavender, and while the buds haven't burst open yet, this one, too, likes to have a bit more of a dry soil and so, keep an eye that you don't over water your pots. Another variety of the lavender that we have is the Fernleaf lavender and this one, in particular, has more of a very gated leaf structure. It's a lot softer and the blooms are enlarging quite a bit and, when they're young, have a dark purple burst open to a lighter purple flower. Here we have the Curry plant which is very similar in structure to the lavender. It has a bluish-green leaf and does grow to a shrub form. It will grow about three feet in height. Now, despite its name, it's not the same variety as the herb Curry that you often will cook with, or find in Indian cuisine. This one has that name because, when you crush the flowers, it does give off a scent very similar to curry. However, what this is typically used for are its yellow flowers, which come out about mid-Summer and they can be used medicinally for antiseptic properties. And that's the primary use. Directly outside my front door, I keep some of my herbs very close at hand. This includes the African marigold, which can brighten up anyone's morning, walking outside the door, as well as some chocolate mint, which gracefully spills over the planter. The other herb that I have is a pineapple sage and this actually will become a shrub. So, at this point, I'll use it in the pot but we'll move it outside to a larger pot later. Now, we'll cover herb infused water, one of my favorite ways to make use of my herbs. Now, as I said earlier, it's best to make sure that you cut your herbs in the morning when they're at their peak flavor. If you are going to pick it in the morning but wanna use it later in the afternoon, I quite often will let them just sit in water so that they don't wilt and dry out. But it's quite as simple as using either glass or plastic container, and applying about half a cup of your favorite herbs. I quite often use mint and rosemary, can be combined together and what I'll do is take this container and place it out in the sun for several hours. This will heat up the water just slightly enough so that the flavor extracts it into the rest of the water. Then, place it in your fridge and enjoy a glass. - I don't think there's any mistaking the fact that there's been a lot of information fed to us recently about the decline of honeybees, whether it be out into the farms, or in our own backyards. Thank you, Mr. Carter, for agreeing to talk with us and I think we all, in every situation, wanna see what with can do as an individual to help out. So, tell us about being a beekeeper and what you think that you are doing to help with the situation of having more bees in our horticulture. - Well, I feel like me, and my friend, and the association, and other hobbyist beekeepers, are doing a great service to mankind and we sorta feel that way due to the fact that we're raising bees, which pollinate the crops, and the food that we eat, where it be directly to the corn, or pine crops, or whatnot, and also the flowers and the hay and stuff that the cattle eat, or the beef. And we'd have approximately a third less food in this country, wasn't for the honeybee itself. - [Annette] Wow. - The honeybee is the only insect and, by the way, it is the insect of Tennessee. - [Annette] Right, I knew that. - But it's the only insect that we can control and now, what we say by controlling, I can come out here tonight, and I can take and screen this beehive in with the bees in it, 'cause the bees all come in at night, I screen 'em in, and in real hot weather, I'll put me screen top on top, and then, I can move the bees anywhere I want to. - Now, why would you want to move a hive? - Because someone might want to pollinate an orchard, an apple, or a peach orchard, and a pear orchard. And because they know they gonna have better fruit, it's gonna be better quality, and more abundant, by having beekeepers. - Okay, are there other insects that might mix the pollen instead of being like the bee, where they're isolated to the one particular? - Well, the bumblebee works basically the same thing, but they usually on maybe tomatoes. - Mhm. - Now, even some greenhouses get the bumblebees for that purpose. - [Annette] Tell me how you maintain a hive in 12 months. Is it a whole lot of care? - [Paul] It's not a lot of care. In the wintertime, it's sorta dormant. You know, they're not bringing in any pollen, or collecting any nectar but, in early Spring, or in the wintertime what you do is get your equipment ready for the Spring and Summer. - [Annette] Just like gardening, isn't it? - Right and then, you take and medicate your bees, in the early Spring, we're talking about in February, providing the weather will let ya. What we use now is formic acid, basically. - And you're medicating them for what purpose? What's the reason? - For mites and tracheal mites. - Okay. - And, right now, since we been using it, it's been okay by the government that we can use it. They been using it in Canada and Mexico, and European countries for year. It does not contaminate the honey if you do it without the super on it. When you're collecting on it, you're not to medicate the hive at all if they're bringing in nectar, and you're collecting the honey. But we medicate 'em and it takes a period of about three to four weeks. - What things would I have to provide, as a beekeeper? - Well, personally, I don't have enough land to really to raise certain crops for the honeybees. But I have tulip poplar trees - Oh. - which I have tulip poplar back there. - Our state tree. - Right here's two young ones. - I have lots of those. Okay, what's the next thing? - And, if you notice, I have a lot of clover. I leave patches of clover in my yard for the honeybees. - Okay. - And then I'll sort of mow my yard, patch at a time. See? - Oh, okay. - And number one is for the bees and number two, where that the clover will mature and seed - Seed itself. - while I have a good crop next year. Well, they need water. - Okay and they use that in their hive, don't they? - Yeah, they use it for air conditioning. - Oh, okay. - What they do, and when it gets, all right, they try to maintain the temperature of the hive, the brood boxes, when they got eggs in there, in brood, at around 94 degrees. I'm trying to find some brood. This here is nectar here. You can see here, this is what they're bringing in, nectar. They're bringing nectar and pollen. They'll put the honey here, when the queen lays an egg in the cell, they'll put honey, nectar, and a certain amount of royal jelly. If they were to lose the queen unexpectedly, if they got a two-day-old egg in there, they can make 'em a queen out of it. A worker egg and the way they do that is feed it extra royal jelly that the workers secrete from the body. This is brood right here, the brown. This is what a queen has laid. She can lay up to 1,500 eggs a day. And we have here and here. I'm sure we've got quite a bit more brood here. - [Annette] If I want to start a colony of beehives in my yard, do I have to check with any authorities first? - Some towns and cities may have a code against you having bees but most do not. - [Annette] You don't have to be afraid of your nextdoor neighbor having bees 'cause they're not gonna harm you, they're gonna only produce good, is that correct? - That's correct. I mean, you know, . Bees don't go looking for trouble. They only defend themselves when they feel threatened. - I-- I agree. Thank you, Mr. Carter, for allowing us to come into your bee heaven. - [Narrator] For inspiring garden tours, growing tips, and garden projects, visit out website at volunteergardener.org. Or on YouTube at the Volunteer Gardener channel and like us on Facebook.
September 17, 2020
Season 29 | Episode 05
On this episode of Nashville Public Television's Volunteer Gardener, Troy Marden discusses the evolution of an estate garden that was installed 30 years ago by a designer friend who was once a host of the show; Jeff Poppen explores the horticulture efforts at Mansker's Station in Goodlettsville; herbs suited for containers; beekeeping at home.