- [Narrator] Just breathtaking. The beauty that gardeners achieve in their home landscapes continues to be awe-inspiring. First, Tammy Algood finds so many wonderful elements in the many deep landscape beds that nestle the house, and provide amazing vistas. Then Troy Martin admires the obvious know-how and devotion of this gardener, as it seems every plant is in the perfect spot to thrive. Join us. Now, let's learn some good gardening information from an experienced grower. - I love finding inspiration from the gardens of others, and we are in Nashville today, in a front yard garden that is loaded with perennials, and native plants. This garden is not just in the front. It goes on and on in the backyard as well. You're going to love this. We're here at this lovely home with my friend, Pam Rice. Pam, what a tribute to gardening you have here in your front yard. - Well, thank you. Several of the neighbors have appreciated the fact that I put some of my garden out here for them to enjoy. - Absolutely, and you have got a hosta collection that will rival anybody's. It is beautiful. Is that one of your favorites? - [Pam] It is, it is. It has been for years. - [Tammy] Do you have a particular one here that's your favorite in this part of the yard? - [Pam] In this particular garden, I really like this sharp dressed man here. - [Tammy] Don't we all? I love this cushioned pathway that you've got through your garden. Tell me about that. - [Pam] Okay, this year it is cedar mulch, and it's a little bit fragrant when you put it down, but there again, it doesn't wash as much as some other pathway mulches that I have used. - [Tammy] It's very stable, and so I like it better than rocks. - [Pam] Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I agree, I agree. - [Tammy] And it's very natural, isn't it? - [Pam] It is a little cushioning, and it's natural looking. - [Tammy] Right. We're still here in your front yard, and you have a plethora of shade-loving plants that are not in the shade. How is this working? - [Pam] Well, first of all, it was not intentional. I had to have a 45 year old pin oak cut down a couple years ago. This garden was already well underway. I have just been trying to give, especially the blue hostas, a lot of extra water, and by the end of June and July, they may not look so good, but that's what I'm doing for now. Plus I have planted several newer, small trees in this area to provide some shade as time goes by. - [Tammy] So this was the pin oak that is now a potholder? - [Pam] Yes, yeah. - [Tammy] So I can see that it was a massive tree. - [Pam] Yes. It shaded the entire garden. - [Tammy] Nice. So Pam, here we are at your beautiful backyard garden, and you've named it. - [Pam] Yes, I have. The name of it is Nature's Song, because my favorite hobbies are gardening and music. - Perfect, so you've incorporated this beautifully. - And I like the scripture reference. - I absolutely do too, and another thing that I love, Pam, is that you didn't let the slope of your yard interfere with your gardening, so talk to me about this. - Yeah, when I first started gardening, I thought I wanted a flat yard, but I quickly discovered that a slope is a wonderful way to incorporate layers of plants in the garden, so that's what I've gone for here. - [Tammy] So you've got like, a natural terrace effect? - [Pam] I do. - [Tammy] And you've got an unusual little feature here in your garden, that's my favorite. What is the little pig? - He's a flying pig, because one of my husband's favorite expressions was when pigs fly, so that's why I had to put a little flying pig in here. - Absolutely. - A big flying pig. - He is a big flying pig, and he's next to some rocks that absolutely are beautiful, and I want you to tell me how you get this moss to grow on these rocks, because I've tried that. - [Pam] Well, I was lucky. Some of the rocks that I selected, some of the boulders I selected already had a little bit of moss on them, and the moss continued to grow, and now in a few other areas, I have transplanted a little bit of moss that likes to be on rocks. - [Tammy] And it's a beautiful effect. Everything looks like it's placed here. Do you have a favorite plant in this area that's your baby? - [Pam] Let me see, well, I do like the Baptisia there. I do especially like the tall purple verbenas, and I let them reseed, which they will do like crazy, but I just pull out the ones I don't want. I also like the Rudbeckia maximas that I have in the background there. They're starting to bloom, and when they're in full bloom, I think they're pretty spectacular. - [Tammy] Do you cut from your garden? - [Pam] Rarely, only because I don't think about doing it, but I do have a lot of plants that make good cut flowers. - [Tammy] Here we are in another portion of your backyard that is beautifully layered, but also accessible by a nice brick sidewalk, so you've made getting into your garden easy. - [Pam] Yeah, that was important to me. I had individual flagstones in there, but they were not steady enough for me, so I opted for the paver hard scape. - [Tammy] So tell me about your layering, because you have really like, I mean, you've layered on the layers. - [Pam] Layer upon layer, and I never really thought about it that much when I was doing it, but the natural topography of the backyard lended itself to that, and yes, I've got the layering over here, along the path, and through here. - [Tammy] It just makes it fun, doesn't it? And then you incorporated one of my favorite things, a water feature. - [Pam] Yes, it's been in place since about 2006, and there again, I thought a flat yard will be best, but this slope lended itself perfectly to a creek flowing downhill, so I've enjoyed it very much. - [Tammy] And I love how you've got the plants around it, that just spill over the rocks, and like they're reaching for the water. - [Pam] I like that. To me, it looks more natural to have them spilling over the edges into the creek, and just in general, over pathway sometimes. - [Tammy] And talk to me, it kind of culminates and and babbles through to this beautiful tree right here. Talk to me about this tree. - [Pam] That's one of my favorites, and it was one of the very first things I put in this garden. It is a, the nickname is Halloween tree. It is a contorted filbert, and I put it in before I even did the creek, and then kind of built the creek around it. It's a contorted filbert, which looks amazing in the winter. With all the leaves off, you have these gnarly, twisty branches that I love, and that's why it's called the Halloween tree, looks kind of spooky. - And I love it, it seems to be very happy here. - It is very happy. It's been in place, slow grower, but it's been in place about 15 years. - So you were smart to leave it in place, and then just work around it. - Right. - [Tammy] This is the serenity garden. - [Pam] That's right. - [Tammy] How appropriately named? Talk to me about your blue scape. - [Pam] Yeah, I call this my blue courtyard garden, and it's bluer in the spring. The really blue season has passed, because I have the Pulmonarias, and the Brunnera, and of course the catmint is still blooming. - [Tammy] Right. - [Pam] The Nepita. I do have a blue buddleia back there, and I have blue star shrubs in here of two or three different kinds. Of course they have finished blooming for the season, but I've still got some annuals in here. The blue days, evolvilus, and the Elijah blue fescue in here. - [Tammy] Which really looks even more blue next to something that's blooming. - [Pam] I think so, I think so, and I've got the blue fescue. I like it enough that I have it around that water feature there. - [Tammy] It's just kind of wispy, and just kind of fun. - [Pam] Yeah, yeah. - [Tammy] And you've even used blue rocks. - [Pam] Yes. - [Tammy] For your area. - [Pam] Yes, these are Mexican beach pebbles, and at first I just had them on the ground, and then when I thought about how much water this bird bath was collecting, because it's pretty deep, I decided to incorporate those into the bird bath. Now the birds do like that little bit of water that collects in there, but I have done it mainly to decrease the amount of standing water in my yard, because of mosquitoes. The little bit of water that collects in there evaporates quickly. - [Tammy] Exactly. - [Pam] So it's not standing water. - [Tammy] You've turned a normal bird bath into something that's a little more artistic. - [Pam] Right. - We're in an yet another beautiful area of your yard, and tell me how big your property is, because there's lots of nooks and crannies. - You're right, you're right. It is 1.14 acres, so just a little over an acre. - So you've crammed a whole lot of love into this area. - Love and work. - That's right, sweat equity, and here's one of them. This is a very interesting little mound. - Well, I like it, and several people have commented on it. I did not think of it myself. I had visited a botanical garden in which I saw a lot larger version of this, and they called it a hosta bump. Mine really is a little bump, and my impression when I first saw theirs was that of a waterfall, so even though I haven't used exactly the same plants, I think I've achieved the effect of a waterfall here with the Japanese forest grass, and the hosta, the Gingko Craig and stiletto hostas. - It's like as the water changes as it's coming through the rocks. - The rushing water. - Exactly. - And it's a way to do a little bit of vertical gardening. - Exactly. It's beautiful, I love it, and Pam, I've had the best time today. I feel like this is a real honor to be with you. - [Pam] Oh, you're so sweet. - [Tammy] This is such a beautiful piece of heaven here. - [Pam] You're very kind. - [Tammy] Thank you for your love of gardening. - [Pam] Thank you, and I tell people, this is God's creation, and I'm just the caretaker. - [Tammy] Aren't we all? - [Pam] Yeah. - [Tammy] Thank you, Pam. - [Pam] Thank you so much. - We're in Decatur Tennessee today, visiting River Road Farms, where they have the largest selection of mature espalier trees in the Eastern United States. Now, you might think of these trees as just being traditionally fruit trees, but I got to tell you, Peter here has been working on some other trees. - Over the years, we've learned that there are any number of trees and plants that can be espalier trained. I'm trimming a foster holly that has been trained into the horizontal cordon form, and I am really pleased with this. - [Sheri] It's beautiful. - They're great in the garden in the winter, year round, especially in winter, because we're all looking for color in our gardens, and the evergreen plants certainly fill that bill, and I just love the small leaf of the foster holly, but we also train Nelly Stevens holly, which is another wonderful plant, and they can be trained in the horizontal cordons, candelabras, living arbors, fans, so we can go the full gamut with evergreens, hollies that we can with our fruit trees. These are Shasta viburnums. They have wonderful foliage, defined. They make beautiful flowers, and they seem to be responding very well to being trained as a fan, and these would be, I think, wonderful in almost anybody's landscape. This particular plant, which has a wonderful, almost oak like leaf to it is a golden raindrop crab apple, and I just love the leaf. It makes wonderful white flowers, great golden fruits that add interest during the summer. Another plant that we're using, which this one still has some of its winter coat left on it, because this is flushing out a little bit later, but this is a common Leyland cypress that has been trained as a fan, but it can also be trained over an arbor to create an evergreen arbor or tunnel. This makes wonderful texture. It's got a great fragrance whenever you clip it close. Right now, we're practicing what we always do, by letting the tree flush out, so the energy can go back into the plant, and then we begin to shear it, but you can get a sense of what it would be like just in its current form. - I like it, because it's very dense, it's a good screen. - Right, and it's going to get thicker and thicker. The more you cut these ends, the more foliage it's going to put out, and it's going to be just a solid wall of green. - Great for privacy. - Yes. This is one of my favorites. - They're beautiful. - This is an Arizona cypress. It's got this wonderful gray foliage. We're training this as a fan, as you can see, but you can see, you'll see more of the structure in the plant than you will in a Leyland when sheared. - [Sheri] Well, I kind of think it looks a lot like Spanish moss. Love the blue, silver colors. - [Peter] I think you're right. I never looked at it that way, and I'm from South Louisiana, you know, I ought to know moss, but yeah, I think you're right. - How do you pick what trees you want to experiment with? - I pick out trees that I personally like, and would want in my own garden, and I simply apply the espalier techniques, training techniques to those. Now granted, over the years, we've tried a lot of things. Some plants tell us no, but it's been amazing to me how many these plants have said, "Yes, we can be trained," and they turn out to be beautiful specimens. - I can see these being as popular if not more popular for the home garden, just because of the winter color. Wow, Peter, this is really thinking out of the box. I can see this being applied in many, many, many spots. - This is an Emerald arborvitae, and we're already training plants over structure to make walkthrough arbors, but I just thought that maybe a two dimensional arbor that could either go up against a wall, and to have some ornamentation or a fountain in it. - Are these harder or easier trees to manage and take care of? - No, they're really a little simpler, because there's not as much of them in regards to it being an arbor plant. - [Sheri] And I want to thank you so much for sharing with us today. It's been so informative, and I think everybody should try one of these in their home. - [Peter] Thank you for coming. - [Troy] One of the most beautiful things about spring in Tennessee are all the native wild flowers that exist out in these country places on the little back roads of Tennessee in places like rural Williamson County, where we are now. Just outside of Leaper's Fork, Tennessee is the garden of Sherlene Spicer, and you've got all kinds of things here. How long has it been since you started gardening out here? - [Sherlene] Well, about 30 years. - Wow. As we walk along here, I see all kinds of different things. Now, obviously there are some non-native plants mixed in with the natives. You've got lots of Lenten rose, you've got Solomon's Seal, and then I see wild Columbine, and a variety of other things. How do you go about deciding what to add to the garden? - [Sherlene] The plants kind of do their own thing here. That's why there's such a mix. I plant some things in places and then they spread, or I see a spot that I feel like I need some color, and so I move some things around. This little area here is a little more native than not with the bluebells and the Columbines. - [Troy] Right, and then I see Christmas fern coming up, which is evergreen, so that gives you a little winter interest out of one of our native plants. - The rhododendrons were probably some of the first things that I put into this area, and then I just started working it down, and natives just came. - Right. - Once things were let go. There's a lot of rudbeckias in there that, they've spread, and I love it. - And they reseed themselves, and they just keep coming back. You've been really successful with these rhododendrons. Is there a secret that you have? - One species, Roseum Elegans. - [Troy] Roseum Elegans. - Is the one plant that I use repeatedly. It's a lavender flower, a little bit like the native catawbiense in the Roan mountains area, and it seems to like this acidic soil that I have here, and when these guys are in bloom, it's, they're just covered purple. - I'm sure. I noticed they're planted kind of at the top of the garden, so they're kind of at the top of the ridge, they've got good drainage. - They also have good sun. - The acidic soil, and probably people don't realize that good sun is important, not only for rhododendrons, but for a lot of our native wild flowers. Where you see them growing in the wild, they are often growing in kind of clearings in the forest, not under the densest part of the shade. - They like to be planted a little bit high. They don't have really big root systems. They have tight, compact root systems, but they like that morning sun. They don't like their feet, I call it, the bottom of the trunk to get too hot. So here, the light is intense in the morning, and on the backside, they're shaking. So they kind of lean to the east a little bit, but that's what they like. - That's the way things grow. They lean toward the sun a little bit. Well, you have all kinds of beautiful things here, and I noticed a couple of other spots in the garden that I would love to go and look at. - Okay. - [Troy] One of the most impressive things that I've seen here in your garden are these little patches of crested iris, which are native, and we've hit them just on the right day. They're right at their peak. - [Sherlene] Yes. - [Troy] But probably the plant that you have that nobody maybe has ever seen, unless they're really wildflower enthusiasts, and have gone on some great hikes, are these beautiful yellow ladyslipper orchids. Are they native to this area? - [Sherlene] Yes, they are. - [Troy] So they grow naturally on this ridge, and you were able to rescue some plants that were in harm's way? - [Sherlene] Yes. - [Troy] I understand, and able to save those, so what a great thing to be able to do, and they certainly look like they're happy here. - [Sherlene] They do, because they have the same kind of organisms. Orchids like this aren't transferable normally. You couldn't dig that from this property, and take it to another kind of setting. - [Troy] Right. - [Sherlene] They have to have the same kind of material. - [Troy] In the soil, there's a relationship between all the little bacteria and things that grow in the soil where they like to be, and if you take them to another place, which is why we always say you never dig them from the wild. - [Sherlene] Correct. So this was totally a rescue. It's not something that I would encourage by no means. - [Troy] Not something that you randomly went out and did. - [Sherlene] Right. - [Troy] Another of the really special plants you have here that a lot of wildflower enthusiasts in particular really adore is the blue-eyed Mary. - [Sherlene] I started out with a plant from the Chattanooga Nature Center. At that time they were called Reflection Riding, and they grow a certain amount of these wildflowers, and sell them about twice a year. Once you get a plant started, they spread themselves. - [Troy] Right, they reseed. - [Sherlene] Yes they do, and so I just let them come up wherever they want to come up, and I always, each year I enjoy seeing where they're coming, and obviously they're in the path, so we walk around them. - So in addition to the blue-eyed Mary that reseeds itself around the garden, you've got this terrific stand of our native Columbine. - Yes. - And does it attract hummingbirds early in the spring? - Absolutely, they show up the day it opens. - Right. It's amazing how that works, and how they know to kind of follow the flowers northward as they migrate. - [Sherlene] Yes, they do. That one actually opened about the first week of April. - [Troy] And that's usually about the time the ruby throated hummingbirds start coming through. - [Sherlene] Yes, it is. - Now, obviously this reseeds itself, so is it ever troublesome in the garden? - Not troublesome and when it's in bloom, because I do enjoy it very much, but after it blooms, I would prefer to thin it out a little bit, so I do try to take it away from the other plants that are underneath. - [Troy] Well, I know you have a lot of wildlife out here in the garden, so wildlife that is desirable, like the birds, what all different kinds of birds do you have? - [Sherlene] We have wrens, and Carolina chickadees that nest and this one particularly. It, all the different birds have their different places that they really like. - [Troy] So do you have bluebirds? - [Sherlene] We have bluebirds. They are in another nest down there at this time. - [Troy] Yeah, and I'm guessing probably lots of hummingbirds also. - [Sherlene] A lot of hummingbirds, yes. They show about the first week of April. - So those obviously are critters that you want in the garden. - Yes. - I would imagine that there probably are some animals that you don't want to have in the garden also. I can only imagine that there are herds of deer. - Yes, we all have her own personal herd, you're correct. - So how do you manage the garden and the deer? - Well, I tend to, I mix a lot of plants, the hellebores they don't like, and so I put those in places that I think that it will help to keep them away, and then I spray with a liquid fence. - And liquid fence is a liquid product, obviously from the name that smells terrible when you put it on. - Terrible, rotten eggs. - But it dries, and it doesn't smell bad anymore, but it does keep the deer off, and I know I've used it in my own garden. It's one of the few things that I've used and been really successful with. - [Sherlene] A little later in the summer, some of the time though, I have to step up to netting. - [Troy] And actually put net covers over things. - Yes, I do, but I have to be really careful with that, because that also has snakes get stuck in it, and I did rescue three black snakes one year. Had to cut them out with scissors. - Wow. Wow, that's not a job I would want. - Well, you know, you put a stick on his head, and usually they're just tangled a little bit, but they can't get free, and they're good things to have around. - Absolutely. You have some really impressive native azaleas here on the property. Were they already here? - [Sherlene] Oh yes, they're totally native. - [Troy] Yeah, so they're just wild, and grow here, and I know that a lot of locals call those honeysuckle, but they're really not honeysuckle at all, as we know it. - [Sherlene] Correct. - And certainly not the invasive kind of honeysuckle that everybody's so worried about. This is a native, deciduous azalea, rhododendron alabamamense is the botanical name. It actually looks like it flowers before the leaves, so they come out on bare stems after the winter, and then flowers, and then leaves a little bit later. So you really enjoy attracting a lot of birds and butterflies to the garden, and I know specifically you mentioned hummingbirds. What are some of the best plants that you have that really get the hummingbirds going? - Lady in Red salvia is red, and full, and it seeds itself. It's a really good one, and then I plant pineapple sage for the later fall season. - Right, because it blooms late. - Yes. Penstemons, all of the penstemons work really well. Salvias, various salvias. - And I've noticed in my garden that it's not even always the red salvias, they'll come to black and blue, and , and anything that has that sort of tube shape flower, even if it's purple. So besides the occasional garden tour, where gardens may be like yours or some other folks are open, and people can see wild flowers, what are the other opportunities around Middle Tennessee and other areas where folks can go and see these beautiful wildflowers? - [Sherlene] Oh, that's a good question. We have the Tennessee Native Plant Society, which leads outings to go and see some of these wildflowers, and then Tennessee Trails is in Tennessee, all over the state, hikes. They tend to hike faster than the others, but I join them for a great wildflower hikes, and Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association is a canoe club that we float some of the slower current rivers to see the flowers along the riverbanks, and the birds, the migratory species of course are now, the yellow are on the banks there. We see owls, and great blue herons, and bald eagles, and such. The Audubon Society, which I'm very active with, the Cumberland Harpers is the national chapter, and we do a lot of outings specifically for wildflowers and birds. - [Troy] Okay, so there are quite a few opportunities, really for people to go out, and get out in nature a little bit, and see some of these beautiful things out where they exist in the wild. - [Sherlene] In the natural, yes, yes. - [Troy] Well, we've got a little sprinkle coming down on us right here at the end, but I want to say thank you so much for letting us come out and enjoy your beautiful garden. We appreciate it. - [Sherlene] Oh, thank you for coming. - [Troy] I hope to see you again soon. - [Narrator] For inspiring garden tours, growing tips, and garden projects, visit our website at volunteergardner.org, or on YouTube at the Volunteer Gardener Channel, and like us on Facebook.
July 29, 2021
Season 30 | Episode 05
The beauty that gardeners achieve in their home landscapes is awe-inspiring. Tammy Algood finds so many wonderful elements in the deep garden beds of a life-long gardener. This landscape nestles the house and provides gorgeous vistas. Troy Marden admires the obvious know-how and devotion of another gardener big on native plants. It seems every plant in this garden is in the perfect spot to thrive.