- On this episode, we take you through three unique gardens. First, Julie Berbiglia visits an urban homeowner who cherishes native plants. They are given support to roam throughout the yard. Tammy Algood tours, the grounds of another suburban lot, where the homeowners have fun plant combos, eye catching blooms, and a tidy vegetable garden that produces high yields. Then Marty Dehart tours a very thoughtful and well researched garden space designed for those with dementia and Alzheimer's. So special. Come along. - First, let's see how a homeowner has taken out the turf to allow the native plants to thrive. - So I can hardly tell you how much money I have spent purchasing all kinds of great plants, but especially wonderful native plants. But now I'm finding out from my friend Joanna here that I probably have all kinds of great plants in my yard, so we're gonna find some of them. So tell me about some of the plants that are sort of anchoring your now native yard. - Okay. I'd say the two biggest anchors, biggest in terms of volume, are the violet that lawn people love to hate. This is just common blue violet, viola sororia, and I just kept it where it was. I stopped mowing, it got fluffier and fluffier and it kept spreading. And the second big plant that I've using are the native sedges. So everything that looks like grass here and all over is kind of going up and spilling over, they're native sedges. I have at least four different species. I'm not sure what they are, but I know they're in the Carex genus and they're part of this native habitat. So once I started ripping out the turf grass and the mondo grass and the liriope, this is what's left behind. So that's like, that's like the background for everything else. - So what is this gorgeous fern? - These two are Christmas ferns, which is my favorite fern. It's an evergreen, so it's green all year and it sends up fresh little fiddle heads in the spring. And I've got some marginal wood fern over there popping up, and then these kind of clumpy things are coral bells and they haven't come up yet with their blooms. Stuff that's blooming right now really is just the, astilbe, there's 1, 2, 3. The columbines have finished. There's a false blue indigo over there, which is a wonderful plant in our cedar glades, is just tremendous. The catmint is not native, but you'll see there are native bees all over it. The, our native bumblebees start coming out around May one, and so that's who's on it right now. And you can see the little pollen baskets, so I do it for them. And then the shrubs that are blooming that I plugged in are Virginia sweetspire, and every one of them came from a little sucker that was in someone else's yard. So they rooted right away and came up nicely. And that's really, that's the mark where that was the only bed until COVID. Everything else was lawn that I mowed. I tried to keep the mowing just to four times a year, but I mowed it. So all this stuff has been since then. - Okay. So I love this tall plant here. I just think it looks like, you know, something wild and crazy, but what is it exactly? - It is wild and crazy, and for years and years, it would come up in the lawn, just these strange, long, toothy leaves, but I would keep mowing it. It never got any higher, but as soon as I stopped mowing, it became that, and it'll get eight feet tall if I let it. It's a giant ironweed, it doesn't belong in a shade garden, but birds, I guess, or the air gave it to me, so it stays, but I will chop it down so that it'll bloom lower, otherwise it really will be just too high to even enjoy. But so many pollinators come to that plant. So if it's at eye level, I can see who's coming. - Right. Oh, fantastic, because I know that is a plan a lot of people are after. Now, you also have, let's see, I'm assuming you're keeping this for a reason, but help me figure out what it is. - Okay. This is a geum, it is white avens. So there's a spring avens that comes up in the woods that's yellow and it's like a little low thing, but this gets quite high, and it has white flowers, kind of like a strawberry bloom, but smaller. And it gets this tall. This is also the whites avens. And I made this so that people could see what it looks like after it germinates in the yard. It's just all over the yard. So I dig them up, grow them in pots. And when they get big enough, I plug them in where I want, and eventually I wanna have a whole ground cover bed of just whites avens. - Baby blue eyes. - Yeah. - But wow. How did you come across this? - This is underneath, I guarantee it's underneath the turf grass and in shady corners of every lawn in the neighborhood, you just have to get on your hands and knees and be weeding by hand, like an idiot to find it. But isn't it cute? And the flowers, oh my gosh, this is a flower. That's, it's called small flower baby blue eyes, and that is a small flower. - Now that is just precious and I imagine this has wildlife value? - Yep. As a native plant, it does, and it loves shady, moist nooks. It's related to another baby blue eyes out west, which really is blue. I think this is more white. - Your yard has a purpose that's bigger than you. - The signs let people know that this is on purpose. It's a Certified Wildlife Habitat Yard with the National Wildlife Federation, and more recently, it's a Certified Tennessee Smart Yard. - Okay. This all looks like stuff I've been pulling off of walls and out of beds, so save me some more time of weeding. Let's start with this one here. - Well, honestly, all these vines are good plants, but they are in the wrong place. So I'm going to pull them up later after you leave, but it's good to meet our neighbors, and these are all neighbors we all have. This one in your hand is, it comes up like tough wires, and it twines around things and it drives gardeners crazy. There's a young leaf and then they can be variable, you know, how many lobes they have? It's called Carolina snailseed. It's gonna have tiny little blooms the pollinators will come too, and those blooms will turn into fruit that looks like candy from like a machine, and inside the fruit is a seed that looks exactly like a snail. So it's Carolina snailseed. - All right. Super fun. - Yeah. - Okay. Okay. So I'm leaving that one now. Okay. This one with all the spines, I feel like I probably have scars from this one, but tell me about it. - This is, yeah, we know we have this when we're weeding and it hurts. So this is a native greenbriar. It's a Smilax, and you'll see the fresh new emerging leaves are kind of bronzey, that's a telltale sign, and the fresh ones are so tender that they're almost edible, because they are edible. People eat these. They, you can eat these raw, they're very new fresh tips, but people cut 'em up and cook 'em, kind of like poke salad but without having to boil them three times, so they're not toxic. - Okay. That's great to know. Now I see one that looks familiar, but I don't know if it's just because I've weeded it out or for, or I've bought it. I don't know. So this one here, these very distinctive lobes. - Yes. And I see that coming up in trash alleys, I'm very, very, very happy about it because it is the host plant, the plant that the gulf fritillary butterfly aims for when it's time to lay eggs. So she'll fly around and land on plant after plant after plant and taste with her feet until her feet tell her she's on a passion vine, then she can lay an egg. And luckily, I don't know many people who grow this as a garden plant, but it is a wild plant, and it climbs by these tendrils, it'll climb up anything, and as you can see, this might not be the best thing for a garden bed. I would have it in a barrel or in a part of the yard where you mow around it, and then it can just do what it wants and feed so many butterfly caterpillars. So this is the yellow passion vine, Passiflora lutea, tiny little blooms with the same crazy shape as the more common purple passion vine, which is the Tennessee state wildflower, with those big old tropical looking blooms with the Christological symbolism and all that stuff. It's so cool. And I have that in the back, but I plucked one stem just so we could look at the leaf in comparison to the yellow guy. So they both have the three lobes. These are bigger. These stay this like spring green. - You were telling me about this. What is it? And how can I identify it in my yard? - This is a weed that I find in lawns, front yards, backyards, next to the sidewalk, and people yank it up because it looks like kind of a hedge bind weed with those long heart shaped flowers. And one time I was weeding it and I noticed that my hands smelled like peanut butter, which happens to be a field mark for this milkweed vine. This is a milkweed. This is an actual host for the monarch butterfly, and so it's a really good thing that I find it in trash alleys, cause she finds it there too. She will land on it, lay her eggs, and I find caterpillars growing on chain link fences that no one knows about. So milkweed vine, now there's several milkweed vines that grow wild in middle Tennessee. This is angle pod because look at the seed pods, angle pod. Isn't that cool? - Oh. - It's got these ridges. And each one of those things is a seed. Here's one that was in the front yard. I dug it up for you because you can see how velvety the stem is. That was my first clue. And then the peanut butter smell. So I'm gonna plant this on a trellis and see what happens. - Now this, I know I've ripped out lots of this, but I'm now starting to keep it, cause I like the little flowers. Tell me all about it. - This is fleabane. So it's the Erigeron genus, and it's an amazing plant that seems to thrive on neglect. I see it in lawns everywhere and it makes me so happy when I see people who have mown around these islands of fleabane, cause they're keeping it until it flowers and seeds, so that next year they'll be more fleabane. Most of them are annuals. Some are biennials. So you need to let 'em go to seed so you'll have more the next year. And usually it's just a pollinator magnet. Like the little tiny guys, the hover flies and the all kinds of little creatures are just zooming around. There are crab spiders eating those. So if you like, on a sunny day, you can pull a chair beside it, and it's an amazing sit spot because there's all this drama going on around you just because of one weed that you didn't weed. - This is one of my first and favorite wildflowers. Tell us all about it. - This is American pokeweed and it feeds so many creatures. There'll be little caterpillars eating holes in the leaves. The cardinals come and eat the little caterpillars. And when it gets taller, it's gonna have lots of little white blooms, which feed pollinators, including hummingbirds. It's always a surprise to see hummingbirds on little tiny flowers. Then those flowers will turn into the pokeberries, that beautiful pinky purple color that people use as ink and dye and paint. - This looks like a problem we've all run into, which is a bush suddenly turns into a home for vines. You get in there and try to pull it out, and I don't know, Joanna, that's looking like a leaves of three. - Leaves of three and it's glossy and kind of red. But the surprise is if you keep going down the vine, they get more leaflets until you see all five and that's a good native vine, Virginia creeper. - I love this and I want to know where you got it because I want some. - This is an endemic sedum in our cedar glades. So if you go to a middle Tennessee cedar glade where there's like bare limestone, this is like grown up out of it everywhere, and it's called widow's cross. It's a stone crop, it's a sedum, and it's an annual. So once these little pink, slightly fragrant flowers bloom, they'll set seed and they'll germinate in the fall. Over winter is like little weird red things, and then do this in May. And they're exquisite. They're just carpets of them in the cedar glades. Well, you can't take anything from a cedar glade, they're protected natural areas, but I had permission to take one little spoonful and this is what happened from one spoonful last year. - Well, Joanna, my eyes are so open now. I can't wait to sort of crawl through my yard and see what I can find. So thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. - It's my pleasure. - A lot of us who enjoy gardening live in subdivisions with a typical rectangular lot. Today we're in that type of space, but the gardens are anything but cookie cutter, I'm here with my friend Jim Stacy and Jim, you have done a beautiful job. - [Jim] Well, we appreciate that. We try, you know, we try real hard to accent, you know, God's creation, and the natural things that are here, like the rocks and the trees, and so we want things to not be squared off so much. We want 'em to be rounded and sculpted and that seems to draw attention to it. - So you've got a round area here, like you said, versus a squared off area that most people typically do - Right - In their flower beds, because it's easier to square it off. - Right. Right. - [Tammy] But what you've done is you've worked with the curves of this. So tell us how you kind of started this bed, cause it's a beautiful focal point actually that draws your eye to your front door. - [Jim] Well, originally we had had these, of course, had these trees that we wanted to emphasize, and then we actually moved some of these rocks in from other parts of the property, and we, honestly, we had somebody to come in at first and do the initial sculpting and he designed some of this. And then, since then, we've replaced a lot of plants concerned with what grows better in shade versus sun and so on. And the elephant ears have been phenomenal and we get so many comments on that. They're just now beginning, a little later on they'll, you know, you can make a dress outta one of the leaves. - Right, right, right. And so Jim, what you've done here is you've taken an ordinary little, little area and you've turned it into something interesting by having lots of different shapes and colors and almost even textures in this area, right here. - Right. - I love it. So Jim, this is your sunny area. You had a beautiful shade area and now you got, you're utilizing the sun in this little side garden. - Right. We have so, so many shade trees that it's difficult to like grow vegetables and some of the flowers that need a lot of sun, so this is about it, except for going out by the road, and we wouldn't want to do that, but this garden then we developed after, so after, sometime after the original landscaping, and these rock actually came from a place that we have up in Canaan County. - [Tammy] Ah wonderful. - Brought them in. And so, I carried on the theme of the sculpting - [Tammy] Right. - Rather than just square it off. And so we've been really pleased with it and it, Judy's lilies are just phenomenal. - They're beautiful. - And these taller ones are stargazers. - And what I like about this is you raised this bed - [Jim] Right. - [Tammy] So you utilized these rocks from your other place to build up the area. - [Jim] Right. - I'm assuming that you're like me here in Rutherford County, your land is full of rocks. - Well, it has a creek on it, and also it has part of an old rock fence, and so that gave us the rocks to use, and the raised bed works much better around here because the ground is so rocky and dry and we continually add compost to it. So that's, you know, you have to keep adding back natural things to the soil. - [Tammy] That's right. That's right. This garden is situated right on what looks like your property line, cause I see your neighbor's driveway there. - [Jim] Right. - [Tammy] So how did you incorporate that with your plan? - Well, when we moved here, there was actually a, somewhat of a raised garden here before, and we wanted to make sure we didn't encroach on the neighbors or make anythings unsightly for them, so we tried to make it as pretty as we could and try to keep it clean. They don't have any problem with it. In fact, the little, the little son over there, we always give him cucumbers. - He loves cucumbers. So we, and other things we share with them, so they're happy with it. - Well, it almost is like you've enhanced their property as well as your own. - Right. That's true. We get comments from them from time to time that they have friends that come and say, "Wow, they have a beautiful yard over there." So that's good for them and us, too. - Absolutely. I love this little vegetable garden that's hidden behind these beautiful, massive lilies and flowers. So this is actually a relatively small vegetable garden that you have here. - It is, right. Very small, but very productive. I make sure the soil is rich. I have some water on it. I grow enough tomatoes that all that we can eat and give to other people. And in fact, last year I actually canned about 46 pints. - [Tammy] That's a lot of canning. - Right? And then we have okra, which produces what we call it green candy when it's fried up. So all that we can eat and give some of that away. And then over here, I have cucumbers that are on a trellis. and so they grow hanging down and keeps 'em clean and - [Tammy] Easy to harvest. - [Jim] Yeah. Get a good clean harvest and lots of them, so we give a lot of those away as well. - [Tammy] What I like is that you've lined your vegetable garden again with flowers. - [Jim] Right. - [Tammy] This is a healthy looking collection of celosia here at the edge of your vegetable bed. These will bloom in July and put on quite the show, and beyond that they'll attract bees and other pollinators to this spot. - They're almost invasive, but they are, when these all bloom, they'd be pretty red, and they're just really beautiful surrounding the garden. - I love it, Jim. And you've got easy access, again it's a little bit raised with your rock that you've utilized for curve. - [Jim] Right. - And what you've done is you've made this into a usable space that would normally just be mowed. - [Jim] That's right, and it's very useful, and also we think pretty. - I believe, I totally agree with you. We mentioned earlier that you've got so much shade. - Right. - And so what you're doing in the back here is you're making the plants transition from shade to sun. - Right. - So what you got here is pots, but you're able to move them. - Mm-hmm. Yeah. Some of 'em are so big they have to be on rollers to move 'em in fact, a lot of these plants are taken inside. And like for example, these crown-of-thorns are wonderful plant because they bloom year round. Before frost, we'll take them inside, and you know, during the winter, they'll start to, start to have some dried leaves on 'em, so Judy takes her little tong cause they are thorny. - [Tammy] Yes they are. They have lots of thorns. - Kind shakes them and shakes the leaves off and then sweeps 'em up. But they're just astounding. The only thing they have to have is like me, they have to have their caffeine. - They love coffee. So she gives them her extra coffee in the mornings when she doesn't finish it all. But they're just an amazing plant, and some of the other, like the plumerias, they go in the garage. - [Tammy] So Jim, this is just a good tip for people to keep in mind that things don't have to stay where you put them, you can move them around - [Jim] Right. Right. - [Tammy] To fit the plant. - Right. Judy will move them around as the sun shifts, you know, during the season she'll move 'em around so they can get the sun they need or the shade they need, and it works really well, so. - It's a good tip. - Especially for her moving 'em and not me, so. - Yeah, that and rollers help a lot. Don't they? - Right. - Don't they? Thank you, thank you so much for letting us see what is possible in just a normal, suburban lot. - Right. - That you can turn into something exquisite and tranquil and beautiful and peaceful. - Right. And it just, it just gives us a sense of accomplishment and the peace and the tranquility that, you know, God's creation brings us all. - Absolutely. Thank you. - Oh, you're welcome. - [Marty] Today, I'm gonna show you an incredible garden. This is the courtyard at Abe's Garden, a unique installation that is designed with more considerations than I've ever had to think of when I design a garden, and I can't wait to share with you. - The idea of planning for persons with Alzheimer's and dementia - Right. - Is very specific. So there's a lot of thought that goes into it related to, we met with gerontologists, we've done a lot of research on precedent developments. - Right. - So, so many different aspects that are unique for that community that we really have to plan for such as transitions from interior to outdoor spaces. - Right. - Older eyes need a little bit more time to transition. - Right. I noticed you coming out of a door. It's not like, bam, you're outside, there's a little portico - You come through the porch. - There's a little canopy. Yeah - Yeah, exactly. - Yeah. Yeah. That's, everything is so thoughtful here. - It is really trying to pay attention to senses, to really engage your senses. - And a water feature. How delightful. - Well, and one of the things we've tried to do with this garden is to really make it very elemental. So it's kind of earth, wind, fire, water. - And water. - The water feature will have koi in it as well. Again, the idea of movement and a little bit of color and a little bit of something different for the garden. - And you can even. - And it's really intended to actually get your hands in it. This is a place where we never say no, we always wanna say yes. So "Can I get my hands in the water?" "Yes." "Can I splash it all over?" "Yes." - And open access. "Can I go outside?" "Yes." - Yes. If they wanna get their hands in the dirt, we want 'em to get their hands in the dirt. And so this bed has been designed so that if you're standing, you have support. If you wanna reach over and garden, if you're in a wheelchair, you can slide underneath and have access. And so what we've provided is that gardening to be able to be at several different levels here, and you'll see it throughout the garden, a number of different places. - Accessibility is just amazing here. - Accessibility. And it's, everybody's not abled the same. - Right. - So sometimes you have a walker. Sometimes you're - Right - You have nothing. Sometimes you're in a wheelchair. - Right. - And so this vertical garden, which is getting ready to get planted with a lot of the herbs, provides so many different levels - I see - So that - Three different, yeah - At whatever level you're at you can get your hands in the dirt. - Oh, that's wonderful and so easy. You can just roll along this walk. - Exactly. - Oh, that's - We always wanna be able to say "Yes, you can." - Mm-hmm. I see you've got in ground level beds here, too. - Yes. - Yeah. - You have to have a tomato in a garden, right? - Oh my gosh. And bell peppers, very safe. - Right. - And that looks like a little trellising over there on the inside. - Yes, the trellis is for peas or beans or cucumbers or any of those kind of vineing vegetables? - Wow. - So they can get it at all levels. - You can grow all kinds of stuff here. And I see you've got some nice flowering perennials and things too. - We have - For color and - Exactly. That's that idea of really trying to tie in to season. - Right. - And one of the real goals at Abe's Garden is to make sure that every resident comes outside every day and who wouldn't want to with a garden like this? - Yeah. - But we're right now underneath this covered arbor that allows that to happen. - Right. - You come out of the door, there's visual access to the next door, and so it makes it very easy and comfortable. - Right. - To be able to come out, take a walk, meander through the site - Mm-hmm. - And be comfortable the whole time. - Right. Yeah. And not worry, no matter what the weather is. - No matter what the weather is. - Yeah. And being enclosed like this is gonna be a slightly sort of micro climate, a little warmer, I would say. - Exactly. Being inside the courtyard. - Yeah. Yeah. In the winter, it won't be so fierce. - Yes. - And these lovely plantings? They're just really, I see blooming dogwoods. And you've really given a lot of thought to the - [Kim] Dogwoods with the wind chimes. - [Marty] Yes! - [Kim] Again, always trying to bring in those senses, we have a number of different hydrangeas. A lot of our ground cover here - [Marty] Right. - [Kim] The ajuga, the liriope, several different hostas. So we're really kind of trying to play with texture. - [Marty] Right. - [Kim] And color. - [Marty] Right. - [Kim] All kind of together. - [Marty] I think one of the things that I really like about this place, one of the many things, is how it's not an isolated space. I mean, that's Park Manor right there. It is not? - It is. And we really highlight this courtyard, so that from those balconies, those windows all the way around, you kind of look down into this space, it's a beautiful space. So why isolate it? Let you be a part of it. It has been such a collaboration through the whole process with aging experts from across the United States. And as you can imagine, none of this happens without really a hand in hand collaboration with our architects, lighting designers, the interior designers, the structural engineers, everybody had the same mindset for this. - [Marty] Wow. - [Kim] And with staff, staff was involved every step of the way. - [Marty] Wow. Spectacular space. - [Kim] Yes. - [Marty] What an accomplishment. - [Kim] Thank you for all of us. It's been a long time in the making and so well worthwhile. - [Marty] Ah, it's just a, it's a delight.
August 04, 2022
Season 31 | Episode 03
We tour a suburban yard where the native plants thrive and support insects and wildlife. There's no need here for a lawnmower. We visit another home landscape that keeps it interesting with rounded beds and colorful blooms. We then visit a garden specifically designed for those living with dementia. "Yes you can" is the motto in this safe and lovely space.