- [Announcer] From the back door to the fence line, there are pretty plant combinations filling this space. Tammy Algood visits with the gardener to learn the evolution of this landscape, Marty DeHart visits the ornamental garden at the end of growing season to discuss what can be cleaned up and what should be left to support beneficial insects. And Jeff Poppen discusses the wood types that work well for raised beds. Join us. Showy shade perennials create a sense of serenity all along this suburban backyard. - Gardens tend to match the personalities of their caregivers, and this one certainly does. It's full of grace and peace. And here is my good friend, Grace Guill. - Very good. And Grace, this is just the most peaceful, calm garden. I love it. So what you've done is you've taken your whole backyard and you've turned it into your garden. - Yes. - [Tammy] Take us on a tour. - [Grace] All right. This is our original garden established back in 2002, I think, and it's changed over the years, but. - [Tammy] Gardens do that. - [Grace] That's right. - [Tammy] And you laid this, you laid these, this stonework, you and your daughter. - [Grace] Right, uh-huh. We were out here in a messy day, as I recall, it was just muddy as can be. So it's a very, that's all I remember about it, is how messy it was. - And you've just got lots of different plants here. - Right. - Do you have a favorite that's in this area? - [Grace] Well, in the early spring, the ostrich fern, you can't beat that. As the summer heat comes on, that's kind of hard on it, but then the hostas are in full glory then. - [Tammy] I like how you've interspersed them and they just kind of peek out from it. It's just kind of fun. - [Grace] Um-hmm. - [Tammy] Do you have lots of success with your trellises, because I see that you're adding height with all kinds of different plants here, I love it. - [Grace] Right, our clematis seemed to like, they like this area. And so I have them, but just pop up everywhere. I guess they reseed. And so this one just popped up here and I said, well, it's doing so well. - [Tammy] I like it, I like it. - [Grace] I'll just put this obelisk there and let it go. - [Tammy] Big, huge walls can be a big, huge problem, but you've solved it. - [Grace] We were sitting out here on the patio and I said, this wall is boring. And so I was able to find these planters, and this is an experiment this year to see if it's something we enjoy. And I think we'll do it again. - [Tammy] It's just gonna get bigger and better as the season progresses. - As the season goes, right. This is a Shalimar Red Crossvine, that we planted last year. And this spring, it was absolutely covered in blooms, but it was before the hummingbird and the butterflies. So I'm hoping that it's going to, it's supposed to be blooming again later in the year. So I'm looking forward to that. And this is something new, this seed pod. I haven't had a chance to research that yet to see. - [Tammy] It's beautiful, and you know what, it's covering just enough that you can still see your arbor, you can still see the beautiful plant here. And it's obviously very happy here, too. So I love it. And I think they do bloom several times a year. - [Grace] Um-hmm. So you'll, the sweet little hummingbirds will get to take advantage of this just a little later than normal, right? - [Grace] When they'll appreciate that, I'm sure. - I love shade, and you've got a shade oasis here that is beautiful. So obviously you've got shade-loving plants here. Talk to me about your babies. - These are hostas, Danny really likes hostas, so we try to add a lot of hostas, elephant ears, hydrangeas, we really like. This tough stuff was in the courtyard. It didn't like it there, so we put it in a pot and said, oh, and then it did so well here we just left it in the pot. - I like it in a pot. And that makes it nice and moveable. - Right. - So you've got some ferns over here as well. - Right. - And some beautiful bloomers too, to add some color to your garden. - [Grace] These snapdragons. - [Tammy] Um-hm. - [Grace] Have been coming back. They've actually never died for since the end of 2020. - [Tammy] Wonderful. - [Grace] Which is. - [Tammy] Wonderful. - [Grace] They're delightful. - [Tammy] Well, and I like 'em too, because they're just a little pop of color and they they're pretty low maintenance, too. - [Grace] Right. - So you've utilized pots, you've utilized the ground and again, you've just made it so that it's, your eye just follows it all the way around. I love the pops of color. - [Grace] Um-hmm, thank you. Here we've got some Vermillionaire, which is also called a Cuphea. - [Tammy] Um-hmm. - [Grace] It is, the hummingbird just really enjoy it. And so we made sure we had several, but we've had some volunteers come up, too, so we've got more than we even bargained for. - They like that better than the food that we put out sometimes, don't you think? - Yes, I do, I do. We have pansies in the winter. And I found that if I plant the lantana, which I enjoy having lantana out here, it just gets so big and beautiful, that it makes the pansies last a little longer. So it's about time to trim 'em back, but we'll see how it is. They're still looking pretty good as of today. - [Tammy] You know, I always say that's actually a very good idea because I always say, about the time that pansies really get to looking well, it's time to pull 'em up, for the, or cut 'em back for the season. So, you've kind of made it so that they've got something to make 'em look a little better. - Right, and the has a chance to grow a little bit. - [Tammy] You know, fullness makes a garden look lush, and that's the beauty of this, is that you've got not a lot of empty space. You've got something that's gonna take over or that's showcasing itself right now. - [Grace] Um-hmm. - [Tammy] So you do have that pesky little sun that has made its presence known in one part of your garden. - [Grace] Right. We plant, I planted these with Danny's help, planted these in the spring. And it was just the perfect environment for the heucheras. But as the summer came on, they didn't like the sun. There's just a little strip here that gets full sun in the afternoon. And so this year I've decided we needed to plant some hydrangeas and the Pugster Pinker, and, to be a distractor for. - [Tammy] Right. - [Grace] The heucheras and the coral bells in the heat of the summer. - [Tammy] And that's a beautiful distraction. I particularly like the pop of purple. So again, you have got a natural fence here, that you have just carried through your garden all the way down the back of your garden here. And it provides shade, and it also provides a little nesting place for the birds that are obviously, very active here. - [Grace] Yes, yes. I had a friend sitting on the porch with me one day and she said, well, how far does your property go back there? And I said, well, you see the hollies, that's it. - [Tammy] I'm not sure there's a more perfect specimen of a hosta than this one. This one's perfect. It's perfect, and it's huge. - [Grace] It is, this is a Sum and Substance. We weren't quite sure where to put it, and so I put it in this pot. Danny and I were talking about it, and he said, we should plant it. And I went, I'm not sure I want it in the ground. So we're still, it's still in a pot. - [Tammy] It's very happy there. And I've noticed you use a lot of pine straw mulch. Is that your preference for mulch for these particular plants? You've even got some in your pot. - [Grace] Right. I try to protect the plants over the winter with a little pine straw. It, we like the appearance of it, Danny likes the weight of pine straw and the plants do seem to really shine in the pine straw. - [Tammy] Trees are our friend and your neighbor's tree is your garden friend. So you have really used your neighbor's tree to take care of your shade in your own garden. - [Grace] Right, right, well, it wouldn't be a shade garden without our neighbor's tree, so it gave us a starting point. It narrowed the decisions that had to be made. - [Tammy] That's right. And do you take care of your neighbor's tree as far as pruning goes? - [Grace] Only the parts that get in our eyes. - I love how you made your garden, a cooler place, a peaceful place, and a place to just sit and enjoy all day long, thanks to the shade garden. So you've done a beautiful job with making this lovely. - Thank you, Tammy. - It's a beautiful early fall afternoon. We're at the Franklin First United Methodist Church's Giving Garden. This is the herb garden portion of it. And today we're talking about how to put your garden to bed. And we're speaking with an expert. This is Rita Venable, butterfly connoisseur, and knower of all things about butterflies, but also pollinators, in general. And we're gonna talk about how to just, what great plants to have and how to take care and think of wildlife and pollinators over the winter. - We are. - And let's just get started talking about these. - [Rita] Okay, let's start with hyssop. - [Marty] Okay. - [Rita] Now you might think right now this looks very dead, let's just jerk it up. But about a month ago, it was just teaming with bees, butterflies, all kinds of beneficial insects, and this in the winter, as you know, will provide seed. - Um-hmm. - For the birds. - Oh, so it's a double-duty plant. - It is, and you've probably seen, and I have too, many a gold finch come and land on this. - Yes. - And just feast. And it's really one of the things I look most forward to in the fall. - I grow this because it is such a great pollinator plant and the bird thing I love, but that's secondary to me. I also, I'm a licorice lover, and it smells like licorice. - It does. - It's called anise hyssop. - Yes. - [Marty] Agastache is the botanical name. And you can see if few remnant little flowers. - [Rita] Yes. - [Marty] These were beautiful lavender blue spires. - [Rita] Yes. - [Marty] Earlier. And it's really quite a showy garden plant, I mean. - [Rita] It is. Over here, this, I have no idea who planted this, but these are garlic chives. - Um-hmm. - And right now you can still see a few things flying around that like, this is a huge pollinator attractor. - And once again, you can see a few late flower heads, there was a starry. - Yes. - White flowers. - [Rita] The white's so pretty. And I counted a hundred soldier beetles on this. - [Marty] Oh, my gosh. - [Rita] Just a few weeks ago. It's tremendous. And it is so hardy. We haven't planted this in years. - Yeah. - It just keeps coming up. - You can kill this stuff, really. - And you can also, when this turns brown, you can save the seed. - Um-hmm. - Which I intend to do. And we're gonna put it maybe in pots, different places. - Yeah. - It does spread, so, you know. - It self-sows pretty aggressively. However, it's not hard to control. - No. - I mean, it's not like Johnson grass or something. - No, no, no, it's not. It hasn't jumped outta here that I know of. - Right. - Except maybe a place or two, but it pretty well stays confined in here. You don't really think of herbs as pollinator plants, but this is a great, this is garlic chives, so. - Okay. Well, Rita there's a huge mass of late season marigolds over there. - Yes, and you might think let's just take it all out because it's not gonna last that much longer. But not only would you be depriving bees and butterflies of some of their nectaring. - [Marty] Right. - [Rita] Material, but also the other things that eat the seeds, too, so we wanna leave this. - [Marty] Okay. - [Rita] We wanna just leave it as is. Now, if you want to tidy up, you can clip it back. - [Marty] Okay. - [Rita] And, to make it look neat, but leave some of it in the middle. - Okay, so we're talking about little native pollinator bees. - Little native pollinator bees. - Okay. - There's 3,700 in the whole country. - Oh, my gosh. - And 90 percent are solitary. 30 percent nest above ground. - [Marty] Okay. - [Rita] So we're talking about making habitat for that 30 percent right here in our garden cleanup. - [Marty] Everybody thinks about honeybees, but they don't realize how much work our native pollinators do. - That's right, that's right, yeah. - And how important it is for us to keep them, give them homes and keep them going. - Yes, yes. - [Marty] Let's talk about this guy right in the middle, here. - [Rita] Love that plant. - [Marty] I do too. - [Rita] Love that autumn sage. - [Marty] Um-hmm. - [Rita] Provides, it comes on in spring and fall. - [Marty] Um-hmm. - [Rita] And there really is no clean up for this. You don't have to clean this up at all. This is the first year for this. - [Marty] Um-hmm. - [Rita] I love it because it blooms when other things aren't. - Right, and it's a shrub, so like you say, you don't cut it back. It's not a perennial that dies back to the ground. - Right, it's a woody shrub and hummingbird's love it. - Yes, it's a hummingbird magnet. - Like you said, they just love it. - [Marty] This is a spectacular group, bunch of fennel, here. It's just so thick and lush. - [Rita] You gotta, oh, we got a caterpillar, here. - [Marty] You got a caterpillar. - [Rita] And a bumblebee over there. - [Marty] Oh my gosh. - [Rita] Oh my gosh, and then she, a female just laid an egg right in here. And she went over here and laid another one. So there's a. - This is black swallowtail country. - It is, not only that, but a lot of pollinators love this flower head. And I'm so glad you found that caterpillar. 'Cause, yeah, right there. - They're beautiful. - This is one, it's big. - It's nice. - And so they're still reproducing, you know, thee old paradigm of butterflies are gone by here and they're finished by. - Right. - It's all up in the air now. - Okay. - I mean, things are. - Well the climate changing. - Longer into the season. - It makes a difference - Exactly. And so we're seeing things, I had a Monarch caterpillar, just the other day, and that's, usually, they're migrating to Mexico by now. - [Marty] Yeah. - [Rita] So by November. - [Marty] Right. - [Rita] You know, after we've had some, a first hard frost. - [Marty] A really good one. - Yeah, everything turns brown, including the chrysalis. And so you think, oh, I'm just gonna jerk it all out. - [Marty] Yeah. - [Rita] Well there goat your chrysalis. - [Marty] Yeah. - [Rita] For next year. - [Marty] 'Cause you don't see it, 'cause it blends in so well. - That's right, and they may or may not pupate right on this. I mean they may go to the butterfly bush or something round here. - Yeah. - But the thing about leaving everything, even if you cut it, you leave the stems about this high for the bees. - Right. - And you leave this litter. - Down around the base of the plant. - Because you don't know what's in there. - [Marty] You don't know, this is next year's butterflies. - [Rita] It is. - [Marty] Yeah. - [Rita] Exactly. - [Marty] Yeah. - [Rita] That's it exactly, so. - [Marty] That's lovely. Oh, I'm so happy, hi guys. - [Rita] Yeah, way to go. - Yeah, little baby. Well, Rita, it's getting on in towards late September and as can be expected, the zinnias are showing leaf spot and a little bit of botrytis down at the bottom, but they're still flowering their heads off. - Yes, yes, and the bees and butterflies look at these a lot differently than we do. - Yeah. - Where we see bear legs, they see just flower tops and oh, there's food here. - [Marty] Right, right. - [Rita] There's still food here. And these will carry on through the fall, up until frost or even after, so. - [Marty] Okay. - [Rita] In cleaning this up though, so I don't know if you've read Doug Tallamy's. - [Marty] I have. - [Rita] "Bringing Nature Home," but he said with a 12-step program, you step back 12 feet. and if you can't see a problem with it, then you just get over it. So that's what we need to think about as we need to look at things in terms of wildlife and what we're planting these for are that, so anyway. - Yeah, it's more than just a pretty backdrop to your personal life. - Right, thank you, thank you, yeah. And do you save your seeds, too? - Oh, of course I do. - I understand, so that's another reason to leave these up even after they're dead. - Yeah. - I do, I just cut their heads off, let 'em fall, and then you've got. - The seeds are, they're right in the heads there. - Yes, perfect. - [Marty] Yep, there they are. - [Rita] Yep. - [Marty] Um-hmm, okay, let's talk about things that you should yank out. - [Rita] Yes, and we got some s'plainin' to do here. - [Marty] Yes. - So this is, as you noticed, it's invasive nightshade. - Yes. - And in the, it has slowly covered this beautiful. - Oh, I hear, - Wild indigo. - [Marty] Yeah. - [Rita] Which was gorgeous this spring and things nectared on it, it was wonderful. So this needs pulling out, but this needs a lot of work. - Yeah. - This is gonna take a couple hours, probably, to get this whole thing cleaned up, But it's gonna be worth it because then, in the spring, we'll have our wild indigo back. - Right. - It's not only, it's a host plant, as you know, - Yes, yes. - For wild indigo duskywing, which we love. - Right. - [Marty] Especially little butterfly. - [Rita] Yes, beautiful. And we wanna have more. - [Marty] Okay, so we're looking at a plant that most people regard in the U.S. as a horrific weed, here in Tennessee, for sure, which is a poke weed, also known as poke salad. Tell me, but you left it here. - Well, yes. And because it's smaller. - Um-hmm. - And as you and I talked about it. - They can get huge, yeah. - I've seen them seven or eight feet tall. - Right. - So a lot of people think this should be cleaned out. - Yes. - Just immediately. - Yeah. - Like, okay, this is the first thing to go. - Yeah. - But number one, the birds love the berries. - Yeah, they do. - Two, it is a native plant, although it does grow aggressively. If you cut it back at some point after it's wilted and everything, you will have a new poke weed in the spring. - [Marty] Yeah, they are perennial, and lots of moths, little moth critters like it and birds love it, and pollinators visit the flowers. - [Rita] Yes, so that's a good plant. - [Marty] Yeah, well this is certainly a popular, popular native plant. - [Rita] Yes, it is. - Echinacea, purple coneflower. - [Rita] Most popular recommended plant for butterflies for the last 20 years, probably. - [Marty] Wow. - [Rita] Everywhere. - Well, it is a butterfly magnet, there goes a little skipper that just landed on it. And this is an, obviously, it's got a long bloom cycle because we've got flowers coming on, plus we've got ripe seed heads right behind it. - Yes, yes. - Echinacea means spiny, and you can see why, these seed heads are so spiny. - [Rita] Yes. - [Marty] But so it's a wonderful pollinator magnet, butterflies in particular. - [Rita] And bees as well. - Bees, okay. - Bees love the pollen from purple coneflower. - [Marty] So all the seeds gone, you can see this one's all done, it's all shedded, everything. It's all flowered, we've had a hard frost. Everything's brownish-black, these turn almost black when they freeze. - [Rita] Right. - [Rita] What do you do with this plant to over winter it? - [Rita] Okay, I had this in my front yard, so I have cut mine back a little bit when I got these in the summer, late summer. - Right, right. - It depends on where it is as to what you would do. What I would recommend doing. - In a more formal setting, you would. - In a formal setting. - Yeah. - I would have cut, deadheaded all summer. - Right. - And then you would still have this. - Yes. - Coming on in the fall. - And leave that to do its thing. - Then I would leave a few out there. - Okay. - In my backyard, however, or out here. - Right. - We can leave these up all winter for the birds. - Okay. - For the. - 'Cause they'll come snack on 'em at will, yeah. - They'll come snack on 'em and we'll allow that to happen. And then in the spring we may cut 'em back, but probably leave a stem up. - [Marty] Once again, we're leaving that stem because it's hollow inside. - [Rita] Yes. - [Marty] And they like the little. - [Rita] Yes, and one very important thing about leaving these stems, and we've talked about several species. If it's over three-quarters of an inch, it's not helping the bees. - [Marty] In diameter? - [Rita] Yes. - [Marty] So you're talking about only little narrow ones. - [Rita] You're talking about less than three quarters of an inch. So you don't want a great big like, like this. - [Marty] The sunflowers, yeah. - [Rita] Is not necessarily gonna help the pollinators. This is Joe Pye weed. - [Marty] Uh-huh. This was recommended by Heather Home. - [Marty] Okay. - If you do not want the stems up in your yard all winter. - Standing in your yard. - Standing in your yard. - Yeah. - You make a teepee, which I did. I cut all of these off the Joe Pye, about like that. - Okay, so that's what's left, and this is the top. - Yes, and very quickly in the spring, those will be covered over by new growth. - Right. - 'Cause it's perennial. But you can also take this, and I have seen things go in these little holes. - Okay. - Little bees going in there and they will make nests in there, in these hollow stems. - So you just make like this bundle of this and just stand it out in your yard. - You can put it anywhere. - Okay. - You can put it in your front yard, your backyard, you can put it beside your house. - Okay. - I put mine beside. - Okay. - And they'll find it. And I moved it even a time or two. And you can see the little hollow. - Yeah. - Stems right there and how small they are. - [Marty] Oh, I see, yes. - [Rita] Because we wanna provide for those little bitty, there are specialist bees, we don't even know what they do, Marty. - Yeah, we're just learning about this stuff. - We're just learning about all these associations. And I thought I had the butterflies down, pat, like all the host plants, all the things they nectared on, I was like, yes. But now here come the bees. - Yeah. - So, yeah, and butterflies are only a bit of it. - Yes, and there are these specialist bees and it's like, oh, they only pollinate this or some are generalists. - Yeah. - And so we don't really, and until we know more about all this, we just need to provide for everybody. - Yes. - And just let 'em have at it, so. - And you mentioned butterflies and I introduced you as the butterfly maven, which you are. And I wanna just tell you that I have your butterfly book, and it is wonderful. - I'm honored that you have the book and that you like it, so that's great. - Oh, I've bought it for friends. - It was a labor of love, yeah, it really was. - [Marty] Yeah, Butterflies of Tennessee, really beautiful. - [Rita] Yeah. - [Marty] Beautiful book. - [Rita] Thank you. - [Marty] And all the, that's a lot of photography, so. - It was, but now there's even more. - Yeah. - I mean there's so it's a whole world out there that I don't know about. - Yeah. - I mean, butterflies are part of it, but there, we've all heard about the bees and we just need to get on board with providing for them, too as well. - [Marty] Well, they need us to take care of them, but we need them, to live. - [Rita] The things we grow here. - [Marty] Yeah. - [Rita] Exactly. - [Marty] Do we like food, yes we do, well then we need bees. - [Rita] Yes, I think we all like to eat the last. - [Marty] Yeah, exactly. - [Rita] Okay. - Well, thank you so very much for sharing your. - Oh, thank you for having me. - The wealth of your knowledge with us, today. - I've enjoyed it, thank you. - I'm at the community garden in Pegram, and we're looking at a wonderful collection of raised beds. This one here has some looks like some, looks like some lemon balm and herbs and peppers and things in it, but what I wanna talk about is these boards here. These are some nice two by twelves that they've nailed together with a little two by four, they screwed it together, it looks like. And they're about five feet wide or so, so you can easily reach into the center of the bed from any part of the bed. And it's raised up a little bit off the ground, makes it easy to work on. These are six by sixes. It's going to make a little stronger solid bed, kind of handy where you can sit down on it and tend your plants. And of course, you can put pretty rocks on it too, if you want to. And so I like these a little better. They look like they'd last a bit longer. And they're just toenailed in together at the edges here and looks like they're, he's got 'em overlapping, so they've done a good job of building these. Tennessee is home to one of my favorite trees. Sassafras, you know you can make a tea out of the roots, tastes like root beer. Anyway, sassafras is a little more rot resistant than other kinds of woods, like oaks and poplars and stuff. So they've got some sassafras from the forest right over here and they brought 'em in and split 'em and then they are using these for their raised bed. I guess they didn't split 'em, they actually chainsawed 'em it looks like, yeah. And this will last for several years and this gives it a really nice old-timey look. And it's more natural. Now, of course you can't sit on it or anything like that. But this is just a great way to build stuff, just with materials that they've got, some little stakes that they put in and built these up. And that probably didn't take very long, and they've got themselves a really nice bed. And this garlic is in another sassafras raised bed. And this is a good way to, it keeps weeds from climbing in from the paths and really defines exactly where you're gardening and where you're walking. And so when we build raised beds like this, we don't ever walk on 'em 'cause that's gonna compact the soil. We wanna keep that soil real loose and fluffy all the time. And raised bed gardening is a good way to do that. And you can tell by the health of the garlic there, it likes it too, yeah. This is one of the hardest woods we have in Tennessee called black locust. And it is probably the most rot-resistant wood we have. Now up where I live at, we make these things, we would use cedar because that's what we have a lot of. But black locust is even, is even better, and it doesn't have the sapwood that cedar does, the white part of the cedar will rot out. But this black locust, it'll be here forever. Yeah, it's just a great wood and they're using it here for a little herb bed. This is a oregano and this is fennel. Looks like it's a bronze fennel. Raised beds require more water than when we garden on flat land. Just the nature of being mounded up is gonna dry out on the sides, so most raised bed gardens will have the drip irrigation in it. All in all, raised beds are a great way to have a garden in your backyard. It's real easy to define where your lawn is and where your paths are and where your beds are. And you can make 'em out of any number of things, cement blocks, or stones are the ancient way of building terraces and rock gardens. So I love the diversity here, though. There's a diversity of plants in this garden, there's a diversity of styles of beds, they're not tied to any one thing. They're just kind of winging it and going it with it. So it's, it's a beautiful thing up here at the Pegram garden.
September 22, 2022
Season 31 | Episode 07
Tammy Algood tours a backyard garden that fills the space from the house all the way to the fence line. There are pretty plant combinations and outstanding specimens all around. Marty DeHart takes her time cleaning up the ornamental garden at the end of the growing season so it can continue to support beneficial insects. Plus, Jeff Poppen discusses raised bed construction.
Watch Clips from this Episode
Cleaning the ornamental garden to serve beneficial insects
Late September finds us doing clean up in the ornamental garden after the growing season. But not so fast. Host Marty DeHart, along with Rita Venable (author of 'Butterflies of Tennessee'), will have you looking at garden clean up a different way. They look at several common garden specimens with suggestions of what to do to benefit pollinators and beneficial insects for the winter.
Pretty plant palette for a shady backyard
From the back door of the house all the way to the fence line, there are pretty plant combinations filling this backyard. Host Tammy Algood enjoys the established plants in the beds that add dimension to the space, and the containers that hold some outstanding plant specimens.