- [Narrator] Where does the inspiration for a backyard landscape design come from? Troy Marden learns that the catalyst for this one was the pavers. We'll tour the artistic take on a chess board, complete with a plant pallet that plays into the theme. Tammy Algood, tours the kitchen garden at UT Knoxville, where you'll find dependable and tasty selections of fruit, vegetables, and herbs well-suited for the home grower and Annette Shrader spotlights, the ever expanding selection of sedges that offer color, durability and function to the landscape or in a container. Join us. A fun, unique concept for a backyard design that checks all the boxes. - As a landscape and garden designer myself, I always love creative solutions to backyard landscapes and Summer, you had an idea when you built or bought this home that you kind of wanted to execute, can you tell me a little bit about what your thought was? - Yeah, sure. Well, we had a bigger yard than what we were used to previously, and we really wanted to make it more of an open concept to let people, guests, family, our future kids come in, walk through, play around and have a lot of space, but we also wanted it to match the house, so, to have a modern feel to it, not overly modern, but comfortable and playful and fun and places where we could cook, hang out and entertain guests and just have a lot of space. - Sure, so, you sought out a designer and had some help with this. Tell me a little bit about that process. - So, Matt and I actually worked together on our last house. We did something smaller in our backyard there, so I already knew I wanted to work with him again for this. We talked a little bit about some ideas and he really helped me elaborate on the idea, the original ideas I had. He gave me this giant book of pavers to pick from, and the first time we talked about it, we already had the same pavers in mind, so I was like, "All right, we're already on the right track." - And those pavers sort of led you to kind of a unique theme back here. Tell me a little bit about it. - So, he had this great idea of a chessboard piece. We didn't want it to be just a square, typical chessboard, and so we kind of expanded on that idea and-- - Took some artistic license with it. - Yeah, and added some different areas with their pergola and making sure there would be a space for a big grill, and then he really just went over the top with the different plants and everything that kind of matched the chessboard feeling and theme. - Sounds perfect and it looks beautiful. - And we love it. - So Matt, this is really a unique concept. Tell me a little bit about your design process and working with this particular homeowner. - We had worked with Summer before on a project in East Nashville, and then she kind of called me out of the blue and said, "We have a new place and wanting something a little more modern," so I brought a catalog and we looked through the paver designs and we both went on the same, found the same design in the book that we liked, and it was kind of a checkerboard pattern. So then, that got my wheel spinning. I was like, well, why don't we do a chess themed landscape? - [Troy] Sure. - We can do some plants to represent the pieces on the board, and ultimately, we decided on the, this is Techo-Bloc. This is the industrial series pavers, as you can see, we've got three colors, we've got a black, we've got a medium gray and a light gray, so kind of the checkerboard pattern put together. - That represents the board itself. - It represents the board itself which is-- - [Troy] In sort of artistic. - Yes. - Way, yeah. - [Matt] Took a little artistic creativity to kind of meander. We needed to get pathways to the pergola area and a sidewalk and the sidewalk out. - And as Summer mentioned to place for the grill, spaces to entertain and all of those kinds of things. So then from that point, obviously you took a plant pallet, and then recreated the chess pieces with that. - Yes, more creative freedom. As you know, on the chessboard, there are 16 ponds. We used the green velvet box woods to represent the ponds. There are rooks, knights and bishops. The bishops are the taller slender pieces on the board. We used the emerald green arborvitae to represent the bishops, the knights we used Annabelle hydrangea to represent those, and then the Rooks, H.M. Eddie Yew. - [Troy] Okay, so those are a tall slender. - Tall slender, evergreen shrub, yep. And then of course we have kings and queens on the board, the queens being the tallest piece on the chess board, which has Moonglow Sweetbay Magnolia which has the beautiful white flowers, and then the kings are represented by the autumn brilliance serviceberry. - [Troy] So those will have several of these things will have multiple seasons of interest also. - [Matt] Correct, the autumn brilliance serviceberry will turn a fire red in the fall. - [Troy] Right, little white blooms in the spring. - [Matt] White blooms in the spring, and then berries in the spring too. - [Troy] But berries and then fall color and pretty bark as it ages kind of silver, gray bark in the wintertime, even after it loses its leaves, and the Moonglow Magnolia is kind of a semi evergreen sweetbay, right? - [Matt] Exactly, so it doesn't lose all its leaves in the winter, it loses some, mainly chose it for its structural form, the multi trunk. It's just such a beautiful specimen. - [Troy] Well, and it's got those great flowers on it right now and fragrant. As they mature and get a little bigger and they're really blooming a lot, it will be incredible out here during-- - [Matt] Absolutely, you just walk by and you can just smell the aroma. - Late May or June. - It's a wonderful smell. - Time period. - So, in the arrangement of the plant, is there anything having to do with the chess game in how they're arranged or did you take a little more artistic license with that. - A little bit. I didn't want to get too far into the board with pieces on the board, but you can see some of the box woods are in a little bit represents one move forward, and basically, we tried to keep two rooks used on one side of the board, two bishops, two knights on each side of the board and then just added a little bit more. - [Troy] And then you popped some color in and some places, is that just for fun? - That was Miss Summer's doing. She just added a little bit here and there. - Always nice to have a little bit of color, yeah, absolutely, and even your furniture is kind of a contemporary look and feel, so that matches even the little side table over here sort of looks like a chess piece. - [Matt] It looks like a chess piece. - Everything kind of matches and goes together. It's really, really nice. So, when you're working on a small, urban lot like this one is 'cause we're just over maybe a quarter of an acre here, - Correct. - something like that, and obviously, the client Summer wanted to maximize the amount of space they had back here. How do you work with a client to meet their needs, but also do something that's aesthetically - pleasing, yeah - Pleasing - So, first of all, we came up with a design on paper and incorporated concrete. We brought in concrete company from Clarksville to pour the sidewalk and the pad for the pergola, and then maximizing the space, just kind of drew out the plan for this, leaving enough room for four garden beds to separate the hardscape from the house. Enough room for a focal point here, a focal point here and some structural shrubs and filler. - [Troy] Another interesting little design element is this black lava rock that you've used around the edges. It's not just mulch right up to the edge of the patios. Is that just an aesthetic thing or does it? - [Matt] It is, mostly just for aesthetics. I felt just bringing mulch to the edge of the patio, looked a little boring, so I wanted an extra texture, an extra layer of color, and I thought the black lava rock was a great choice 'cause it matched the darkest color of the paver. - Of the pavers, awesome, and I know obviously, Summer has taken a little creative license out here, also. You mentioned that she planted some of the color, they've got some containers with little patio, cherry tomatoes and just again about maximizing space and using the little vertical garden to have some herbs to cook with. - [Matt] Yeah, it's a great idea. - Well, thank you so much for letting us into your world of design and showing us around a really unique little backyard. We really appreciate it. - Yeah, absolutely. It was my pleasure. Thank you all for coming. - There's nothing more delicious than fresh food from your garden, and I'm standing in a showcase right now. We're in Knoxville at the UT Gardens and my special guest is James Newburn who is the interim director of the gardens. James, thank you for being our guest. - Well, we're excited to have you here, Tammy. We watch your show all the time. - I love this garden. - Well, thank you, thank you. - So, talk to me about this kitchen garden because it's very unique. - [James] Well, this kitchen garden is designed to display vegetables, fruits, edible flowers, herbs, so it's really as opposed to the conventional farmer's vegetable garden. We're kind of showcasing how a suburban or urban gardener might use raised beds to grow vegetables for the family. - [Tammy] And you say, you've got about roughly half an acre here just for the kitchen garden. - [James] Just for the kitchen garden, and it's all fenced in and we try to keep the critters out of it, but yes, it's a substantial vegetable garden with over 55 beds in it. We particularly pay close attention to smaller fruits and vegetables, so we're not going corn or anything like that. Beans that may take an awful lot of space. What we do concentrate are small fruits. We grow a lot of all American Selection winners that are designed for high yield and good flavor, and so right here, we have the pepper that dragonfly pepper which is an all-American Selection winner from just a few years back. - So you've got what I like here is that you've got things not just in mass, so you've got things planted together that you normally probably wouldn't see in a large garden, but in a home garden for sure. - Right, and that's kind of part of our integrated pest management, having peppers and onions together so that we don't get a big mass of peppers that might attract a big mass of aphids, so, you want to kind of space your vegetables out and intermix them with either flowers to attract pollinators and perhaps, predatory insects with your other plants. It's really a matter of kind of mimicking nature, and so we have a variety of plants interplanted with others. So that perhaps what might be damaging to a squash plant like the squash bug. We are trying to attract the predator of that squash bug by planting plants that would be attractive to that predator. - So, not only does that give you pest control, but it also gives you variety within the beds. - You can work with that in such an aesthetic manner. Gardening is the art and science of horticulture, and this interplanting can really answer both concepts, the science up behind it, and then you can be artistic with it. You see in a lot of our garden beds, we have really geometric shapes and all, and it's all part of the integrated process. - [Tammy] I love fresh fruit and boy, does this look like it's just a happy clam. - It is, it really is. This is one of our many figs, figs of course, if you get the right one our hardy in East Tennessee and across Tennessee, this is Martha Ball Washington. It originally came from George Washington's wife, Martha from her property, and so we're happy to have that here, and it is hardy like a brown turkey or so and produces tons of figs, and so we anticipate fig newtons for everyone as we progress into fall. - I love it. And it's married to an unusual partner here. - This is hazelnut. You don't usually typically think of hazelnut growing in the Southeast. Commercially, hazelnuts are grown in Oregon, Northern California, but hazelnuts do survive here and do produce, and so this is kind of the precursor to the nut part of the hazelnut that will come on. - Which is actually beautiful. It looks like a balloon. - [James] It does, doesn't it? - Yes - Yes - [James] And it has beautiful fall foliage too. - Tammy] Tell us about how you utilize vertical plantings. because that really saves some space in the garden. - And that's really important Tammy for the urban and suburban garden that you have limited space, so you need to think vertically up as well as what you can do out, and so for instance, this structure that holds the purple hyacinth bean vine acts as a support for the vine, but yet adds a nice aesthetic touch to the garden as well, provides needed shade when you're out here working in the garden, and so we have that, some of our tomatoes are grown vertically, the non determinant type that just keep vining and then also breeders recognize as well the importance of smaller, more compact plants for the homeowner that needs those conditions. So we're seeing dwarf blueberries that you can grow in a container. We're seeing small narrow columnar, apples and crab apples that can just grow straight up, so that space is really utilized to the best advantage it can be. - And beautifully I might add. - And beautifully, of course. - Herbs are my love, and I think this could be the biggest rosemary plant I've seen in a very long time. It's beautiful. - It is, it is, and I'm sure with your cooking expertise, people are just really anxious to have their own fresh herbs, and our garden here at UT has a lot of herbs in our collection, so this is a hardy rosemary. Boy, you can use this, the skewers, the bare bones for the skewers, or just harvest a few leaves and you've got rosemary, we've got oregano, we've got thyme, basil, there's some new basil that are resistant to the downy mildew problem that we've had recently, All-American Selection discovered that, and then we've got all kinds of mints that are fun to make tea, and so here we have spearmint and you can smell it. We've just been admiring it ourselves, have it we? - I can't not do this. It's just so much-- - And so people are really making infused drinks now, but having those fresh ingredients in your culinary and your beverages is just really an added bonus, and when you grow it yourself in your own little garden, in your own little container, it means so much more. - It tastes better. - It does. - It does. - And how nice that you also donate herbs to the food bank because they need those freshing in herbs as well. - Exactly, you wanna cook with fresh basil. You may have your grandmother's spaghetti sauce recipe and you need fresh basil. We provide that for you. - A great example of just how diversified this kitchen garden is, is just what we've got in eye shot, so we've got thornless blackberries that are along the fence row there that yields right straight into the okra and cilantro here, and James I'm falling in love with this variety of okra that you've got planted here. It's nice and compact. - It is. It's an all-American Selection winner. It's called candlestick and it is a more compact plant, so it's easier to harvest, and the candlestick comes from the okra. It's very upright and it does kind of look like a candle strip, - It does. - [James] but the okra pods themselves are just very showy ornamentally as well as a culinary favorite. - [Tammy] I love red pods, so they start out green and then they turn red. I just love that. - But our whole garden, we look to provide year round interest either for the visitor, but for wildlife as well, so we don't cut down anything once the frost kills it. We let the birds harvest the Marigold seeds. We let the critters find shelter from the winter, so we really do a spring cleanup as opposed to a fall cleanup, and some people might say, well, doesn't that allow for insects to take hold with their larva. If we've balanced our garden right, the beneficials are overwintering just as much as the harmful ones are, and so creating that kind of ecosystem that well-balanced is what we're looking for in this type of garden, and like we were talking about rosemary. You can harvest rosemary at any time of year and it's still going to be good. - And rosemary is the herb of remembrance and I am so going to fondly remember the time here in this garden, thank you so much for being our guest, James. It's just been a delight. - Well, Tammy, thank you so much for coming here. Just so people know the garden is open 365 days. The public is welcome and it's free to come in and take a look. - And it's worth the trip. - Do you know that a sedge has an edge, the world of sedges. We are about to learn about the native and the non-native and I'm going to Joy Boven at Bates Nursery, and she is in charge of a lot of things here, but today her expertise with us is gonna be about sedges. Why don't you tell me why we should grow sedges? - Well, there are a lot of different sedges available now, way more than there ever has been in the past. They've gained in popularity quite a bit. The native options have definitely exploded and the non-natives as well for accent color and function in the landscape too. - Durability - There's different shades of green and blue, and then with the non-native, we've got some variegated options as well. You can typically the native ones like it a little bit more on the moist side, but there are dry shade options as well. - I think that's a good difference there to know that we can plant them in two different kind of environments and they're survivors, they're native and they're survivors. - Yes, and as we are looking for more alternatives to turf grass, sedges is a great option, specifically, Pennsylvania sedges is great, blue wood sedge for shade, turf in particular, not a lot of the sedges can do perform well in sun. - Let me ask you this. I know that you do assist here and do you have a problem ever convincing someone that they should use a sedge? - Sometimes they don't always see the beauty of them, but with some of the cultivars that are coming out now, they're a little bit more appealing. - [Annette] Yes, they are. - But it's also, we've gotta start changing conversation a little bit about why specifically natives, why we wanna be planting more of those. Sedge is considered a host plant for several species of skipper moths. - [Annette] Oh, that's fun to know. - And so, it's a additional ecosystem function that they serve. - We're gonna start off with the natives over here. - [Joy] Sure - [Annette] Tell us about this one right here. - [Joy] All right, this is Carex Bunny Blue or Hobb is the botanical name given to it. It keeps that blue color pretty much throughout the season. It's evergreen. - [Annette] Oh, that's a good thing. - [Joy] And that one will recede, so, if you're looking for an alternative for shade turf, I think it makes an exceptionally great option. - [Annette] How does this reproduce? Does it reproduce from this or does this colors? - [Joy] Yes, so they'll form seeds on those ends of these portions here, and then they'll fall to the ground or birds will take them off and then they'll pop up in other areas of your landscape which sometimes you don't want, but they're really easy to pull up. - [Annette] And that's the mindset. - Yeah, and if you used as a turf alternative, that's exactly what you want. Let's talk about Pennsylvania sedge. This is really the first to hit the scene for turf replacement, and it's because it recedes, it has a really nice look to it and mass. I wanted to kind of emphasize another reason why we need to be replacing turf with more ground cover that we don't mow. A lot of insect species will drop from the canopy layer onto the ground layer, and that's where they pupate finish out their life cycle, so when we have mature trees in an area and turf, we're disrupting that cycle that they go through and oftentimes, without even knowing it, we're mowing over them. - [Annette] Well, let's talk about the non-natives and they may be the ones that people are more familiar with, so, I love let's start over here in the front. This is that chartreuse color. - [Joy] Yes, that is Everillo. It's a part of the EverColor series, and there's several within that series. That one definitely gets the biggest out of all of those. - [Annette] When you say big, how big? - [Joy] In the landscape, almost two by two. Yeah, 24 inches by 24 inches. - [Annette] And it stays that color all winter. - [Joy] It does. - That's a good thing. - [Joy] Yes It is really a statement and it brightens up a darker space. - [Annette] And I can see that being used with a lot of the hukaras in all those different colors-- - [Joy] And a blue hosta, and they all the color palette is excellent. - Now, I like the little fuzzies going on here. What is this one? - Very decorative, that's Everglow. That's another one of the EverColor series, and right next to it, we've got, this is Feather Falls. That's a newer one, supposed to get about 12 inches, but it looks to me like it's gonna get a little bit bigger than that. - [Annette] Can I testify here? - [Joy] Yes, you may. - Well, let me tell you. I purchased two of these last fall and I put them in some urns, some gray urns, and they have been beautiful. All winter, they did not get winter burn on 'em. They're not like your liriope and how some of those grasses do, so this has really filled a gap for me as to how to put some winter color and beauty actually into those containers. - [Joy] Yes, I'm glad you mentioned that because these judges are great as winter container. - Okay, well, here's a nice little feathery one. - That's a little bit smaller, that's Evergold. It was the first one I think of that series, and they don't always group it into the EverColor series, but Evergold leads one to think that it might be. - Again, it's evergreen, that's the main thing 'cause when all the pretties go away, what is our follow? What is our foundation gonna look like? And these things actually will add color, texture and harmony to the winter landscape as well. - Yeah, they have great function. - I think we skipped over this little baby, Ice Dance and-- - Yeah, that's one of the older cultivars that has been in the market for quite some time. So it gets overlooked because of all the new and exciting ones, but that one performs just fine in the landscape. The sedge in general, they will typically don't wanna cut them back. There are exceptions, but really you want those old blades to fall to the base as the new come up and then you just clean up those old blades. - And it just becomes as like a big patch of turf. Exactly, thank you, Joy because you've added joy to my day. Thank you. - Thank you.
September 29, 2022
Season 31 | Episode 08
Where does the inspiration for a backyard landscape design come from? Troy Marden finds one that started with the pavers. We tour an artistic take on a chess board theme with a plant palette that serves it well. Tammy Algood tours the display kitchen garden at UT Knoxville. Annette Shrader spotlights the ever-expanding selection of sedges that offer color, durability and function to the landscape.