Saturday, April 23, 2016


Two weeks ago (April 9), I posted photos of my garden. Since many people appreciated seeing the garden, I am posting more photos showing what is blooming in the garden today, Saturday, 23 April. As any gardener knows, plants change daily, and show off at different times in different ways. This year is providing an unusually beautiful springtime here in the South. As one sees I am fond of trees, shrubs, and perennials. My motto is: "Low Maintenance." One will also see weeds. My philosophy is a garden that does not grow good weeds is not much of a garden. I pull the weeds as I can but do resort to Round-Up although I hate putting poison in my garden.

I hope you enjoy this garden as well as the gardens in different forms all over the place. They are everywhere if one will only look. Every now and then it is best to forget about everything else and just soak in the incredible beauty of God's creation all around us.

 Deutzia (Deutzia gracilis) is an old fashioned Southern favorite shrub. You can see why.

Chinese Fringe Tree (Chionanthus retusus) is covered with white "fringe." It is nearly full grown at about 15'. The star of the garden at the moment (Snowball bush is fading out).

Clematis is one of the most common vines anywhere, and for good reason. This is 'Polish Spirit.'

Red Knockout Rose is my favorite rose because it is low care and blooms prolifically from frost to frost. Japanese beetles arrive in late May early June but do not last as they are favorite food for some of the birds that inhabit my garden. I have 32 Red Knockout Rose bushes. I prune them in winter, give them a little fertilizer and then leave them alone. They reward me in abundance.

Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis 'Purple Smoke') is another favorite perennial shrub.

Blue Wild Indigo with banana trees in foreground. Every southern garden should have banana trees.

Eve's Necklace (Sophora affinis) is a small tree, eventually to 15'. It has long blooms resembling necklaces. This is one of the most unusual plants in my garden. In fact, I have never seen one growing anywhere else. I ordered this as a seedling from a nursery in Texas.

Clematis 'Duchess of Edinburgh'.

Bananas on left. Foreground is Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii). Middle ground is Wild Indigo, yellow (Baptisia 'Screaming Yellow'). Large bush in background is a camellia.

Weigela is another common southern shrub. This one is an unidentified cultivar. It is also quite large, over 7'.

Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata var. atrosanguinea). The vine is on a trellis but I let it tail as it likes. In gardening, as in life, I am a democrat. I believe society should incorporate Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. I give the plants freedom as long as they are not invading other's spaces (BIG exception=poison ivy). I treaty them equally. and I give them an environment of brotherhood and harmony, hundreds of very different species living together happily. I suppose my garden is my own little metaphor for my worldview. Crossvine is one of many plants feeding the many hummingbirds in my garden.

Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana 'Concord Grape') in foreground. Back is Louisiana Palmetto (Sabal minor "Louisianaises"), my favorite bush-type palmetto, very cold hardy and producing large blue-green fronds. The weeds are evident.

Where did you get your plants? I have heard that a lot. I have over 800 individual plants representing over 300 different species ranging very widely. Most of my plants came from nurseries local to me, others from my travels, or other people's trips. For my readers in South Carolina, I can tell you my two favorite nurseries in SC. One, Woodlanders, in Aiken, is primarily a mail-order business. They have a huge variety of native and unusual plants. For a walk-through nursery, my favorite in SC is Nurseries Caroliniana in North Augusta. It is vast but well organized, presenting an enormous variety (for instance the Chinese Fringe Tree pictured above came from there), and reasonably priced. Of course, every city in SC has its share of fine nurseries too.