Saturday, April 9, 2016


Let's take a break from church business and just enjoy this most beautiful springtime for a moment. There is nothing more glorious than Spring in the South. These are pictures of my garden I took this morning, April 9, 2016. I live in a small subdivision in Jacksonville, Alabama, where I have my retirement home. I bought the vacant lot next to my house a dozen years ago and developed from scratch my dream garden. Planning, planting, and tending it has been my therapy as well as my joy for all these years. I have hundreds of plants, mostly trees and shrubs but also perennials, vines, groundcovers, palms etc. There are walk paths and seating areas. One will notice no bird feeders. Instead I planted an abundance of natural bird food; and now I have a garden filled with happy birds that sing to me every day. I live on the line of zones 7/8 so have a great variety of plants, some tropical and some northern (as apple trees). In the landscape, there is a lawn in the middle with two garden areas flanking it. Most of the plants are common southern ones, but I do have some rare and unusual ones I collected between Florida and California. You are welcomed to visit! 

"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
     The song of the birds for mirth,--
 One is nearer God's heart in a garden
     Than anywhere else on earth."
Dorothy Frances Gurney, "God's Garden."

The trellis is White Chocolate Vine (Akebia quinata 'alba'). The arching trellis forms an entrance. Flanking the trellis are boxwoods. The tall conifers in the background are Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica). Along the lawn are Red Knockout Roses (pruned in winter). In a month, they will be in full bloom providing a blanket of red along the lawn. The small tree to the left of the trellis is Corkscrew Willow. The palm is a dwarf palmetto (sabal minor). To the left of it is Spartan Juniper.

The larger side of the garden. Red Knockout Roses along the lawn.

My favorite view. From the top of a slight slope, I can see most of the garden. Camellias on left, hydrangea on right. Small tree is crabapple. Large trees on left, maple.

Yellow Lady Banks Rose (Rosa banksiae). Small tree is Grancy Graybeard (Chiomanthes virginicus). The ground cover on left is Blue Rug Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'wiltonii'). Shrub on right is forsythia.

Purple shrubs=Loropetalum Chinese. Yellowish shrubs on right=Abelia grandiflora 'Francis Mason'

Japanese Snowball (Viburnum plicatum 'Sterile'). The crowning glory of the garden at the moment. 15' tall. Hundreds of "snowballs."