5 O’Clock Gardening; Plants Optional

Remember when I went to the Southern Spring Show a couple of months ago and insisted that you come along?

A photo I don’t think I included was this one of a very large piece of garden art–children playing on a fallen tree trunk.   I wasn’t expecting to ever see it again.  However, at one of the larger homes on the Mother’s Day garden tour there sat the piece, front and center, just off the patio.

The homeowner had, indeed, purchased the piece at the Spring Show.  She said she’d had a pond in that spot, but always worried about someone falling into it, so when she saw this work, she decided to buy it and have the pond filled in to house it.  She had to be single.  Who can imagine explaining an impulse purchase delivered by tractor-trailer to a husband?

One of my favorite pieces on the garden tour last week was this unusual urn.  It was quite thin and looked as if it had fallen from the pages of Alice in Wonderland.  Perhaps the Queen of Hearts dislodged it with an errant croquet shot.

This vase 'urned' my admiration.

I love Indian Pink.   It’s one of my favorite shade plants because of its bright red flowers with yellow tips.

Why would a red flower named be named Indian Pink?  Why is a tree with pink/purple blossoms named Redbud?   And why call Dianthus “pinks” when they’re often red?  Don’t name a plant after a color.  It confuses me.

Indian Pink is really red.

I loved the ferns, hostas, and hydrangea prominent in the shade gardens, but a few unfamiliar varieties of flowers caught my eye.

This is probably an iris, but doesn’t it look like an orchid?  I couldn’t find the identification marker for it, although most of the plants here had been tagged.  The late Elizabeth Lawrence, whose gardening books are considered classics, lived here and started this garden.  The house and land belong to the Wing Haven Foundation, ten houses up the street.

One garden, professionally landscaped in the 90’s, looked too high maintenance for me, but it was delightful to walk the paths that wound through the beds of roses.  One  brilliant white beauty with a delightful citrusy fragrance was especially appealing.  It’s called Pope John Paul II.  I confessed to wanting one.

The rose bed homeowners had these large bright red tree roses at each corner of the house.  I didn’t check the name; I’d call it  No Way, Jose because of the work that must be involved in keeping it looking good.

Red does add a pop to a garden, however.  This red swing is one I’d like to pop into my own garden.

I knew right away that I would like this garden as soon as I saw the sign over the back door.  Now THAT’S hospitality!

Beside the porch, the patio table was already set for 5 o’clock.

A local blogger has more photos of this WingHaven Garden Tour 2011 on her site.  I’d show you more of my pictures, but I was so inspired by one of the trees at the home above that I want to get busy on a similar project for our garden.

Look back at that picture.  See the shadow on the bench?   Here’s a look at the tree that cast it.

The ultimate bottle tree… and no fireflies were harmed in the lighting.  What better way for the gardener and the garden to get lit?!

Oh look, it’s after 5!

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23 thoughts on “5 O’Clock Gardening; Plants Optional

    1. Judging by the picture I saw on our blog, you have room to fell a real tree and invite the neighbor kids over. Mighty could romp with them. Turn on the sprinkler and you’d have that fountain you’ve been wanting.

      There. I saved you thousands.

  1. Those kinds of tours are not only a delight, but very inspiring. Although not many of us can afford a piece of sculpture like that one!
    The bottle tree is fun…I always liked the French ones; my daughter has one. Hope a big wind doesn’t blow it all down.

  2. The plant that looks like an orchid is a Japanese iris. It has that distinctive rib down the center of each petal and is taller and thinner than most irises. The white Pope John Paul II rose is lovely, but it should have a splash of red somewhere since he used to wear red Prada loafers under his white chasuble. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the plant ID. I’ll check the gardening catalogs.

      You know, I thought about putting something about red loafers, but I talked myself out of it. I KNEW I could count on you. 🙂

      1. Actually, I found out that Adriano Stefanelli is the “Calzolaio Ufficiale del Papa”, i.e. the Pope’s official shoemaker, not Prada as urban myth would have it. He has produced shoes for both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

        Due to the red loafers made by Mr Stefanelli, Benedict XVI was elected “Accesorizer of the Year 2007” by Esquire magazine in September 2007. Mr Stefanelli considers the shoes made on behalf of the Pope a gift (“donazione”). Thus, he is not paid for his efforts. Instead, he considers the letters of thanks from the Vatican a sufficient reward for his work.

        At retail, the shoes would go for approx. $640 a pair. It’s good to be the pope.

  3. I just love that bottle tree!! Get “lit” have you no pride?
    Do you think I could grow that Indian Pink. I have lots of shade. Is it hardy?
    The children playing is lovely but I would much rather have a pond.My parents have always has a pond and other than my dad having to shoot a bull frog that was drowning the finches (he is a good shot) it has never been a problem. People worry way to much.
    Lovely pictures! I enjoyed the tour. Lets do it again but I am parched–could you serve iced sweet tea with mint next time and maybe some tea sammies. Oh and of-course a FRESH cookie or maybe two!

    1. Not sure, but I think Indian Pink grows that far north. I had it in Memphis.

      No pride? Girlfriend… this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

      Cookies, yes. Peeps, no.

  4. Someday when I’m rich but far from famous I will hire someone to landscape cuz’ I simply suck at the creativity of it all. Then, of course, I’d pay someone else to come care for it cuz’ I’m lazy like that. But, hey, I’ll be rich so it won’t matter, right?!?!

    Beautiful pics as always 🙂

  5. Nancy Leahy

    I enjoyed these lovely garden pictures. I walked outside yesterday and I could not bend to do any weeding. I will be recovering from this surgery for sometime. I am inspired by your blog to call a landscaper to help when Jim is golfing and it will all be done and I will just sit back and sip an ice tea and say la la la!

    1. How ARE you?! You deserve to sit back and drink tea! However, Dearly Beloved says that my position of preference is standing with my hands on my hips, frequently pointing with my index finger. You could manage that, right?

  6. Tammy

    I love all of the pictures. I have been thinking of a bottle tree myself. A friend has one and loves it. This may really make me get one.

  7. Pingback: How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard This Summer in 15 Easy Ways

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