Magical Triangle Tour

This past weekend my better half and I went on a journey to visit the out of town offspring at their respective abodes. We had missed the family gathering at Easter, due to illness on my part. There was no family gathering of our clan, in fact, although in law visitations occurred. The journey’s trail forms the magic triangle, Knoxville, Asheville, Kingsport and back. Each home and garden is unique and offers wonders that only they can provide. We start out at Brokenbeat’s in Asheville, where the spirits are strong. They speak to us in the way of wine residue at the bottom of glasses. We are not sure of the exact interpretation of this message, but believe it to be, ‘Good Wishes for All’.

On the agenda in Asheville was the purchase of a tree to celebrate their three married years together. Lots of lovely living things were ogled, and this coral bark Japanese maple , Acer Palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’, was found sitting dejectedly by itself leaning against a pole. Upon questioning about the price, it was found to be offered for half price. “We’ll take it!”, we nearly shouted. Promptly planted with daffodils at its feet, it looks to be happy in its new home.

The color of the branches is arresting, making an outstanding focal point from the kitchen window.

Mrs. Brokenbeat always delights us with her culinary creations. Her free hand butterflys, with a little tulip just for fun, join her Easter bunny in this springtime vignette with the hyacinth and azalea blooms. The white chocolate confections were soon history, however. Yum.

Next stop, Chickenpoet’s place in upper east Tennessee, somewhat of a menagerie. She is a chicken farmer, and poet, extraordinaire. This is Duke, the rooster of her brood, and he keeps the hens happy. Handsome chap, isn’t he?

While we were stomping around the wire and netting covered home of the chickens in our boots, it had rained and it was on the mucky side in there, Macy was chattering at us incessantly. A tiny thing, she wanted special attention and was making quite a fuss about it. She will ride around on your shoulder to help survey the area.

Hermoine was doing her self appointed duty of sitting on any and all eggs that get laid in this cat carrier/ nesting box. She is fluffy and can spread herself quite wide to cover the eggs, moving them under her feathers with her beak. She sort of didn’t quite get this one all the way under.

Also in the chicken coop, the nursery holding thirty one chicks with a heat light and lots of companionship. Notice the one in the cinder block peeking out.

Wrapping up the tour at the closest home to ours is offspring Semi, in Knoxville. She had gotten the flu from me and was too sick to make the triangle tour. Missed but not forgotten, she will join us another time. Her flower bloom time is similar to ours at home, she is an hour north of us and her daffs were showing off. She is a member of bulbs anonymous with me, we place our orders in combination oftentimes. I am a better record keeper about the names than she, so we find a lot of unknowns and no ideas in her flower beds.

She has the greenest of thumbs and has luck where I have failures lots of the time. Her garden has more flat areas and she has a pick up truck to haul the precious mushroom compost from the local mushroom grower not far from her home back to the beds. The truck can back up right to the planting areas and be shoveled into place, haphazardly by my standards, but the plants don’t seem to mind the variations in depth of mulch and grow happily for her.

Her climbing rose, Moonlight, has been home each year to multiple nestings, usually robins, one time a mockingbird. But this year Mrs. Mourning Dove thought the rotting trellis made of old privet branches along with the rose canes and some clematis would make a happy and safe home for her babies. The eggs are laid and she sits patiently while there is chaotic gardening going on around her. Flu stops some things but a little gardening can always be done. Her hatchlings will be greeted by a garden of random delights, a product of the Semi School of Gardening. We do not question this method anymore, for the results are proof of its power and rightness.

This wraps up the belated Easter/Spring Magical Triangle Tour. Tired but happy we returned home to the quiet of Faire Garden, satisfied in seeing the offspring and their offspring and the wonderment that we all share in the love of nature.

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28 Responses to Magical Triangle Tour

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a delight to get a brief tour of the wonders in the Offsprings Gardens.

    I have always wanted chickens. I just loved the pictures of them.

    I hope you all are recovered from the nasty flu now. Such a kick in the pants to have to deal with ick.

  2. Frances, says:

    Lisa, thanks. I still want chickens, although have seen firsthand the amount of work involved. But they are so beautiful, each one unique in personality also.

  3. Gail says:


    This was a lovely tour…aren’t you all fortunate to share your love of nature.

    I love that my sisters and I have gardens in common.

    And that was a nice find at the garden center!


  4. tina says:

    Glad you are feeling better. Your offspring will love that Coral Bark. They grow fairly fast. 7 feet in 4 years in my garden. lovely storytelling.

  5. Frances, says:

    Gail, thanks. We love our family so very much, the fact that they garden is such a bonus.

    Tina, thanks. Seven feet in four years, wonderful!

  6. Dave says:


    It seems everyone is getting the coral bark maples. Tina found one recently, I think I may have to go on a hunt! It sounds like you had a good trip. A couple weeks ago a lady my wife works with brought in eggs from her chickens. They were some of the best eggs I’ve ever had! Makes me wonder about getting some chickens one day for ourselves. I’ll have to wait on that one though, neighbors might not like it!

  7. tina says:

    Frances, here is a link to my post showing my little guy. Also a markdown. He is hardy and has held up. The fall color is goldish/yellowish and looks great when backlit.

    not sure if the link will work but i posted it on 7 dec 07. Still had all of its leaves. i have had to upload my pictures one at a time since most remained on the old server. it is a work of love in progress.

  8. Frances, says:

    Dave, they are noisy, those roosters, some more than others. There used to be one near us, but not right next door, that you could hear at various times during the day. I love the sound, but you are right, some places have ordinances against them. Tina sent me the link to her good fall photo of the coral bark maple, it is stunning.

    Tina, thanks. I found the post and sent a link to the photo to the Brokenbeats. It is lovely in its fall coloring.

  9. GardenJoy4Me says:

    Frances .. what a lovely post !
    I’m sorry you wereill, the flu is like a steam roller when it hits.
    This tour has been wonderful though .. love the plants and those chickens ! .. I’m glad to have seen the Morning Dove in the climbing rose .. hubby wondered about it too .. the thorn issue I think ? LOL
    Thanks !

  10. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    Frances, thanks for taking us on the tour. Very interesting and unique each of their homes. I love that. I’ve had chickens before, and those Black Australops like Fiona are very broody. They are such sweet hens. You made me want more.~~Dee

  11. Nancy J. Bond says:

    Looks like you had a lovely tour. I love the photo of the rooster! I collect them (roosters) for my kitchen. Er, not real ones. 🙂

  12. Frances, says:

    Joy, thanks. I don’t think the thorns bother the birds, we used to have many nests in the rose we called Killer, very thorny that one. It may give them protection from cats!

    Dee, thanks. Glad you know the name of the hen, Chickenpoet of course knows what they all are and even the mixed breeds, who were the parents, but I can’t remember anything except their given names, LOL

    Nancy J., thanks, we did. The photos I took do not do these chickens justice, each feather is a work of art.

  13. brokenbeat says:

    i must admit that we’ve spent the last few days here at casa brokenbeat slapping each other in the face, to convince us that we are not dreaming, as we stare at the coral bark of the japanese maple and think of the potential of its varying seasonal splendor. we are indeed and thankfully awake. killer photos of chickenpoet’s and semi’s places, respectively. much love, y’all.

  14. chuck b. says:

    Would it be less work to have just a few chickens instead of a whole coopfull?

    Not that I could fit any chickens in my current garden, but someday…

    I wouldn’t mind doing some chicken work every day, but I’m a lot of chicken work every day could be a drag.

  15. Frances, says:

    Brokenbeat, hope you aren’t slapping too hard, now. It will be fun to watch the progress of the tree’s growth year by year.

    chuck b., Don’t be misled by the number of baby chicks, she raises then sells those, ordering them as eggs or hatchlings. She is a bit overboard with the animals, but their numbers seem to even off after a while. To raise your own chickens for eggs and fun, I would assume a rooster and a hen would do, maybe two hens depending on how many eggs you consume. That is what I would get for us, and may someday.

  16. garden girl says:

    Frances, thank you for the lovely tour. That’s a lovely little tree.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  17. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    How fun – a great little tree on sale! Sometimes it’s more fun to buy things for someone else’s garden. That split corona Daffodil looks like the same type as in that post at Outside Clyde. I love to know what it is.

  18. Frances, says:

    Garden Girl, thanks. Just went to WalMart for some spring fling supplies and saw they had the same trees for $25! Smaller than what we bought, but still!

    MMD, It is fun to buy stuff for others, you are so right. I think that split cup was in a mixture ordered from Van Dyck. They might have it listed with a photo.

  19. Benjamin Vogt says:

    And you have some lovely offpsring of the offspring. It’s nice you all live fairly close together, that’s rare these days, and maybe shouldn’t be so rare. Lovely pics, and anytime you get a japanese maple on sale I seriously say it’s time for a backyard grilling party–those thigs are pricey when they’re over 2′ tall. I hope my Bloodgood comes back after it’s first very cold winter.

  20. Kate says:

    Lovely photos. It sounds like a wonderful road trip. 🙂

  21. Frances, says:

    Kate, thanks and welcome. We had a really great trip.

  22. Frances, says:

    Benjamin, thanks. We moved back from Texas when the offspring started having offspring, not being close was not an option, period. It took a couple of years to get the details worked out, but it was worth the effort. I think Bloodgood is one the hardier cultivars, right?

  23. kate smudges says:

    Hi Frances,

    What a fun trip you had – it’s cool that you can work in all three offspring in one round-trip. Mrs. Brokenbeat makes beautiful white chocolate butterflies! I remember Chickenpoet’s comments from some of your very early posts. Now the name makes lots of sense. Semi and I have similar styles, methinks. I have lots unknowns and no-ideas in my garden.

  24. Frances, says:

    Kate, thanks. It is a lot of driving, we spent the night in Asheville to make it less of a marathon and not feel so rushed at each stop. I guess having a similar style to Semi is not such a bad thing. You both have beautiful gardens.

  25. Salix Tree says:

    That maple is a lovely find, and even half price!! Love the red bark.
    That first daffodil is beautiful, the one with the curly pale yellow “cup”

  26. Frances, says:

    Salix Tree, thanks. We have determined that daff to be the split cup Palmares. It is going on my list for the fall order.

  27. Blackswamp_Girl says:

    What a wonderful tour! And I’m glad that Mrs. Mourning Dove found Semi’s trellis. They are notoriously bad at nest-building, so the added strength of the trellis (and the beauty of the surrounding garden) will be just what they need, I bet. 🙂

  28. Frances, says:

    Kim, thanks. In fact Mrs. Dove may have used a left over nest from Mrs. Robin from the year before, not that much of an expert builder herself.

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