Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’, angel’s trumpets, are blooming their hearts out down the street in my neighbor’s garden. I have mentioned these fine people, Mae and Mickey many times as the source for passalong plants growing here. They live across the street and at the end of our short (three houses) block.They have built a garden that is more like a city park. In this small town, most people know them and drive by periodically to have a looksee at what might be blooming in the garden at any time. They are the reason that we bought the house we now live in. It was originally purchased as a place for our two daughters, Semi and Chickenpoet to live while attending the local college here on soccer scholarships. The mortgage payment was less than two dorm rooms, and it would give us a place to stay when we came to visit them. We lived in northeast Tennessee at the time, about a two and one half hour’s drive from here. As we drove around town with the realtor looking at houses for sale we came over a blind hill and saw M and M’s garden. It was then and still remains breathtaking. Lucky for us the house down the street from them that was for sale was perfect and we bought it. Mae came over while we were checking out the property and introduced herself and we talked a little gardening. I was very pleased to already have a friend nearby who would keep an eye on the girls.Fast forward to present day. Let’s skip the part about the house being the soccer party house during the college years. Let’s skip our move to Texas and back. Let’s also skip the hair pulling renovation of this house. Let’s for sure skip the purchase of the house next door only to tear it down and build a three car garage with loft above. That should bring us to the situation at present. M and M are a generation older than us. When we moved here eight years ago, they would spend every day from dawn until dusk working in their garden. As did I. We would visit back and forth and exchange plants and opinions about how best to care for them. It was a pleasurable existence.A few years ago health issues started taking their toll on both Mae and Mickey. Sadly Mickey is the only one gardening now and it is a huge task just to keep the lawn mowed. They used to mow together on two riding mowers speeding along in their straw hats and could get it done quickly. They also had two golf carts with bags not of golf clubs but loaded with shovels, rakes, buckets and their little dogs. I have ridden many times with both of them as we perused their large gardens on five mostly level city lots. It was a good way to transport things and lots of fun too. Now there is one lawnmower and one golf cart. Mae occasionally can come outside, but that is rare.I walked up their driveway with camera in hand to inquire after their health and ask to take some photos of the brugmansia. This is the view of it from the street as I turn the corner to my house. I bought this plant, it is now three very large specimens, in a one gallon pot in Atlanta while on a trip with the Financier several years ago as a gift for M and M for watching the house and picking up the mail and papers in our absence. They were growing a white and a pink angel trumpet in containers that were wintered over in an unheated building on their property. They didn’t have a yellow and were very pleased with it. Finally the plants became so big that Mickey decided to plant them in the ground and see if they could winter over. He cut the stalks down after the frost had melted the leaves and made a cage of chicken wire filled with chopped leaves and straw. That method worked and these three plants have lived in the ground ever since.In the same bed are several banana trees that he digs up each fall after cutting the stalks and leaves them in the unheated building, then replants them each spring. He was quite proud to show me the bananas produced for the first time this year.This is the flower head that contains the baby bananas. In the background are Home Run roses.I miss seeing and working with Mae and Mickey every day. They have lots of family that come and take care of their needs each day, kids and grandkids. There is a big event coming up, the wedding of one of the grandkids, the first of November. She wanted to be married in their garden gazebo that has been the scene of the weddings of two sets of neighbors on our little street. Preparations are under way to have the gardens in the best possible condition. There will be photos posted of the gazebo when that is completed. The first frost will have to wait until after this happy day. It’s only right for nature to do a favor for our neighborhood angels.
We have added something to the neighborhood as well. The row of muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris, is a pink haze for passersby to enjoy. We have also helped out the property values of our neighbors as we opened our wallets and let the house siphon wealth without satiation for one reno project after another. It’s what we do.
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. I am now gardening in USDA Zone 7a east Tennessee. From 2000 to 2014 I was gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about my gardens since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Visit The Hop Ice Cream Cafe When In Asheville, NC
640 Merrimon Ave.
or The Hop West
721 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina
Older Posts Of Interest:
The story of the day a throng of cedar waxwings descended upon the garden, shown in the header image. (2009)
An awkward title that explains about making those very tall asters, mums and others shorter by cutting them down by half in May. Now is the time! (2011)
A book inspires the growing of lilies from seed. (2009)
How ten lily bulbs became hundreds. (2010)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
A history of all of the faire gardens and a couple of choice tidbits about me. (2009)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
- Awards Page
- Eastern Box Turtles Of Fairegarden
- England Trip 2010-Two Innocents Abroad
- Garden Bloggers Meetups
- How To Posts
- Plants We Grow-Daylilies
- Plants We Grow-Deciduous Azaleas
- Plants We Grow-Hostas
- Plants We Grow-Iris
- Plants We Grow-Lilies
- Plants We Grow-Orchids
- Plants We Grow-Spring Bulbs
- The Biscuit Page