Nearly every weekend The Financier and I make a trip up the interstate to offspring Semi’s home. He plays golf in the early morning after dropping me off to visit with Semi and her family. When the weather permits and there are no other pressing items on our agenda we work in her garden. A great percentage of her plants came from the Fairegarden, for there is much to share here, including almost all of the large red hot pokers, Kniphofia, (pronounced nip-HOFF-ee-uh) that came with the property. This is a large plant and even though we love it, as do the finches, it takes up more space than we feel it deserves.There is a steep slope that we have been trying to tame at the far corner of her oversized lot. We know all about slopes. But unlike our house where the backhoe that was used to dig the foundation for the extension of the main house was put into service to clear and terrace our hill, it is two women and a toddler doing the work. Last fall we rolled large stones brought by a sweet and helpful father in law to make steps to climb up and down the middle of the slope amid the rock walls we had built. Click here to read that story. Heavy rains undermined many of these rocks and moved them to odd angles. Last weekend was spent attempting to level the rocks enough to be able to traverse the half moon shaped path. The Kniphofias can be seen in the center of the shot. Red Rosa ‘Fairy Queen’ is having a party with Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ that has self sown hither and yon at Semi’s place.As I was up on the hill inspecting the rock steps for wiggles after some recent hard rain, Semi asked me to check out the flowers blooming at the top of the hill around one of the newer Leyland Cypresses. The top of the slope was planted with three one gallon pots of these fast growing everygreens for privacy and vertical interest against the back neighbor’s long horizontal fence. Two more were added a couple of years ago to fill in along with the blue Arizona Cypress seen behind the Kniphofia patch. Perhaps there were seeds of these flowering Verbascums in the pot? Perhaps these were seeded by the birds? Semi vaguely recalls sowing Verbascum seeds at some time somewhere but definitely not up there. Could they have germinated and flowered and set seed that blew or was carried up there without either of us seeing them? Absolutely, for tall grases and other *wildflowers* have settled into Semi’s garden over the six years it has been in existence. This was the first of the surprises found.These photos were all taken in the early morning with The Financier following me around to look at the garden in back. The sun was barely up and we were snapping hurridly before the light became too bright. He immediately asked, “Why aren’t you using the new camera?” Uh oh. I replied that it was too heavy and large to fit into my purse, which is true. Not said was that I don’t know how to use it very well. A save was made when a flock of birds was spotted on the peak of Semi’s roof. “Now that would be a perfect shot with the new camera, I could zoom in to get a clear photo of the group of birds.” Don’t know if he bought it or not. Anyway….we gasped in surprise at the sight of the rose covered fence, belonging to the next door neighbors this time. Do take note of the large stuffed Batman who joins in the sandbox play with little LTB. There are four? roses planted along this fence. The two on the left, pink and red are wild roses dug along the road where Semi’s mother in law lives in rural north central Tennessee. There is also a climber, Queen Elizabeth which has just finished a first flush of blooming. At the far right is a rose purchased at a garden club plant sale. It was from a cutting from the garden of the grandmother of the seller, name unknown. Does anyone know this rose? This is one stem, it has so many flowers it is like a bridal bouquet! The blooms have a white center and its habit is sprawling, or climbing if it was tied to a support.How about this one? It is even more sprawling and the flowers have many tightly clustered petals. All the roses have more growth and abundant blooms than ever this year, probably due to the nice amounts of rainfall so far.One more rose to show you is R. ‘Hot Cocoa’. The color has a slightly brownish hue that the camera did not capture well. It is a real treat. Growing along the garage side is Clematis ‘Rooguchi’. We both bought this vine at the same time and hers has done so much better than mine. A southern exposure and planted in mushroom compost might explain the difference. Now on to the next surprise…Astute observers can probably see what’s coming. After The Financier wraps up his golf game and nineteenth hole chitchat with chums, he returns hungry. We often grill up some chow, but have been going out to eat lately since little LTB is better able to sit still at a restaurant now that he is older, getting close to four in a few months.It seems the grill has been adopted for another use by industrious flying friends. Extensive use of the wild grasses allowed to infiltrate the flower beds is apparent in this construction project.By the color and size of the eggs, not to mention the swooping activity noticed of the parents to be, we believe these to be robin eggs. This color is our idea of heaven. We even took a found piece of shell when we first began the main house remodel to the paint store for an exact match. It is the color on the walls of the guest bedroom. A darker tone from the same color card is our master bedroom and the lightest tone is on the walls of the master bath. What pleasant surprises greeted us that morning.
We send to all the best wishes for a happy memorial day holiday. Monday has been set aside in the US to honor our veterans that have given their lives in service to their country, and those still living. We salute you.
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)
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