Way Past Outside Clyde

June 22, 2009 005Early morning in the Fairegarden in late June finds the air dripping with humidity. Sleeping bees are covered in morning dew but are not bothered by the cooling moisture for the temperatures are quite warm, even at night. June 22, 2009 006 The density of the atmosphere helps hold the fragrance pumped out by the tall lilies now blooming. Orienpet ‘Satisfaction’ stands guard at the edge of the daylily hill, scenting the air as one steps out the door from the addition to ready the garden. The garden is ready all the time actually, much more so than the house, for visitors. Today a very special guest is coming over the Appalachian Mountains that form the dividing line between North Carolina and Tennessee. Looking at the map it would appear a short drive from there to here, but those lines denoting the roads are deceiving. As the crow flies would indeed be short since the crow does not have to climb and descend the tall peaks with squiggly roads. The out of the way interstate is the only way to make this trip. We learned that the hard way on our first trip to Asheville after moving to this spot in southeast Tennessee. A three hour tour became a five hour slog complete with car sickness. Never again was the pledge afterwards. June 23, 2009 Christopher 022 (2) We have visited Christopher’s mountainside retreat several times, located just Outside Clyde, North Carolina. He also made the trek to the big blogger shindig recently in Chicago. I begged him to swing by my place on his drive home from Illinois and pick up some free plants for his growing garden. Too much driving was his reply, but he promised to make the trip soon. The date was chosen and he arrived right on time. We chatted inside for a while to allow him some time to stretch his long legs before dragging him up the steep slope that holds the garden. Plants that might work for his space were noted and we went to eat lunch. Afterwards the digging began. There were some overgrown baptisias that required removal from the white/yellow bed. Christopher had brought his shovel and set to removing the tap rooted giants in short order. I admired his efficiency. Each step on the blade was precise and strong, the opposite of my own digging technique which is random and weak. Near where he is standing to the left in this shot are a group of perfume factories. June 22, 2009 026 (2) Chinese Trumpet lilies ‘Golden Splendor’ were adding sweet smells to the hot humid air. Seeds were saved from these blooms last year and successfully started in the greenhouse. Two more groups will be added to this bed in the newly open spaces created by Christopher’s able digging. I forgot to give him some seedlings, maybe he would not even accept them, for he was not open to all offerings. Next time we meet he will get some for certain. June 23, 2009 Christopher 025 (2) Not only did Christopher bring his shovel and some choice plants, he brought highly prized rocks from his mountain, nice big ones! Many thanks, my friend. There are few things in this world I admire more than rocks, the bigger the better. June 23, 2009 Christopher 027 (2) The Financier came home from work just as Christopher was loading his truck with the plants he agreed to take back for his well planned gardens. As I handed him the camera to take our photo together, a sense of alarm rang through the cinnaberry topped skull. Too late! “Why are you not using the new camera I bought you?” Uh oh, think quick. Well, I had planned on having Christopher show me how to use it but with our constant chatting completely forgot, was the honest reply. Christopher offered to show me some things, but I knew he wanted to get home before dark and it was already later than he had planned to stay. Next time. Out of three tries, a nice shot of the two of us was snapped, showing an honest view of the long wall behind the main house. Time is always too short when bloggers get together. Until we meet again, good gardening to you, my mountain dwelling friend.
To view the posts where we visited Christopher’s spot click here and here.

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35 Responses to Way Past Outside Clyde

  1. Janet says:

    It is fun to visit with another blogger. Love the fragranced lilies…color and aroma! Will have to check out his website now too.

    Hi Janet, thanks. Do check out his story, the move from Hawaii to North Carolina and the building of his cabin there are fascinating and well told stories. It is an amazing spot on the side of the mountain, the views are incredible.

  2. Dave says:

    Very cool that he got to visit your garden! Nice rocks too!

    Hi Dave, persistent begging finally paid off. The rocks are perfect for a new design now in progress.

  3. Robin says:

    Sounds like you two had another fun visit together! I like the rocks!

    Hi Robin, we really did. The rocks are perfect and have special meaning since they were a gift from his home too.

  4. gittan says:

    Meeting other bloggers is fun! I hope I’ll be abel to meet some bloggers later this summer. now I have to take a look at Christophers site.
    Thanks for your kind words! I do plan to stay with my family for a long time. And I do hope that my family have had our part of illness by now. I’ve lost my mum and eight other relatives in cancer.

    My dear Gittan, my thoughts are prayers and anything else I’ve got are being sent with the wishes of recovery and good health your way. My family has been hit by that terrible disease also. Be strong.

  5. lynn says:

    Frances, what a great way to spend the day! Do you have more plants for the taking…my drive from NJ may take a little longer..hehe!! Those lilies are beautiful!

    Hi Lynn, it was a wonderful day all around, despite the heat. I have so many plants this should be a business, come on down! The liliies are earning their keep with the sweet scent. More were added this spring and are now blooming in the knot garden. The air is permeated with lily perfume, ahhh. πŸ™‚

  6. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, I am glad that you enjoyed having Christopher to visit. I am sure he enjoyed his visit and will remember the day when the plants flower. Now if you were a 5 hour drive from me…

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    Hi Sylvia thanks. We both had fun meeting up once again. We have exchanged plants several times and the memories associated with them are the best. I do hope to some day visit England and maybe see some of the bloggers and their gardens while there. You are welcome anytime to come to Tennessee too. πŸ™‚

  7. tina says:

    Wonderful to have a blogger visit your garden. Glad you had a good visit. Great picture of you two. Good job to the Financier.

    Hi Tina, thanks. You know very well the pleasure of meeting other bloggers and seeing their gardens, you may hold the record for most visits in fact! The Financier did do a good job getting a shot where we both looked non-stupid at the same time. πŸ™‚

  8. Frances wouldn’t it be nice if every day could be a day for visiting and sharing gardens and plants. The next day spent planting all your gifts was garden therapy for well disruption.

    One day I really would like to take the five hour rubber necking route through the mountains to the low valleys of Tennessee.

    Thanks, Christopher for making the trip. Your well head disruption should heal nicely, with plenty of plants to hide anything you want hidden. Did you plant them all in one place like I suggested? HA If you had all day to travel and it was a nice sunny day, no rain or storms, you might enjoy it. The scenery and views at certain points are breathtaking, lots of photo ops. You would have to spend the night, the room is ready anytime you are. πŸ™‚

  9. Gail says:

    Frances, I know you and Christopher had a wonderful time…how could you not! Both of you are passionate, fun, creative, hardworking gardeners who see a task that needs to be done and do it well! The Stargazers are blooming here and sending their sweet fragrance all over the garden…if it weren’t so hot and buggy I would sit outside to watch for night visitors! gail

    Hi Gail, thanks for those kind words. Your stargazers are well ahead of mine. Maybe you need a shroud of mosquito netting with a small opening for the camera? Of course the bugs would find that little hole to get to your sweetness. πŸ™‚

  10. Rose says:

    What a wonderful day the two of you must have had! I really enjoyed meeting Christopher at Spring Fling and would love to see his garden one day, too. Those are some pretty cool rocks he brought you.
    P.S. My house is usually not ready for visitors at a moment’s notice either:)

    Hi Rose, thanks, we really did and the time went by so fast that I forgot a lot of things I wanted to talk to him about. I should have made a list of topics. The rocks are wonderful and will go into a special place that I am currently working on. I did manage to clean the house, sort of, vacumning and kitchen cleaning, no dusting however. I am good at overlooking the dust, poor vision you know. πŸ™‚

  11. Randy says:

    I’m sure the two of you had a wonderful time together. What fun to meet other bloggers, maybe one day our paths will cross. πŸ™‚

    Oh I hope so, Randy. We don’t really live that far apart, and if you ever come up I 75 do drop in! πŸ™‚

  12. A delight to see the two of you together!

    Thanks Planter, we had a good visit, no long enough though.

  13. Catherine says:

    Well it sounds like you both got a great deal on top of the nice visit. New plants for him and new rocks for you. I enjoyed reading about your previous visits too.

    Hi Catherine, thanks for going back. His place on the mountain has to be seen to be believed, the stuff of legends. We both did get good deals from the exchange too. πŸ™‚

  14. Now I’m really envious of Christopher – not only does he live in a beautiful place, but he got to see Fairegarden up close and personal. Your Lilies are just lovely. I don’t know how I’m going to stand waiting for my Lily babies to mature enough to bloom.

    Hi MMD, thanks. His mountain spot is serene, it is true. I am wondering how long it will take these baby lilies to produce flowers. Sometime in our lifetimes would be good. πŸ™‚

  15. Kathleen says:

    Great photo of you two Frances! and too funny about the new camera. Stash that thing away ~ you are doing awesome with this one. One of these days I would like to connect with some bloggers too. A visit to your garden would be like a trip to the candy store. So many cool plants to drool over & if a few were offered as gifts, that would be the cherry on top.

    Thanks, Kathleen. The new camera is a sticky wicket around here but Christopher was leaving and I wanted a photo taken. Without thinking handing him the camera, oops. Visitors here never go away without plants, whether they want them or not! HA πŸ™‚

  16. Good times! And looks like Christopher got some nice plants from Faire Garden. Now, we can’t wait to see what you do with the rocks!

    Hi Carol, the times were indeed good. Christopher was not willing to take all I wanted to give him for some reason, next time he said. The new feature with the rocks will be shown when it is completed. Soon I hope.

  17. Joanne says:

    Oh how aptly put a perfume factory!

    Hi Joanne, thanks so much. When we step outside, the aroma hits us in the face and we always have to think, where is it coming from, for often the lilies are not even close by.

  18. Phillip says:

    I’m taking notes on your lilies and “Golden Splendor” is now on my list. What a treat to get to meet Christopher. I really like his cabin in the mountains. It looks so nice and peaceful there.

    Hi Phillip, add Satisfaction too. We have two new trumpets, Lady Alice and African Queen that are just as sweet. Yummy! His mountain is exactly as you say, peaceful with the million dollar view.

  19. Darla says:

    This sounds like a great visit. Hardwork was done for sure. Lucky you to have those nice rocks brought right to your gardens.

    Hi Darla, thanks, it was all that and more. If only I had though to have him carry the rocks to the top of the hill! Well, The Financier has some heavy lifting ahead of him, whether he knows it or not. πŸ™‚

  20. What a great visitor to have Frances. I am sure you both had a great time. Is there ever enough time to visit when two gardeners get together?? I think not. Love those rocks. I am greeen.

    Hi Lisa, HA, you would really be green if you could see how cool these rocks really are! They are perfect for the new area I am working on too. Like you say, there is never enough time when there are gardens to talk about. We barely scratched the surface of things I wanted to ask his opinion about too. So easily sidetracked. πŸ™‚

  21. Sue says:

    Hi Frances,
    I enjoyed cooling off from gardening in the heat by reading your posts. I like to trade plants, too. Those rocks are awesome! I had to laugh about the new camera thing. That’s something that could happen here.

    I don’t know where spring went! It’s so hot, it’s almost too late to do much more planting, but I have lots of spaces I created at my garden across the street.

    Hi Sue, the heat came upon you guys that fast too? We really should not be planting anything from now until fall, but of course that won’t stop us. It never does. πŸ™‚

  22. Racquel says:

    What a fun visit, I’m sure his new garden will enjoy the new additions to it. Those rocks are massive, what a nice exchange. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, it was lots of fun, but way too short a visit. I am loving the rocks, he also brought some plants, iris cristata, geraniums and centaureas, all nice specimens.

  23. Lola says:

    How wonderful your persistence paid off. A lovely visit by both. Rocks are great. I have a few small ones from the mtns of N.C. A lot of sentiment connected to them.

    Hi Lola, sentimental rocks are the best kind. πŸ™‚

  24. Looks like a day of fun (and work), but what a haul for you and Christopher! πŸ™‚ Great lilies, too! Not using the new camera? I’ve completely switched over to mine. In fact, I’m thinking of giving my son my old Canon Elph to carry on his archaeo projects.


    Hi Cameron, thanks, we did have a great and satisfying day, if too short a one. No, the new camera is still a mystery to me, and I am bonded to the old one. Maybe someday I will move on, The Financier did get me the case for the new one, I have not even put it on though. Slow to change, that’s me. πŸ™‚

  25. Siria says:

    Hello Frances! What a wonderful visitor to come see you … and then too, what a wonderful place for Christopher to come and see! I know you all must have had a great day. I can’t wait to see what you do with those cool rocks!

    Hi Siria, thanks, I was thrilled that Christopher actually made the trip. He did promise to come again too, with the lure of more free plants. Now that he has seen what I have, he can plan out his garden strategy to use them too. The rocks are moving up the slope today, I hope, for The Financier is home this morning.

  26. Pam/Digging says:

    What a treat for you both, and for us to see both perspectives of the visit on your and Christopher’s blogs. The rocks look great. What are you planning to do with them?

    Hi Pam, it really was fun. I loved seeing what Christopher wrote about the visit too, although neither of us took many photos, too busy talking you know. As for the rocks, there purpose will be revealed when the project is finished. I am working on it this weekend so it should be soon. πŸ™‚

  27. Monica says:

    Ooh, those are nice rocks! Sounds like you had a fun visit.

    Thanks, Monica, we did have fun.

  28. Jan says:

    It is always nice to get together with someone who shares a common interest, and I find that when gardeners get together, it is a great time sharing ideas and plants. Looks like you have made a friend.

    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, you are so right on all counts. Christopher is my friend for sure, and we have lots of common interests too. We will meet up again at his place and mine, I hope.

  29. marmee says:

    sounds you guys had such a great time together…with endless chatting and all. what great fun. love the big rocks too. you’ll have to show us where you are putting them.

    Thanks, Marmee, we really did have an enjoyable day, even with the heat. The rocks have been utilized and the post is being written about it! πŸ™‚

  30. Nicole says:

    What a lovely visit-great that you both enjoyed and i love the “rocks for plants” trade.

    Hi Nicole, thanks. I will trade plants for rocks anyday, anytime. πŸ™‚

  31. commonweeder says:

    What a treat! It is great to meeting other bloggers and gardeners who don’t blog. Talk that leads to sharing plants makes quite a day. You both look great.

    Thanks, Pat, we really had a wonderful day chatting and the plant swap was icing on the cake.

  32. linda says:

    It sounds like a wonderful Day Frances, and what a great photo of you and Christopher – brings back fond memories of meeting you both in Chicago in May.

    Thanks Linda, we really did. And the memories from Chicago are indeed fond. πŸ™‚

  33. Jenny B says:

    How wonderful to be able to connect with a fellow gardener–in the garden! I can’t think of a more pleasant place to entertain with the perfume factories nodding about. Nice rocks he brought you–a very thoughtful gift. I can’t wait to see what you do with them.

    Hi Jenny, thanks, it was a warm but fun day. The rocks have been placed and the post getting a final tweaking so stay tuned! πŸ™‚

  34. Cindy, MCOK says:

    I’ll look forward to seeing what you do with your pieces of Christopher’s mountain. Rock on!

    Hi Cindy, thanks. The rocks were used to make a Japanese Zen garden.

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