My lovely wife Linda and I live in Piedmont, Alabama Zone 7b……2006 was the first full year in our garden and “new” home…..We got an early start by planting as much as we could in the fall of 2005, mostly perennials, a few shrubs, roses and one tree. It’s been a wonderful experience and we’ve enjoyed it all, loved the successes and tried to learn from the failures…… I’d like to thank all the folks who helped us…….
THANKS…..To our neighbors Archie, Lisa and Jarrett…..I guess I’ve borrowed every tool Archie has at one time or another, even used his truck a time or two but he can take heart in the fact that I think I’ve bought just about every tool I think I’ll ever need to take care of my garden now, but I wouldn’t swear to it…..:)
THANKS…..To Derrick who helped me build our raised beds out of landscape timber, helped us put up our arbor and metal fence, let me use his Jeep (He was considerate enough not to mention the lack of brakes till we were already on the road) and trailer to haul mulch with and roofed and detailed our garden shed but the nicest thing he did for all of us was to keep us laughing the whole time.
THANKS…..To Brent who designed and helped me build our garden shed…..He can build ANYTHING he sets his mind to and build it RIGHT…..He said I was a big help to him during the project and only threatened me with bodily harm twice…….:)
THANKS…..To Brad who showed me how to lay brick patio pavers and loaned me his wheelbarrow that I shall return to him at a time as yet underdetermined…….:)
THANKS…….To Brian who’ll do a friend a favor at the drop of a hat and at the rate he’s going will have the largest collection of plants this side of the Atlanta Botanical Garden….He never met a plant he didn’t like…….:)
THANKS……To Jack who loaned me his tiller and loaned his tiller and loaned me his tiller and loaned me his tiller and loaned me his tiller and….Well you get the picture…..In answer to the question, “Am I ever going to get my own tiller?”….The answer is “MAYBE”…….:)
THANKS….. To David & Victoria of Bloomin Miracles Nursery in Jacksonville, Alabama who provided us with great plants, beautiful containers, shared all their considerable knowledge and experience with us plus showed us the real meaning of “pass along” plants….. If you’re interested in Japanese Maples, David is the guy you want to talk to. If you’re looking for good ideas for landscape design and flower combinations you’ll love talking with Victoria and besides Victoria is just a sweetheart.
THANKS….. To Charles of Rou Rou’s Nursery who sadly died a few years ago…Charles was just good folks and when you went there to buy something he’d always dig up something out of his personal gardens to give you to take with you….It always seemed like he’d give away about as many plants as he’d sell.you. Rou Rou’s was just a beautiful place that was owned by a beautiful person.
THANKS……To Jason Powell, if you’re near Jemison, Alabbama dropping by Jason Powell’s Petals From The Past is a good idea, you’ll find lots of healthy plants, different sizes, good prices and lots of helpful information. They alwsays have a few interesting seminars going on during the year, my two favorites are the ones on perennials and old fashioned roses.
THANKS……To Bill for taking some of the photos on these pages…..He’s a great photographer and I learned a lot about photography from him.
THANKS….To Shirley S. for loaning me her husband for a day to fabricate a trellis to run my climbing roses on. Shirley, what is your husband’s name?….You know, “what’s his name”……:)
And now my family…..
THANKS……To my lovely wife Linda, who I dragged to every nursery within a hundred mile radius of wherever we were at at the time and never once complained, who never rolled her eyes even once after I must have asked her a thousand and one times to “look at this one”, who bought me just “one more plant” more times than I deserved, who said ‘yes’ when she meant ‘no’ to some of the most outrageous ideas I came up with in designing a garden for birds instead of people, for not yelling at me when I’d come in covered in dirt from head to toe but mostly I want to thank her for being what she is…..WONDERFUL
THANKS…..To my mother for not having a heart attack when she came home from the grocery store one day and found 23 tons of garden soil piled up in her backyard and for being just what she is too….WONDERFUL
THANKS……To my sister Robyn for not letting her dogs pee on my flowers and leave little calling cards in my flower beds……:)
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST BY ANY MEANS…..THANKS to my brother Ralph who helped me when I sure needed it but mostly for taking 45 seconds or so of his valuable time to walk through the backyard and tell me how beautiful everything was when I know he could care less…….:)
Some random thoughts:
When we lived in Atlanta I was lucky in meeting some really nice and knowledgeable folks in the nursery business:…..Mike Cunningham who owns Country Garden Nursery in Newnan, Georgia….. Just about everyone at every Pikes Nursery around Atlanta, where I was frequently found prowling the discount section year round and during the end of year sales I just slept there…..:)…..The people at Habersham Gardens Nursery who put on some interesting seminars, one at which I won a copy of Allan Armitage’s, “Herbaceous Perennial Plants: A Treatise on Their Identification, Culture, and Garden Attributes”…My advice? Don’t leave home without it….The book that is…..The ladies at Lost Mountain Nursery near Dallas, Georgia were always friendly and helpful…..If you can’t tell by now I believe in buying from local owned nurseries….Have I bought a plant or two from the big box stores, a few, but if you don’t support your local owned and operated nurseries you’re going to end up one day only having 3 places to buy your plants from: Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot and that just wouldn’t be as much fun nor would you have as many plants to choose from and more importantly you’d miss out on the vast wealth of knowledge and experience that local owned nursery folks provide you with.
Mail order nurseries are good when you can’t find what you want or need locally….A few I’ve dealt with are Bluestone Perennials, Sunlight Gardens, Crownsville Nursery, High Country Gardens, Santa Rosa Gardens and Plant Delights…..One word about Plant Delights, owned by Tony Advent, do yourself a favor and read their website and get their catalog. You’ll be glad you did, not only because you’ll learn a lot but because you’ll laugh yourself silly while doing it. Laughing and a good sense of humor is something that you’ll find a good thing to have in your wheelbarrow, along with your pruners, shovel, rake, spading fork, edger, assorted weeders and hand tools. If you can’t laugh and smile while gardening, then my advice to you is to try parachuting for relaxation…:-)
By the way I’m so glad I took the Cleburne County Master Gardener course with Stan Roark….Did it make me a sure nuff “Master Gardener”?… Not really, just in name only but it did give me enough basic knowledge to start asking the right questions and the incentive to keep learning. Working with the Master Gardener’s program gives you the opportunity of helping others while learning yourself plus you meet some really nice folks while doing it.
Again hope you enjoy my little stories, the photos of the garden and whatever else I conjure up to put on here for you……
I do wish for one more thing…. I hope that anyone that might run across this blog about gardening and small town life has a much fun reading it as I had writing it.
Paul From Alabama
Paul From Alabama