Stone walls and a designer garden

Stone walls and a designer garden

My job as a landscape designer allows me to see unique situations and to meet some rather interesting people.  Last Friday evening, Dekie and I drove way out on a one and a half lane road through the foothills to meet Tom Adams. Tom is an excellent gardener, a philosopher, a lover of living things, and quite a delightful character.

Tom Adams shows me his garden

Tom Adams shows me his garden

I had been told to drive across the county line and go a few more miles. I was to look for a nice garden on the right and the house would be across the street. The well marked two lane road lost the center line after a while and then got narrower and narrower.  The scenery was wonderful.  I took a hard left and then another hard right across the bridge and drove a while longer.  I was almost late.  My appointment was at 6.  Around another curve I saw what must be my destination.

A rock garden entrance

A rock garden entrance

I was greeted by Tom Adams, my friend David Lamb, and three dogs.  I wanted to go immediately to see the garden since I wanted pictures and I was losing light.  I guess I missed the garden in its glory, because Tom was changing from summer to winter crops, but I could imagine what it must have looked like a few short weeks ago.  The garden is constructed with halfway sunken treated 2X6s.  With the exception of the corn plots, the beds are laid out in what appeared to be 8 foot by 36 foot rectangles.  Immaculately groomed Bermuda sod formed the pleasant, wide walkways.  The okra patch was still growing and producing.  If I’m wrong on the dimensions of the beds then please remember my favorite saying:  “Never allow a few facts to get in the way of a good story.”

raised vegetable beds with grass walkway

raised vegetable beds with grass walkway

I couldn’t get a picture of the entire layout, but I did get this one from the back of the corn plot showing the sprinkler head raised up on a post and the scarecrow.  To the rear, you will see a blackberry patch in front of a trellis of beans.  Tom said that he was going to take out the blackberries because, even though he got a good yield on the outside, reaching the inside fruit became a form of self punishment.  He told me that the “teepee” frames for the beans were not effective and that next year he would build frames that were straight up.  He said that he found the beans didn’t want to grow sideways.

A fallow corn patch, blackberries, bean trellis, and sprinkler head

A fallow corn patch, blackberries, bean trellis, and sprinkler head

Tom told me that he uses the beds to experiment and that he has grown diverse crops such as zinnias and flax.  Then he explained how flax is treated to make linen.  Not that he made any linen, he’s just interested.  After a very interesting conversation about the garden and the perennial flower border at the front wall, we began talking of stone.  It seems that When Tom bought the property, he inherited mountains of stone—which suited him well.  He likes to build with stone.  I walked up from the driveway and found this pile.

A beautiful pile of building stone

A beautiful pile of building stone

We admired the new front steps and retaining wall.  All of the stone masonry has been done with stone from the property. Tom said he thinks that when the road was built, the workers just piled the stone to the side.  Here’s the wall and steps that lead to the road and the mailbox:

stone steps and retaining wall

stone steps and retaining wall

David Lamb was finishing up his days work and his crew had already gone.  Dave is the owner of “Lamb Enterprise Group” and is a most exacting stone mason.  Tom Adams told me that he had laid a lot of stone in the building of his house but it just got to be too big a job for him.  Here’s Dave.  If you want to see more of David Lamb’s stone work, CLICK HERE

David Lamb the great stone mason.

David Lamb the great stone mason.

We got so involved in the gardens and stone work that I never got to see the house that Tom built  from an old barn.  I did sneak a picture of it in the fading light, though.

The house on the hill

The house on the hill

We walked down by the bold creek to look at more stone.  Tom said he had piled a lot of rocks in this area and it was ugly, so he turned some of it into a wall around the rest of the pile.  Dekie took a bit of a rest and petted the well behaved English shepherd.

A rock wall in front of a pile of rocks.

A rock wall in front of a pile of rocks.

As we walked back toward the car, I remarked on an interesting mowing pattern in the pasture.  Tom called it “lawnmower art”.  He said that he used to cut the whole field but then he figured out that the center part was where the deer liked to have their babies. So he left it untouched.

Mowing around the deer "maternity room"

Mowing around the deer “maternity room”

I don’t know for sure, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet that there is a lot more to see at the farm which has been named “Snail’s Pace 88”.  We’ll visit Tom Adams again.  I promise.

related post: https://johntheplantman.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/raised-beds-for-a-vegetable-garden/

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As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

Try “see inside the book”

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ponygirl
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 12:06:09

    Once again, a hit!

    Reply

  2. BILL AMOS
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 15:21:33

    I LIVED FOR 60 YEARS IN NORTH GA AND CUSSED ROCK FROM THE TIME I LEARNED TO SAY DAMN..PICKING THEM UP OUT OF GRAN PAS PASTURE AND STACKING THEM ON THE FENCE LINE WAS NOT MY IDEA OF LANDSCAPING..LATER I LEARNED TO APPRECIATE THEM…..NOW LIVING IN SOUTH GA.. I MISS THEM…YOU NEED A ROCK HERE YOU BUY IT !! I WAS A NORTH GA. MILLIONAIRE AND JUST DIDNT KNOW IT MY SHORT DRIVE WAY HERE IS GRAVELED WITH GRANITE ROCK FROM THE OLD ROCK PIT IN WEST ROME!! SOMEONE PAID GOOD MONEY FOR IT…NOW I CAREFULLY GATHER ROCK ON MY TRAVELS TO LANDSCAPE MY CACTUS POTS….YES I PAID EXTRA LUGGAGE FEES MY LAST TRIP TO COLORADO..AND ILL DO IT AGAIN ..WATERWORN PEBBLES FROM THE ROCKIES….WHAT A TREASURE..MY FRIEND DAVID HIGHTOWER JUST SENT ME THREE NICE ROCKS FROM JOHNS MOUNTAIN..SOMETIMES YOU GET A LITTLE HOMESICK BILL AMOS

    Reply

  3. Shari Evans
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 21:57:30

    Thanks for the tour, John. That was very interesting. Tom’s place is lovely!

    Reply

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