The Day of the garden tour– Part eight of a series

 I know, I’m late with this final article in the series. I was talking with Patsy Hubbard the other day and she said, “John I hope you know that you must write the final article of the tour series.” I felt like I hadn’t done my homework and I started to tell her that the dog ate it, but the real reason I’m late is that I needed to go to Tennessee and visit with my mother. It was a day or so after her 87th birthday. We planted some calla lily bulbs in her garden and had a nice visit. Here’s a picture of Mom, my brother, Billy, and me on the way to church. Mom has a lovely yard, too. (To see all of the articles in this series, Click Here.

John, Jane, and Billy Schulz

John, Jane, and Billy Schulz

Back to the tour. Lots and lots of people showed up. I was sorry that I didn’t get to visit the other homes on the tour, but I had a really good time visiting with friends and meeting lots of new people. I drank a little tea while sitting under the pergola in the morning but I didn’t get to sit much after that

The mandevilla will reach the top of the trellis in a month.

The mandevilla will reach the top of the trellis in a month.

It was a beautiful day. The clouds added accents to the marvelous view without obscuring it. Here’s the front fountain with the view in the background:

waterfall,flowerbed, and view

waterfall,flowerbed, and view

There are lots of urns around the house. I really loved the shape and beauty of this begonia. What a find.

begonia container at entrance

begonia container at entrance

The rear entrance to the back porch looked inviting. Chipmunks had messed up the plantings the night before and I had to do some really quick fixing.

stone steps to patio

stone steps to patio

I love this view down the front pathway. A lot of people commented on and asked about the Cephalotaxus, (plum yew).

front flagstone pathway

front flagstone pathway

I enjoy putting little container accents here and there as a surprise.

container accents

container accents

Some (but not all) of the roses I had pruned to delay flowering had come back in bloom right on time. I didn’t really get the show I wanted from the roses—but you know what I said in an earlier article—“No guts, no glory.” 

roses blooming just in time

roses blooming just in time

 The sitting area under the trellis was put together by Laurie Hubbard and Ramona Fricks. It was well used as the day went by.

sitting area under trellis

sitting area under trellis

One of the things I like about this garden is the way in which the accent plantings blend in with the grander vistas from the mountain top. I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed it, either.

enjoying the view from the mountain

enjoying the view from the mountain

The man who built this bridge was the inspiration for my novel, Requiem for a Redneck. The book tells about the details involved such a project. RIP, Ottis, you would have been proud.

bridge and fountain

bridge and fountain

All in all, it was a wonderful day. I loved the girl with the umbrella.  

A good time

A good time

To read about Johntheplantman and the rednecks,  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?   If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

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Preparing the garden for a tour—part 6 of a series. illustrated

This is part five of a series devoted to getting a garden ready for the Rome, Ga. Junior Service League tour of gardens which will take place on April 28, 2012. To find the other articles of this series, CLICK HERE

There’s less than a week left until the day of the tour. The good news is that last week we started the fun stuff. I went by the greenhouse to check out the dragon wing begonias. They were looking really good, so I loaded some in the truck and took them to the job site.

dragon wing begonias in the greenhouse

dragon wing begonias in the greenhouse

There are a lot of urns to be planted in and around the back patio and pool area. We tried geraniums in these planters for a number of years but found them to be maintenance intensive. I love the dragon wings, though. They are low maintenance and provide dependable color. I planted one of the urns and stood back to admire it.

Dragon wing begonia in urn

Dragon wing begonia in urn

While I was playing with the flowers, my helpers took on the field behind the pool. This area only gets mowed a few times a year because it is steep and not conducive to any machine other than a weed eater. They sure did a good job.

back field mowed with weedeaters

back field mowed with weedeaters

My job was to get the flower bed concept. I had decided to use a mixed colors of verbena, coleus, and angelonia for the focus bed in front. I laid out the trays of plants and stepped back to get a mental picture of what the beds would look like.

getting a design concept for flower beds

getting a design concept for flower beds

The best way I have found to get a really good looking flower bed planting is to lay each plant out exactly where I want it to be. Then we go back and plant them, being careful to maintain the design.

place-plants-exactly-where-they-will-be-planted.jpg

place-plants-exactly-where-they-will-be-planted.jpg

I used angelonia for something tall and bushy last year as a test and I really liked them. They gave me a bushy, floriferous statement behind lower plants. I highly recommend this plant for full sun.

angelonia my new favorite bedding plant

angelonia my new favorite bedding plant

I found these coleus and I think they will make a statement and give some height to the rear of the garden. I love the color combination.

brilliant coleus for a color statement

brilliant coleus for a color statement

Friday afternoon we carefully planted the flower bed. I like to use lots of time release fertilizer such as Osmocote.

planting-the-flower-bed-as-planned.jpg

planting-the-flower-bed-as-planned.jpg

As we cleaned up from the day’s work, I hooked up my wonderful home made sprinkler to water the plants in. I designed this sprinkler several years ago. It is easy, it works well, and it’s cheap. You will find directions for building the sprinkler if you CLICK HERE (this is the most visited article on my site.)

I’m going to have lots of fun next week– planting more flower beds, trimming and mowing, and tweaking the garden and its special areas.

If you live around Rome, Georgia, get you some tickets and come check out the tour. The information may be found on the Junior Service League of Rome web site

 Here is the information for the tour:

 The Junior Service League of Rome is pleased to announce the first Rome in Bloom Garden Tour and the Twilight Blooms Garden Tour and Party on Saturday, April 28th 2012.
Click Here to See the Gardens on Tour

Click Here to Order Tickets Online

You can also purchase tickets from a Junior Service League Member or at one of the following locations:

Living and Giving
Traditions
Bussey’s
Pineapple Place
Visitors Center / Last Stop Gift Shop
Lavender Mountain

Thank you to all of the above locations for your cooperation and support!!

Click Here for a Rome In Bloom Garden Tour Map

Click here for a printer friendly version of the gardens and maps

The Rome in Bloom Garden Tour is from 10 am to 5 pm and allows you to view six local gardens.  Tickets can be purchased online, from a league member, or at the list of Rome locations below.

The Twilight Blooms Garden Tour and Party is from 5 pm to 7:30 pm and showcases Rose Hill in Historic Downtown Rome.  Tickets are $35 each and can be purchased online or at the list of Rome locations below.

Tickets for both tours are $50 each

Both the Rome In Bloom and Twilight Blooms Garden Tour and Party are rain or shine.  All tours are self guided and you are welcome to view the gardens at your preferred pace.  Gardens can be viewed in any order but please be aware that the natural terrain could be uneven so dress accordingly. 

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Thanks for visiting Johntheplantman 

To read about Johntheplantman and the rednecks

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?

 If you want a consultation with John Schulz in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

Preparing the garden for an early spring event. Part two of a series.

 The Rome, Georgtia Junior Service League tour of gardens will happen on April 28, 2012. We’ve been preparing the yard for the event for a while. Click here to see part one of the series. Dekie and I drove up to check out the progress on March 20, the first day of spring. We were delighted with all of the early flowers and the new growth to be found everywhere we looked. Heading up the long drive to the top of the mountain, we enjoyed the dogwoods.

A plethora of dogwoods

A plethora of dogwoods

I know what you are saying after that picture caption, but I figure that a writer only gets to use the word “plethora” once every two months and it’s my turn. I stopped to take a picture of the dogwood and an iris bed with the house in the distance.

Dogwood and iris frame the distant house

Dogwood and iris frame the distant house

The wisteria was in full bloom. I’m sure the wisteria will kill that big tree one day, but Patsy doesn’t seem to mind–she loves that plant– so we just try to keep it under control as best we can.

A grand wisteria shows off with flowers in early spring

A grand wisteria shows off with flowers in early spring

The viburnum by the front entrance was showing off. Of course, it will be only solid green for the tour.

Viburnum at front entrance

Viburnum at front entrance

I noticed the hostas poking their pretty leaves out of the ground. They will be beautiful for the end of April. I wonder, given the warm weather lately, if the hydrangeas will be in bloom for the event. It would be nice if they were.

The hostas are waking from their winter slumber

The hostas are waking from their winter slumber

The beautiful dissectum Japanese maple at the front door had been growing way out over the steps. I had pruned it away from the steps earlier and I’m happy with the results.

The beautiful Japanese maple has been pruned away from the entrance

The beautiful Japanese maple has been pruned away from the entrance

The beds along the extensive pathways have been cleaned of all winter debris and stray weeds. They are ready for pine straw which will be applied as soon as the current pollen drop is over with. I love the little hints of the mountain view as I walk through the garden.

Beds along the pathways are now nice and clean

Beds along the pathways are now nice and clean

The ivy on the house has been nicely trimmed. We have to trim this planting two or three times a year.

Ivy nicely trimmed

Ivy nicely trimmed

The box stores with their nurseries take advantage of the nice March days to offer unknowing customers annual flowering plants even though it is way too early to plant them. Sometimes I think they are taking advantage of customers who don’t know any better. Well, this year I am going to take advantage of the box stores. I got a load of begonias from Lowe’s and took them to the greenhouse. I will grow them out to nice healthy plants to be put in the beds the week before the garden tour. I’m afraid there will be a shortage of nice plants at that time and I want to be sure that I have what I need. We gathered up all sorts of 4 inch pots and prepared them. I bought small plants in 6 packs and will grow them out.

pots laid out for bedding plants

pots laid out for bedding plants

I am using Pro Mix for the plantings. This is one of the best potting mediums available. I could save money by mixing peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite to get the same thing, but I don’t really have the time.

Pro Mix is a premium potting soil

Pro Mix is a premium potting soil

Here are the begonias ready to take off and grow. I will give them a good drink of Miracle Grow 20-20-20 plant food and spray them well with a good fungicide. I’ll show you the difference in a follow up article a couple of weeks or so from now.

begonias in larger pots ready to grow and thrive

begonias in larger pots ready to grow and thrive

Stay in touch with johntheplantman for further developments in preparing the mountain garden for the April tour.

 To see a previous article about this lovely landscape garden, CLICK HERE

To read about Johntheplantman and the rednecks

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?

If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

 Happy Gardening!!

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