Garden Photo of the Day

A dusting of snow in Jeff’s Tennessee garden

Iron fence finials

Today's photos are from our friend Jeff Calton down in Tennessee (past posts HERE.) He says, "We do not get regular snowfall here and rarely is it a "big one." Sure, this is little more than a heavy frost to a lot out there, but I did enjoy seeing the garden dusted. Just enough snow for the plants to catch and hold it and add some frosting. It does add another dimension and I am TRYING to embrace winter. That, of course, is a lie, as I really want to see green grass and things starting to grow." Me, too, Jeff, me, too. Wait. Do I need all those commas? Sigh. My brain is addled from the constant subzero temperatures up here in CT…..But you do have a way of making winter look appealing. So thanks.

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Monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana)

Cornus mas tried to flower–you can see a little yellow.

Cultivator discs are now snowflakes

Back yard

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Inaba Shidare'

Abies koreana 'Silberlocke'

Nandina domestica 'Umpqua Chief'

Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon'

Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata)

'Traveller' Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis 'Traveller')

'Lace Parasol' winged elm (Ulmus alata 'Lace Parasol')

View to the south

Weeping Norway spruce
Yuccas in white
Back yard looking north

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/18/2015

    Jeff, you and your garden never disappoint...ha, have I said that before? Well, if so, it's because it's true. Of course, I adore your snowflake/cultivar disks...they are definitely stellar stars of garden ornamentation. And, how cool to see your Abies koreana'Silberlocke' being actually snow flocked since its curving silvery needles already give that effect. Hope your area got spared the ice that all my plant material is well coated makes everything look beautiful temporarily but at the cost of broken branches, etc. I certainly prefer your dusting of snow!

    1. user-1020932 02/18/2015

      Mike, thankfully we got NO ice that's always the worst and with it we usually lose power. with the bitter cold coming the rest of the week i am glad to have this snow as a blanket

  2. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/19/2015

    Jeff,as I scrolled through,I was thinking oh this photo is so beautiful and then I would see the next and each one seemed to top the last one. Your Flying Dragon looks impressive with the snow on it,but one to definetly not get to close to. I bought one once from a local tiny nursery and waited and waited and waited for it to leaf out, I called them and they said all of the ones they sold had apparently frozen when we had a bad freeze a couple of years ago I have not replaced it yet but seeing yours tells me I should definetly look for one again. Your Lace Parasol winged elm is stately dressed in white and the Umbrella Pine is picture perfect. Wow so incredibly beautiful each and every detail highlighted by snow,I am so glad to see these but I suppose many will say oh gosh who wants to see snow photos with the Eastern third of the country blanketed with heavy snow.I enjoyed the calm beauty and am glad you shared the the snowy details with us.Jeff your gardens are so beautiful in every season.

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      thanks for all your kind words! and definitely replace your Flying Dragon, it's one of my favorite plants in the garden. i didn't get fruit last year (late frost got the buds) but i'm hoping for this year. the Lace Parasol is a special tree as it was a gift from JC Raulston a very long time ago, it's a great plant but i can never get a photo to do it justice, it's an "in person" tree and i never met a Sciadopitys that i didn't like. one of my all time favorite trees

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/19/2015

        Jeff how long have you been gardening this property?

        1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

          i have lived here since 1991, moved here with 1 truckload of furniture and 3 truckloads of plants

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 02/19/2015

            Well, Jeff, with the furniture to plants ratio being 1 to 3 way back then...seems like you've always had your priorities straight :).

          2. greengenes 02/19/2015

            Oh, I so agree! Right on, Meander1!

          3. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/19/2015

            Jeff true gardener,more plants than furniture ha ha all of us gardeners can definetly relate to more plants than furniture,my favorite thing to do is buy plants and of course pots,poor Don he keeps saying he's getting to old to lift the really big ones,(most of us can relate to that I think)so the last really heavy and very large one we had delivered and set in place we are getting smarter(older and wiser I am finally old enough to know what that means)

          4. user-1020932 02/19/2015

            you need a pot sling,,,,,,makes easy work out of the heaviest of pots

          5. sheila_schultz 02/19/2015

            Have you and Don tried a pot-lifter to move the bigger boys? They are the best tool to move pots, etc., ever ;)

          6. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/19/2015

            Yes we do use a pot lifter whenever possible but this last one was a big boy they told us it was around 250ish -300 pounds it is finished cement and so perfect it lets the tree be the focal point not the pot. Everyone should have a pot lifter they are the best.

  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/19/2015

    Jeff! I love the nouveau-retro little tykes garden art with that light, powdery coating. You are so ahead of the curve! :)
    Ok, really, I'm just bitter that it is 4 degrees below zero this morning and it is really rattling my denial. Photos are stellar. Between the cultivator discs, monkey puzzle tree, poncirus and those yuccas, I am so impressed. Looks fantastic. Thanks!

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      Tim, had i been a "real" photographer i would have moved all the toys but i'm much too lazy to chip them free from the earth and if i had i would most likely have been attacked by a 3 y/o who thinks he is Batman

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/19/2015

        You really have to be on the lookout for Batman. He sort of swoops in from nowhere! The toys are a sign of life and joy. It brings back memories. cheers.

      2. perenniallycrazy 02/20/2015

        Please do not remove the toys. It just makes the garden real and home!

    2. sheila_schultz 02/19/2015

      Tim, we both latched onto the slide. At first glance, Jeff, I thought you had found a couple of very cool carved stone slabs... then I saw the rest of the slide. HaHaHa! You know what they say about beauty being in the eye of the beholder ;)

      1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

        Sheila, he's kind of upset that his structures are snowy and that his playhouse is completely iced over. he just found the MIL's b'day cake for tonight and is covered in frosting, cake is a total loss

        1. sheila_schultz 02/19/2015

          Are you sure you didn't have a taste of that cake yourself? I mean heck... what difference does it make now? Does your MIL have a sense of humor???

    3. Meelianthus 02/20/2015

      4 below ZERO !! Seriously ! I am so sorry about your weather Tim. Hope you have lots of long underwear and very hopeful you don't lose any of your gardens

      (It was 60 here on Monday - I know, so mean ! but I just thought I would brag about that as people think all we have is rain - which is 0nly partially true)

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/20/2015

        9 below this morning! I actually don't think the winters here in Columbus are that bad, probably because I grew up in Iowa. We usually get some nights of below-zero temps, but lows are generally in the teens and twenties. Fortunately there are plenty of beautful plants that can take it!

  4. NCYarden 02/19/2015

    Good morning, Jeff. SNOOOOOOOOOOOOW! I love it and very jealous, and apparently as part of the same system I got a bunch of ice... luckily more sleet than freezing rain. I had to do a little damage control. I wanted my place to look like your awesome garden, and it does look awesome. Your diversity of plants gives great structure to catch all those snowy accents. The cultivar discs are really cool, and do look like snowflakes. I am totally digging the 'lace parasol' winged elm....very impressive. One was given to me a few years back, essentially as a sapling, but it did not survive the few years of pretty tough drought we had. Seeing yours makes we wish I had tried even harder to make it live. Looks like it will be worth trying again.
    It all looks so wonderful. thanks for sharing.,

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      thankfully NO ice here, ice storms are the worst / breaking everything and nothing much you can do except watch it happen. it's just COLD!

      1. sheila_schultz 02/19/2015

        I'm overjoyed you haven't been slammed with ice storms this year... they are definitely the devil.

  5. greengenes 02/19/2015

    Outstanding, Jeff! Good bones and nice dusting of snow! I feel so bad for all of you over there with this weather! Hang in there! There is only 29 more days until spring! I so enjoyed seeing the cultivator snow flakes! I wouldn't mind finding a couple of those! I really like the monkey puzzle tree. But around here in the pacific northwest there are a lot of them that are dying! And these are huge trees which have been around for a while. So Sad to see. Your umberella pine is a wonderful shape and the weeping Norway spruce sure is doing its thing! Love it! The orange or the flying dragon is so beautiful in its own special way! I think I will have to make room for one of those! Its all so great to see! Thanks so much for inspiring us today! Wish I could blow some warm weather your way!

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      Jeanne, don't tell me the monky puzzles are dying out i have only now gotten 2 to live and actually live here

  6. rhea_smith 02/19/2015

    Wonderful. Really wonderful. I have followed your gardening pictures over the years and now I am traveling in your area in the next few weeks. Would you be open for a brief garden tour? No worries either way.

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      Rhea, you are welcome here anytime but there isn't much to see at the moment. would be glad, however, to meet you! you can find me on FB as Jeff GoodEarth, message me there

  7. annek 02/19/2015

    So that's what snow looks like! You photographed some beautiful architectural bones, both metal and plant, for a delightful garden tour.

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      sadly, that's about all i have in February,,,,,,,,,,bones and metal but there is life out there somewhere!

  8. user-7007362 02/19/2015

    Good morning Jeff, So happy to see your garden again and all the tree/plant forms emphasized. I am always mesmerized by the disks hanging from your tree. We are also thankful for this protective coating of snow with the temperatures dipping so low. Stay safe everyone.

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      Terie, i am SO over winter and itching to get back to the garden.

  9. GrannyMay 02/19/2015

    Gorgeous as usual Jeff! Luckily, you seem to have received just the right amount of snow to show everything off and yet not cause damage. I'm so sorry for all the eastern side of the continent, with its endless accumulations. Love the umbrella pine and those amazing cultivator discs in any weather! What, no Agave?

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      May , I have given up on Agave outside, they always rot in winter. all my agave are sunbathing inside by south facing windows. this is as much snow as i can handle, i don't know how they deal with it further north

      1. GrannyMay 02/19/2015

        I wondered how hardy they might be after seeing some Agave parryi 'J C Raulston' looking very happy outside at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, near Victoria, British Columbia. This was at the end of January. They also had a number of Phormium and cacti. Tempting! However, this was in a very well drained area, sloping to the west. Mini-climate can make all the difference.

        1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

          it's the wet that gets them here and i have done everything humanly possible to keep them dry. Phormium is a definite annual here and a pricey one

        2. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/19/2015

          If I had an Agave that would be the one May

        3. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/20/2015

          Those are so beautiful, May. Most all of my agaves outside bit the dust last winter, some after living outside since 2009. Some are hardy down to zone 5, but Jeff is right: winter wet is a killer. It seems they get freeze damage much more easily if they are plump instead of drought-stressed.

          1. GrannyMay 02/20/2015

            I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them looking so healthy. We always get lots of rain in winter; this year we had snow and freezing temperatures in November, though it has been unusually warm ever since. Yet there they were, out in the open. I read somewhere that they should be planted on an angle (side of a berm or slope) so that rainwater will not collect in the centre.

          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/20/2015

            Aren't plants interesting? I wasn't quite thinking about your winter wet, but I'm sure you don't get the low temperatures that we get here in the midwest! :) Lucky you. I looked at a few remaining Agaves in my yard yesterday in the bitter, below-0 weather and they look like they will be mush. I think another factor for me is the sub-zero weather combined with full sun for a one-two, freeze-thaw punch!
            Loree Bohl (Danger Garden Blog) in Portland has this agave just growing out in her yard. I think it is a variety that Plant Delights sells, touting it as tolerant of moisture. Agave ovatifolia is probably my favorite. I think a lot of PNW folks grow it outside as well. I just love the symmetry and broad leaves. cheers!

      2. CCCDDD 02/19/2015

        We have big snowplows LOL
        Perennials love a blanket of snow

  10. user-7007327 02/19/2015

    Love all the bare bone snow sculptures, especially the Texas redbud and the flying dragon. The art hanging from the tree, metal or wood?

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      Elizabeth, the cultivator discs are iron

      1. user-7007327 02/19/2015

        So that's what they are.

        1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

          yep, i'm a junque collector

  11. GrannyCC 02/19/2015

    Lovely photos Jeff. I especially love your "snowflakes". I didn't know the Flying Dragon so I looked it up. It looks like a good plant to keep away deer and bunnies that like to eat our plants. Might be an expensive hedge! Are the oranges similar to those we get for Christmas from China or Japan?
    That is a lovely sweeping view to the south and quite the impressive house!

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      Catherine, the oranges are fuzzy like a tennis ball, about the size of a ping pong ball and full of seeds. about half the seeds produce flying dragons and the other half produce the standard upright growing Poncirus

      1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

        that house is NOT typical of this valley but i am glad it's there,,, neat , tidy and gives me a nice view

      2. GrannyCC 02/19/2015

        Are they any good for eating? It sounds like maybe there is more seeds than fruit.

        1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

          all seed, very little pulp and almost no juice

        2. NCYarden 02/19/2015

          And unbelievably prolific (but not in an invasive way), as quite literally every seed in every orange will germinate. It's amazing how successful the seeds are. It is imperative that the fruit is picked up and discarded somewhere. But it's great to let a couple start and share with friends. You are guaranteed gifts for all, just remember to pass along the warning.

          1. GrannyCC 02/19/2015

            thanks for the warning!

  12. sheila_schultz 02/19/2015

    Your gardens have such great bones Jeff, and the little bit of snow not only provides a warm blanket but also a little bit of magic! I am particularly fond of your Monkey Puzzle Tree and Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon'... they are drop dead gorgeous in my book!

    1. user-1020932 02/19/2015

      sheila, i hope i live long enough to see that monkey puzzle actually become a tree,,,,,,, you and i both love the danger gardens

      1. sheila_schultz 02/19/2015

        At least you have the space to plant such a beauty, Jeff. If I were to plant one in my tiny space, we'd be spending a lot of time at the vet and urgent care!

  13. Cenepk10 02/19/2015

    Nice, Jeff… But keep your snow. I can't stand the stuff. ;)

  14. sonjafeatherstone 02/19/2015

    Thanks for these photos. The Flying Dragon is fabulous!

  15. foxglove12 02/19/2015

    You have some amazing specimens. Love that flying dragon. Just think how vibrant they all will be in the fall now that they have gotten so cold!

  16. user-7007140 02/19/2015

    Such beautiful shrubs and trees, Jeff. Love the Dragon and the Nandina especially, and the winged elm - how gorgeous! The snow? Well I already have plenty of that - how about green and blossom for a change?

  17. perenniallycrazy 02/20/2015

    I so love your garden Jeff, even in the winter! I am particularly crazy in love (drool) over those cultivator discs, Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon, ' the Japanese Umbrella Pine, the Nandina Umpqua Chief and the Monkey Puzzle Tree (and the Agave of course!). I wish I had a garden like yours, yes, even in the winter. Thank you for sharing once again.

    1. user-1020932 02/20/2015

      and Cherry, i'm forever saying : "If only I had Cherry's eye for combinations and planting schemes"

  18. Meelianthus 02/20/2015

    Hello Jeff ~ A little late to the party here but wanted to say what beautiful photos these are. Your "dusting" of snow would be our normal amount here on Bainbridge Is., WA - if we get some which we did not this year so I enjoyed the beauty of everything, especially the Japanese Umbrella Pine. It looks like it is covered with white lights, so charming. It does look very cold there however and how wonderful you have so much room for all of those beautiful trees. Those discs are outstanding, real show stoppers. I so love your gardens in the Spring/Summer - can't wait. Thanks.

  19. schatzi 02/20/2015

    Good evening All. I didn't have a chance to respond til now, busy day. In order: I have never seen a monkey puzzle tree with snow on it before - cool! Also cool: cultivator discs, with or w'out snow. Korean fir 'Silberlocke' - gorgeous outlined in snow. Nandina 'Umpqua Chief' red stems and leaves show up beautifully in the snow - great contrast. Intricate 'Flying Dragon' is beautiful with deadly looking thorns. Japanese umbrella pine is gorgeous - snow only enhances its beauty. Yuccas in snow - what can I say - the geometry is lovely. May, thanks for the pics of agaves - very pretty. Phormiums are a tender perennial here. Some years they make it thru the winter, some times they don't. And when they do survive, they usually look awful by spring. Your garden is beautiful any time of year Jeff. Enjoy the snow while it lasts. I'll bet your little 3 year old ninja is! We are back to rain but with the 'promise' of a sun break this weekend. Ah yes, the 'Flying Dragon' - I was not familiar with that one but it sounds interesting. Fascinating that the seeds are of 2 different kinds of orange. I'm glad your snow storm wasn't any worse than it was. I don't envy the NE and midwest. Very seriously WINTER there. Been there, done that, don't miss it! Glad you didn't lose power. That really sucks when it is so cold. But for the plants the snow really is protective as long as it isn't wet and heavy. That's what we got a couple years ago and then freezing rain and it wrecked a lot of trees and shrubs. Stay warm and dream of spring.

  20. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/20/2015

    Wow, Jeff the bones of your garden are revealed. as. outstanding. Really nice selection of woodies and conifers.

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