Garden Photo of the Day

A garden meetup!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Michaele Anderson

WE INTERRUPT THIS BROADCAST TO BRING YOU THIS BREAKING NEWS: tntreeman and meander1 met in person! Yup, two of our favorite contributors and commenters, Jeff Calton and Michaele Anderson, both live in Tennessee, and decided they needed to do some plant swapping and garden touring together. So last weekend Michaele drove to Jeff with her husband Darwin (coolest name ever….). I begged for photos, and here they are!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Michaele Anderson

Jeff says, “I took Mike and Darwin to a few clients’ homes but the best ones were off limits as the homeowners were traveling and I didn’t want to set off the alarms and be surrounded by police! We had a great morning visiting around town, then a quick lunch at 5 Guys, and then to my house. She left with a car load of plants and I had a great day and one of her bird mansions. Wish you could have joined us.”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Michaele Anderson

Michaele says, “Thanks to GPOD, Jeff, my husband, and I had a great visit in Jeff’s neck of the woods. We saw some great gardens that belong to his clients and then his personal area, which is a delight. He is NOT the cobbler whose children have no shoes. Even though his profession is landscaping, it is obviously also his personal passion and he has many wonderful plants that are situated perfectly. He has a super collection of interesting succulents and cacti and intriguing bonsai combinations. Darwin and I really enjoyed ourselves. Jeff, in person, is just as you would imagine…very engaging, interesting, and fun.”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Michaele Anderson

Yay! I feel like a garden matchmaker! I’m so glad you guys had fun. Next time I’m coming, too!

Speaking of, who’s coming to the meetup here in Connecticut this August? Check it out HERE.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Michaele Anderson
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Michaele Anderson
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Michaele Anderson


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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 06/21/2013

    what a surprise to find us featured today and it's a friday so you get to look at us both for three days! if mike and darwin had 1/2 as much fun as i did it was a super successful day. i really did enjoy meeting them both wish we could have gone to some other gardens but time and availability was at a premium. Meander is just as nice in person as here on gpod and darwin is the coolest ever and was understanding in that mike and i did do some talking! now i need to visit Meander Acres

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/21/2013

    Now, it's my turn to talk back to Jeff. Darwin and I had an equally great time and Jeff was so patient and good natured about answering questions about plant names and best growing conditions for this and that. We loved the client gardens we visited and his personal property left a deep impression. I came away with a deeper appreciation of NOT BEING AFRAID TO PRUNE. Multiple stemmed trees like crape myrtles, etc. were limbed up so beautifully and became expressive works of art. And flowering woody plants like smoke bush and vitex were taken down to a low framework in the spring so they grew in lush and gangly uneven branches shooting out of control. He makes very effective use of interesting evergreens which makes for a visually attractive 4 season landscape. It was an inspiring, educational and delightful visit.

  3. deeinde 06/21/2013

    What fun that you met! Sounds like you all had a great time!
    Were some of the pictures taken at Jeff's place? Or were they at other gardens?

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/21/2013

    yardmom, only the first 2 pictures down out of the 7 pictures were at client gardens. The rest were at Jeff's. Among the remaining 5 photos, that amazingly mature looking red leafed Japanese maple is his as well as the porch filled with interesting cacti and succulents.

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/21/2013

    Didn't get an email reminder this AM. So glad I remembered to come to the blog before starting a crazy day! How cool is this? Thanks for sharing the photos and you meet-up!

  6. cwheat000 06/21/2013

    I didn't get the email either this morning. I hope everyone doesn't miss out on your great visit. What fun! We do get to look at you guys for 3 days now. I promise not to critique you guys, like we critique the gardens. I think you are both so cute. ( Michaele, you are skinnier than I imagined. O.K.- that is critiquing, but in a good way) Jeff, your gardens are spectacular. It looks like you really know your stuff. How long have you had that massive cactus? Your mature plantings are amazing. Thanks for sharing your fun, I wish I could have been there.

  7. sheila_schultz 06/21/2013

    This is the perfect way to go into the weekend! How cool is it that the two of you and Darwin actually got together? It's not surprising at all that you all enjoyed the visit, in my book, you are the best. And by the way, I had no idea you were a succulent and cacti fan, Jeff. My kind of guy!
    Happy Summer GPOD friends!

  8. GrannyMay 06/21/2013

    True gardeners are generous with help, advice and plants, as you both demonstrate so well. How nice of you to share your meeting. A pleasure to get to know you both a little better.

  9. GardenersWK 06/21/2013

    We don't mind looking at you two for three days!
    Michelle, congratulations on your great gardener matchmaking!

  10. bee1nine 06/21/2013

    Had to sneak in the back way for my email here, today!!
    OHH, such a fun surprise to see Michaele + Jeff as our
    photo feature!
    I can almost feel the excitement and joy it must have felt to meet in person and for both of you to share a delightful
    day together!
    Nice to see again your fine cacti + succulent plants, Jeff.
    And.. thanks Michaele for courtesy of these photo's!
    HAPPY 1st day of summer + summer solstice- EVERYONE!!!

  11. wGardens 06/21/2013

    How wonderful that the two of you were able to share some garden time together. we love reading your comments and have enjoyed the photos very much. Wish I could have joined you there as well, Michaele. Fabulous opportunity for you both! Thanks for sharing!

  12. user-1020932 06/21/2013

    cwheat, the tall spiky thing on the porch by the column is a Pachypodium lammeri, i've only had it a few years. i got it for 1.00 at walmart about 6" tall and the cashier asked why i was buying a dead plant. the BIG cactus was on the other side of the porch a golden barrel that takes 4 people to move inside. i'm going to try to give it away this fall as it is just too big to handle anymore but i don't want to just throw it away

  13. n2hostas 06/21/2013

    Love to see a shovel come out when visiting someone's garden. When you share plants, you will always remember that visit, that gardener, that day when you see that plant growing in your own yard.

  14. tractor1 06/21/2013

    Great that you two hooked up for a visit, hoping it's the start of many more. I'm intrigued by that outside fire thingy, is it for roasting/smoking big meat... I garden but cooking is my real love and where I truly excel. Thank you for sharing your visit.

  15. user-1020932 06/21/2013

    tractor that fire thing is a fireplace and it's only for heat/ambience. there is, however, a newly finished outdoor cooking island just to the right of us. the stonemason was finishing it up when we were there visiting. grill, fridge, oven and a big green egg

  16. wanderinggardener 06/21/2013

    Lovely garden, great to hear of new gardening friendships which will surely be cemented by the plant exchange. Jeff, I would love to see a picture of the "Egg" outdoor grill that the stone mason was working on. I am thinking of getting one and having a surround built for it. Thanks.

  17. user-1020932 06/21/2013

    wandering gardener, the egg is not part of the built in island. it's a separate station and is in a rolling teakwood table giving more work space/serving area and can be rolled away from the action so to speak when in use. it throws off quite a bit of radiant heat and cooks for a long time. great for "big" stuff, burgers/steaks not so convenient

  18. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/21/2013

    The just finished up cooking island was every outdoor cook's (guy or gal) dream. It was gorgeous to look at and had amenities up the ying yang. The stone work was the very definition of craftmanship! The patio area has a great view since it looks out on the landscaping Jeff had installed and tends to for these clients.
    Confession time...I have actually felt planting anxiety in getting the interesting plants Jeff sent home with me happily situated in their new location. I sooo want them to live and thrive!

  19. user-1020932 06/21/2013

    well, Mike, i also have carried the plants around that you brought to me placing in many spots before finally deciding where to put them! you're right about the stonework, Mark Hall is a magician with stone and stays really busy thruout upper east tennessee and western north carolina

  20. terieLR 06/21/2013

    I sense a new wave of over-the-fence (around the bend) GPOD gardeners sharing secrets face to face. How fun! I had a silly smile the whole time I read todays feature and didn't realize it until I was smiling at the keyboard to Login. :op)
    Michaele, I'm sure those plants will do beautifully. Thank you both for letting us share these moments.

  21. greenthumblonde 06/22/2013

    Once again, I didn't check mail until evening so I'm late saying it but, how cool is that?! You guys got to meet. If anyone is ever traveling through Northeast Ohio be sure to look me up. Garden visits are so rewarding. So glad you two got to meet.

  22. greenthumblonde 06/22/2013

    Oh, and since pruning was a topic for inspiration, how exactly do you prune a smoke tree that's every bit a tree and not a bush? Where to cut?

  23. user-1020932 06/23/2013

    quick note to say how i have enjoyed reading all the comments. i wish ALL of you could come for a visit then we will go right down the road a couple of hours and visit Mike and Darwin! seriously, if anyone is traveling south i'm maybe 15 minutes from Interstate 81 and maybe 10 from Interstate 26 one hour from Asheville NC and Biltmore House. always always nice to spend time with a fellow gardener and plantaholic and at my place it's always Free Weeds Pick Your Own!
    have fun!

  24. user-1020932 06/23/2013

    greenthumblonde, i forgot to say, you do not have to be shy at all pruning a smoke tree/bush. right after flowering just have at it you can even pollard them and they spring right back with more intense color, larger leaves and a full bushy presence. save that job for a frustrating day as it's a great way to relieve tension,,,,,,,,off with their heads!

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