Garden Photo of the Day

A Private Sanctuary

By Kim Charles

Gayle and Jerry Trousdale of TN, keep their small garden fresh with the addition of new and interesting plant material.

"I live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. My back yard is small and fenced by a 6 ft wooden fence. It is my private sanctuary for morning coffee, afternoon reading or stargazing at night. Always with my two dogs and husband joining me. I like to find new plants to try every year. This year is the multicolored amaranth and the Crossandra, plus the old fountain turned into a mini succulent garden. Right now- June 2, the lilies and oak leaf hydrangea are showing off. The wire cages support the lilies but mainly keep the dogs from breaking them off. The vine is a Japanese clematis that comes back full force every year. I love it. The lace cap hydrangea is a new variety I found at the wonderful Johnson's nursery in Cookville, TN – Tuff Stuff Red. Next to the house we put out only 3 'Parks Whopper' tomatoes, 3 jalapeños, and some cayenne that my husband loves. It gives us enough for the two of us. I put some herbs in my wrought iron boxes this year. They are working well and easy to grab for cooking. At 71 and 69 this small garden is enough for us. Gayle and Jerry Trousdale"

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  1. bsavage 06/14/2017

    What a lovely place to spend time with your husband and dogs!

  2. tennisluv 06/14/2017

    Sweet garden. No wonder you like to be out in it morning, afternoon and night. Thanks for sharing.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/14/2017

    Color abounds. Wonderful place!

  4. Maggieat11 06/14/2017

    Beautiful Hydrangeas!!! Good idea for your old fountain. Lovely plants to surround you while you enjoy some sitting time. Thank you for sharing!

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/14/2017

    Looks like you are drawn to bright and lively colors, Gayle. I'm sure the butterflies and hummingbirds approve of your selections! Your new 'Tuff Stuff Red' hydrangea is a real winner. I just did some reading about it and it has lots of great attributes...blooms on old wood as well as new, stays fairly compact and needs no deadheading...what's not to love?

    1. gayletrousdale 06/14/2017

      Exactly! Good for my small space.

  6. user-4691082 06/14/2017

    Good morning Gayle and Jerry, your garden is refreshing...what zone are you? Can you tell me what the plants are in the 1st and 3rd photos? I see some cannas about- do you have to dig them up in the fall? If you don't, I'm really jealous! Thanks for sharing!

    1. gayletrousdale 06/14/2017

      We are in Murfreesboro, TN zone 7. The canas stay in the ground to winter and come back strong each year. The first picture is a Crossandra, new to me this year,. It is a tropical. The third picture is an amaranth I am trying.

  7. Doxnmomx2 06/14/2017

    Such a special place. Your hydrangeas are fab especially the oak leaf. All the pops of color are gorgeous. I spot some bare earth by the glads. You'd better head to the nursery. Does your fountain hold water after rain? I've wanted to try a similar idea with a bird bath but wonder about drainage for succulents.

    1. Sunshine111 06/14/2017

      I think it is necessary to drill holes for water drainage.?

      1. gayletrousdale 06/14/2017

        Sounds like a good idea..

        1. Doxnmomx2 06/14/2017

          With the rain we've had this year, I think holes it is!

    2. gayletrousdale 06/14/2017

      So far I am just lightly watering them. The soil is very shallow. It is an experiment this year.

  8. chelleisdiggin 06/14/2017

    Your garden is delightful! I think I'll be stealing your idea of using the tomato cages to support lilies...dogs in my garden, too!

  9. greengenes 06/14/2017

    Good morning you two! You have created a wonderful place to sit and enjoy your time together. I really like the oakleaf hydrangea and lilies! Iam sure it smells quite nice too! Enjoy your vegies! Thanks for sharing!

  10. deborah_gleason 06/14/2017

    Gayle and Jerry, lovely gardens! i just bought some succulents as well. What variety is your oakleaf hydrangea? I planted mine, Snow Queen, last year and alas, no blooms yet. I think, I hope, it's still getting established. :) I need to feed and water all my plants today. Thank you for sharing your bit of paradise.

    1. LaurelEm 06/14/2017

      I too have a new Oak Leaf Hydrangea. It worries me also. I bought it at the end of season sale last fall. I like the adage; The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap.

      1. deborah_gleason 06/14/2017

        That makes me feel better, thanks! I'll try to be patient.

        1. User avater
          LindaonWhidbey 06/14/2017

          Deborah, I'm on my third summer with q. 'Ruby Slippers' and it is finally going to flower. I think what Laurie said is very true of many plants, especially out here where we don't get much heat.

    2. gayletrousdale 06/14/2017

      The oakleaf is a dwarf variety- Munchkin. It stays the size you see and i do not trim it back. As for the bare ground, i try to fill it up to keep the weeds out. If you look closely there are 4 little cayenne pepper plants that Jerry started from seeds.. they are his babies and will fill this space eventually.

  11. wittyone 06/14/2017

    Wow! That amaranth is eye-popping. Who needs flowers when the foliage is so amazing? I just may have to find some of that to try. But of course I'd have to make space to put it in and unlike you I seem to be unable to shrink rather than enlarge the flowered areas in the yard. You have the right idea about keeping things on the smaller side and as an advantage having some time to just relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  12. LaurelEm 06/14/2017

    You have a very lovely manageable garden. I should get smart like you. You also have a good eye with the camera. Beautiful pictures. I particularly like the 2 views of the succulent fountain. The first picture, I was thinking that the sempervivum was about a foot across. Very lovely picture.

  13. VikkiVA 06/14/2017

    Oh wow, I love everything in your garden from the succulent planted birdbath to those glorious white lilies and the oak leaf hydrangea. You have made excellent choices in plant material and placement. Thanks for sharing your piece of "amazing." Vikki in VA

  14. annek 06/14/2017

    Gayle and Jerry, I so enjoyed the photo-tour of your garden. You've pulled together some beautiful plants in your private sanctuary and I can imagine the contentment you feel as you do walk abouts. That succulent birdbath is a sure winner and the brilliant colors are fabulous

  15. Coveside 06/14/2017

    Love that fountain of succulents!

  16. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/14/2017

    loads of color for a wonderful retreat. Love your succulent fountain!

  17. User avater
    gringopeligroso 06/14/2017

    Wow!! One doesn't see Spigellia (Indian Pinks) used in shade gardens much, and I don't know why! A nice surprise to see it this morning! We have one here and it's settling-in, delighting our local hummers! Hope to get more in the future, but kinda hard to find.

    I'll be curious as to how y'all's Crossandra experiment goes. I've been tempted to try them again, but am unsure as to their staying power in the garden. I'm familiar with the older varieties from a couple (few) decades ago and they were flashy and thrived, but were short lived as far as colour. Perhaps these newer varieties bloom longer? Perhaps I wasn't growing them right? Love how y'all have tucked it in with the parsley! Nice combo! jesse

  18. user-6536305 06/14/2017

    I echo with others and I am speechless! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Chris_N 06/14/2017

    Your garden looks like a perfect place to relax. The fountain full of succulents is a great idea. I also liked the photo of the Indian Pinks. I keep seeing it recommended but haven't tried it yet. It would be nice to be able to leave cannas in the ground, digging them up each year and then planting them back out is becoming quite a chore.

  20. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 06/14/2017

    Hi Gayle and Jerry. Your photos of your small retreat garden are beautiful and it looks like the perfect place to relax. With over 2 acres, relaxing in the garden is mostly done in the evening but to us gardening is therapeutic so no complaints. It's surprising that in zone 7 you can leave your cannas in the ground. We're in 8a and lost the ones left in but then it was a harsher than usual winter. Your succulent fountain is a winner. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Cenepk10 06/14/2017

    Absolutely so beautiful. Looking lush !!!

  22. User avater
    HelloFromMD 06/15/2017

    That Tuff Stuff hydrangea is really pretty. Did you add lime to get the nice pink color? Loved your succulent fountain, very artistic

  23. User avater
    HelloFromMD 06/15/2017

    Is the orange flower the crossandra? I have never seen that before. An annual?

  24. user-5627921 06/15/2017

    Thanks for sharing your delightful garden. I love all the pops of color. Love your succulent fountain! I may have to look for a cracked fountain at a second hand store to give it a try. You're way ahead of us on the lilies and hydrangeas. Here in Western Washington, the tight little buds on my hydrangeas are still weeks away from opening.

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