Garden Photo of the Day

A subtle fall in a Tennessee garden

Wisteria arbor

As promised (HERE), we’re finishing off the week with Jeff Calton down in Tennessee. We saw what’s going on in his garden on Monday, and today he’s sharing scenes from his clients’ gardens.

Woodland fountain

He says, “Spent the day in my “office” getting a client’s property ready for fall/winter and thought I would share a few. It is a fairly large property with several different garden rooms. We get to do a lot of fun projects here and finally all the contractors are GONE so we could at least start the new area. It is a fun family to work with and even though I don’t live there…it’s my garden.”

Walkway to firepit structure

Ah, the man of many gardens. Jeff, I don’t know where you get the energy to create so many compelling gardens and spaces! Keep ’em coming….

Volunteer ferns and moss at the base of a Japanese maple

Help me keep kicking out posts all winter long–send me photos of your gardens NOW! Email me at [email protected]. Thanks! –Michelle

View over Acanthus mollis ‘Summer Beauty’
Pulmonaria and autumn fern

Pond all netted for winter
Heliconia up close
Entry to new garden area

Hedychium ‘White Butterfly’ (ginger)
‘Lemon Lime’ dracaena and a red cordyline
Endless Summer hydrangea–it’s going to end on Saturday night.
Cast iron urn now used as a fountain

Callicarpa showing off for fall

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  1. deemattock 10/09/2014

    you wouldn't want a picture of my poor garden as since I fell ill and am no longer able 2 get out there 2 do it any more, but love 2 look at your beautiful gardens. Makes me long 2 be able 2 get out there and make my poor garden nice again, much I can manage is clipping at 1 or 2 of my crops on a good day. Keep up the good work...

    1. grannieannie1 10/09/2014

      Dee I was sorry to read about your incapacity to do gardening so I'm horning in on Jeff's blog for a moment to lend an idea: maybe there is someone who would like to do some gardening for you in exchange for being allowed to grow some vegetables for themselves?

      1. user-1020932 10/09/2014

        Annie, that is a GREAT idea! i'm sure there is an apartment dweller or someone with no space for a garden who would love to do that.

        1. greengenes 10/10/2014

          Hey...that is a wonderful idea!!! If I were in a different situation in life and didn't have a place to garden I sure would do that ! Just hearing about it makes me want to go to De e's house and help her!

          1. mainer59 10/10/2014

            The Cooperative Extension Service in one of Maine's counties offers a "Guardian Angel" program with master gardeners assisting those who can no longer garden.

          2. greengenes 10/10/2014

            Great! Thanks...This is an awsome way to give back! Who knows...maybe I might need this but hopefully not for a long time!

  2. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/09/2014

    Jeff do you know the name of the volunteer fern at the base of the tree? I love it and would most definetly enjoy it in my collection of ferns. The fountain is lovely using the old urn did you source that for them? The pulmonaria and fern bed is also a winner simple but well composed. I'm not sure how you have the time or energy for your own gardens. Thank you for sharing

    1. user-1020932 10/09/2014

      that is a native eastern fern and the woods here are full of them. i think it's probably the toughest plant on the planet. it's a Christmas fern, evergreen, grows about 18/24" tall with a bit more spread, nothing eats it and it's always dependable. Polystichum acrostichoides

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/10/2014

        Well I have a new fern on my list,how nice the woods are full of them,
        they really are a nice looking fern and I am happy nothing eats it. I will have to look and see how well it will do in my area. I would love to have my ravine full of these. Thank you so much for your reply and your wealth of valuable knowledge you so willing share.

        1. user-7006958 10/10/2014

          I also found this fern in my woods here in Ohio. It is also evergreen in zone 5 but in the spring we cut the old foliage off to make room for the new cleaner foliage. I love how it easy it is. Maintenance free.

          1. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/10/2014

            I looked this fern up last night and I'm not sure why I don't have this one in my gardens. It will grow in my zone also. We like to tidy up our ferns too they are so pretty when all of the new fronds come out. The only ones I don't tidy are the ones in the ravine I like to keep the old fronds on the ground around them to help hold moisture and keep the rains from washing the soil down hill.
            Do you collect ferns? Do you have a favorite?

          2. user-7006958 10/10/2014

            I do not consider myself a collector of ferns. I only grow a half of dozen or so types. My favorite is the Autumn Fern. My husband's is the Japanese Painted Fern.

        2. NCYarden 10/10/2014

          Christmas fern is a true evergreen champ in the woodland garden. And it transplants very easily. If you find a place where you can dig a few up, I would definitely encourage you to do so. And once you're back in your garden, you can quite literally just drop it on the ground and it will take root and grow. No digging required.

          1. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/10/2014

            I need to find some to dig up for sure we could have a ravine full in no time. How easy no digging, do you have these in your garden? Thanks for the tip isn't this the best gardening format !!!!!!

          2. NCYarden 10/10/2014

            Yes, we were allowed onto a woodland property prior to bulldozing for an office park construction and it was filled with lots of Christmas ferns (among other woodland goodies), and we dug up tons of clumps. Once home, we simply walked through the woodland area of our house and just dropped the clumps on the ground (I really couldn't imagine digging that many holes at that time). Everyone of them took root to their spot and are big beautiful mounds of fern glory now. So go locate some and enjoy.

  3. perenniallycrazy 10/09/2014

    The bones of a beautiful garden are highlighted by the arrival of fall and winter....and we can certainly see that in each of these garden rooms. Bravo Jeff!

    Thanks also for introducing us to more new plants to lust for. LOL. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/10/2014

    This is certainly a wonderful "finale" for the week, Jeff. What a wonderful property...I can well imagine it's a delight to go to work there and just keep making it more and more amazing. Thanks for letting us pass through that beautiful gate and look at the structures and plants up close and personal. Love that combo of the 'lemon lime' dracaena with the deep red tones of the cordyline...just stunning. And could that hydrangea be a more perfect heavenly blue? I don't think so!

  5. greengenes 10/10/2014

    Yes, Jeff, where do you get the time to do your own? How fun to do others, though. Do you also lay the rock? It's all so very nice! Thanks for sharing with us!

    1. user-1020932 10/10/2014

      yes, i do stonework but sometimes the project requires more than we are able to do either timewise or it exceeds our abilities so it is subbed out. this new area involved construction people, concrete people, brick masons, electricians, plumbers. these plants went in 2 weeks ago and the rest will be in place by end of month. sure today it is completely covered in fallen leaves

      1. greengenes 10/10/2014

        Iam going to try and build a 2ft. Rock wall that will be 7 ft long. Then Iam going to design a wooden fence on top for a vine to cover. I sure hope it turns out. Iam trying to hide all the empty pots I use for potting up new starts and divisions. There are so many neat rocks!

  6. user-7006958 10/10/2014

    I can't get over how beautiful that ginger is! I was given recently a rare hardy variety of Zingiber myoga that just bloomed for me. The white blooms came out of the ground near the root and are edible not fragrant. It is supposed to be hardy to zone 6a. We will see how it does this winter. But the one you are showing Jeff has such splendid blooms..and I can only imagine the fragrance. I wish I can grow that here in Ohio.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/10/2014

      when was the last time we saw your garden, Daniela? My memory is not good enough to remember if you have a blog. Guess I could resist being intractably lazy and search! I'd love to see a photo of the ginger if you have one. You can post in your comment. Just a suggestion.....

      1. user-7006958 10/10/2014

        First is the detail of the bloom. I didn't take a great picture. The distant view shows how the bloom comes from the ground/roots. Very neat don't you think? There is no comparison with the "White Butterfly" blooms in Jeff's picture.
        My blog is at: Once the garden is put to bed, I will start sending Michelle some pictures from this year's garden.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/10/2014

          Thanks for uploading those and the link. Fascinating. I looked this plant up on Plant Lust, and Plant Delights carries several variegated versions, some of which they list as zone 6a as well. I'll be anxious to know if it comes back next year.

          1. user-7006958 10/10/2014

            Oh! Variegated varieties!!! I can't wait for spring to see if this makes it! Then I will go shopping for more! I think that I will cover it with some mulch for protection.

          2. NCYarden 10/10/2014

            Hi Daniela, Have you noticed a lot of vanishing variegation over the course of several seasons. This is a neat ginger (or was), but with it's rapid spreading and subsequent loss of variegation, I have recently moved it from the garden proper. We were calling it "the patch of corn." It was looking more like giant stalks with only a few smaller variegated ones interspersed. Still got the cool ground flowers throughout, but just sorta lost its flare, and the giant stalks were beginning to obscure the flowers as well. Maybe it has something to do with the more abundant rains we have had the past 2 seasons and the rich soil it is in, but I have moved it to the guerrilla garden. What conditions is yours growing in? Also have you by chance eaten any of the roots?

        2. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/10/2014

          Daniela I just stumbled onto your blog yesterday and I love it,I wish I would have had more time to look but I was at work. I can't wait to look at all of your old posts your garden is really beautiful. When I replied to you earlier I hadn't connected you and your blog. I just wanted you to know how much I was enjoying it.

          1. user-7006958 10/10/2014


    2. user-1020932 10/10/2014

      Daniela, i grew the butterfly ginger for years in large pots and overwintered in the basement until one spring i decided i wasn't going to bother with it any longer and planted in the earth thinking it would freeze out. lo and behold it came back and sailed thru last years brutal winter . the fragrance is a mix of jasmine/gardenia. it does get tall and needs to be staked, you can see that this one did not get staked this year. i have them at home and at several properties around town

    3. user-7007259 10/12/2014

      I live in the Asheville, NC area my Gingers seem to be robust but only produce
      buds in October and usually get zapped by frost. How do you bring yours into bud so early?

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/10/2014

    Jeff, not a surprise that this garden looks great. Nice plant choices and that's some fire pit!

  8. user-7007257 10/10/2014

    Wonderful garden! I have a brand new waterfall and pond. I hope it will eventually look as lovely as yours. What kind of netting do you use to cover yours and where did you buy it?

  9. NCYarden 10/10/2014

    What a great property. Jeff, you've beautified it nicely. Those water features are fantastic.
    Wanna come install one in my garden? I really need one.
    Love that has a wonderful fragrance, and such showy blooms. I grow mine next to the Atlas cedar and the white blooms show nicely against the blue. Plus the fragrance makes checking the mail quite pleasant.
    Really enjoy this wrap up to the week.
    I hope everyone has an awesome weekend in your gardens.

    1. user-1020932 10/10/2014

      yep, i'll be right over with shovels, pond liners and pumps!

  10. NCYarden 10/10/2014

    Jeff, and well, any other GPODers here, just curious - have you noticed the Callicarpa extraordinarily big and robust this year, in all aspects, overall size, number of stems and numerous huge berries?

  11. user-7006958 10/10/2014

    What variety of pulmonary did you plant on this property? I like the elongated form of the foliage.

  12. imsoshy 10/10/2014

    So beautiful.....what I like the most is how you have been able to capture a warm, come and see me look! Going to save, especially the pond and little waterfall.

  13. GrannyMay 10/10/2014

    What a lovely "day at the office" you have Jeff! You do create wonderful places to enjoy! When you see the sun shining through to that woodland fountain or are netting that peaceful pond, you can't help leaving all stress behind. Oh dear, more plants to research and wish for.... visiting with you is as dangerous for the pocketbook as going to a nursery.

  14. GrannyMay 10/10/2014

    Happy Thanksgiving to fellow Canadian GPODers! Good time to be thankful for our gardens and enjoy the harvest!

  15. Cenepk10 10/10/2014

    Jeff…Fabulous…Wish my callicarpa looked that lush… Doesn't seem to prefer dry shade around my neck of the woods…Keep making TN an even more beautiful place. Love your work !!!

    1. user-1020932 10/10/2014

      the callicarpa are HUGE this year but we had lots and lots and lots of rain thruoutthe summer

  16. sheila_schultz 10/10/2014

    It's fun to see this property post contractors, must be so relieved to be able to work there surrounded by the sounds of nature as opposed to the roar of concrete trucks! It's going to be fun to see the planting progress over the next year or two, I can't wait.
    I do have to say that I'm totally drawn to the photo of the's almost magical in the sense of quiet that surrounds this outdoor room. I don't know what the mini-pergola is really called, but it frames the space so beautifully. I really love it.
    Silly question... why the 'winter netting'? To keep the leaves out? To protect the fish from herons?

    1. user-1020932 10/10/2014

      Sheila, it keeps leaves out and falling hickory nuts,,,

  17. user-5829577 10/10/2014

    Jeff, your stone work is magnificent!!!!! So natural looking. You obviously love the work you do, or shall I call it play? There are so many plants that I only recognise from a conservatory - not ones that we can grow in northern Illinois. They are beautiful.....I too, love my Christmas fern.

  18. schatzi 10/10/2014

    Magnificent, Jeff. A great source for ferns, at least here in the PNW, is Fancy Fronds in Goldbar, WA. Judith Jones has wonderful ferns of all kinds, and as I have mentioned before, her Fronderosa weekend in August is a wonderful time to visit. I am going to have to find and try that lovely butterfly ginger, if it survived for you in NC. Also that lemon lime Draceana - that is really special. Callicarpa is also on my wish list, as well as the American cranberry Viburnum. Beautiful berries that are also nice to add to floral arrangements. Love the cordylines too. Since they don't reliably overwinter here, I moved one into my greenhouse last fall and the thing bloomed and surprised the heck out of me! It even smelled good. Love that you could drop the ferns in place and they took root. What a labor saver! I feel the same way about tiger lily bulbils - just throw them on the ground and stand back. They actually dig themselves into the ground. Love this blog - so many great ideas from wonderful people!

  19. Meelianthus 10/10/2014

    What beautiful landscaping Jeff. I would hire you in a heartbeat. I did enjoy your sharing knowledge of the 'Christmas Fern'. I have ONE in my garden where it has resided for years in it's scrawny little existence in a shady corner. I would love to see a ravine full of this fern, must be lush! the WA native fern, Western Sword fern' (Polystichum munitum) can fill a valley with 4' ferns that you can barely walk thru, also 'Deer Fern' (Blechnum spicant) and 'Maidenhair fern',which isn't really native but grows as if it were. I am a fern fiend and search them out everywhere. Do you have other favorites that grow well in TN? I try all types and have about 100 different varieties that I just love.
    Thanks for sharing your creativity Jeff - you have a great 'office' to go to every day ^_^

  20. janeeliz 10/10/2014

    Thanks for sharing this awesome garden with us,Jeff. What fun it must be working there for you. I am sure they appreciate all the beautiful work you do for them. Wow, that pool area is something else! Love the structure behind it too. What is growing on top? Great discussion on ferns, I love them too.

  21. GrannyCC 10/12/2014

    Wonderful as always Jeff. What great structures to work with and I am sure you enjoyed designing it all. This site always lifts the spirits and will head us into winter with lots to dream about.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends and may you enjoy the abundance from your gardens.

  22. foxglove12 10/12/2014

    Love that urn. Curious why the netting on the pond for winter?

    1. user-1020932 10/12/2014

      Lori, it keeps the leaves and nuts out of the water, really messes up the water if you let them fall in there

  23. claudiaweisz 10/14/2014

    Jeff, I should just say, "ditto" to the comments below, but I must tell you how elegant the pond is with the beautiful pergola/arbor is behind it. Your design makes me want to be there, and maybe move in. Thank you for sharing. You have most certainly responded to your passion and found your calling.

  24. foxglove12 10/14/2014

    Ah. Makes sense Jeff.

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