Garden Photo of the Day

Darryl’s garden in Tennessee, from Jeff, Day 2

Sarracenia with 'Knockout' roses. Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Jeff Calton

Today we’re continuing our tour of Darryl’s beautiful garden in eastern Tennessee, maintained by Jeff Calton. In case you missed it yesterday, here’s what Jeff said: “This is a client’s property we maintain, and as much as I would LOVE to take credit for everything there, I cannot. Through the years we have added to, edited, and maintained it but the garden is truly the vision of the homeowner, Darryl Fontaine.

Fountain niche with Confederate jasmine and a honey pot with sempervivum

“There is always something in flower, and in June the entire property smells of roses and lavender (I think the lavender plantings remedied the deer problem). The bee hives throughout the garden keeps things humming, and even in winter the bones of the garden make it a great space in my opinion. Yes, it’s intensively planted, but it is also intensively maintained to keep everything almost in bounds.”

Beehive with yarrow, hydrangea, and bee well for water

Yet again gorgeous, Jeff! Thanks so much for sharing this garden with us.

I’ve been getting feedback that, while all the snow pics lately are nice, everyone’s feeling the need for more GREEN pics in the GPOD these days. I think we’re all getting a bit winter-weary…. so I need your help! Send in photos of your gardens from last summer! ([email protected]) Be sure to tell me a bit about yourself and your garden when you send in your pics. You’re much more likely to be featured if I have all that stuff at hand. Thanks, everyone!

Climbers on the fence with loropetalum in lower right corner
Rear courtyard fountain
View to pool house with various Japanese maples and hydrangeas
West garden looking toward pool
West garden with Asiatic lilies and Salvia ‘East Friesland’
Western garden

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View Comments


  1. perenniallycrazy 02/18/2014

    Jeff and Darryl continue to weave their magic today... My heart stopped at the first photo of the sarracenia with knockout roses. Wow!

  2. flowerladydi 02/18/2014

    Jeff,,, it is JUST FABULOUS!!!!! First of all,,, we here in Illinois can not grow sarracenia,, at least not to my knowledge,, but I would love to try!, It is so fun!!,,, and boy when you say these gardens are intensively planted,, you weren't kidding! It appears that virtually every inch of space has been utilized,, but so fabulously!!!
    It is just so lush! LOVE the western garden photos,, and love the privacy that has been created! I can imagine it takes great skill and patience to prune effectively, yet maintain the integrity of this garden,,,, I can see a full time gardener here,,, looks like there would always be work to be done! Kudos to you!!!!

  3. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    Diane, we actually spend less time here than we do other properties but there are seasonal things that require more time. i think you probably could grow some varieties of Sarracenia,,, some are very hardy as i understand it. trimming of the boxwood can be interesting, one guy has to hold up adjacent growth with a rake handle while i trim. onceyou get your patternsand scheduling down it's not so bad. i didn't get any photos of the vegetables or the lower hidden terrace.. ..maybe this summer

  4. greengenes 02/18/2014

    OMG! I love this place! What a wonderful place to work at! There is so much going on that is so interesting.I love the sarracena patch. I just purchased my first one last summer and it is sitting in my birdbath waiting to be planted. They are so hardy that it has been sitting in it thru the freezing cold. I was wondering about the boxwood and trimming it... When I do mine, it always turns white at the edges.. can you maybe tell me whats going on with that? I have sharpened my shears. Anyways this is a wonderful place to be and be such a great part of it! Thanks tntreeman for sharing these!

  5. wGardens 02/18/2014

    Again, a wonderful group of photos. Love this garden and its' many, many different aspects. The large grouping of Sarracenia is so eye-catching! The beehive with a roof and ornamentation is a great structural piece for the garden as well. In the 'rear courtyard fountain' photo, what is the plant to the far right with the narrow foliage? Thank you!

  6. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    greengenes, we always trim boxwood the 3rd week of march (ok, sometimes the final week) the new growth begins mid april so it doesn't look like a fresh haircut, groomed but not stiff. if anything gets unruly we trim selectively then in fall just a bit off the top to keep in line

  7. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    wGardens, that plant with the fine green leaves is a Japanese maple, potted. i can't think of the variety but it will come to me eventually!

  8. mainer59 02/18/2014

    I've enjoyed yesterday and today, Jeff. It's the bee well that I find so interesting today. It is a beautiful water feature and gives the bees a source of water other than a nearby puddle. I keep bees and will have to try rigging up something so lovely. One year my bees got their water from the perlite in any seedlings and potted plants I had around.

  9. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    mainer59, the bees flock to the wells in summer as do butterflies but always at different times, i guess theyshare the bounty. we have a carved stone basin at an old restoration property that was almost discarded and lost in the work but we were able to rescue it and put itback in place in the veggie/herb garden. bees have so many problems we need to give them all the help we can

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/18/2014

    Really beautiful. Wild about the bog garden. Best beehive ever!

  11. pattyspencer 02/18/2014

    The very last picture is my favorite with the view of the courtyard - what is the white plant that's hanging over everything?

  12. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    pattyspencer, those are roses. there is an iron "trellis" support along the roofline for support

  13. PAdesigner 02/18/2014

    Thanks for sharing more photos. So beautiful with so many areas of different interest. How many are in your 'crew, Jeff? It is really a blessing to have a trusting relationship with a client when you have a gardening business. It's great when the client has a vision and you work together to achieve it and you both take pride in its realization.

    Did any of you see Downton Abbey on Sunday? There was a magical garden moment with two of the characters dressed in purple sitting on a bench surrounded by red poppies, purple alliums, and chartreuse foliage. I had to pause the show and take it all in.

  14. pattyspencer 02/18/2014

    Roses - ahhhh - very nice

  15. NC_Yarden 02/18/2014

    tntreeman/wGardens - I'm pretty sure the Japanese maple in the pot is Acer palmatum 'Koto No Ito.' This is a beautiful garden, and as japanese maple addict I love the varieties, mixed in. Awesome.

  16. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/18/2014

    This is one of those kind of places that sings a siren song I can't resist...must look at pictures again...and again...and again. It's just so sumptuous with such a timeless beauty. I think it's things like the climbing roses spanning the gracious doorway on the back entry area and how the beautiful other structures are nestled among mature (and very well maintained) plant material that makes it so appealing to me. You've really captured some lovely images, Jeff.
    OK, now it's time for the ultimate compliment...if the rule was that ladies had to dress up (a la Downtown Abbey) to enjoy a walk-about through these gardens, I think I would be sorely tempted to put on a skirt and hat. Does Darryl happen to do a lot of outdoor entertaining?

  17. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    PADesigner, we are very small and i am very lucky to have a GREAT client list and they pretty much let me do what i want. this garden, however, truly is Darryl's vision. we plant a lot, we groom a lot but he takes his garden seriously and i'm fortunate to be a part of it. i never take more than 2 other people with me to this property. i don't want any mishaps and it's easy to "lose" your help at this location.

  18. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/18/2014

    Oh, PAdesigner, I was writing while your comment got posted but, my, oh, my, yes, I know just the scene you are referring to in Downton Abbey. It made me put the tv on pause and go back so I could take in the stunning backdrop. It was perfection!

  19. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    NCYarden, i'm GLAD to get the variety name. i doubt i'll ever recall it and sure the tag is now gone. i need to keep better records. Mike, i'm not sure of the entertainment schedule, i do know that when the boys were still at home there was A LOT of activity there. sure the teenagers didn't appreciate the garden so much but they were very respectful of it

  20. Sculpturedale 02/18/2014

    This is a world class property. Wow. I wonder how it all will come through this winter's abuse... Japanese maples can be iffy. Hopefully all will be well and the snow left nothing behind but some good nitrogen!

  21. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    Sculpturedale, i was there yesterday and will work there tomorrow (my winter lazies are over) surprisingly everything made it pretty well. freezeback of the loropetalum but it will come back, some hydrangea damage and dead twiggy stuff in the roses but all in all it seems to be ok. gardenias are all toast, i'm concerned about the crape myrtle around town freezing back to ground level but the camellias sailed right thru!

  22. wGardens 02/18/2014

    to NCYarden, thank you- appreciate the Japanese Maple name- I love the foliage.

    Jeff, I was wondering how long this garden has been established and were you involved with it from the beginning?

  23. greenthumblonde 02/18/2014

    This is the kind of property that gets me excited to edit and add and love my garden again. Awesome property. Jeff, I'm building a new house and garden on a half acre in Sarasota Fl. I know, different than Tenn. But 'm planting confederate jasmine over an arbor. My question is, what time of year do I prune it? I'm a zone 9a rookie and have no experience with it. Maybe it's a miracle vine that goes exactly where I tell it, no pruning necessary? ;) ps, I have books galore on southern gardening, but none as great on maintenance tips like Tracy DeSabato Austs book for maintaining northern gardens. That's a hint. Maybe you could write a book on maintaining southern gardens.

  24. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    wGardens, i was not involved from the beginning i have only been there maybe 5 years. the truth, the first visit i was overwhelmed and wanted to run away. things were more than alittle out of hand and i thought to myself, we willNEVER get this back inorder but 3 people and 4 days andit was under control and hasn't been a big problem since. it did, however, give Darryl more room for additional plants :( at this point i tell him he needs a shoehorn to get anymore planted. i think the house was built maybe 15 years ago buti'm not sure. maybe Darryl will chime in and letus know

  25. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    greenthumblonde, so far winter does the trimming for us on the jasmine, i just take off the frozen areas, it survives there ONLY because it's very protected and some winters takes a real beating,,,this being one of those winters. i'm glad Darryl's garden got you all fired up!

  26. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    greenthumblonde, in sarasota plant some Cestrum nocturnum, it's rampant and might be invasive there , here i use as an annual but man it's so intoxicating at night that it's worth the rampant growth. again, it might be a problem in sarasota

  27. tractor1 02/18/2014

    greengenes: There definitely is a lot going on there, actually way, WAY too much for my taste... that property would give me claustrophobia... I much prefer open space so I can look out and enjoy the vista of various plants with space between. Yesterday lawn was mentioned, I haven't seen a blade of grass. Jeff, how may acres is this property, and how many acres is that grove of money trees? LOL

  28. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    tractor1 there is NO grass in the western areas of the property, it is all planted/mulched and not that large of an area. there is lawn in the front of the house and all the way to the entry gates on either side of the drive. itis not claustrophobic at all, the house sits on top of a hill with views down the valley and of Bays Mountain that stretches well into Greene County. there is probably 2 acres gardened with surrounding acreage of woodland. everybody has different tastes in gardening or planting and i'm thankful for that

  29. Barb_J 02/18/2014

    This garden is amazing. I love all the water features.

    Are the Sarrencenia planted directly in the ground? How much water is required?

  30. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/18/2014

    Hi Jeff,
    I'm intrigued by your comment about getting all your clients containers to be fresh and different every year! Do you have some container photos to share? I'm planning my containers now so it is on my mind. This year's theme focuses on colocasia. You must have some standard performers that you can rely on.

  31. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    HelloFromMd, we start containers end of this month with cold tolerant things,,,,,,,,lettuce of different colors, chard (City Lights), pansies, erica and even onions and cabbage, they last until it's time to switch out then we EAT THEM!
    so many colocasia to choose from nowadays, i always like Antiquorum illustris and Kona Koffee for drama. they all go crazy in the heat/humidity when many other things suffer. michelle posted a few containers from last year in a previous post if you want to look at them there. i'll be neck deep in tropicals in 2 more months.

  32. tractor1 02/18/2014

    Jeff: it's true that everyone's taste is different, that's why Baskin-Robbins claims 28 flavors... and obviously the point of view of a landscaper who earns their living tending gardens is going to be very different from the average gardener... and this property is definitely not average. I would have liked for you to have included photos of those distant views, but from what I see so far a person standing on the ground couldn't see further than a dozen yards in any direction... the only open space I see is that pool... I'm surprised it isn't filled with a luxuary yacht! LOL I guess what I'm saying is pretentious doesn't impress me, all I see on that property is mega $$$. I prefer seeing the gardens of average folks who do their own gardening. But you do good work.

  33. Yeddi 02/18/2014

    I am really, really, trying to just appreciate all the beauty, truly I am. But actually what I am fighting is very acute envy! It is all so breathtaking. Thank you Jeff.

  34. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    thanks, Yeddi, it really is a very nice property. i'm lucky to have great clients with great spaces in which to work. all of them are good people and would welcome you to their garden with open arms and probably an iced tea!

  35. janeeliz 02/18/2014

    I'm finding it hard to come up with the proper word to describe this gorgeous garden. Everyone has done it very well. Everything about it is classy , elegant and unique! Thanks for sharing it with us, Jeff. Keep the pictures coming. Still hope to see the inside bee area.

  36. sheila_schultz 02/18/2014

    And I thought the photos from yesterday were wonderful, today's are even more so. Darryl's gardens must give him such joy, and to have someone he can trust to help stay on top of the maintenance is truly a gift. Lucky Darryl!

    And Jeff... I'm getting a little green with envy thinking about your ability to start containers the end of the month. I love that you start with edibles.

  37. Yeddi 02/18/2014

    Actually I have always thought that living in a huge conservatory would be my Ideal Home, so this garden is perfect to me. This is clearly a garden worked on with great love and your photographs pick that up. Please can you come and live in my garden.

  38. GrannyMay 02/18/2014

    Simply beautiful! Darryl's vision certainly resonates with all of us who love roses, Japanese maples, unusual plants, garden fragrance, personal touches, informal areas, formal touches, birds and bees.... something for everyone's taste, but done harmoniously. I was amazed that it hasn't been there for at least 30 years, it looks timeless! And I love that it is not kept in a pristine, manicured, not a petal out of place, fashion. Wonderful place to spend many happy hours! Congratulations to both of you Darryl and Jeff!

  39. OldGrowerDude 02/18/2014

    Darryl Fontaine you have a beautiful garden, and I would guess plenty of time is spent in it enjoying the "life infusion" one gets surrounded with natural beauty such as in your garden. I my self have 3,000 foot garden and Koi pond going in this year, and my 2 story solarium is packed with plugs and plants for spring planting... I would love to have a garden such as yours, but I am to old to maintain such a property, and far to poor SS income, the person who does yours has done a excellent job of that, congratulations on a wonderful place, and your love of Gods natural beautiful around us.

    God Bless and enjoy everyday, as I do, as if it were my last...

  40. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    May, this garden is LIVED in so having it pristine and not a petal out of place is not an option. it just won't happen but it is alive and enjoyed . isn'tit great to see a house or garden with personal things and to know it's actually used and enjoyed? and btw, where is Granny CC?

  41. GrannyCC 02/18/2014

    Hi Jeff,
    Meant to write yesterday and compliment you and Darryl on the gorgeous garden! It is my style of garden, full and luscious. I love all the vines,roses and lush plantings.
    May and I share the same gardener to give us a hand with the clean up. It doesn't take anything away from the garden and my design and choice of plants. Well it does and that is WEEDS. I used to be able to do it all but as we age something has to be given up!! I am happy to give up weeding.
    Love the sarracenia. I have a small pond but there might not be enough sun in the bog area.
    Thanks for sharing the wonderful garden. Looking forward to seeing more.

  42. wildthyme 02/18/2014

    This garden is incredibly beautiful and gracious. Yes, it obviously involved much expense, but pretentious? Well, I couldn't make that judgement without knowing whether it was created to impress others or out of a pure love of gardening. My guess is the latter, considering how much of the work was apparently done by the gardener. Either way, though, this "average folk" who does her own gardening is delighted to have even a peek at this spectacular garden. Thank you Jeff, and especially Darryl, for sharing.

  43. annek 02/18/2014

    Wow. I can only echo the previous comments: Daryl and Jeff have created a beautiful, charming, story book effect. Kudos to your imagination, hardwork and glorious results.

    I truly enjoy every type of well-put-together garden design whether accomplished by a single effort on a shoestring budget or by a posse of experts with lots of money......and anything in-between! Viva la difference! Creativity is everywhere and I find pleasure in challenging myself to try to emulate the expensive, professional 'look' with less money and home-made options (or any of the beautiful designs we've seen over the years). Hmmmm, maybe a future GPOD periodic theme: "Replicating the Inspiration Garden". :-)

  44. wildthyme 02/18/2014

    I have to add how much I enjoyed the photos with the sprawling confederate jasmine. We had one at our old house (we called it night-blooming jasmine) outside our bedroom window and on an arch outside our dining room. It's fragrance was intoxicating, and I can almost smell it again just looking at these photos.

  45. Meelianthus 02/18/2014

    More wonderful pics Jeff! I am envious of your profession and vast ability to be part of this amazing place. I use to help design (and maintain) large gardens and it was always 'dream' work for me. To be able to work on an estate of this caliber is a garden lovers dream and YES it is hard work, but you are obviously doing what you love. It is always special to work with/for someone who really cherishes their gardens. I really love the rich fulness of the many areas and the abundance of both greenery and flowering plants. Truly beautiful. You are both very talented and so nice that Darryl would share the beauty of his/your work. Thank you both.

  46. user-1020932 02/18/2014

    i never really thought of it as an estate, it was always "darryl's house". glad everybody liked it and darryl is gonna be a happy guy!

  47. cwheat000 02/18/2014

    Thank you Jeff for some more of this fabulous garden. I would also like to welcome the new commentor, old grower dude. Where are you in that photo? You definitely are surrounded by God's beauty. Tractor 1, I love ya but don't always agree with you. I don't find this garden pretentious. Darryl seems like someone who really loves his garden and just happens to have a bigger budget. I could never resent him. If my budget increases, I am sure my garden will too. What would be the point of all our hard work, if we can't spend it on something we love?

  48. bee1nine 02/19/2014

    Hi Jeff, I'm going to sneak in here and share a little.,,
    Observing and inspecting the discouraging damage caused by
    the recent blizzard here on the Cape to our yard(yet not the
    only time) as nasty storms and winds do blow in and do not care where they touch down. With NO offense to you, do please
    excuse me for if you can imagine, how I felt, I
    was in total extreme envy viewing all these luscious garden
    photos courtesy of you and of Darryl's dreamy property.
    Yet so enjoyed reading yours and other gardeners comments and conversations...and will say, I picked up on and got encouraging words + thoughts that helped boost my confidence
    in a much needed way to feel better, to deal with our poor ravaged yard.

    So I've said what I needed to. I say..THANK you -THANK YOU!!

  49. user-1020932 02/19/2014

    bee1nine we have damage here as well from this brutal winter and i will be working at darryl's tomorrow. he and his sons planted most of the things you see in the photos. i'm glad you liked his property and trust, as a fellow gardener i feel your pain. nature can deal us some heavy blows but we always recover. i shared his garden because it is lush, colorful and after a LONG winter i know i enjoy seeing thriving gardens. this is a great group of people on this blog and i have become friends with several outside of this forum and have learned MUCH from everyone here. i always look forward to your comments, bee, but tell me,,,,,,,,,,,where is your garden?!?!?! :) just razzing you on that one. thanks for everybody's comments and i'm pleased you liked darryl's garden and hope you got some ideas for your own garden. make it a great week and know that your garden will spring back with vigor when winter finally leaves

  50. user-7006917 02/19/2014

    Great pictures of a Gorgeous Garden! I especially appreciate the opportunity to pin the bee hive and bee well to my Pinterest 'Save the Bees' board. Every opportunity to educate people about the plight of the bees, frogs and monarchs is wonderful. The sarracenia's were wonderful to see. Would love to see them in person someday. What is at the base of the knockout roses and sarracenia? I wish we had a "Like" button so I could like so many of the comments.

  51. HaughtND 02/19/2014

    Had to work today, so late posting as usual. But, very impressed with yesterday photos and even more so with todays! Sarracenia - I have never seen anything like it! I am going to research them online...are they a bulb? They are definitely unique. They probably won't survive our winters, but maybe I could plant them and dig out each a canna lily. Bees, yes, I am fortunate to live in farming country, so we have many bees visit all summer, but never thought of a bee well! Do they like moving water or is a birdbath sufficient? I try to keep water in bathes (on pedistals and on ground)fresh and clean each day all growing season. I do have my water feature that recycles water on lower level, but never really notice bees visiting it. I read in a bird mag years ago about stuffing a rag in a watering can and hanging it over a bird bath and allow the water to drip slowly all day to attract birds. Maybe if there are birds....the bees stay clear! What do you think?

  52. bee1nine 02/19/2014

    Jeff, I truly thank-you!! And really wasn't looking for any
    sympathy- if you can believe that!
    My frustrations just got to the best of me, knowing all the
    work that's ahead. At least to my capabilities. So will continue to hold on to a new vision of promise and potential.
    As to where is my garden?...Well, lets just say, you'll need to keep razzing me for photos!!:) I live in Hyannis, MA.

  53. user-1020932 02/19/2014

    bee1nine, we ALL need sympathy sometimes. only another gardener feels the same anguish and utter frustration of these things. i was awakened this morning by thunder, lightening and HAIL along with tornado warnings. spring is starting her games early. and yes, i'll keep razzing you about it, it's good to share despite the risks.
    facebook me if you do that. it has become yet another addiction here this winter

  54. bee1nine 02/19/2014

    Hi again Jeff, Speaking of risks...I appreciate the Facebook
    offer, but I don't do Facebook!!! Perhaps another way!

    Thanks again, Jeff!!

  55. CJgardens 02/19/2014

    It doesn't seem possible but these gardens even out do the ones from yesterday. AND there's a vegetable garden and a hidden lower terrace too. I would never guess that it was so "out of hand" you didn't know if you wanted to tackle it. You must have worked very hard to shape it up in 4 days. It's difficult to imagine someone starting their spring chores. Our temps finally broke 32 for the first time in 6 weeks. It's sunny and snow is melting and dripping from the roofs and I'm trying to enjoy it. But they are predicting 6-12 inches of heavy wet snow on Thursday. I plan to get outside and scrape some snow off the roofs before it hits. (I guess I had to b****h a bit about our very long winter.)
    You mentioned thunder and tornado warnings, so hope all is well in your area.
    Jeff, I enjoy hearing about things you encounter in your business. I never thought about the complexities off container design for numerous customers and making them all unique. Designing my own containers is one of my favorite things to do in the winter. Sticking to the budget in the spring is the hard part.

  56. user-1020932 02/20/2014

    bee1nine, if you want to correspond/share garden miseries and triumphs and tips ask michelle for my email. i posted it publicly here once, BAD IDEA

  57. janetsfolly 02/21/2014

    Wow, Jeff, I really hope you pop back in here one more time. I'm doing catch-up on GPOD and just finished gorging myself on Darryl's gardens! It makes my heart ache to think of the time, effort and LOVE that goes into this, both from Darryl and you. I especially love the 'bee' element here as I'm a new beekeeper. Like mainer59, I'd love to see the beeyard, or wherever the hives are scattered about! I'm guessing part of the reason for the bee fountain is to discourage them from using the pool as a water source, not good for bees or swimmers. I could go on and on here, really love averything about this place! Thank you for sharing your work, knowledge and joyful spirit! You are an inspiration to us all! (Though some folks' sour grapes' really set my teeth on edge!)
    Here's to Spring!!!

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