Garden Photo of the Day

David’s garden in North Carolina, Day 1

Everyone knows NC Yarden, who joins in on the comments almost every day. Well today we get to meet him and see his garden! His real name…drumroll, please….is David Sabio, and he says, “As much as I enjoy seeing all the gardens with all the delightful variations that everyone creates, I suppose it’s time I should share my garden as well. And with Fall approaching, the garden is yet again about to undergo some big changes.

Philadelphus scaber (rough mock orange), Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Second Chance’, Nandina domestica ‘Fire Power’, Cedrus atlantica ‘Horstmann’ (Horstmann blue atlas cedar), ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae

My wife and I bought our 1-acre home in 2001 in a little neighborhood just outside Raleigh, North Carolina. The front was all grass and the back was awesomely wooded, but a complete mess, almost impossible to walk through. We started by cleaning out the wooded area some (still ongoing) to make paths, and soon began to try a little gardening. Wow, did we kill some plants. But we loved it and we got better.

Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ (pineapple lily), Agastache foeniculum (anise hyssop), gaillardia, sJuniperus procumbens, Clematis paniculata (sweet autumn clematis)

Attention then turned to the front. I am not a big fan of grass. It is so expensive and so demanding, and really quite boring, especially when you consider all the other wonderful and beautiful plants. It has its place, but it only needs to be a small place. I planted my first Japanese maple in the front yard, and little by little we began to remove more of the grass in favor of beds and much more interesting plants.

Sweet autumn clematis snaking through the blue atlas cedar, ‘David Howard’ dahlia

Plan? Uumm…yeah, I planned to put a bunch of awesome plants on our property! I consider myself a bit of a rogue gardener. I don’t follow many design rules or plan too terribly much other than what my wife and I find attractive, and certainly what Mother Nature says will or will not grow, despite what the tag on a plant says. I have transplanted so many plants for various reasons you’d think I enjoyed it as some esoteric botanical ritual. But it is a living work of art and therefore always changing. And so, before long we realized the yard was definitely more of a garden, and thus The Yarden was born.

A view down the driveway: Lagerstroemia indica ‘Natchez’ (white crape myrtle), Albizia julibrissin (mimosa tree), Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’ (blue Italian cypress), Pseudolarix amibilis ‘Golden Larch’, Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Pygmaea Aurescens’

The Japanese maples are my favorites, as they are the darlings of the garden. There are currently eighty distinct cultivars throughout. But I am pretty kooky for clematis and dahlias too. It’s the astilbes that charm my wife. But we really just love plants. Variety is paramount. And rocks… well, that could be a whole other monograph, with several funny anecdotes to boot. But there are plenty scattered around, most of which we collected ourselves, even as far away as Pennsylvania.

Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Shima-Nishiki’ (Fire flame tree peony), Acer palmatum ‘Green Mist’, Acer palmatum ‘Abigail’s Rose’, Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’, Cedrus deodara ‘Snow Sprite’

Over the years, the garden has truly become a 365 display, as there is always something performing, which makes each daily stroll always unique, and a pleasant reminder of what all our hard work has provided us.”

Styrax japonica ‘Carillon’ (weeping snowbell), Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Lemon Thread’, Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’ (the little pink flowers peeking up in the back) with butterfly house

Gorgeous, David!! *** David sent in OODLES of great photos, so we’ll be spending 2 more days in his garden! ***

Patio beneath the Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’ chastetree, Acer palmatum ‘Hogyoku’, Acer palmatum ‘Beni Schichihenge’, Acer palmatum ‘Sagara nishiki’, ‘Hetzi’ juniper (pom pom), Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Plumosa Nana’ (dwarf plume sawara cypress), Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ (dwarf globe blue spruce), Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Little Honey’

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/23/2014

    Somehow, David, you and your wife have defied the laws of physics (or whatever the appropriate science would be) and turned your 1 acre property into what seems like a very impressive national arboretum. I love the elegance of your welcome sign adorned with the playful moniker of The Yarden ...communicating that the owners have personality and a fun and healthy perspective on their passion for gardening. Your wealth of plant material is, frankly, mind boggling. There is such a wonderful balance between evergreens and deciduous trees and, oh my, 80 different cultivars of Japanese still my beating heart.!!
    Yes, we are obviously in for a real treat with 2 more additional days of pictures.
    Quick the pineapple lily a perennial for you and do you have any special tips to be successful with it.

    Sorry I typed out your name incorrectly, David, in the first sentence but thanks to the extra editing feature, I don't have to blush in embarrassment all day. Can't imagine how my brain went on the fritz for that.

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Good morning meander1, the pineapple lilies were sort of gift(?) as a friend was going to discard a dried "leftover" tray of them (and Christine and I are quick to rescue most plants when called upon), and for 3 seasons only weak leaves came up and flopped over. But then in the 4th year, leaves were stronger and a couple sent up blooms, and so yes, each year they have been coming back bigger and better with all of them blooming now. But I don't have a secret because I can't figure out the requirement because I have 2 areas in fairly different soils. The one thing for sure is that both sites drain rather quickly. I will say the strongest ones are in a 50/50 mix (topsoil and compost). An exercise in patience, but a rewarding one.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 09/23/2014

        Thanks for filling me in on your pineapple lily saga, David. I'm sure you are a zone warmer than I am in east TN so I suspect I would not be successful at all. The ones you have pictured are just so neat looking. I admire your patience in letting them have the extra seasons to reach their potential. Think I'll go some reading on them

  2. perenniallycrazy 09/23/2014

    Swooning over your gardens David! You got me hook, line and sinker with all the tree specimens especially the Japanese maples. Can't wait to see the next two days' features now. Really wish Michelle could walk through for us with her Google glass device (hint, hint). I would love a walk through your gardens - maybe next time?

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hello Perennially Crazy, we sometimes consider trying the Garden Conservancy's Open Days, but find we keep deciding against it, unsure the garden may not be ready. But if ever you're in the area, please come visit. Those are the best kind, as a few others in the area have stumbled upon it. It's gardeners like you who really appreciate this kind of transformation and commitment.

  3. user-1020932 09/23/2014

    nice, nice and nice! we come to recognize the names of commenters so it's really good to see where theygarden. love everything about your garden, everything. that Eucomis is a plant i've never grown but it's now on the list for 2015. impressive amount of work you have done and even more impressive results. great garden!

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hi Jeff, Thanks for peeking in. As I commented to meander1 below, practice a little patience with the Eucomis, though I hope you get a quicker result. And it is a nice result...and as far as cut flowers go, almost a month of beauty indoors.

  4. Ms. Ivy 09/23/2014

    Wow! Yarden--- I love it. I hate the word yard as it makes me think of junk yard, prison yard, etc. Saying garden sometimes sounds pretentious and some think just vegetables. Now I know what I have (but in miniature and not so beautiful).

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hi MsIvy, Too funny and so right. It's amazing how often when Christine and I say we really like to garden, that it does not occur to many that it could possibly mean ornamental. It's always an assumption of vegetables. We do tuck some veggies and herbs in there each season, but it's not the focus. Thanks for the clever elucidation.

  5. bsavage 09/23/2014

    Wow, your Yarden is absolutely gorgeous! I love all of it... and I love that you don't follow a "plan"! Thanks for sharing!

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hi Brenda, thank you for your appreciation of our whim. And yet despite our whim, I have often found over the years that pretty often the land and its little micro-climates will "plan" for you. I like to think the garden has sorta guided itself to some degree. Occasionally, something has refused to grow in a certain area even though it seems we have given it exactly what it's supposed to have, and then we try to transplant it if we catch it's demise in time, and find it will grow in the most unlikely spot. It keeps it interesting for sure, and keeps us from rigidly "sticking to a plan" anyway.

  6. julierubaud 09/23/2014

    Love the combo of tree peony with the Japanese maple. Thanks for sharing the lush bounty with us.

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Good morning, Julie. The tree peony was a gift from an old boss years ago who also shared a passion for Japanese maples. He came across these tree peony's somewhere, but was thoughtful enough to purchase one for me as well (at the time about a 4 inch tall stick), probably thinking what a great combo it would be as well. However, it took 5 seasons for it to finally bloom. It seems to benefit from an application of lime, something new I discovered about peonies. Thank you for the compliment.

  7. user-7007228 09/23/2014

    WOW DAVID! The passion you and the wife have for Yarden Sabio shines through in this lovely pictorial display. May your feline friends Sydney and Amadeus RIP in this beautiful yarden.

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/23/2014

    Speechless! Love all the trees, especially the Japanese maples. And that Styrax! On my list, out of my zone or not. Would love to hear the rock stories. I love rocks more than plants. No, plants more than rocks. No, maybe it's a tie. Great garden and your "move it till it thrives" attitude is my kind of gardening!

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hi Tim. An absolute tie! Now if I could only figure out how to get the rocks to grow so I can collect them when they're smaller and easier to handle. Haha. I constantly have a wandering eye (plants and stones only, mind you), particularly when driving and I will notice little hints of rocks, regardless of how they are positioned or hidden, and will at some point go for an inspection. My wife, Christine, luckily a rock lover too, always asks "how do you spot and find these things?" but she entertains my fancy & is always on board once I find a good one, even when it appears to be a daunting challenge, whether by size or location or both. One example, I could just see the tip of a large gorgeous white stone (kinda looks like marble) on a raised section of ground in some woods on a road near the house. I eventually stopped and climbed to see if it would budge. It did but was definitely too big, but we dislodged it and let it roll down fairly close to the edge of the road, but was still impossible to do get into the truck. There was no picking this thing up. So I called my sister, who is athletic and competitive, returned with her trailer early the next morning and two 6 foot lengths of 2x6" boards. We propped the boards like a ramp up to the trailer, my sister and I on our backs pushing the rock up the boards with our legs as Christine kept pressure on it to prevent it from sliding back on us until we eventually got it up and into the trailer, all the while with folks driving by, even a State Trooper. I guess we seemed to crazy to be bothered. But it now resides beautifully beneath the Chaste tree next to the Hetzi pom pom juniper. But this has occurred many times since, and I currently have my eye on a highway island where the State has apparently discarded some beauties.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/23/2014

        I think we are twins separated at birth.....I have had plenty of rock-moving injuries in my time!

  9. thevioletfern 09/23/2014

    I am blown away! So happy to spend two more days in your "yarden." Sigh - I cannot grow Japanese Maples - too cold, but I can certainly admire yours. In love with the Cedar Atlas most of all, though. Thank god you decided to minimize the lawn!

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hello Kathy, That is a bit disappointing about the maples. To be honest I am sometimes surprised the Atlas cedar has done as well as it has here. And more grass is coming out this season too. You know it's funny... people who do get to see the garden in person, especially like service and delivery guys to the house, will comment, "Wow that's a lot of work." And granted it is true, it is (was) a lot of work building the garden - doing the digging, planting and mulching, but once done, it's relatively low maintenance. I often remind them what still requires the most work - it's the GRASS! Thank you so much for comments.

  10. user-7006958 09/23/2014

    Spectacular gardens! Love the mix of maples and evergreens! Flowering trees and that gorgeous peony tree?! I was drooling over that one! Looking forward to see the next two days of pictures!

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hi Daniela. I admit, early in our gardening attempts, we were easily wooed by a bloom; I think a common fault, if you will, with many garden newbies. Don't get me wrong, I still am, obviously. But as Christine and I began to notice a green tinge to our thumbs and visited other gardens, we really began to find fascination in all the various plant forms, simply the color and texture of various leaves, even the scent (again the Chaste tree - so herbal). And it was the evergreens that began to give winter a sense of liveliness, and steadily the garden became showy year round in one way or another. So glad you like the tree peony - it really has become quite a special prize in Spring.

  11. greengenes 09/23/2014

    How wonderful to see your yarden! It was great to see the beginning picture and then the afters. How much fun you and your wife must be having! The purple chaste tree is wonderful and I will be looking into them for here in the northwest. I love trees and you and your wife have really made a little wonderland! Oh yes, and rocks!, well that is a whole other story for sure! They are beautiful too! I cant wait to hear of them and see more of your plantings! Thanks so much for letting all of us into your lives!

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hi greengenes, so glad to have you see our little wonderland. It is a refuge for us,especially after a day of "professional" work. And the garden work is an enjoyable therapy, really clears the head. Christine can really lose herself in the weeding, as we, well, especially her, pull most. We try not to use many chemicals. They are not near as bad now though - the fullness of the plants do most of that work for us. Please see my rock story to Tim below.

  12. Jaynespaulding 09/23/2014

    Simply beautiful! It's apparent this garden was planted with passion.. I don't think I've ever seen so many varieties of Japanese maples in one place. I'm envious of your Z6! Up here in Z5 I have pushed the limits of a few Acer palmatums with some success...coral bark being a favorite which has thrived against a brick wall with afternoon sun. I wish we could organize some kind of garden tour to see this and all the other beautiful gardens in person!

  13. keithwadams 09/23/2014

    Yarden,. Awesome yard. I'm also in NC same zone about 20 miles south of Raleigh. How do you combat or do you have a lot of fire ant problems? Love the Japanese Maples, I've been planting more each year myself and try to follow "no plan".....

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hi Keith, Thank you so much. How close are you to Raleigh? I'm just 20 minutes South. You are welcome to visit. Let me know.

      1. keithwadams 09/23/2014

        Hey Yarden. I'm just outside Angier. I usually visit Plants Delight several times a year for inspiration but may have to take you up on your offer to visit!

        1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

          Hey that's great. I'm about 10 miles up the road from Tony's place.Give me a shout.

          1. keithwadams 09/24/2014

            I'll have to do that. I'm on FB this screen name. Been out doing the never ending weeding this AM. Do you save seeds? I had a ton saved but a nice rain shower ruined most of mine I had stored in a large container...... just a minor setback. Will be harvesting seeds from now till

          2. NCYarden 09/24/2014


          3. 10dirtyfingers 09/25/2014

            I am in Holly Springs and would love, love ,love to get in on an in-person garden tour!! Pictures were absolutely amazing!

          4. NCYarden 09/25/2014

            dasabio(at)msn(dot)com...we can try to arrange a time.

  14. wittyone 09/23/2014

    My goodness what a transformation. The trees look quite big to have only been in ground for 13 years or so. I love the "no plan" kind of gardening. It gives the gardener so much more scope to work with and gives the result so much more personality.

    I'm looking forward to two more days of looking.

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hello, vwitte. It has been quite a transformation...still going too, as long as Christine and I can keep going. Like I said, we were pretty good at killing some plants in our early attempts, proficient even - ugh. It really is about the soil. Once I got more focused on the ground, roots took hold & everything really did shoot up from there. There is a sense of freedom with no plan, though butting heads with Mother Nature is still frustrating - She always wins. But it's a little easier to bear because our whim will certainly spot something new and exciting.

  15. Nurserynotnordstroms 09/23/2014

    As soon as I saw the before and the after I knew I was going to love your Yarden. I want just one day to meander through and then go back through again. I love the butterfly house I have never seen that before and the weeping snowbell( I need to look that one up) I am so happy the photos are so nice and clear so expanding let's us see every detail in perfect clarity ,your garden is one I will enjoy over and over again. You fly by the seat of your pants(plants) like I do and your garden has become a true reflection of you. I was surprised to find your garden is only one acre. It's one acre of perfection. Thank you so much for finally sharing photos with us. Your hard work is enjoyed in every photo. I am glad this is only day one. I can't wait for day two.

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Good morning Nurserynotnordstrom. "Fly by the seat of your plants" - that is fantastic, and true. You should coin that if it hasn't been already. But I'm going to use it going forward if you don't mind. It's a perfect description for, as you describe, our "perfect acre." The butterfly house has been more of a garden ornament than a real homestead for butterflies though. Maybe more of a home for wasps too. The butterflies spend their time on the blooms mainly. The wooded aspect of the lot gives it a larger feel but we have been packing it in, but there's more to do in the wooded parts - a little more challenging in there, but it is happening. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the photos. Hope fully the ones to follow will do the same.

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 09/23/2014

        Yes David you can us my terminology "fly by the seat of your plants" I have used that a lot in my vocabulary when I describe my garden to others. I move plants around like you too,in fact one on my clients said I move my plants around as much as she moves furniture. I would much rather be in the gardens moving plants and rocks like you. Funny you mentioned that because my brother and I were just discussing finding and moving rocks,I guess we got it from my Father he always gathered rocks when hunting and fishing. It's nice I have some rocks and his shovel that I acquired after he passed. My shovel is my only worldly possession that I treasure.I guess we all have our own things that bring us extreme joy.

  16. imlawoman 09/23/2014

    Inspiring. I've slowly been eliminating the 'grass' in my coastal Carolina yard since 2005. Seeing what you have accomplished has re-inspired me to continue the effort. I love that feeling of having your own private world just inside that world of your neighborhood. A place to hide without having to go anywhere. Wish I had a camera to show you what I have accomplished inside the city limits, but then I'd give away my hiding place. Can't wait to see day 2.

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hello imlawoman. Congratulations on the grass reduction. I know you'll be relieved...I promise. Thank you for noticing the "private world" because it has become that indeed. The stroll does pretty much stay contained. However, it does have an aspect of hiding that is unfortunate. At the risk of sounding disrespectful, of the 3 houses on our cul-de-sac, the middle and most visible one is a fairly unsavory neighbor - an unused collapsing above-ground pool in the FRONT YARD, a broken down truck with a bed filled with junk in the front yard, a decrepit storage trailer on the side front yard right on the property line, trash frequently dispersed around the yard , and the worst part - sadly numerous dead pets from repeated neglect (we have resorted to removing them before this happens and getting them to a shelter). It is really a stark contrast as you can imagine. But we try to stay distantly friendly and I have begun to garden onto that property and now have gotten some blessing from the neighbor to do so.We have actually been gardening all around the cul-de-sac and street. I didn't even send any pics of the guerrilla gardening (another time). So yes the garden has provided a wonderful screen, so we will be hiding right along with you. I hope you post some pics of your efforts at some point.

      1. imlawoman 09/23/2014

        I completely understand the woes of neighborhood living. We shall march on in the progress of sight vs. blight. (= Thank you for sharing.
        I'd like to add, that most of my garden has been collected from other gardener's cast offs and real bargain finds. I love a challenge and have been blessed with my grandma's green thumbs. I believe that eventually, everything finds the right place to thrive through trial and error. Love thy shovel. (=

  17. GrannyMay 09/23/2014

    David, enjoying your photos is a beautiful way to start the day! I echo all the previous comments, love your philosophy and thank you for the identifications and the explanations. Can't wait to see more!

    I tried Eucomis in a container this year. Thanks to your experience I'll try it in the ground and see if it survives.

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hi GrannyMay, I appreciate you taking a moment to wander through the photos. Good luck with the Eucomis. As I mentioned to meander1 , I wish I knew a secret. I have also recently added a Eucomis 'Aloha Lily Leia' and it was awesome its first season - really cute bright little pineapple lilies, and this year, barely a tuft of the leaves. I don't know.

      1. GrannyMay 09/23/2014

        Thank you. I don't know the cultivar name of mine. It was just starting to show blooms when I purchased it and has done well in its container, but would definitely not survive winter that way. So, I'll try to find it a sheltered, sunny spot (Ha, I must be dreaming!) and hope for the best.

        1. greengenes 09/23/2014

          Hi GrannyMay... Your lily is gorgeous! You are up in British Columbia, right? We are in the seattle area and we were told to keep them in a pot and bring them in to where they wont freeze. I have been doing this with mine, a burgundy colored one, for two years now. I have been afraid of losing it if I were to plant it in the ground.Pots are great though. These lilies add such a tropical look to any area! Have a great autumn!

          1. GrannyMay 09/24/2014

            Thank you Greengenes! Yes, I'm just north of Victoria, BC. I appreciate the tip. Do you treat yours like a houseplant and give it light and warmth or do you keep it somewhere just above freezing, sort of semi-dormant? I thought I might take a chance in the ground with it because my house doesn't have much space for extra houseplants. I'm already going to bring in the Colocasia and some succulents.

          2. greengenes 09/24/2014

            We have a small old greenhouse that I keep it in for the winter. Its not heated. I surround it with other plants and pots and it seems to do all right. Lets hope we don't get a hard winter! Well today it is raining so hard! And a lot! We haven't seen rain like this for quite some time. It is kind of nice and I know all the trees and shrubs are drinking it in! You are probably getting it as well! We will talk again soon! Have a good day!

  18. GrannyCC 09/23/2014

    I too love all the Japanese Maples. I have tried to grow them several times with no luck. Not sure what I am doing wrong. I planted twice on the far side of my pond and they were not happy.
    Your garden is amazing and obviously a labour of love.Love the rock stories. My late husband and I had a few adventures like that when we were building our pond.

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Hello GrannyCC, I bet most people's rock stories probably are adventures. I'm envious of the pond. I've been digging one in the back over several years, but somehow repeatedly gets put on hold...I'll get there. One thing with the maples is they seem to like the rotted/composted leaves. A friend keeps a pile on her farm and allows me to take from it occasionally. Maybe that might help.

  19. schatzi 09/23/2014

    What a heavenly arboretum you have made with all your hard work. I love-love-love it! 80 Japanese maples! am so jealous! Oops - I hit the wrong key and now we're stuck with Italics, because I don't know what I did or how to get out of it! Anyway, I have 6 J. maples and some problems with verticilium, so I am cautious about planting more. Greengenes, Chaste tree does grow here - there is/was one at the Center for Urban Horticulture, before the fire. I finally figured it out - control i did it. David, it must be wonderful living so close to Plant Delights. The closest I get is drooling over his catalog and laughing at his sense of humor. I really enjoyed the pictures and descriptions of everything, Latin names and all. I too love rocks, but my rock story is not as labor intensive as yours. When we had a side slope cleared years ago, the bulldozer driver dug up 2 huge boulders and rolled them down to the woods. When I got his attention I made him retrieve them and place them on the slope as ornaments!
    I live in the PNW in zone 8, on the rock pile where the glacier left its load. Digging is near impossible. Raised beds and berms and lots of imported dirt are the way to go here. The upside is if Mt. Rainier ever blows, we may be isolated, but we won't be buried. The other upside is drainage is excellent. I don't like to fly commercially, but I will make an exception if we ever organize a tour to all these fabulous gardens. And again Michelle, love the new format. And I LOVE your yarden! It is gorgeous!

    1. NCYarden 09/23/2014

      Good afternoon, shirleygraves. Yeah, Plant Delights is really close...a blessing and a curse. We tell ourselves every season that we are not going - no luck. Actually this is the case with any garden center. We are actually much better about it now though. We really like to go for the continued inspiration. In fact it was after first visiting Tony's place that I really got into high gear about removing grass. I was already on that path, but this turned a candle flame into a bonfire. But we do like to support all the local garden centers and gardens as I sometimes feel gardening is a dying hobby. I hope not though. Hats off to you for sticking with the bulldozer driver to rescue those rocks - that's a valuable garden commodity! Certainly if you find yourself on the east coast, please make your way to The Yarden.

  20. NCYarden 09/23/2014

    Wow, all these wonderful comments from everyone. Maybe Christine and I should consider an Open Days garden tour? Thank you all for your kind words. I hope the next couple of days of photos is just as enjoyable. I will definitely post again in the future - maybe get a little further into the woodland garden. Something to look forward to, right!

    1. terieLR 09/23/2014

      Yes ~ would love to see the woodland progress.

    2. user-7007233 09/25/2014

      YES, you should! I want to come see your garden!

      1. NCYarden 09/25/2014

        Hi Helen. You're a familiar name indeed, whether the JC Raulston Arboretum, 'Tarheel Gardening,' 'The Triangle Gardener', et al. I'm stoked to see you peeking in. We've never met formally, but I would certainly like to have that opportunity. Maybe we can arrange some times to visit, as we would like to see your gardening endeavors as well. Thanks. dasabio(at)msn(dot)com

        1. user-7007233 09/25/2014

          Yes!!!! How about this weekend!!! I have a pretty free weekend, so just say when. Email me at helen at gardening with

  21. schatzi 09/23/2014

    Yeah Dave, I know all about "blessing and curse" - I always call myself a certifiable plantaholic. One of my favorite nurseries is Far Reaches Farm on the Olympic Peninsula. If you are not aware of them, you need to be. They collect plants from all over the world, but mainly via expeditions to the far east and trades with similar plantsmen in England. Our collecting gets a bit more judicious as we acquire plants and knowledge. It gets harder to find things that we don't already have. But the hunt is so enjoyable! FRF has many many rare plants of all kinds, and they do shipping now. Just Google them and you will be hooked. Yes I know, "thanks alot for abetting my addiction..."

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/24/2014

      Not only does Far Reaches have a great variety of cool plants, but the plants they ship are beautiful and their customer service is amazing. They definitely cater to us plant addicts! Love them! I really like Keeping It Green, too, and I just got some plants from Plant Delights for the first time: outstanding! cheers

  22. terieLR 09/23/2014

    Okay, I am just about convinced to move from NY to NC! What a spectacular garden Christine and David. Among all the great plantings and lush foliage I spy a golden kitty. ^_^ So glad we will be able to visit a couple more days. I can just imagine the winter-interest you've created. Well, maybe NY is the place to be for that...

  23. Meelianthus 09/23/2014

    Hello David ~ Gosh, what more can I say after all those wonderful comments by fellow gardeners. It is such a delight for me to view others gardens, so inspirational. I also feel that the "no-plan" garden is often the most creative. I don't ever follow many gardening 'rules', just do what makes me feel good. It is so amazing that you have kept tract of ALL the names of everything. I wish I had done such. Your 'yarden' is breathtaking! and you and Christine have done a masterful job. I too have eliminated most of my grass (much to my husband's chagrin) allowing for more FUN but don't have a lot of room as you do. I just love your great variety of trees. All SOOO beautiful. Thanks for sharing all of your very hard work.

  24. Meelianthus 09/23/2014

    Hello again David ~ I was just reading your response to PC regarding the Garden Conservancys Open Days Tour. I am the regional rep for our area (and boy would I love to have your garden on a tour!) and just want to say that it is an experience you would really enjoy. I do think that potential garden hosts often think their gardens have to be so perfect for the Tour, and I do understand that, BUT that said, most all garden guests are just so thrilled to see what others have done in their creative works and they ALWAYS enjoy it all.
    Give it a try, every garden I have ever had on a tour, the garden host was always thrilled with the experience.

  25. foxglove12 09/23/2014

    Absolutely gorgeous! Well done!

    1. NCYarden 09/25/2014

      Hi Lori. I'm really pleased you found it enjoyable. I truly love this garden. I hope it shows.

  26. SopArtStudio 09/25/2014

    Beautiful variety working together. He has created a unique environment. Looks like a tranquil escape.

  27. NevadaSue 09/26/2014

    David, what a delightful and beautiful transformation you have accomplished in your yard. I know from experience the hours of hard work you have put in but oh so worth it. I am totally loving your yard. I like how you have used lots of shrubs and trees. It is a woodland paradise. As I wonder through the paths in my minds eye I am nurtured at every step. Lots of trees are my favorite as well and I thinking I'm going to be coming here often just to feast my eyes. Thank you for sharing with us and I'm definalty looking forward to more.

  28. michaelandruczyk 02/19/2016


    Would it be possible for a group of my Master Gardeners maybe 15 or so could come see your garden when we visit the Raleigh area April 12th and 13th? We do this annual trip to get inspiration, purchase plants and make good gardening memories.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Mike Andruczyk
    VCE-Horticulture Agent in Chesapeake.

    [email protected]

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