Garden Photo of the Day

Fall in Michaele’s garden in Tennessee (8 photos)

This picture is from a few years ago and I think this maple is an 'October Glory'. It was positively on fire with color that year and I almost couldn't believe it was for real.

We’re continuing the fall theme today with some shots from Michaele Anderson’s garden down in Tennessee! (reminder: Michaele is meander1)

This the view I am blessed to enjoy from my kitchen table. Even though we don’t own all the pasture land that is off in the distance, it certainly is a treat to see it through the season. I especially love it when the hay is tall right before the first cutting.

Michaele says, “Hi, GPOD friends and cyber neighbors. Last week, I was particularly struck by a red maple in one of Gail’s pictures and I thought to myself, “I know I have a picture somewhere from sometime where a maple of mine was so gloriously colorful”. Mission accomplished, I found it on my daughter’s previous laptop.

This is fun new “birdhouse” made from super aged lichen covered barnwood (yes, I know, it’s not located in an area that will probably appeal to the birds but I get to see it). It’s surrounded by self seeding little zinnias and some Spiraea ‘Magic Carpet’ off to the side.

“Now, if I had any kind of Photoshop skills, I would have erased myself from the picture but you’re stuck with me looking fondly at my great buddy who helped me learn to ride as a fairly scared middle aged lady. It has been a great fall this year here in east Tennessee, even if my photos have not captured everything in it’s full splendor.”

The waterfall area always makes a great backdrop for anything. Those are ‘Blue Pacific’ junipers cascading over the rocks.

Could have fooled me, Michaele–everything looks beautiful! And that VIEW…swoon!

The backdrop includes my volunteer zinnias, ‘Gold Coast’ junipers, a contorted blue atlas cedar, and a canopy of maples with some back lighting from the late afternoon sun.

**** The push is still on–get outside and take some last minute shots, or compile a few you took earlier in the season. I’ll be eternally grateful…. Email them to [email protected]. Thanks! ****

Another patch of my happy little golden and white flowered zinnias. I love that they are as generous as they are.
This a surprise fall bloom from a clematis called ‘Pink Cameo’ with some red ‘Knockout’ roses in the background.
I am a positive evangelist for pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), although my pictures never seem to do it justice. When it is in full bloom, it is a luminous pink froth that literally stops me in my tracks.

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  1. user-1020932 11/13/2013

    as always beautiful photos of your place and you're right about the Muhly grass it's something else this time of year. i gotta get to Friendsville in the spring for a garden tour when the veronica flowers.

  2. deeinde 11/13/2013

    Your gardens are beautiful, and what a gorgeous spot to live!
    One question, in the picture with your horse barn, are there some ghosts lurking around or didn't I get enough sleep last night?

  3. mainer59 11/13/2013

    The view you see from your kitchen is postcard worthy. Your garden transition to the agricultural fields is perfect.

  4. wGardens 11/13/2013

    Always a special treat to have photos from your gardens... oh, how I would love to visit. Great plants, great design, great ornamentation! The muhly grass is fab! How tall is your blue atlas cedar?

  5. pattyspencer 11/13/2013

    Beautiful! I don't think we here in central ohio can grow that grass - maybe as an annual tho. It sure is a show stopper! And what a view of that pasture - wow! Great pic of you and your horse buddy as well!!

  6. bee1nine 11/13/2013

    Michaele, Always a delightful pleasure to see the sights in
    your beautiful gardens.,, and fall is no exception! Grand pink haze effect on the muhly grass. Also a treat to see more of your handy work birdhouses, too. Love it!!

    ++ This has been most fun and enjoyable for me to see the
    different autumn splendor taking place in other gardens around parts of our country and Canada. THANKS GPOD !!

  7. Quiltingmamma 11/13/2013

    Thanks for sharing your photos, Michaele. That kitchen view is stunning. With a view like that, I might even become a cook, just to linger...or go to handwashing dishes again. And the Muhly grass certainly is a show stopper.

  8. Wife_Mother_Gardener 11/13/2013

    What a view! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. GardenersWK 11/13/2013

    What a a nice surprise to see more beautiful scenes from your garden Michaela! The view from your kitchen window is superb! I also like that frothy pink grass and the mini barn house placement and background plantings! We got a contorted blue atlas cedar this spring! I am curious how it survives the first winter here since as Jeff will put it: is an "iffy" for our hardiness zone

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/13/2013

    Michaele, you're killing me. This much envy combined with a cup of coffee isn't good for the heart. Believe it or not, I've been hoping you would send in more pictures of your muhly grass. I've seen conflicting reports about it's hardiness, maybe depending upon their origin, so I have two. If they succeed, I'll be sure to toot my horn so Patty can fill her yard with them! :)

  11. user-1020932 11/13/2013

    vojt, that muhly grass is on my plant lust list. i can grow it in Kingsport about 10 miles away where i do most of my work but it will not grow here at my house, it never returns in spring and i'm one valley north of Kingsport. Mike's muhlies are always beautiful.

  12. DonnaJones 11/13/2013

    Lovely way to start the day...what a view! I've never heard of the pink grass...I love it! Have to research growing it in California!

  13. janetsfolly 11/13/2013

    Such lovely pics, Michaele! Love them all! The scene with the pink muhly certainly made a believer of me. (Vojt, please keep us posted on your success. Like Patty, I've always heard/read this was a hopeless quest for me.) Love the new birdhouses, too!

    I just went back thru this weeks posts, and I know, bloom where you're planted, BUT in my next life I want to garden in the Pacific NW! Or maybe Tenn! Oh heck, how about New Zealand?!? ;-)
    Thank you, Michelle, for putting this together. Always brings joy!

  14. GreenGrammy 11/13/2013

    Thanks so much, Michaele, for the gorgeous photos--love the one of you, the maple, and your equine friend. Also the incredible view from your kitchen window-wow. East TN is surely a beautiful place. Wish we could grow that grass here in NE Ohio!

    BTW, I appreciate your daily thoughtful and positive comments on GPOD--one of the highlights of my day. Thank you.


  15. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/13/2013

    Thanks to all my fellow gpod enthusiasts for the positive reinforcement with your complimentary words. Please know that I love to do walk-abouts through my garden with others so anyone is welcome anytime. It's always gratifying to see things through other peoples' eyes and not just see the weeds.

    wGardens,my contorted Blue Atlas is about 4 feet tall which is probably around the height it was when planted 12 years ago. I prune the downward branches and the trunk just gets stouter and more substantial looking
    Ha, Quiltingmama, my great view is from where I sit at the kitchen table so it encourages me to eat my munchies and not cook great meals. I'm sure my husband wishes it were otherwise!

    Vojt, when I first planted muhly grass some years back, I had my doubts whether or not it would prove hardy. I always save it till mid to late March to cut it back because I want the bulk of it to remain through the winter and self insulate. Fingers far so good. And it has done a good bit of reseeding.

    DonnaJones, I would think the muhly would love CA but that's just a guess.

    yardmom , that is my official haunted house birdhouse and with as old as that wood is, there might be spirits tucked away in its crevices.

  16. OregonGardenGal 11/13/2013

    The view is great and I love the way you have planted the border around the lawn in conifers! They frame your lawn while pulling in the great view.

  17. joycedaffodilhill 11/13/2013

    What a treat to see your garden. Your tree in Oct is glory itself. The last leaves are fading fast and will be so missed. Bird houses: GREAT. Thanks for sharing.

  18. terieLR 11/13/2013

    Good morning Michaele. I just went for a second cup of coffee... today's post prompted me to revisit your 'pink muhly grass' blog from November 18, 2011. (and all others that you have shared) Now I'm pretending to sit at your kitchen table and admiring that wonderful conifer border and view with you. I'll bring the munchies. :) I am also feeling comforted to know that I'm not the only gardener who lacks a little in the cooking area...

    Your volunteer zinnia is a perfect contribution to the fall setting ~ adding sunshine on gloomy days, for sure. I was thrilled to see a maturing October Glory Maple as we planted one 3 years ago. The foliage is just now starting to make a statement. And what about that pavilion? It's awesome! We could munch in those chairs too.

    I adore your beautiful mini birdhouse (w/ hummingbird) on a hook and placed in a container. Is there a mirror reflection on the front of the barn house? So nice to see your smiling face on this day!

  19. janeeliz 11/13/2013

    What a treat to see your fall garden, Michaele! So many special things…your drop dead gorgeous view, beautiful late clematis blooming and rose blooming together, delightful gold and white zinnias, sweet bird feeders , YOU with your gentle horse in front of that glorious flaming red maple, and, of course, your divine pink lilting grasses!. I agree, the grass is a MUST have- but not in Maine….I think I will get some for my son…to enjoy in his NJ garden!

  20. greengenes 11/13/2013

    Beautiful, just simply beautiful! Nice jolt this morning to go outside here and do some work. Or should I say play! love the pink muhly grass! Thanks so much!

  21. GrannyMay 11/13/2013

    Wow, Michaele you have certainly captured the beauty that surrounds you! Thank you for taking the time to find that great photo of yourself, your beautiful equine friend and that spectacularly red maple.

    I love your wonderful birdhouses, large and small, perfect accents for a perfect garden. And that photo of Muhly grass is going to start a "run" at the garden centres as all of us rush out to try it.

  22. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/13/2013

    Just wanted to mention that I can attest to one zone 6 winter-hardiness of Muhlenbergia 'Pink Flamingos', which is a hybrid of capillaris (Michaele's) and lindheimeri. The seed heads look a bit different and mine is too young to bloom, but it is supposed to be much hardier (maybe zone 5) than capillaris. For what it's worth. Thanks for sharing, Michaele! Surprised it doesn't come back for you, Jeff! I'm going to stay in zone-denial until spring......

  23. janeeliz 11/13/2013

    Hello, again, Michaele. I just wanted to add that your waterfall is beautiful. I will check your previous GPODs to see more of it, hopefully. Also re: cooking…I never wanted to cook when I could be out working in the garden. My children, now grown and both gardeners, got used to eating …. simply…. and after dark. At 76, I run out of energy sooner now, but my daughter gardens til there's no more light and my son gardens with a head-lamp late at night!

  24. PassinThru 11/13/2013

    I rarely post here, but I visit this site every day and appreciate seeing everyone's wonderful photos. Michaele, your view out over the pasture is stunning. But what really caught my eye was the horse, who looks so much like my brother's horse back when I was growing up. He had a dappled gray horse, and I had a dappled gray pony. We were raised around horses (just a small backyard barn), and my brother ended up owning a farm in WV with a view much like yours. There is nothing quite like a beautiful gray horse to lift the spirits.

  25. sheila_schultz 11/13/2013

    Michaele, I'm never quite sure what I love more... your beautiful gardens or your descriptions of the beauty that surrounds your home. The birds must constantly sing your praises since you not only give them posh places to rest their wings, but lots of seeds to munch on!
    I didn't realize Muhly grass was so difficult to keep going. I discovered it's beauty years ago when we lived just north of Chicago, and I now have it in Denver. I love that grass!

  26. wildthyme 11/13/2013

    Gorgeous photos & garden! "Borrowed landscape" is always a plus, and those pastures are a perfect complement to your cultivated areas. The self-seeding zinnia is lovely!

  27. PamWittenberg 11/13/2013

    Wow, the reds of the fall leaves lately make me realize how pale our show is in comparison here in California, with the notable exception of the Chinese Pistache trees here and there, oh, and some dogwoods, and some maples...well, maybe we do have some color, but WOW, the trees east of the Mississippi are something else! That pink muhly grass is at the top of my "must have" list now! Beautiful view and beautiful everything...

  28. petuniababi 11/13/2013

    I am just going to say WOW!!! Words just can't do these photos justice.What a blessed and lucky person to be living in this environment of heavenly beauty.

  29. cwheat000 11/13/2013

    Your place never fails to surprise and delight me. Who knew you had that view? I love the photo of the horse, the red on steroids tree, and you. Thanks for digging all the shots out.

  30. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/13/2013

    Ha, terieLR, I could be wrong but I suspect we have a lot of soul sisters when it comes to the cooking thing. There's a certain irony to having all this interest and passion for growing things and then regarding the edible bounty from nature as pretty much mere fuel to consume so one can go out and garden some more! I see why you wondered about the mirror on the barn birdhouse...actually, it's open throughout the middle like a center aisle barn and I'm going to put birdseed in that under-roof area. The little horse figurine was from an old state fair competition trophy that my daughter won many years ago. Yes, that last sentence just revealed me as the "keeper of stuff" that I am.

  31. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/13/2013

    PassinThru, love your blog user fun. Yes, I love the dapple gray color in horses although I was put to the test in rainy springs when he'd find a beaten, grassless spot in his pasture and roll (and roll) and practically turn orange from our TN clay. Who needed to join a gym when there was hour's worth of vigorous brushing needed to get him remotely civilized looking. Sounds like you had a wonderful childhood with horses, ponies and property to roam.

  32. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/13/2013

    Vojt, thanks for mentioning the 'Pink Flamingo' hybrid of muhly...didn't know about but just came from doing a little google reading. It definitely sounds like it was developed to expand the growing zones for grasses of that nature. Good tip.

  33. tractor1 11/13/2013

    Awesome bird houses! And That's one gorgeous view from your kitchen table... I'd have my spotting scope there for checking out critters... and I'm stunned at how deer don't bother your plants, I know herds of deer here hold epic pow wows on freshly hayed fields, as do soaring raptors on constant patrol. Michaele, you are fortunate to reside on so lovely a property, thank you for sharing.

  34. pattyspencer 11/13/2013

    Vogj - yes yes yes!! lol You try it first - you have such a great green thumb. I've drooled over pictures of this grass for a long time and would love to see it grown here

  35. iccarrion 11/13/2013

    Gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing. This is what I aspire my gardens to be :)

  36. Meelianthus 11/13/2013

    Michaela, your relaxation/entertainment covered area is enchanting. Looks like a lovely spot to just sit and enjoy the views. Your pastoral view is beautiful, a site I would love to paint. Thank you for sharing your wonderland.

  37. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/13/2013

    Well, tractor, I thought of you when I included the picture with the great view since it included a good amount of sky!

    And, yes, I am lucky about the deer not making my garden a daily buffet bar. There is often a threesome that crosses across that lower field area as they head towards our woods. I have only seen a deer up in the yard area one or two times in the 18 years we've lived here. Fingers crossed...knock on wood...throw salt over my shoulder...whatever it takes not to jinx my good luck about the deer.

  38. tractor1 11/14/2013

    meander1: maybe there are just a lot more deer here in the Catskills. Often I can look out and there are more than twenty in my yard. The back of my house faces south so the snow melts as the sun hits and the deer eat whatever grass becomes uncovered. During times when it's down below zero they will eat anthing they can find, even plants they normally avoid. The Catskills get cold, really cold, and I'm in a snow belt, sometimes the snow is more than 6' deep, so I feel sorry for the critters and toss out carrots, bread, whatever they will eat.

  39. annek 11/14/2013

    WOWZA! The colors, views, birdhouses,'ve done an incredible job. I love seeing your gardens and reading your comments. Both are truly inspiring.

    And your horse...what a magnificent creature. We raise horses on our little farm and their beauty and stature never cease to amaze me. What breed is your dappled beauty?

  40. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/14/2013

    tractor, sounds like you have a very healthy attitude about your "deer" neighbors and I mean the four legged kind. I haven't ever dealt with 6' of snow and that includes living a couple of years in NE.

    Annek, my little gray guy is an Arabian.A few years back, my husband and I realized we didn't have as much energy as we used to and it was time to find the right homes for our special guys. Mine went to a family of five girls and it was positively heartwarming to see all the love lavished on him.
    What breed of horses do you raise on your farm?

  41. janetsfolly 11/14/2013

    Thank you, thank you, Vojt!!! Found some interesting background on 'pink flamingo' at Hoffman Nursery site. They say zone 6, but I think I'll pretend I didn't see that part!

    JaneEliz, I love the bit about your son and daughter gardening till dark and beyond! My SO often comes to retrieve me from the garden then offers to rig up spotlights so I can keep after those weeds or whatever. So far I've listened to my back and declined his offer!

  42. sheila_schultz 11/14/2013

    Sweet Michaele... you always bring so much love to the GPOD table. You are our gift.

  43. annek 11/14/2013

    We raise gaited Morgans...wonderful trail horses that are strong, competent and sweet natured. I love arababians too with their high spirits and endless energy. So good to hear that your boy went to a loving home with five girls. You couldn't have found a better spot for him.

  44. annek 11/14/2013

    Beautifully said Sheila..

  45. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/14/2013

    AnneK, you might not make it back here so I'll just be babbling away in cyberspace but...."gaited morgans" interesting! I had no idea that that way of going was a trait that could be found and bred on in Morgans. Sounds like the perfect trail horse...smooth and solid. Some years back, I saw a video of a Morgan World Champion Park winner and Holy about animated and high spirited! I know you are not breeding for that kind of high stepping action, but, wow, Morgans certainly are athletic.

  46. annek 11/14/2013

    Hi Michaele,

    I HAD to come back to see if you responded...but now I might be talking to a vast cyberspace :-) Ahh well.

    You're right, our horses aren't bred for the ring, but as you stated, they are sure and strong on the trail.

    I also wanted to mention how impressed I was that you learned to ride during your middle years. Those big creatures can be scary, but it just showed YOUR spirit and steadfastness!

  47. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/14/2013

    ha, AnneK, it's like we're having a secret after hours conversation...thanks for appreciating just what a challenge it was for me to overcome my fears of being up in the saddle. I spent a number of years being an on the ground as a show mom for my daughter during her teenage years so I had some confidence in doing horsey chores like brushing, giving baths, handling the lead line. It was quite a leap (and a few falls) to become a rider.
    Morgans have such a great temperament. I probably would have made quicker progress with a quiet minded, solid citizen Morgan but we "inherited" the Arabs when our daughter went off to college.

  48. annek 11/15/2013

    I'm getting a kick out of our after-hours conversation! And your decision to take on your Arab riding lessons speaks to your fortitude! You're a toughie and I so respect that. I had a little Welsh Pony when I was 7...meanest darn horse you've ever seen. She knew a lot more about horse-back riding than I did, so was actually a good teacher. And when you're that young, you don't know that you should be afraid.

    It seems as though we have a lot in common! yay for us

  49. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/15/2013

    Ahh, AnnaK, you're one of those lucky ones who got your foundation in riding as a fearless kid. That natural bonding with horse/pony flesh lasts a lifetime, doesn't it? Although I have never ridden a pony, I have been entertained by stories of their creative contrariness by others who have "survived" to tell the tales. There is a reason for the great popularity of the Thelwell series of cartoons!
    Do your gaited Morgans do what would be described as a rack and, if so, does that completely replace a posting trot?
    Even though I did show ring saddle seat stuff on a horse with a trainer, I so, so loved my rides through our woods and hay fields on my at home guy. It let me tap into my inner child who was a horse crazy little girl who loved to read Black Stallion books!

  50. annek 11/15/2013

    Hi Michaela, me again,
    The morgan can be collected into a 'rack' type of gait. We have a gelding who does it naturally. He's a gorgeous palomino with a delightful disposition. I've only ridden on trails, around the farm and on pack trips. Never any official ring work.

    The bonding does last a lifetime. We have a 29-year old gelding (an odd combination of gaited morgan and shetland pony - He's a big horse even with the shetland influence). He is a family member, for sure.

  51. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/15/2013

    Annek, you are certainly teaching me a couple of new things about Morgans...first, that can be naturally gaited and now, that they can be palomino colored!I think I've only ever seen chestnuts and bays.
    The show ring is an interesting challenge and, with the right attitude, can be fun. I was pretty darned nervous riding through the in gate for the first time ever (and being in my mid-forties). After trotting around the ring 2 times, I started feeling a little light headed. My husband must have noticed my deer in the headlights look and yelled out to me..."BREATHE". Yep, in my nervous excitement, I had been holding my breath...things got better and the highpoint was that I didn't fall off!

  52. annek 11/16/2013

    Ha! Good to know that your husband was in the audience and had the foresight to respond to your big-eyed anxiety.....I bet you and your horse-buddy were magnificent!

    I rode Jaxon (the morgan-shetland pony boy) in a novice trail ride competition in my mid-30's. A three day event where we rode 8 hours a day orienteering through the woods at 9000 feet elevation in the Colorado Rockies. The horsemanship judges would climb trees and hide as we competitors made our way along the trail. For 8 hours, we didn't know if and when we were being watched and graded. I was an anxious mess! But Jaxon was incredibly sure-footed and took very good care of me. Most of the other competitors laughed at his "pony belly" and rather short-legged conformation (it seemed to us both that even the horses were laughing).

    What happened after the three days were over should happen to everyone at least once in their life. Jaxon took me on to first place...our first competition and our first blue ribbon. The laughter stopped and a new admiration for the 'funny looking' morgan ensued.

    PS: I, like you, was shocked that morgans came in the 'palomino' color spectrum.

  53. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/16/2013

    Annek, so glad I slipped back for a peek because I would have hated to miss that great story about you and Jaxon and the wonderful happy ending. That sounds like quite an undertaking for a first time competitive trail ride. I'm guessing you were living out in the Colorado area at that time, right? Forgive me for forgetting but in what state do you live now?

    If you are in the Denver area, are you a regular visitor to the amazing botanical garden there? The pictures I have seen from there are jaw dropping stunnung but I suspect at this point in my life, I'm not ever going to make an in-person visit. I'm pretty allergic to air travel nowadays...just seems like so much hassle and I'm quite content to putter around on our farm, garden and make my ornamental birdhouses.

  54. annek 11/17/2013

    Tee hee...our underground conversation continues...

    Yes, the competitive ride was in the Colorado Rockies near Conifer. (The Sherlock Holmes residing in you comes out...)

    The Denver Botanical Gardens is fabulous. When I lived in Denver I was a regular. They used to host an annual plant sale (maybe they still do?) of which I still have several plants (one of my favorite is an orchid cactus fondly named 'Ivan-the-Terrible'. Ivan survived many moves and currently lives in my '4-seasons' room here in Montana).

    Traveling is a hassle, but you never know. You might end up in Montana someday...

    By the way how many acres do you and your husband own?

    Lastly, I'm always tickled when I see GPOD photos of your enchanting bird houses. A wonderful pastime.

  55. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/18/2013

    Ha, AnneK, should you return one more time, I will share something that I have kiddingly admitted to friends that I have an email relationship with...I suffer from might be labelled "Compulsive Response Syndrome" otherwise known as "CRS", it's not yet acknowledged by the psychiatric community but it does seem to be the way I'm wired. Especially when I'm enjoying the conversation and have questions to answer and ask!
    My husband and I have 54 acrea...about 36 of it is pasture and hayfield, 13 in woods in which we created nice riding and walking trails and the rest is yard and my garden areas.
    How about you? From what I remember of your several gpod sharings (you really have beautiful, beautiful gardens), it looks like you have acreage also...which makes sense since you have your horses.
    Thanks for you kind words about my birdhouses. We have fun creating whimsical ones for indoors and out. Right now, I'm doing a series of petite indoor ornamental ones for a holiday show/sale. They are ridiculously adorable and they make me smile. My hope is that they appeal to the young or young at heart.

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