Garden Photo of the Day

Jeff’s season finale in Tennessee

Alternanthera on its last day. Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Jeff Calton

We’ve visited and enjoyed Jeff Calton’s garden (tntreeman) in Tennesse quite a few times this year, and today we’re getting a glimpse of its last hurrah for the season, courtesy of a shivering Jeff, who says he just about froze getting most these photos a few mornings ago.

Fall stuff

He says, “Since October 15th I have taken a few photos of my place. I’m not nearly so disciplined as Daniela to have a season-long series. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I grow more trees, shrubs, woody ornamentals, and oddball perennials than flowery things. Everybody’s interests are different, although I do like the flowery things too.

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Filicoides ‘Aurea’, lantana, and purple fountain grass

“I do enjoy fall, seeing the changing personality of the garden and the different facets of the plants, even the frozen dead stuff. I had things in flower up to just before Halloween but one night of 23 degrees sort of took care of that. Now I’m waiting for the remaining leaves to come down so I can clean it up, mulch it up, and tuck everything in bed for winter.”

An azalea encore in mid-October

Beautiful! Jeff, it sure looks like your garden won’t suffer much, visually, from winter. The biggest benefit of a tree- and shrub-heavy garden! Thanks so much for sharing. **It’s election day! Remember to vote!**


Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Inaba-Shidare’

**** 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! ****

Hanging basket on its last day
Mixed conifers
Sarracenia at the end of the season
Prickly pear cactus fruits beginning to ripen
Looking north.
23 degrees, and the acanthus doesn’t care.
Hardy banana (Musa basjoo) after 23 degrees.

Want us to feature YOUR garden in the Garden Photo of the Day? CLICK HERE!
Want to see every post ever published? CLICK HERE!
Want to search the GPOD by STATE? CLICK HERE!
Check out the GPOD Pinterest page! CLICK HERE!

View Comments


  1. gloriaj 11/05/2013

    I love the look of your trees shrubs. The fall seem to bring out the best in texture (banana tree ) and color. I don't know much about trees ,but the fall will make you look at them in a different light. I love the way the sun catches the color of each tree/shrub. Enjoyed the pictures, hated you had to take them in 23 degree temperature. But look at it this way Jeff, your fellow gardener appreciate it for the beauty we are able to see this morning.

  2. wGardens 11/05/2013

    Always enjoy your photos, Jeff. Such a wide and interesting selection of plant material! Particularly like your grouping of the purple Fountain Grass, Lantana, etc. What is the conifer variety in the top photo on the right, tree on right in the forefront? Also, row on the right, second photo from the bottom, what is next to the acanthus? Thanks so much! Looking forward to photos in the Spring! (And that won't come quick enough! :-) )

  3. user-1020932 11/05/2013

    gloriaj that bana was so luxuriant and green one day and totally "melted" the next they got very large this year from all the rain.
    wGardens the yellow conifer in that photo is Chamaecyparis 'Crippsii' they can and do get large
    Acanthus neighbors to the left with a few remaining leaves is Fothergilla gardenii and to the right the evergreen is Cryptomeria japonica 'Gyrokyru' and i probably mis spelled that
    poor Michelle, i sent so many photos for her to sort through, i had no idea which ones she would use today so it was a surprise to me too

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/05/2013

    Such a great collection! Looks awesome as usual. That's crazy that you had such a cold snap so far south. I think we've only danced around freezing north of you. My musa basjoo are still going strong. Thanks for sharing.

  5. user-1020932 11/05/2013

    vojt, i guess the freeze is a price we pay for living in the mountains one just never knows what will happen. i sent Michelle pics of some Agave but i can not get her excited about "the danger garden" :)

  6. mainer59 11/05/2013

    I love those sarracenia. I wonder if I could grow them here? We were 19 this AM. What zone are you, Jeff? My acanthus did not make it through its first winter. I did put in a prickly pear this year but I don't expect it to get as large as yours. Do you have to bring your banana inside? A friend puts hers in a greenhouse in the winter. In summer it is planted outdoors and one would swear it is part of her permanent plantings.

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/05/2013

    I can tell that when winter rolls in for sure, your garden will still have great interest because of all those wonderful evergreen shrubs. I love the glowing luminosity in the second photo down with the variegated yuccas and chartreusy evergreens lighting up that corner. I am surprised that the acanthus didn't bat an eye at the 23 degree dip...that bodes well that the one you so generously had me take home after my visit will continue to look good for awhile yet.
    Your Encore Azalea is a good ambassador for tempting the rest of us to go give that series a having that pop of color in late Oct.

  8. user-1020932 11/05/2013

    mainer, i'm sure there are varieties of Sarracenia that would grow for you there i think some are Zone 4,,,,,,,,,i am 6b but right near the line for 7a so i push the limits on some things and have had success with some palms , Fatsia, Danae racemosa , Fargugium and some other things,,, it's all about location location location. i do not bring the banana inside it remains in the earth year round and will start coming up again end of April but Musa basjoo is the only one that is hardy enough for year round planting. i can't bring it in as i have every nook and cranny full the basement full, some things buried in the compost pile and still i gave away many many many plants and had to throw away as many more

  9. bee1nine 11/05/2013

    I couldn't help notice the nice frosty early morn mood feel
    captured in some areas, as you are an early morning riser.
    A wonderful scope of change taking place as your growing season winds down. ,,, Do agree with meander1 about the Encore azalea. I'm tempted!
    Hope you got all your non-hardy succulent plants and cacti in and on the porch in time!
    Always a pleasure, Jeff!!

  10. flowerladydi 11/05/2013

    Hi Jeff!,,,,, I love looking at photos of your gardens,,,, love your comments and descriptions,,always so clever. I have been under the weather for nearly a week,,,, and still am,, but need to respond if nothing else to the Inaba Shidare! How long have you had him??!!! He is fabulous!!! I have one that I purchased for a client, but did not use, and have not seen that cultivar at it's maturity,,,, fabulous!!!,,, and love the conifers!!!

  11. tractor1 11/05/2013

    I've had sub freezing weather here every night for two weeks now, was 22 degrees at 6 AM today. Most all my deciduous trees are bare of leaves except the beeches hold on to their leaves all winter. My lawn is still green but not growing so I'm done mowing till May, however I'll soon be plowing snow. I also concentrate more on trees and shubs than flowers and of course my vegetable garden... still has cabbages to harvest. Jeff's property looks summery compared with mine. My redspire pears still have leaves but not for much longer.

  12. annek 11/05/2013

    And what a finale! Your conifer corral, the luminosity (thanks meander) of the firs (great photo), the wonderful pig (is he a repurposed weather vane?), the brilliant azalea, and my personal fav - the row of lantana, complementary purple fountain grass and brilliant Chamaecyparis....sigh! Oh, and your maple tree deserves an award!

  13. hortiphila 11/05/2013

    Jeff what's your secret with that beautiful Chamaecyparis 'Crippsii'? Several of my friends have not had good success with that cultivar nor with the species obtusa in general. May be our Oak Savanna climate. I have had great success with Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mops', I guess I'm just enamored with the architectural form of obtusa. Beautiful garden, thanks for braving the cold.

  14. wildthyme 11/05/2013

    I too make more use of shrubs & trees than flowers, at least in most parts of the garden, although my goal this coming year is to start incoporating shrubs & trees into the flower beds & vice versa. I particularly like the combination in your first photo. Is that rosemary to the left? And what is that behind the azalea (not the rebar)? Is it something climbing the rebar or ????

  15. GrannyMay 11/05/2013

    Thanks Jeff, for getting out with your camera and showing us what fall looks like in your garden. I love your shrubs and trees at any time of year! Your prickly pear is making mine shrivel in envy! And your placement of Purple Fountain Grass alternating with Chamacyparis obtuse is perfect.

    Now, seeing what you can leave in the ground to face the winter has sure opened my eyes to how timid I have been with my plant choices. I'll definitely have to find spots to try Musa basjoo and Sarracenia - does it need a boggy area?

  16. palmgirl 11/05/2013

    hello jeff, your photos never fail to impress. particularly love the one with the lantana and purple fountain grass which I would love to ask more about. truly spectacular. thanks for sharing. Also cant wait to see your spring nursery woman loves the pig too.:-))

  17. sheila_schultz 11/05/2013

    What a sweet treat for a cold and cloudy morning! I love all of your conifers, Jeff, and your Inaba Shidare makes me swoon. (I guess I do need to get a Japanese Maple!)From experience, the best thing about a hard freeze is that we no longer have to feel guilty about putting our gardens to bed for a long winter's rest! Thanks for the photos Jeff, and you know me, I like the idea of a danger garden, too!

  18. GardenersWK 11/05/2013

    I enjoyed the pictures you sent in! That Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is a beautiful specimen! And what a great shape and size! Here in Ohio it turns bright red right after Halloween if the temperatures at night continue to stay low!
    The first picture list Alternanthera..which one of the plants is that? I only know the one behind the metal pole that has burgundy, green and white in the foliage: Persicaria Red Dragon - not very hardy here in zone 5b
    Have your camera ready for when that beautiful Japanese Maple turn bright red!

  19. wittyone 11/05/2013

    Love the acanthus. I have two (different varieties) here and they are wonderful but have had no success in planting divisions elsewhere. It's amazing when they die back in hot dry summers and then come bouncing back with a little rain and cooler temperatures.

    The pitcher plants really look interesting and I might just have to try them although am not sure whether they would be hardy here.

    Still waiting for the leaves to come down here but the pine needles are all raked and waiting to be put down as mulch in the shady back where no grass grows. it surprises me when I see them all baled up (tiny bales at that) at the nursery ready to be bought for $4 or $5 each.

  20. Meelianthus 11/05/2013

    Jeff, I LOVE all of the green back-bones of your property. It makes the property interesting all year long I am sure. It looks very cold where you are and it must be beautiful when covered with snow. Your plantings all look very mature, you must have been there for awhile. Thanks for sharing your gardens.

  21. user-1020932 11/05/2013

    wildthyme, that is rosemary and the plant amongst the rebar is a Wingthorn Rose, blood red translucent HUGE thorns.
    may, sarracenia requires a boggy soil, mine are planted in a submerged bathtub filled with peat/soil/leaf mold and i top dress it each year. the "books" say not to give them chlorinated water but it has never hurt mine. the venus fly traps always get pulled up by the birds.
    daniela, my maples won't turn a bright red this year that one cold night turned the leaves brown so no real color this year. i got that plant from Bob Bullington about 30 years ago as a 2 or 3 year graft it's maybe 8 ft tall and probably 15 ft across. my g'son hides inside it or goes there to have snacks.

  22. user-1020932 11/05/2013

    daniela, the alternanthera (sp) is the multicolored plant in the front of the pot, Josephs Coat.
    hortiphila, i've never had a problem with Crippsii or any other Chamaecyparis they don't like it too dry but other than that i don't do anything to them. if you like Chams my personal favorite is Koster's
    bee1nine, i'm not a big azalea fan because of their short flower season and the problem of lacebugs here but i thought Encore would convert me,,,,,,it has not. deciduous azaleas i like but most of the evergreen ones just don't thrill me other than that 1 or 2 weeks in spring and they are absolutely everywhere. i do kind of like the spider web azalea but have had no luck finding one.
    i've been at this property for 23 years but moved many many many large plants with me when i came here.
    AnneK the pig is , in fact, a weathervane i don't remember where i found him as i'm forever dragging things home

  23. user-1020932 11/05/2013

    flowerladydi, hope you are now well because it's tree planting time!

  24. GrannyMay 11/05/2013

    Jeff, I'm so glad I asked! No sarracenia in my future - when I need to dig a hole, I have to use a prybar and haul away the stones/rocks, there is no soil or easy digging, ever. I can't imagine creating a hole the size of a bathtub for one plant! Too bad.

  25. user-1020932 11/05/2013

    may you don't need a bathtub. i have a client who sinks plastic bowls into his beds and grows them there. i planted 12 in the bathtub originally and a few fly traps. the flytraps and small pitcher plants were killed by birds, the remaining varieties have pretty much filled the tub. i have seen them in non draining pots but i'm here to tell you that up close they can be smelly after a few bugs get into the pitchers. i'm lucky here in all my planting i could carry the rocks/pebbles in one hand that i have unearthed the soil is like cake up to 4 ft deep but that's as deeply as i have excavated. now go buy that sarracenia!

  26. GrannyMay 11/05/2013

    OK Jeff! Bit I think I'll wait till spring. We haven't had any frost yet, but it will arrive sometime. I have time to think about where I can best place it. Thanks!

  27. janeeliz 11/06/2013

    Jeff, your fall garden looks great! I love all the combinations you've created esp. with the purple fountain grass; your Japanese maple is just gorgeous. I'm not familiar with the Encore Azaleas but that one looks lovely blooming near your pink striped grass.
    I am interested to hear how you grow your pitcher plants. I set mine out in a pot in my clay bog and bring it in when it gets cold. Maybe I'll get a little more adventurous and modify your idea if they're hardy herem. To mainer59-I don't know where you are in Me., but I have acanthus growing in several protected spots in my zone 5 garden in Brunswick. Jeff-you have such wonderful structure in your garden….I'd love to see it in winter with a bit of snow!

  28. user-1020932 11/06/2013

    janeeliz IF we have snow i'll be out taking pictures, some years we have none and we rarely get more than 3 or 4 inches and it melts quickly. that striped plant next to the azalea is actually a pineapple.
    i don't do anything to the pitcher plants other than keep them wet, i'm sure there are hardy varieties of them. this year with all the rain many of the pitchers were knocked down and when i cut them off i found that it wasn't so much the rain that knocked them over but the fact that they were full of sowbugs. everyone who visits here seems to like them . the flowers look not of this world.

  29. bee1nine 11/06/2013

    Hi again, Jeff.. I appreciate your personal opinion regarding
    azaleas in general. And true, they can be a rather common
    flowering shrub in spring with a short bloom period. Ahh, yet there are other varieties out there that bloom later on
    too, to fill the gap.
    I was curious when I saw the pretty photo of your Encore azalea and have seen them advertised- wondered if they are
    worth the purchase since it's claimed to have multi-seasonal
    blooming capability. I sense, you were not impressed. Perhaps I shall reconsider.. or take the chance!...Or see if
    I can hunt down a Spider azalea. They do have a very unique
    flower. So totally different from their cousins. Now that's a thought, too!
    Thanks Jeff!!

  30. user-1020932 11/06/2013

    bee1nine, i'm probably just "burned out" with azaleas i have seen so many of them and have had so many problems with lacebugs , frozen flowers and the last few years it seems lichens have attacked with a vengeance and then there the deer . . they seem to love to eat them . you're right, it's spider azalea i don't know why i called it a spider web, must be a halloween hangover. the Encore Az here just don't seem to flower very well reliably could be my method of using them, i just don't know. i get more punch out of other things with much less work. give them a try and let me know how they do for you

  31. cwheat000 11/06/2013

    You really do have the coolest collection of plants. If it is weird or funky, you try it. What fun! You have been in one place long enough that most of your specimens are at a fabulous size-i.e. that inaba shidare is fantastic (your monkey puzzle tree not included- still luv it). That encore azalea,while not a new look, is worth a try if it reliably reblooms. I had never heard of spider azaleas. I love the look of those. Thank you for mentioning them. Late spring, I planted two 4" pots of Acanthus spinosus. I am crossing my fingers, they survive the CT winter. Yours look great at 23 degrees. Luv the frosty morning shot.

  32. wGardens 11/06/2013

    Hi Jeff... thanks for the info on the conifers. I will look for the Crippsii... I'd seen it before in catalogs and loved it then... and love it now!

  33. user-1020932 11/06/2013

    de nada, wGardens, Crippsii is a great plant but they do get large and i do not like them all trimmed/sheared/shaped.
    Carla, you're never gonna give me a break over my GIANT monkey puzzle trees :)

  34. wGardens 11/06/2013

    Thanks again, Jeff. Perhaps I should enjoy it in someone else's garden. I only have 1/3 acre and don't care for sheared/shaped trees/shrubs either. I would really like to get perhaps 3 conifers that would mature out at 6-10 feet... and not very wide. Not Alberta Spruce. Any suggestions? (Zone 5)

  35. user-1020932 11/06/2013

    wGardens, i like the Cryptomeria japonica 'Gyokuryu' i'm sure that's mis spelled but it will get you a pop up on google. it doesn't get over 10 ft and it can be kept on the skinny side AND it's Zone 5/ i just looked. the only complaint i have and it's a small one is that here if it gets cold cold and stays that way for a few days they will bronze but early spring almost overnight they green up .

  36. wGardens 11/07/2013

    Thank you, Jeff! I will look it up!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest