Garden Photo of the Day

More from Jeff’s garden in Tennessee

Picea pungens glauca 'Theum', emerald arborvitae backdrop, sago palm, large pot to the right of an unidentified lily given to me years ago (i think they might be Cahaba lilies but not at all sure).  Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton

You all seemed to love Jeff Calton’s garden in Tennessee on Monday, and he loved sharing it with you, so we thought you might like even more photos of his work! I had a feeling there was a lot more to see from Jeff, and I was right.

A mish-mash of tropicals under Acer palmatum ‘Seiryu’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton

We’ll spend the next couple of days getting a closer look at both his garden and that of one of his long-time clients. Today we see his garden (including those daylilies he needs help dividing…) You’ll find more info in the captions. Enjoy!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
Not real bonsai, more like oddball trees in too-small pots. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
Agave victoriae-reginae flower. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
The most wonderful surprises emerge from my compost pile each spring/summer. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
Head in the hole. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
Daylilies. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton
Potheads…….yes they need “bangs”. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jeff Calton

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  1. tractor1 02/13/2013

    Great composition and crisp photos in spite of the mist, especially the third down on the left, albeit I must admit I'm not a fan of the glassy chachkas. In the fifth one down it appears that one arborvitae is suffering. I like the macabre face in the hole... is that a real snake? I'm looking forward to many more of Jeff's garden photos.

  2. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    nope, it's a cast iron snake a client picked up for me at Tamarack WV. that is an Emerald Isle leyland cypress that is no longer suffering,,,,,,,i removed them all. i rank leyland cypress right up there with bradford pears as big horticultural mistakes. the glassy things are here primarily for the kids, people come here to see plants and kids get bored FAST but they do like shiny things, "scary" things like the head in the hole or the snake and fun things. i have a giant frog with a crown hidden among the plants,,,,, kids always discover it adults rarely do. i like getting them interested in gardens/plants even if i do have to use tricks

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/13/2013

    Well, Jeff, besides being a talented gardener, you're a guy with an engaging sense of humor.I'll bet you bring good energy and smiles to whatever jobs you take on and have happy clients. And, yes, what an amazing surprise that had to be to have what looks like a trumpet flower arise so gloriously from your compost pile? I guess one got discarded at the end of the previous growing season.Do you expect it to return from now on?Your sea of daylilies is sumptuous...and the ones fronting the bluish toned evergreen look particularly great.

  4. ctplantguy123 02/13/2013

    Beautiful garden! Is that a snake in the "Head in the hole" photo?

  5. Quiltingmamma 02/13/2013

    Thanks for the garden art inspiration. I kinda like the "glassy chachkas" and now have an inspiration for my old telephone line insulators.
    I had daturas coming up from seed for a few years. Even in our cold winters they would germinate and return, so that compost is starting to look like another garden bed, Jeff.

  6. dukeofargy 02/13/2013

    Beautiful brugmansia sprouting from your compost. I wish they'd do that here and I wouldn't have to lug them all inside for the winter.

    Very nice ponds.

    Well done.

  7. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    the insulators came into use because i almost blinded myself on those curly plant stakes so i left them on there for protection and i kinda like the way they catch the light thruout the day.

  8. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    meander1, i hope i have happy clients. i have been with most for a long long time. not sure why though, i'm grumpy, opinionated, i "cuss" too much (but i think of those words as sentence enhancers),i make decisions too fast,,,,,,,sometimes i'm right, sometimes i'm wrong but i'm never unsure
    but i do know that i have GREAT clients who are now friends and a few are even brave enough to attend the annual Halloween party

  9. Happily_Gardening 02/13/2013

    Your yard is a wonderful treasure trove of garden delights. So many splendid plant and gardening treasures to feast the eyes on. Just my cup of tea! Seeing the Aguva stalk/flower, I understand now why it took so long to grow and your slight disappointment in the end. It certainly grabs your attention! And I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments, you tickle the funny bone.

  10. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    happily_gardening i'm still enjoying your photos of the bees/butterflies. i've tried to capture that but i don't have the proper camera, patience or steady hand.
    many many many of the more mature landscape plants here are from my friend Bob Bullington in hendersonville nc. he died a number of years back but left his place to henderson county and it is now they are doing some great things there and i know he would be proud

  11. Happily_Gardening 02/13/2013

    Jeff, how nice of you to express your enjoyment of my nature photos. It's inspiring and motivating to hear..."thank you". As far as capturing some of your own, don't sell yourself or your camera short. Why do I say this?...certainly I lack patience, a steady hand and a good camera but the passion brings out the best in what you got. Keep trying (of course if you can find time with all the gardening to do)!

  12. n2hostas 02/13/2013

    Love the garden, especially the tropicals

  13. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    happily_gardening, i do keep trying with photos but i'm not very good at it. i have LOTS of birds here, bluebirds are now checking out the real estate. i once had a bald eagle not sure anyone ever believed me but there is no mistaking that bird. one morning years back i was having coffee on the back porch just after daybreak on a foggy morning and 5 alpacas appeared just off the porch. i thought i was hallucinating or having a flashback of some sort (i have worried about this since the '70s) but turns out we had new neighbors up valley who raised alpaca and some had escaped so i wasn't crazy after all

  14. wittyone 02/13/2013

    I must be a kid at heart after all! I LOVE the "head in the hole" and the blue insulators add a great sparkle! Show us the frog with the crown---I wanna see, I wanna see.

  15. CJgardens 02/13/2013

    Jeff, you are a very hard working individual. Your gardens are so extensive but very well tended. Do you have system for watering all your container? I have many less and tend to miss at least one. It's wonderful that you include things to keep the children involved in your gardens. I'm certain that cast iron snake has prompted many screams. Probably the head in the pond too. The daylilies are beautiful, good luck with that big job. I went to the Bullington Center website - very interesting. Looking forward to more photos.

  16. Happily_Gardening 02/13/2013

    Oh my God, I'm dying laughing are hysterical, a great story teller! There are quite a few Alpacas farms or is it ranches, around here...I find them captivating. Reckon they may spit though like camels...not attractive:). Sounds like your yard is a downright nature it! I agree with ~wittyone~..."wanna see the frog with crown." BTW, do you write for the local newspaper...if not you should, you're articles would be quite entertaining and I think well read.

  17. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    happily_gardening, i do not write for the paper, i have never written anything in my life but i DO talk too much,,,ask anybody
    we do have alot of wildlife visiting here and for the most part they cause no damage EXCEPT for voles and i can't find a remedy for that. i envy your weather for gardening in California , i spent a couple of years or so in the monterey/carmel area but tell me,,,,,,,,how does anyone afford to live there?!?!?
    the frog prince has been stored away for winter and will re emerge mid april
    CJgardens, i do not have any system for watering the containers other than by hand. it's my "thinking time" . i have many cacti/succulents that do not require alot of waterand for others i have large enough pots so that they are not that demanding but it's all relative, some would say i'm nuts for having that many to take care of but it's really not a big deal to keep up with it. glad you enjoyed the bullington website,,, bob bullington was a horticultural wizard and i spent alot of time there when he was alive. met dr. john creech there and dr. j c raulston, learned alot alot hanging out with them in the headhouse or the back terrace

  18. MichelleGervais 02/13/2013

    I once had an alpaca sneeze directly in my face right after I fed it a hay cube. Talk about not attractive...After I could speak again I had to dunk my entire head. But I still love them!

  19. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    i can imagine, Michelle, those big dreamy alpaca eyes then suddenly,,,,,,moco loco right in the face
    i'm loving the interaction so it's open invitation to 2013 halloween party, BYOB i can't cut into the garden budget to get everyone snockered but be forewarned i AM a wildman and sometimes stay up till.......11 PM !!!

  20. Happily_Gardening 02/13/2013

    Monterey/Carmel are certainly lovely...Ah, to live on the coast! Oh yes, California, the "$$$$" state. Our gardening weather is not quite as enviable as it once was. Climate change has made gardening in our high desert climate quite a challenge in recent years....prolonged periods of sizzling summer heat, more hard frosts and water issues, to name a few. It keeps you hopping! Hope we get to see "Frog Prince" in April. Gotta check out Bullington.
    Funny, it's been said I talk too much too...hmmm, do believe I've exampled it here :).

  21. Happily_Gardening 02/13/2013

    Oh my Michelle, what an experience you had...oh yuck! I'll be keeping that in mind for any up close and personal Alpaca encounters I may have :).
    Jeff, just love that Halloween are certainly a funny man! How about BPFJ (Bring Plant For Jeff) instead? You know you need more!

  22. tractor1 02/13/2013

    Voles are easy to get rid of. I discovered Sonic Spikes five years ago, they work amazingly well for me, saved my blueberry bushes, etc. I have the solar spikes but they make battery operated too. I bought mine at Lowe's, I have a dozen going now. They work best in moist soil. The directions say to remove them in winter but I have mine raised up about 4" out of the ground so that they don't get flooded from melting snow, after 5 years they all work.

  23. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    how many sonic spikes would it take? i have almost 2 acres planted and i am surrounded by 20 acres of hay. i contacted UT extension and they said to get a cat, i told them i had a cat and i was told to get a REAL big cat. i'll check out the spikesat lowe's, i haven't been there in a few days and sure they miss me
    i'm serious about halloween all would be welcome and i never refuse a plant

  24. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/13/2013

    Jeff, thanks so much for making mention of the Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville. I live a teeny tad south of Knoxville and need to make the drive (a beautiful treat in itself) over to NC to visit it. Reading over their website, it seems like they have a very admirable sense of mission about how the experience of gardening can enhance people's lives ..esp. people with different kinds of challenges. I'm sure it would please your friend no end to see how his property has evolved.

  25. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    if you live near knoxville you should know that the daylilies you liked came from Ed Kinsey/ Kinsey Gardens in Knoxville.
    if you're going to asheville for bullington gardens might as well go to the arboreteum while you're there and grab a bite at tupelo honey downtown PLENTY to do in asheville
    bob bullington was quite a character, i never met anyone quite like him before or since. i have many great memories, photographs and plants from him
    and no matter how cranky he was (but always with a twinkle in his eye) he always cut a fresh bouquet from the garden for his wife every day

  26. user-1020932 02/13/2013

    happily_gardening i would be most interested in seeing more of your nature photography and i am the ONLY person in the world without facebook
    [email protected] i just created that account

    i promise i'm not a stalker or crazy person, ok ok the crazy part is debatable

  27. passwords 02/14/2013

    Those pots with the bangs are just so funny! I have not seen them at any nurseries here in the midwest. Does anyone know where they can be purchased? Jeff, your photo's are wonderful. You do a great job.

  28. user-1020932 02/15/2013

    passwords, not sure if you will ever see this since it's a past post but those potheads i got probably 25 years ago from Smith & Hawken when it was still the real deal. they were made by Rookes Pottery/ UK no clue if they are even still in business

  29. Krosterhus 04/03/2013

    I've been to Jeff Calton's garden outside of Church Hill in TN, and it is a feast for the senses! A magical place where all of your worries and troubles seem to float away as you try to take in all of the sights, beautiful fragrances, colors, and plant combinations. The pictures can't show the size of that massive Macho Fern, or the amazing container which Jeff made to hold it. I so love all of the unexpected details through which Jeff's humor shows, such as the face in the bottom of the pond or the potheads with bangs. Jeff is very much in demand here in Kingsport, and we all feel blessed to have access to his talent and personality.

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