Garden Photo of the Day

The end of the season in Jeff’s Tennessee Garden, Day 1

Coleus, crossandra, Montauk daisy

Today’s photos are from Jeff Calton down in Tennessee! He says, “Warm days and cool nights make for vibrant colors, but I know that within the next two weeks it’s going to get cold enough to knock the life out of the containers, so I did a walkabout with the camera. It’s kind of like that song…..”You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”

Backlit alocasia

Gorgeous, Jeff. ***We’ll start next week with Jeff, too–he send in so many great shots!***

Alocasia with Nico for scale

Hey folks–help me keep kicking out posts all winter long–send me photos of your gardens NOW! Email me at [email protected]. Thanks!

Alocasia, lantana, plumbago, heliconia, red fountain grass

Dragonwing begonia, colocasia, and my crazy tacky toucan that I love
Begonia ‘Irene Nuss’, cordyline, alocasia
Cyperus, alternanthera, Ipomoea batatas ‘Blackie’
Euphorbia ‘Helene’s Blush’

Juncus ‘Blue Dart’, Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus), coleus
Kniphofia ‘Papaya Popsicle’, plumbago

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  1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2014

    What can I say Jeff? 3Bs! BIG, BOLD and BEAUTIFUL! Love them all. You have managed to make my heart ache for summer once again. =( Can't wait to see Part 2 on Monday.

    For a second there, i thought Nico was for sale....

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      Cherry, he's not for sale but I would be happy to loan him out on occasion. 3 year olds have much more energy than I do

      1. sheila_schultz 10/03/2014

        Hey, if we were closer he could come hang out with Kennedy and Jackson! They would have fun together... Grandparent jobshare?

      2. perenniallycrazy 10/07/2014

        I know where he gets that from...

  2. NCYarden 10/03/2014

    Good morning, Jeff. Amazing bursts of color and texture...well, and size. I'm a huge fan of Persian shield, one of the few annuals I'm willing to play with. Is that a second (maybe third) flush from the Kniphofia? Ooo, also is that a cigar plant (Cuphea) tucked in with cordyline and begonia? That's a fun one too, and another I will occasionally plant - haven't done it a while, but seeing it again, maybe next season. It all looks so good. I hope you can eek out a few more weeks with all these showy displays. Looks like we're beginning to test the cold this weekend in NC. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      That is a Kniphofia Papaya Popsicle, from Monrovia, there is a whole popsicle series. they are dwarf, fine grasslike foliage and theyhave been in flower since end of May. great plant either in the ground or in containers for summer

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/03/2014

    Wow, this week has been like attending a master's course in container gardening with Sheila's amazing creations and now Jeff's! In fact, let's have a review/repeat week showcasing these next spring when we are all starting to put together our own attempts at pot perfection (ha, I will resist making a CO joke). Everything still looks so healthy and lush, Jeff...I don't see any tired end of season case of the bedraggles . Nico reigns as the adorable prince of cuteness and certainly shows how tall all that tropical foliage is behind him. I love the second picture down with the luminescent backlighting but what additionally caught my eye was what looks like the silhouette of a small winged bat down towards the bottom right...ha, goes with the theme of Nico's pajamas.

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      i never even noticed the shadow until everyone mentioned. i had Dillon cleaning up the colocasia some time back, cutting off fallen leaves , he reached in and something squeaked, there was a tiny little baby bat in there,, never saw it again after that day

      1. sheila_schultz 10/03/2014

        A baby bat... really??? How cool is that?

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/03/2014

    Love this time of year. Your garden and containers look lush and amazing. I had considered using crossandra this year: definitely an oldie but goodie. As great as all the plants are, I'm stuck trying to figure out what the cool, be-tentacled thing is hanging above the coleus in the first photo?

    1. perenniallycrazy 10/03/2014

      Good eye Tim =)! His new find....I'll let him tell you all about it.

    2. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      Tim, that is my new pot that i only got last week. it's from a potter named Diana Mouldis in AZ she makes many amazing hanging planters as well as free standing ones. i won't plant it until next spring and i'm still trying to decide what to plant in that octopus

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/03/2014

        It is so amazing, but I can't even begin to imagine what to put in it. I look forward to your ingenious solution!

        1. GrannyMay 10/03/2014

          I didn't see that pot till you mentioned it Tim. Wow, that is one crazy shape! I can think of some things I would like to try in it, but it doesn't look very big, another challenge. @jeffcalton:disqus Jeff, can't wait to see what you do!

  5. user-6807720 10/03/2014

    Jeff, I have to admit that, as soon as I saw the shadow in the photo of the backlit alocasia, I imagined a pterodactyl holding a parasol on the other side. ;)

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      i never noticed the shadow until people here mentioned it. i do see the pterodactyl now

  6. thevioletfern 10/03/2014

    Begonia envy and love the Alocasia! Can't you overwinter some of those gorgeous containers? Do you take cuttings? I can't stand the fact they'll be gone. Good thing you captured them on camera! And thanks for sharing.

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      i do overwinter the alocasia and colocasia because i can just put them in the basement and forget them till spring. all the other stuff is composted

  7. bsavage 10/03/2014

    Just stunning! Love them all... and yes, we should have a re-post of all the fantastic containers shown this week early next spring for inspiration!

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      i think the spring "fashion show recap" is a great idea,,,,,,,,,,,,mid April

      1. sheila_schultz 10/03/2014

        I agree ;) Actually if Michelle could do a recap of all of us that send photos of containers, and Perennial Crazy needs to be in the mix... that would be excellent. I always need to be reminded of possibilities!

  8. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/03/2014

    Wow those are some huge plants,I need the Begonia"Irene Niss"such a great plant. The fountain grass is the largest I have ever seen. For me the shadow on the back lit Alocasia looked like a Pterodactyls (flying dinosaur) ha crazy imagination. Thank you Jeff for sharing all of you great phots.

    1. NCYarden 10/03/2014

      Oh My's Rodan from the old flicks

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/03/2014

        Yep that's what I saw!!can you tell me how you post a pic here. Not sure how to do it

        1. NCYarden 10/03/2014

          When you are commenting in the comment box, there is a little icon in the lower left corner that looks like a box with triangle mountains and a round sun above them. Click on that and it will let you browse your computer for pics. Hope this helps.

          1. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/03/2014

            Thank you so much never noticed that before..... so simple

    2. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      i wish i could send you some cuttings of that begonia because they are going down this weekend. they root VERY easily

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/03/2014

        Oh wouldn't that be nice,it's such a beauty.

  9. sheila_schultz 10/03/2014

    Are you sure you aren't in FL or somewhere in the tropics, Jeff? Drama-rama all around, your Alocasia is amazing! I'm thinking that all those long days of nothing but rain in your neck of the woods ended up being a very good thing for the beauty of your gardens and containers!

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      Sheila, it seems with containers (other than the succulents) i turn the water on in may and leave it on until october

  10. GrannyMay 10/03/2014

    Jeff, your sense of humor and love of the unusual come through loud and clear! Love the look and the bold feel of it all. Your style inspires me to explore beyond the ordinary and see what happens! Lucky Nico to have a grandpa like you.

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      May, i like to put things in the garden to make people laugh or say, hmmmmm. they might not always be tasteful but they are always fun for me. i also hide things under shrubs or what not to surprise the small children who visit. they see everything differently than the adults because of their eye level. i like to give them a surprise

      1. GrannyMay 10/03/2014

        I can just imagine Halloween in your garden! :)

        1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

          May, you are invited to the Halloween party, costumes are not required but we will talk about you if you aren't in costume

          1. GrannyMay 10/04/2014

            Thanks Jeff! I'll be there, but in mischievous spirit only, so you can blame any spills, chills and hauntings on me!!

  11. schatzi 10/03/2014

    Glorious, Jeff! Beautiful and very tropical looking - and my, things grow BIG in TN. Love the purple in the Persian shield - it's such a cool accent. That is a beautiful arrangement in that lovely pot. I have not grown plumbago, but I will have to look for it. It is such a beautiful blue. Nico is adorable and you are right - little ones are fun but exhausting. It's always a relief to give them back to their (much younger than us) parents for a while. I second the motion for a container recap next spring. Please Michelle?

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      plumbago is a great plant and i do love that blue, they can get kind of BIG

  12. GrannyCC 10/03/2014

    Beautiful as always Jeff. You must use good soil and fertilizer to achieve all that growth although I know it is your green thumb and hard work. Are you a 20-20-20 man as far as fertilizer goes? I use Ozmocote but think the pots might need more in the summer.It is hard to think all this colour will disappear but maybe we can keep it going on this site so winter won't seem so long. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      i use Osmocote once at planting and once mid summer. i water so much that the fertilizer leaches out faster than the labels say and i use Fafard 3S soil mix for everything and lots and lots of water

  13. Cenepk10 10/03/2014

    Thanks< Jeff, for sharing. Now I wanna throw my pots in the garbage.... Really Stunning !!!!!

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      no no no! don't throw them away! take photos and send to Michelle

  14. user-7006958 10/03/2014

    Great containers Jeff! And I thought that mine were gorgeous ..well until this week! After Sheila's and yours..I learned that I have a lot left to learn!

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      Daniela, we all learn every day and just when we think we have seen it all,,,,,there is something new

      1. sheila_schultz 10/03/2014

        Jeff, you are so right, we never stopping coming up with new combo's... esp. when different plants pique our interests! All it takes is a picture ;)

  15. Meelianthus 10/03/2014

    Hello Jeff ~ Your pots are stunningly beautiful as always, even this late in the year. It is hard to give them up with the first freeze - and then you start dreaming about next years arrangements, right ! The Persian shield is a beauty. Do you winter over the Alocasia in a warm place? They are fantastic! I look forward to more ^_^

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      yep, i drag the alocasia to the basement along with amaryllis, hymenocallis and colocasia

      1. Meelianthus 10/03/2014

        WOW !

  16. user-7007244 10/03/2014

    What part of TN is this?

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      Linda, i am in the uppermost northeast corner of the state. Kingsport/JohnsonCity/Bristol,,, about an hour from asheville nc

  17. user-7007140 10/03/2014

    Saved this Jeff! Just amazing. What do you do with all those enormous tender plants during the winter?
    Speaking as one who struggles with very physical tasks at present and the possibility of moving to a smaller garden, I find your containers a great comfort for future dreams. Thank you so much for sharing so generously.

    1. user-1020932 10/03/2014

      Eddi, i save only the things that will go dormant and survive confinement in the basement until end of april, all else has to be planted anew each spring. i'm giving away a 6 foot Pachypodium and a Golden Barrel cactus i have had for at least 35 years, they are just too big and too heavy. it takes 4 people to move them in and out so i'm moving them WAY out, one of the guys who work for me is taking them home

      1. Cenepk10 10/04/2014

        Generous too ??? Jeff. Jeff... You need to quit it ... ;)

  18. user-5829577 10/06/2014

    Jeff! Looking at your vibrant colors, textures and the way you combine them all made me drool. It is just amazing how different zones can take the same plant and transform it into a lush specimen. I fell in love with your lantana. It is sad to see it all go.

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