Category Archives: Design

Inspiration from the clearance aisle!

Sometimes you find inspiration for a new garden bed on the clearance rack at your local nursery. I am such a bargain shopper! I love the challenge of bringing a plant back from near death and a few years down the road I brag that I only paid a few dollars for that now beautiful plant.

I found the below Blue Flag Water Irises on clearance and decided they would make an excellent border around my pond that is only half buried.


I am also not against taking plants others have thrown away for garbage. The below St Joseph’s lilies ((Hippeastrum x johnsonii) came from a pile someone had placed on the curb. There must have been thirty or forty? There were enough that now I have them down the drive and around the patio. This is historically considered the very first hybrid amaryllis and it multiples freely!


This iris came from a curbside garbage pile,too!


These Oakleaf Hydrangeas were from the clearance aisle of a nursery a few years ago. After a few seasons of care they are beautiful! Hard to believe I only paid a few dollars for them.


And, yes, even Gus was a discount dog. He came from the local dog shelter!

Pass-a-long plants are a wonderful way to grow your garden on the cheap! Keep an eye out as you are driving around as you may never know where your next idea for your garden may come!



Filed under Design, Plants

Art in the parks and around town.

Around Raleigh there are many gardens with various art installations. Sometimes they are just civic pieces were the city or county has dumped a piece of art or sculpture somewhere only for the sake of saying they have public art somewhere, and then other times pieces are thoughtfully placed.

Here are a few examples throughout the City of Raleigh.

A fountain in the gardens of The Executive Mansion of North Carolina. That is a robust Japanese Climbing Hydrangea (Schizophragma hydrangeoides) behind it.


Not really a garden but I love the dinosaur trail at The NC Museum of Life and Science. It is actually in Durham. (


Andy Griffith statue at Pullen Park.


Graffiti along Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Its not in a garden but I love this heart.


Another piece of art in the Gardens of the NC Executive Mansion.


A giant dragon snakes its way through the lawn in The JC Raulston Arboretum at NCSU.


A snow covered Buddha at dusk in my garden.


A fountain at WRAL’s Azalea Gardens.


The 13-foot tall Redbird Sculpture at Fred Fletcher Park and Water Garden. This is a stylized group of Flamingo flowers (Anthurium).


Even a fence may be considered art if it has some unique or geometric characteristics.





Filed under Design


Things are coming together. The back yard is looking mighty awesome this Spring! The Viburnum plicatum Mariesii (to the left in the picture below) and the Formosa Azaleas (to the right) are my favorite Spring bloomers! After 10 years of rehabbing this old garden I think this is the best! In the background of the picture is the Kwanzan Cherry, which is finishing up it blooming cycle.Spring Garden

Some new things have been added and many, many old plants were salvaged and after major rehabilitation have become great showpieces. These old-fashioned hydrangeas all came from an old and overgrown plant I found behind the storage shed.


Many trees removed. This area had five large trees removed. In season, it is full of wildflowers and daisies.


Many pounds of wildflower seeds planted. Along the street I have a mixture of wildflowers and daylilies.


And the addition of a dog from the local dog shelter!


Did I mention Gus?


The evolution of this old garden has been amazing!


Filed under Design, General Gardening, Gus, Plants