Wiregrass Rose Society’s 5th Annual Rose Show: America The Beautiful

????????

 

I apologize to area rosarians about the delay in posting pictures from the rose show held earlier in the season.  Nonetheless, the show was a huge success, and I wanted to post the gorgeous entries.  Rose enthusiasts were in full force at the 5th annual rose show presented by the Wiregrass Rose Society back in May.  From climbing roses, Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, and Old Garden to the artistically arranged English box, Painter’s Palette, Rose in a Frame, miniatures and minifloras to the ever popular design category, there were hundreds of roses to satisfy the most discriminating gardener.

 

????????

Paul Neyron

.????????

????????

????????

Caleb

????????

Mr. Lincoln

????????

Mary Alice

????????

Tammy Clemmons

????????

????????

????????

 

Rose society member, Pat Wente, was instrumental in the show’s success.

????????

Pictured below is the highly esteemed Court of Honor . . .

????????

 

 

????????

Bishop’s Castle

????????

Pink Drift

Veteran’s Honor was a favorite of my Daddy’s .

????????

More lovely Rose in a Frame entries:

????????

????????

????????

Memphis King

 

????????

????????

Flutterbye was probably the most unusual entrant, but its beauty captured everyone’s attention.

????????

????????

Valentine

????????

????????

????????

Joy

 

Touche was one of my favorites and one that I had never seen before..

 

????????

Pictured below are two wondrous Tineke blooms which my Mother loved and grew in her garden..

????????

????????

Gorgeous original designs and tablescapes, both contemporary and traditional, were entered in the show.

???????? ???????? ???????? ????????

????????

 

I quickly found one of my very favorite old fashioned rose, the Chestnut Rose, which was grown by my great-grandmother.  A cutting from her bush was actually transplanted into my Mother’s rose garden where it still thrives today..

????????

L. J. Ward, a long time Rosarian, mentioned that his grandmother had grown the Chestnut rose, too, but referred to it as a Chinquapin rose.  Mr. Ward, a retired mechanic with the Dothan Landfill, actually started a rose garden at the landfill when he was employed,  “I had some free time on my hands, and decided to start a rose garden.  I bought inexpensive roses from Walmart and fertilized them with compost”.  His amazing story was actually featured by the American Rose Society in the 2002 American Rose Society Annual.  Although L.J. is now retired his “landfill” garden is still maintained today!

????????

????????

 

The Wiregrass Rose Society meets the first Tuesday of most months at the first Church of the Nazarene, 1081 Honeysuckle Road, in Dothan, at 6:00 P.M.  Rose experts as well as novice rose gardeners work together to share their knowledge of rose cultivation.

????????

????????

Thanks to all of the local committee members, volunteers, advertisers, exhibitors, and visitors who made the 2014 show a huge success.  Special appreciation is extended to the American Rose Society sanctioned judges who volunteered their time to travel to Dothan and evaluate this year’s entries.

 

 

An Artfelt Event: A Perfect Pairing of Art and Floral Design

????????

 

Bridgestreet Gallery and Loft was the lovely setting for An Artfelt Event last week in Birmingham.  Hosted by P.E.W.S. (Purely Elegant Wedding Statements), the Third Annual Pew decorating competition did an amazing job of seeing where “Local Art and can take Local Weddings”.   Wedding and event industry vendors paired their talents with a local group of artists for somewhat of a nontraditional decorating competition.  Florists, stylists, caterers, and calligraphers embellished church pews that were inspired by beautiful paintings.  After choosing a painting and creating an inspiration board, the vendors designed their pews for display at the event. Dothan native Sarah-Elizabeth Cleveland, Executive Assistant at P.E.W.S., extended the invitation to her Mother and some of her friends to come up for the event.

 

Shown below:  Robert and Nita Carr, Rebecca Hassee, owner, and Sarah-Elizabeth Cleveland.

????????

Pictured below:  Nancy Woods of Birmingham, Ginger Pratt, Kathy Cleveland, and Mary Lise Parsons of Dothan.

????????

????????

 

The gallery’s bottom level featured whimsical pews that will soon be auctioned with the proceeds going to Cornerstone Schools.  Original local artwork along with artful food displays were captivating.

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

Savoie’s delicious and artful appetizers, displayed below, featured fresh local ingredients  . . .

????????

????????

????????

????????

Cake designer, Kimberly Wiggins, of Cakes by Kim did an incredible job showcasing her decadent desserts.

 

????????

 

????????

Another Dothan native, Sarah Morriss Ragan, the proprietor of Ragan House Lettering, chose to incorporate a stunning hand-crafted paper floral display on her pew.  Shown below are Amy Morriss, Sarah, and Mary Morriss.

????????

 

????????

????????

 

What a magnificent display of floral design ideas and vignettes!  The loft was literally transformed into a cacophony of different colors and textures.  Feast your eyes on the original and imaginative creations . . .

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

 

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

 

 “I think it went splendidly.  Everything seemed to go off without a hitch.  It wasn’t really a stressful day, in fact, I really enjoyed it!”   Sarah-Elizabeth Cleveland of P.E.W.S.

 

Flower Magazine, one of my very favorite magazines, was the event judge and ad sponsor for the event.

????????

Other featured sponsors -

????????

 

????????

 

“For the Southern bride who revels in tradition, there is no better option for ceremony seating than pews”. Meghan Chase

 

10303371_656159511106082_9211168269639203913_n

Spindle Photography

 

With home bases in Birmingham and Charleston, P.E.W.S. has an beautiful collection of pews for rental.  Check out their beautiful website.

http://rentpews.com/

 

 

 

 

Lots of Limelights

There is no doubt that my obsession with hydrangeas, particularly limelight hydrangeas, will ever wane.  In the oppressive heat of the Southern summer the Limelight hydrangea with its cool, green blooms comes to the rescue!  The geographic conditions here in lower Alabama seem to be ideal for the proliferation of these heavenly flowers.  In addition, they have been one of the main staples of my floral design this summer with my business, Garden Gate.  Before the summer comes to a close, I wanted to share some of the magnificent blooms I photographed in the area.

Featured below are limelights in their early blooming season toward the end of June.  I love the chartreuse color of the early blooms.

???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ????????

 Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’, vigorous and rapid growers, thrive best in full sun. These disease and insect resistant shrubs provide a range of seasonal color as they turn from lime green to a pink hue as their blooms persist into autumn.  

The images below were made in July and the first of August..

????????????????????????

 

???????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ????????

  Renowned professional gardener and popular television personality, P. Allen Smith, describes limelights as “stop the car” kind of shrubs, that have a “chameleon-like quality of changing colors through the seasons”. 

 

????????????????????????????????????????????????

Limelights are garden gifts that keep giving all year long – from their gorgeous appeal in summer arrangements to the dried blooms that can be enjoyed for months to come. 

???????? ???????? ???????? ????????

????????

 Truly limelights reign in the Southern summer garden!

An Engagement Celebration

Summer is the season for engagement parties and weddings, and what a  lovely bounty of  late summer flowers was available for an engagement party that my business partner and I had the pleasure of decorating for.  One of the most enjoyable aspects of preparing for the event was having access and cutting rights (of course!) to the glorious Southern garden at the beautiful home of Melissa and Jack Jackson.  Melissa, an avid gardener and gracious hostess,  makes giving a party seem almost effortless..

 

????????

 

The photographs below only partially depict the majestic splendor of the Jackson garden.

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

???????????????

????????

????????

????????

 

Blue and lavender hues from drying hydrangeas  along with Nandina berries added to the beauty of two urns of elephant ears at the front entrance.

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

A wreath of fresh eucaylptus, yellow roses,  hydrangeas, hosta,  and magnolia, centered with a miniature heart of preserved boxwood, made a welcoming display on the front door.

????????

????????

What a festive night of celebration!  Lisa Green of Celebrations at St. Andrew’s Market place provided quite a delicious smorgasboard.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=436132413143425&ref=br_tf

 

20140809-PIC_3704

Photograph courtesy of Kyn Pickett

????????

????????

???????? ????????

????????

????????

 

Congratulations, Elizabeth and Ben!

20140809-PIC_3718

Photograph courtesy of Kyn Pickett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk Through the Clark Garden – Therapy for the Soul

????????

????????

 

Tucked in the heart of Dothan’s garden district, Marty Clark’s quintessential cottage garden is truly a gardening masterpiece.   Marty has always admired the structured chaos of cottage gardens, embracing the fact that the structure is loose and that “real” rules of design need not be adhered to.  The classic boxwood lined beds and hedges of formal English gardens  appeal to her as well.  She cites her Texas grandmother as a gardening influence when she was a child.  Starting as a novice,  she credits her gardening friends for their mentoring over the years. Some of her favorite garden flowers include purple cone flowers, rudbeckia, ferns, acanthus and camellias.  Dense plantings of macho fern, cast iron plant, hosta other varieties of greenery, the bones of her garden,  form a lush, green backdrop against the shaded fenced garden.  Her masterful use of containers, garden statuary, and whimsical ornaments add to its welcoming charm and fairy-tale atmosphere . Majestic towering century old oak trees form a canopy over the backyard while vibrant perennial beds add pops of summer color. The stunning blooms of the Limelight hydrangeas are captivating in the front garden.   I have always considered her garden to be one of my very favorites, and was elated to have had the opportunity to photograph her magazine worthy garden and outside room in June and July.

 

“I have the good fortune of having a sunny front yard where I can grow a crazy mix of beautiful and colorful flowers, while in the remainder of the yard I am blessed with shade from large old oaks and where it is easily 5-10 degrees cooler.  There I can grow plants that cool and calm like ferns, acanthus, cast iron,etc.”

 

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

Marty loves all varieties of hydrangea, and she obviously has the magic touch with such varieties as Limelights, Oak Leaf,  and Endless Summer.

????????

????????????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

“If I plant something that doesn’t grow the way the plant ticket says it will I always move it.  I sometimes move it 2 or 3 times until I find its “happy place”.  If that doesn’t work I share it with my sons for their yards or with friends.  I rarely throw something away just because it didn’t do what I wanted it to do.  And ask gardener friends for advice when needed.  Gardeners are a wonderful network of knowledge and love to share it!”

 

Continue down the garden path  . . .

????????????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????????????

????????

 

Although Marty is a native of Laurel, Mississippi, she graduated from the University of Alabama.  Clearly, this is one garden statue that reflects her SEC loyalty!

 

????????

 

The Clark’s casually elegant outdoor room, anchored by an old brick fireplace, is filled with a plethora of carefully chosen rustic accessories and furnishings collected by Marty over the years.

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

 

Marty reflects on her passion for gardening:

“I love to travel and see the gardens and landscaping of the many places we have been fortunate to visit.  That also influences my garden a lot.  Gardening gives me a sense of peace and pleasure.  I always tell my husband “it’s cheaper than therapy”, and for me, it is therapy for my soul.  When things are looking especially pretty I thank God and remind myself He is the creator and I’m just His tool.”

 

????????

????????

 

Marty’s long-term landscaping investments have created a garden paradise.  Thanks for letting us through your garden gate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk Through the Keyton Garden

????????

????????

 Christy Keyton’s passion for gardening is evident as one walks through her home’s  front arbor and gate,  resplendent with masses of Confederate Jasmine.  Several Japanese Maple trees also grace the front garden.  The courtyard and walkways, fabricated with old brick, add to the garden’s charm.   Well known garden designer, Rhoda Boone, helped design the front courtyard, and Christy’s number one request was that  she pack in as many hydrangeas as possible into the design.  She shares my philosophy that everyone should have a garden full of hydrangeas!  Many more hydrangeas have been added since the initial design.   Limelights and Endless Summer varieties are the stars of her summer garden.  I captured images in early May just as the Endless Summers were beginning to bloom when Christy generously gave me “cutting rights” for an arrangement I was doing.  Now that the hydrangeas have faded into warm pink and green hues,  there will be even more blooms for Christy’s unique floral creations.

????????

????????

The swing, also made by the same craftsman who designed the Keyton’s arbor and gate, is a favorite garden spot, and was the recent setting of her son’s proposal!  Possibly a new Keyton tradition has been started…

????????

 

The Japanese Maple foliage and Endless Summer hydrangeas provide a beautiful contrast.

????????

????????

Christy’s gardening style was influenced and shaped by her Mother, Dale, an avid gardener who maintains a beautiful garden today even in her 80’s!  Her mother has a “very free flowing” style, and has raised hybrid roses since Christy’s childhood.  Also, cited as influences are the British edition of Country Living along with Susan Branch’s blog and books.  Susan’s white picket fence is the inspiration for her upcoming backyard renovation in which she plans to incorporate her own fenced garden which will be filled with herbs, perennials, fruit trees, and vegetables.

????????

????????

Delicate clusters of Plumbago cascade over the garden’s brick walls . . .

????????

????????

????????

 

This towering tree-form Limelight Hydrangea is glorious!

????????

????????

????????

????????

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a childhood favorite that profoundly influenced Christy’s love for gardening along with The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton which she read as an adult.  Christy is captivated by the idea of wandering into a hidden place that is magical and full of beauty.  These books helped  inspire the front garden’s arbor and gate.  Adding “secret garden rooms” in her backyard garden design is a goal that she now has in the planning stages.

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

A favorite vintage find:  an original seed packet display is shown below.

????????

 

Christy’s floral design talents are showcased below . . .

????????

????????

????????

????????

Christy updated the finish of this vintage tool caddy with milk paint.  How gorgeous the blooms look against the abundant backdrop of a  lush bed of Creeping Jenny!

????????

Christy’s passion and enthusiasm lie not only in her passion for gardening.  Through the years she has run a successful business, has been an advocate of homeschooling, and has taught her 8 children.  Christy is an inspirational speaker, a Bible teacher, and enjoys chalk painting vintage furniture.

????????

 

 “Just looking at all the beauty God has created in my garden quiets my soul . . . and of course I love all the flowers I can put in my home!”

 

Thanks, Christy, for letting us through your garden gate!

????????

Sunday Morning Garden Gifts

Joe Steever has many God given gifts, and each Sunday at Westwood Presbyterian Church, his opening piano prelude helps  set a worshipful atmosphere.  He not only shares his musical talents with the congregation, but he also captures the beauty of nature with his weekly floral arrangements.   Utilizing seasonal blooms from his spell binding garden, he faithfully shares a floral creation each Sunday.   Since he was going to be out of town today, he gave me “cutting rights” to his lovely perennial garden to use for an arrangement for today’s  service.  He and his wife, Jennifer, have done an outstanding job of making this garden district home their own.  Their imposing lot is filled with stately oak trees , magnolias, hydrangeas, azaleas, and heirloom camellias that are show stoppers in the fall and winter.

 

????????

 

A charming side entrance leads out to the garden –

????????

 

A gardener’s dream cutting garden of  beautiful perennials overlooks a welcoming swimming pool.  Dazzling  zinnias in all their glory –  hues of pink, orange, red, and yellow add a profusion of color while towering sunflowers lend their sunny energy.  Fuchsia colored phlox is ideal for incorporating into summer floral design.

 

????????

????????

 ????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

More garden beauty – 

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

What a delightful garden tour!  I promise to be back with more pictures when the camellias start blooming in the fall -

????????

 

 I headed home with my bucket, filled to the brim with brilliantly colored zinnias, to start arranging!

????????

????????

????????

????????

 

And the best part about arranging the flowers was our church’s tradition of giving bouquets from morning worship to the children in the congregation -

20140720_084407

20140720_114926

 

The amen of nature is always a flower –

 

????????

 

A Garden of Gardenias

How much grace the gardenia, the Queen of fragrant flowers, bestows on the Southern garden! It is easy to see why they have been a Southern garden staple for generations.  Their glossy green foliage,  creamy white, velvet-like blossoms, and intoxicating perfume help to create romance in the garden.  The garden district home of Kathy and Bob Cleveland has some of the most gorgeous bushes that I have ever seen. 

????????

????????

????????

????????

 Gardenias in one part of their garden form a hedge of exquisite blooms.

????????

????????

Gardenias thrive in pots on decks and patios,  and are ideal for placing along garden pathways, near windows, and on corners of a house.  Although their blooms are rather short lived after cutting, gardenias will produce blooms from spring up until fall.    While gardenias originated in the Orient, they were named in honor of Dr. Alexander Garden, an 18th century botanist and physician from Charleston, South Carolina.

????????

 

Camellias require relatively little care.  Below are tips recommended by expert growers:

1.  They grow best in a location that provides morning sun and dappled afternoon shade.

2.  Cow manure and compost are recommended for promoting optimal growing conditions.

3.  Camellias thrive best in acidic soil.

4.  Feed every 3-4 weeks during growing season with an acid fertilizer, fish emulsion, or blood meal.

 

I’m thankful to have “cutting rights” in the Cleveland garden.  The lovely garden urn below is from their garden.  

????????

????????

I enjoyed the sweet fragrance of gardenias in my home for several days.. 

????????

????????

????????

A few more scenes from their charming garden . . .

 

????????

????????

???????? ????????

????????

????????

 

Take a garden walk -

I love touring gardens, and I’m so fortunate to have friends who are master gardeners in their own right!  I thought readers would find it interesting to take a walk through their gardens.  For the next few weeks, I will be featuring five diverse, yet gorgeous gardens that are sure to bring beauty and inspiration into your day..

A traditional, more formal style garden-

????????

????????

A cottage-syled garden in the heart of Dothan’s garden district –

????????

????????

An English styled garden –

????????

????????

A shady woodland garden with over 150 varieties of hydrangeas and over 200 cultivars of hosta –

????????

????????

A Mississippi garden that has come “full circle” –

????????

????????

 

 

“Lovely flowers are the smiles of God’s goodness”. – Wilberforce

 

 

 

Celebrating the 4th!

As the 4th draws to a close, and I hear the resonance of fireworks in the distance, I am reminded of the freedoms we are so fortunate to have in our country. I hope, you, too, have reflected on the many things that make our country great.

????????

????????

  Limelight hydrangea blooms are certainly reason for celebration!

 

????????

 

An arrangement to kick off the holiday weekend using a few Gerbera daisies from a local grocery along with blooms from my yard and my neighbor’s!

????????

 

????????

My July 4th tablescape from 2013 is shown below.  The Limelights were in full bloom!

????????

????????

????????

 

A pitcher of blueberry lemonade with local berries from Gaucho Farms was the perfect thirst quenching beverage for a hot summer afternoon.   The vintage instrument tray and cart were used in my Daddy’s office years ago.

????????

????????

????????

 

???????????????????????????????

Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience.  Without God there is a coarsening of the society.  Without God democracy will not and cannot endure.  If we ever forget that we are on Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under“.  -President Ronald Reagan

????????

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy weekend….

Gaucho Farms: Experience Farm-to-Table at Its Very Best

????????

 

Jorge and Suzanne Wright Sanchez, true advocates of providing healthier alternatives to factory-farmed meats, poultry and vegetables, started Gaucho Farms based on model of The Pampas of Argentina, Jorge’s homeland.  This area,  known for its wide open grasslands and sustainable agriculture, has been successfully integrated in the south Alabama hamlet of Slocomb.  Located at 1808 Watford Road, the Sanchez family’s charming farm house and vegetable garden is captivating as you turn into the long driveway.  Although they have owned the 30 acres of farmland since 2007, their business was launched just four years ago.  Suzanne enthusiastically spoke of their goals with the farms:

“The overall vision of our business is two-fold.  We want to see how much nutritious food that we can produce sustainably.  Coming up we’ll be adding fruit, increasing our laying flock, and vegetable production.  The second mission is to engage the local community into sustainable farming and see them grow some of their own food”.  

 

????????

????????

 

????????

????????

????????

 

 Their garden features heirloom vegetables from certified organic, non-GMO seed.

 

????????

????????

???????? ????????

????????

 

Their store, located on the property and open to the public each Saturday from 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., features fresh vegetables such as  squash, tomatoes, beets, potatoes,  blueberries, and fresh farm eggs.  Other enticing specialties include local honey, cucumber salsa, pepper jelly, jellies, jams, and even homemade treats such as Paleo bars and chocolate chip zucchini muffins.  All poultry and livestock are free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and synthetic pesticides while the meat lambs and steers are 100% grass fed.  Their freezers are stocked with select cuts of the most delicious meat you will ever throw on your grill!

 

????????

Feasting on the fruits of their labor!

????????

 

 

???????? ????????

????????

????????

 

Although the Sanchezes feature a Fall Farm Day annually, each Saturday children and adults alike can have their own experience of farm life . . .

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

????????

???????? ????????

 

The blueberry picking is at a premium now at Gaucho Farms.  Blueberry picking is available daily from 7:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.  Load up  your family and take an excursion on the “Blueberry Express” to the blueberry orchards each Saturday from 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.  Bring your own bucket! 

 

????????

????????

 

How to order:  Preorder by Tuesday online at info@gauchofarms.com or by calling (334)-886-9736.  Pick up is at Thompson Chiropractic Clinic or at Dothan Nurseries.  You can visit the store at Gaucho Farms on Saturdays from 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. Check Gaucho Farms out on Facebook:

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gaucho-Farms/152574738106671

Without a doubt, the benefits that are reaped by those who both produce and consume local food, are essential to promoting a healthier lifestyle.  Buying local has many advantages such as the opportunity to get the highest quality foods affordably.   With the emphasis and interest in the Farm-to-Table movement in recent years, small diversified farms like Gaucho Farms are here to stay. Their enduring committment to the practice of sustainable agriculture is definitely making an imprint on our community, and will continue to influence other surrounding areas.

 

Suzanne points out the we should all be concerned about where our food comes from.  A favorite quote of hers by noted environmental activist, farmer, and author, Wendell Berry,  sums up the Gaucho Farms’ philosophy:

“Eating is an agricultural act”.

 

????????

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 663 other followers

%d bloggers like this: