Dave in the Garden of Benign Neglect

As you might guess from the title I paid a visit yesterday to a fellow garden blogger's garden to visit none other than Clay and Limestone's Gail.  She invited me up to collect a tree for our garden that she didn't have a home for after her patio area remodel.  The tree was a serviceberry.  A great tree to add to the landscape since it provides food for the birds and for people.  The berries are said to taste similar to blueberries although I've never been lucky enough to sample one.  Gail told me that it was a 5 foot tall tree with a large root ball and I thought in my head that since I've carried home taller trees in my car that it wouldn't be a problem.  Boy was I wrong!  With the help of a worker who was her doing house repairs we managed to get the root ball into the car.  Then we slid the root ball as far as possible toward the front of my vehicle...and left 3 feet of branches hanging out the back!  This really wasn't a good option since I had to travel the interstate to get back home.  I decided (sadly) to remove it and come back later with a truck.  At least that opened up room for the other plants Gail gave me! Maybe it's just time to get a bigger vehicle...

Despite the lack of success with the serviceberry it was great to get to see Gail's garden in person.  In fact it's only the second time I've met Gail in person.  The last time was a year ago when several Tennessee Garden Bloggers got together and had dinner before a Perennial Plant Society meeting at Cheekwood. It was fun walking through the Garden of Benign Neglect and seeing the change it's undergoing.  Her new Patio area looks fantastic.  They say pictures tell a thousand words but being there surely tells a thousand more.

The small grassy area next to the patio is a perfect place for drinking coffee in the morning, reading a book. or talking with fellow gardeners. I could easily imagine bringing the laptop outside to blog in this tranquil setting. The sitting wall is great too, although my daughter would probably make it into a balance beam!

Looking out to the back you can see why Gail blogs about Clay and Limestone.  It's a cedar glade in her own backyard. Eastern Cedar trees and rocky turf are challenges to garden with and Gail has adapted to her surroundings.

One of my favorite features in any garden are dry creek beds. They give the illusion of running water when there isn't any. They also break up spaces and add an element of structure. Dry creek beds can also do double duty as a functional element to help divert rainwater to other areas. 

I wish I had taken a picture of Gail's forsythias but I'm sure you'll see that on her blog soon!

Here's one last picture before we left.  Gail was holding my almost 16 month old daughter. I think I'm lucky I got her back!

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