Monday, January 4, 2010


I scrutinize the blogs of others. Tiny ideas from someone else's gardens become a big event in mine.  Maybe just an edging, maybe the use of two plants that I had not thought of combining. The best ideas come not just from USA and British blogs, but from others whose climate is somewhat similar to my own like certain areas of Australia, Malaysia and South Africa. Tyra's Greenhouse blog inspires, if only to be neater in my own greenhouse.

Sequoia Gardens
Golden Anniversary Garden -- Jack created a garden for his parents. I have a couple of years to work on this one for ourselves.
Rosemary Hedge -- I'm already using Rosemary as hedging, but not on the scale of Sequoia Gardens
Scatterseed packets -- I think these are what we call wildflower mixes; don't you love the name?

Hoe and Shovel
Meems has so many tropical ideas that sometimes work for my plantings.
Variegated liriope -- I had tons of the green kind, variegated is so pretty. I hope to divide this soon.

Dave of The Home Garden recently mentioned Beautyberry -- reminded me that I saw beautyberry elsewhere combined with Gulf Muhly, forgot where. Frances's pink Muhly was so inspiring, as was the pink muhly that bloomed behind the guard rail beside the river bridge in town. Dear Susie, my garden friend from Jones Lab, insured that Muhly came to my garden. Susie sings at my church. Her plants sing in Plantation gardens. Beautyberry is a plentiful native at the edges of our woods.

Tara Reminds me to look from the inside out.
Advocates using what is at hand, sophisticated use of common materials.
Tara assures one that the lawn can be a combination of plants.
Tara's Trilogy of Shrubs for the South is a new vision of common plants like Hydrangeas.

Janie introduced me to Bulbine, Pride of Barbados, Esperanza, Duranta, Earthkind Roses and other Texas delights. She shared rooted cuttings, seeds, bulbs and other delights of encouragement. I introduced Janie to Stokesia, among others, and sent her rooted  cuttings of Gardenia which she grows in pots because our soils are so different. If it grows in Texas, generally it grows here. I find ideas on many Texas blogs.

Back last summer, many of you posted pics of the Lurie Gardens in Chicago, an offshoot of the Garden gathering attended by many. That garden inspires with its drifts of salvias, one of my favs.

This video shows the garden through the eyes of tourists, but she manages some good shots of the salvias.
Salvia leucantha could be my Signature plant.

Another source of great pleasure were the many pics of Buffalo Garden Walk on various blogs.
These are just a few of the many inspirations I found on your blogs.

Who were the sources of your garden insprirations of the past year?


  1. I have received many ideas from you! I jot down the names of some of your spring bloomers, lilies, etc. I also like to see what you plant together. It is great that we can grow some of the same plants! I know you weren't looking for a compliment...but I gave it to you anyway!

  2. Your Salvia leucantha is gorgeous Nell Jean. Blogging is a great way to find kindred spirits and inspiration! I love your wildflower meadow! Lovely post. Carol

  3. Thanks for the link but you have me mixed up with the Dave's Garden site! No big deal to me but your readers might think they are going to another place. I do highly recommend beautyberry! ;)

  4. The error was in the name of your garden, The Home Garden. Not that Dave's Garden isn't a wonderful place, but it was you that I had in mind. I fixed the blog name, the link was correct.

  5. All over the place. From your scattered seeds in the spring creating a small wildflower meadow, to this one from Green Mansions Compost. The Gloaming of Summer. These ideas are the reason I now have a small meadow area of my own waiting for summer blooming cosmos, zinnias, and other reseeding annuals.

    I've also gotten inspiration from Cameron just up the road from me. Lavender and Knockout Roses just seem to work. The purple and reds (pinks) are beautiful. Jim from Frogview Cottage sent me Dianthus Pinks from his garden. I've got them all in the same bed with the roses and lavender.

    There are so many others, Janie for propagation techniques, others for wintersowing, and still others for combinations that I never would have dreamed of. If I were to stay in my own little world, I'd never see all these various gardens. Blogging has done more to open my eyes than anything else.

  6. I to have gotten so many ideas from you and other gardeners. It is so wonderful to have all this great knowledge and beauty from other gardeners who so generously give it to us.
    A beauty bush and some other red berried bush is definitely on my garden list.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful advice and gardening knowledge.

  7. Only in my imagination could I grow a hedge of rosemary, but what savory dream it is. It's just too cold for rosemary to winter over in nw Ohio. Great ideas and inspirations and I agree with Carol, blogging allows kindred spirits to find each other.

  8. I think I take a piece of each blogger whose blog I read. Hard to pin down too many specific ones. I think it is all these talented folks who inspire us to come back day after day (and hoping they come to visit me as well!)

  9. Sometimes it is about learning to see (dreary old familiar) plants thru someone else's fresh new eyes, and delight again!

  10. Hello Nell,

    I enjoy inspiration from you and other gardeners who share my zone 8b. I have been wondering if I can grow Abutilon...I have to check, it is so beautiful. However, I also love seeing all the different types of plants that I cannot grow on other's blogs.

  11. What a lovely tribute to your blogging friends!

  12. reading other blogs often give me inspiration as well and makes me think outside of my comfort zone

  13. Hello, my inspirational blogger friend.

    Beautyberry....every time I see a photo of it I feel I must some day have one of my own.


  14. I get my inspiration from a few different places - all over the blogosphere (bloomingwriter costs me a fortune. Every time I visit her I see a new perennial I want to own, same with Frances.)

    I get a lot of ideas while hiking in the mountains surrounding my home - which are generally filled with native wildflowers. :)

  15. What a nice post, Nell Jean, and thanks so much for the mention and the link. Was just thinking about you and all your gardening wisdom this morning and thought I'd take a moment to see what you were saying today. What a nice surprise. I don't have much time for hanging out at Blotanical or on blogs but when I do I gain insight and ideas from each one I read. The gardening community in general is generous and kind and we love to share what we know and love. Hugs to you, dear lady. Hope you're staying warm in this unusually cold weather the south is having this week.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

  16. Getting ideas and inspiration from other blogs is one of the certain benefits of belonging to a community of garden bloggers, such as Blotanical. I'm taking notes all the time. :-)

  17. How clever of you to feature other bloggers and provide links. Another way of expanding the family of gardeners. Great post!

  18. Gardeners share so freely compared to many other hobbyists! Lots of ideas, seeds and plants get passed along.


  19. I am inspired by EVERY blog I read. So many fresh ideas that make you say "why didn't I think of that". Bloggers always amaze me!

  20. I totally agree with you when it comes to inspiration.
    That flooding moment where I want to put all my time & hands on my garden.

  21. I have actually become overwhelmed by the number of GREAT garden blogs, yours included, Nell Jean! It used to be that I could keep up with those that I followed, and now I just can't. Of course, working more than I used to hasn't helped with that. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. I feel like I was able to visit the same blogs more often, even daily, but now it's impossible, so I pick a few each day and read them. Likewise, for me to name all those that have inspired me would be near impossible. I think I learn something from each gardener's blog I read!

  22. Everybody is inspiring me these days. Not just in gardening, but creativity. Thanks for your posts, thanks for sharing!

  23. When my husband doesn't want to listen to my rambling about vole holes and freezing temps I can write about it on my blog and people will actually read it and relate to my garden woes and triumphs.
    Garden inspiration for me comes from being in the woods seeing what nature throws together.

  24. Oh, Nell, you don't realize what an inspiration you are to people! I would never have grown a bulb, had it not been for your encouragement and generously sharing your knowledge. I love my stoksia, and I am jealous of it, even now that it has multiplied. Rose Campion is another, as is Sileen. Plants that I had never heard of, I now treasure, because of you.

    I learn from the blogs, and I feel like these people are friends. I get something from every blog I read. I am so happy I joined this family!

    Some, like Tom, or FlowerLady in Fla. I have known for a long time now, and we have taught each other what we learned along the way. Others are new friends, like Amy and AZplantlady, and foster my love of native plants, and really light me up with their love of plants.

    Honestly, it is the MOST fun to get in a bunch of people who love plants, who love gardening.

    I have a legal tablet that serves as a mouse pad for me. It is very convenient for jotting down ideas I read on the blogs. When the page gets full, I just flip it over and start a new page.

  25. Thank you, Jean! You have no idea (no, I guess you do!) how inspiring it is to have another gardener whom you greatly respect pay you a compliment. So often we need other people's appreciation to make us realise what we have achieved. Please tell us the scientific name of the beautyberry - it is lovely, but I suspect might just become invasive here if the birds like it too!

  26. Jack, According to Floridata, Callicarpa americana, or Beautyberry often volunteers within its range, sometimes with such vigor as to be regarded as a weed species. I would agree. There are other cultivars, some of which might not be so inclined to spread about.

    Thank you all for those kind words. If I failed to include you as a personal inspiration, it was not an intentional slight. I am inspired by every garden I see in a blog. Some come to mind when I look at pics from my own garden and I want to show you.

    While it is so cold, relatively speaking, I am going through my copious notes to see what comes next. Every garden bed has a name, each bed has a project file with photos from previous years and a history file of failures and successes. Now, if the actual beds were as neat and well organized, I'd be in good shape. I look forward to lots of surprises, soonest.

  27. The Internet is such a wonderful thing, and it amazes me because we never dreamed of such a thing not too many decades ago. Not only that, the WWW is a whole different world. Now it has brought us all together. Lucky us!

  28. Enjoyed the Video clip....and the Salvia's... They will be in bloom here shorty... in a riot of colours...Reds n the Violets! I recently saw a slide show on Chicago beautiful Botanical Garden n New Orleans Gardens., which hosted the International Bonsai Congress in June 2009.... It was informtive. Thx for sharing the ideas you picked up from blogger friends here:)

  29. Hi Nell Jean, this is wonderful, and so true. The garden blogs are the best source of ideas, no matter the climate. Some we cannot ever grow here, bulbine, but so enjoy seeing it in the gardens of others. I keep a pad to jot down the names of plants that might like it here seen on the postings. Whatever did we do before so many wonderful blogs came on the scene?

  30. Oh my goodness, I've had so many garden inspirations over the past year, from all the wonderful bloggers out there. I'm glad to see Salvia leucantha as your signature plant. I just LOVE it. I'll have to check out the rosemary hedge.

  31. Nell Jean, It has been gratifying to get to know you along with the host of funny, knowledgeable, generous gardeners in the blogging community. That's what it feels like, too; a community of sympathetic hearts and minds. I've learned about plants and about writing and about photography and about garden design, and the list goes on, from this great group. Inspirations, all.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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