Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Am Ready To Shop... for Plants

I am ready to shop for plants. Why aren't the nurseries filled with things I need to get?

I don't need pansies....they shall croak when the temps hit the 70s and the trees haven't leafed out.... and would you please stop selling the exotic invasives. We all have enough in our yards already.

Goodness, I don't mean to whine...the temperatures are perfect the mosquitoes aren't out and I want to get some plants into the ground. I am a girl (of a certain age) who has the energy to work right now, but the plants aren't here yet. SIGH!

So I am going to visit Cheekwood. (click on photos to enlarge)

Cheekwood is our botanical garden. It is modest when compared to other cities but it does pack a lot into its 100 acres. The Cheeks of Maxwell coffee fame and fortune built a country estate in the late 1920's on the western edges of Nashville. Now in the 20's the western edge of Nashville meant woods and forest. But don't think rustic country home. Cheekwood is a marble floored mansion with a grand entrance and magnificent gardens.

How is this for a view from your patio?

The property was developed into a botanical garden and art museum during the 50's and 60's and hosts a big society ball each summer. We don't get invited. Do you mind? I don't mind!

Here is a view of downtown Nashville from the service entrance. Don't you love our Batman building?

I visit the gardens frequently and while I enjoy all the gardens, the Howe Wildflower garden is where I always head.

Please join me on my field trip to the garden....

Here we are walking down the sidewalk past Botanical Hall through the Lady Banks Rose arches (will bloom later).

We pass through the Carroll Dogwood Garden. Also not in bloom.

I promise you they are lovely in bloom. They have cornus mas, cornus florida and today I noticed they have an evergreen dogwood...Cornus capitata.

Here are the yellow twig and red twig dogwoods. Aren't they good looking massed like that. They look best when not in bloom.

Fianlly, the Cora Howe Wildflower Garden.

Cora Howe's garden, Wilding, was moved in its entirety to Cheekwood in the late 1960's. Along with Cora's beautiful stone shed , the stone walls and garden ornaments.

This garden was the inspiration for my turning my grass over to woodland. I remind myself and others that gardening is a process!

There isn't much blooming but you can see the bones of this garden clearly in the winter. The garden is on a hillside and water drains into the large koi pond. There are few evergreen plants and shrubs in the garden; Leucothoe ( not certain which one), toothwort a native and exotics arum italicum and hellebores.

This is a large water feature, I am not sure if it was original to her garden but it fits in nicely.

Cheekwood may host society balls but I love that it is not perfect...

The path to nowhere:

and black plastic pot refuge:

We'll visit again when the wildflowers are in bloom.



  1. Oh, how I love Cheekwood, and for all the reasons you pointed out. And I'm ready to shop the local nurseries too, but no money! Drat it all! ;)

  2. ivy,

    Have you stopped by before? Welcome...

    Yes Cheekwood is terrific...have you gotten involved with any of the children's programs there?


  3. great post! i love cheekwood too. my favorite part is the pond they used for swimming pool and the humongous wisteria growing next to the mansion. great post and super pics! you need to post some when the plants are in bloom too!

    i did not know they had so many arum italicum. i like this little plant. do you have it?

    gail, you would not believe how much talk in town the yucca tulip article in the paper generated! love it! more than the blog because some folks don't read blogs-the nerve! go figure. i am going to try to change that and maybe add a few more tennessee bloggers. can't have too many can you?

  4. The place looks like it would be beautiful once it's in bloom.

    I too, am anxious for spring. I've grown accustomed to waiting forever for flowers up here. All this talk though is making me more impatient than usual. DH and I are always out flower shopping the minute the nurseries start opening their doors. Sadly it will still be quite a while here. SIGH!

  5. Tina,

    Wow on the yucca tulips...that is wonderful and it will bring you more readers!
    I had a visit from another Tennessee blogger see Ivy, first post, but Ivy isn't a garden blogger.

    I plan on visiting and posting the bloom photos.

    Always glad when you stop by.

    I do have a few arum but that garden is old!



  6. cinj,

    How much longer...another month or more? I can't imagine that kind of winter any more after 30 years here.


  7. Great tour!! That Lady Banks walkway is going to be beautiful soon. The black pot garden was entertaining--I got one just like it. lol Next time you get bored--come see me!

  8. gail-has your arum ever bloomed? mine hasn't but the leaves alone are worth it.

  9. Looks like you had a great day for the visit. I need to get up there sometime. It's been a long time since I visited. I would love to see all those different dogwoods you pointed out.

  10. Tina,

    I don't think they have but the foliage is terrific.


  11. Dave,

    It is worth the visit, right now there is little in bloom. The sculpture trail is fun for little kids and adults.

    If you get a chance and you are in to wildflowers go to the fair, which I forgot to post about!


  12. uh oh-doesn't bode well for mine. i moved them last fall into more sun and am hoping that does the trick. i bet those ones at cheekwood bloom beautifully!

  13. Ya. I'd say at least a month. Bummer huh? Then it's usually pansies until right before Mother's Day. At least I don't have too long that I need to remember to deadhead and weed!

  14. cinj,

    My son is in RI and they may still get snow...he misses the warm temps...here's to early warming days.


  15. I'm new here, I've been looking for more garden blogs that are local, I'm glad I found you!

    I've not been involved with any of the children's programs, but I keep meaning to look into it!

  16. Ivy,
    You have several blogs which is your garden blog?


  17. Hi, Gail!
    What a wonderful walk through what must be a beautiful place to visit! I assume you'll be going back from time-to-time... will you "take" me with you???
    The arum make an interesting display when they're so thick. I planted a few here and there a year ago last fall ("miles" apart from each other)and they grew. I'm going to watch them this year. ;-)

  18. Shady,

    I love the way the arum look...some folks think they are thuggish but not in my garden.

    I will indeed be glad to take you along when I visit this garden again.



"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson