Blogging friends~~ Are you ready for a trip over the Cumberland Plateau, east on I-40 to the foothills of the Smokies to see Frances and the lovely garden (Fairegarden) she has made? I thought so. Here we go~~~all photos enlarge with a click!
Frances had visited me earlier this summer and we had a grand time. On top of sharing a deep passion for gardening, blogging and our families we really liked one another! Now it was my turn to visit her. The soonest I could arrange to visit was in late October. Always an iffy time to schedule a visit to a garden, but we were lucky and a frost hadn't taken out the fall blooms.
As I exited the interstate and made my way to Frances' house, I wondered what the garden would really look like! I had a picture of it in my head, but hadn't been able to pull all the parts together.
Seeing Frances with a big welcome smile was wonderful. I was glad to see her, but right there, in front of my car was
Pink Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris). Fairegarden's iconic fall plant!
Isn't it magnificent? I don't think I have seen a better stand of this beautiful grass anywhere else. Frances has used it through out the garden and
it back lights very nicely.
I am getting ahead of myself! We grabbed my suitcase and the other very important travel paraphernalia, dropped it off in the house and headed into the garden~~~talking a mile a minute! Perhaps, this is the time to tell you that we had so much to discuss about gardening, life, whatever, that I actually forgot to take photos! Not always, but some of the time!
We decided to pace ourselves and work from a schedule! We would explore the garden, explore the town, visit a few garden centers, eat good food, and spend a little time blogging....and dig plants!
But, really aren't you ready to see more garden photos! Who cares what we did or that we saw alpaca grazing in a field!
Or, that we ate a scrumptious orzo dish Frances made from the saffron she collected in her garden!
Crocus speciosus or C sativus...I forgot to ask!
Here are the garden photos and an answer to the big question?
...Yes, Fairegarden is on a hill!
I am standing on a piece of flat ground that is at the back of the house looking up. You can see the garden shed on the left side of the photo. The top of the pond is visible at the bottom left. A very deep pond, I am told!
To the left of the pond are these fantastic stairs....concrete inset with Mexican pebbles.
Created by Frances! I really like this planting, the color of the ajuga and its leaf shape are echoed by the inset pebbles.
Here is a much better view of the hillside garden and pond. This may be my favorite view of the garden. You can see the Muhly, roses and the Sheffies. I love the combination of pinks and burgundies. Frances, you are good!
Not all the garden is on the hill....there is a very nice level area at the top! But a good part of it requires climbing the stairway to the very top! When you arrive there you can sit on a bench overlooking the Knot Garden and the hillside. I could insert a fantastic shot of the garden as seen from above but, this is one of those times I forgot to take a photo!
Trust me it was lovely!
Standing at the Knot Garden you can look all the way over to the other side of the garden where Ferngully once resided over a large part of the plantings.
Massive seed heads of Joe-Pye Weed near Ferngully. When I say massive, I mean massive!
A bed next to the Knot garden...the Mistflower is never an easy flower to capture! There are Sheffies, Pink Muhly and salvia planted throughout this bed. Thank you Mother Nature for holding back the freeze!
I wish I could fly you over the garden for a bird's-eye-view!
It is a gorgeous hillside garden. Terraced with perennials, bulbs, annuals, grasses, shrubs, small trees and ground covers. Where ever you look are
and delightful vignettes;
shrubs and grasses
thoughtfully placed to catch the sunset.
Beautiful flowers and unusual
shrubs; some with rich winter coloring, or
and delightful vignettes;
shrubs and grasses
thoughtfully placed to catch the sunset.
Beautiful flowers and unusual
shrubs; some with rich winter coloring, or
Everywhere there is evidence of Frances' passion for gardening and this garden!
(added later) Here we are, two very good friends being quiet for a moment.
You can read Frances' parallel story here.
*Faire~~ a French verb meaning to do or make; Garden, a German noun meaning a rich, well-cultivated spot!
Hi Gail, you have done a wonderful job showing off my garden through your eyes. I am sure you took a photo looking out from the bench, did the garden cast a spell on your camera, allowing only what it wanted to be shown? I don't doubt it. Our posts are parallel, just like our blogging inside the house. I loved having you and missed you immediately after you left. They are calling for frost tonight as the high temp of the day is right now, before sunrise. The garden will transform, maybe the leaves will get going with their fall coloration, but I am not sad. It is they way of nature.ReplyDelete
Gail - it's been lovely to see both yours and Frances' dual posts on your visit.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about talking non-stop when meeting a blogfriend. Emails and comments just aren't the same afterwards when you can talk non-stop for hours are they?
Good morning Gail, thanks for sharing your visit with Frances at the beautiful Fairegarden. I enjoyed seeing it through your eyes! Glad you had such a wonderful visit. You must be very busy getting all your new plant treasures in the ground!ReplyDelete
A perfect post on Faire Garden! It is so beautiful in any season and I really must get some of that iconic fall plant Frances has so well made very popular! I bet you guys really had the best. I am on my way to Frances' to read her post. It is always neat seeing each blogger's perspective on the same thing-and on the same day too:) ttylReplyDelete
Wow .. I am totally in love with the Pink Muhly ? grass .. a signiture plant is a great idea for everyone's garden .. I am going to think about that one !ReplyDelete
When you show a hill .. it is a HILL .. I knew Frances had some tough areas .. but that is steep !
It is great to hear/watch ? when two garden bloggers get to visit each other's gardens .. we all have a different perspective even of our own garden .. so seeing it through another gardener's eyes is wonderful.
Great garden mission accomplished girl !
Gail ~ It is so neat to see your view of Faire Garden! It sounds like you had a nice visit and I enjoyed the photo of the alpacas too!ReplyDelete
It's obvious that you had a wonderful time visiting Frances! The garden photos are just perfect. Thanks so much for taking us along on your garden tour.
I loved your perspective of Fairegarden, and I'm so happy you got to visit! Your photos gave me an entirely new view of Frances' lovely garden, too. I'm heading over to fairegarden to see Frances' post - what fun to "listen" to your visit. I hope you'll both get to visit here one day.
Thank you for sharing your visit with us, Gail -- Frances' garden is every bit as lovely as I knew it would be. Wouldn't it be great if we could all gather somewhere and meet? Oh, the stories we'd have to tell. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for the visit and the wonderful tour. I love best the photo of you two at the end. What beautiful smiles.~~DeeReplyDelete
The tour was well worth the wait. Thank you and yes she has done a fantastic job.ReplyDelete
Good morning Gail, I enjoyed seeing Frances' garden through your eyes. The Euonymus in the last photo looks familiar. I have one growing along the lane leading to my house. Frances' is the only other I've seen.ReplyDelete
Frances, Isn't it uncanny that we wrote so similarly about the visit! My point of view had to be the garden. ...You don't know this, because I forgot to tell you, but several bloggers asked about your hill and I did want to show the blogging world what a beautiful garden you had created in a challenging site. I hope I was able to convey that to the garden blogging world!ReplyDelete
Next visit I will have a laptop and we can blog all over the garden! Spring will be lovely, but then so is early summer, hmm...there is Spring Fling! So many opportunities to visit!
I hope you know how dear you are to me and that I value our friendship!
We had a good time...isn't Fairegarden a beautiful garden? I expect that we will make visits over the mountain a lot during the growing seasons!
Do you visit with other bloggers very often?
What a great tour of Frances' garden! Her garden is so diverse its always fun to look at. It definitely looks like you had a great time!ReplyDelete
It was great to see more of Frances' garden from your point of view. How beautiful it is ... what a treat it must have been to spend time together. Your plants in the previous post look incredible. Lucky you!ReplyDelete
gardengirl, You know it is a beautiful garden! I wished that all of you gardenblogging friends could have been with us on the visit. It would have been fun on the hillside...there are so many treasures to discover and new perspectives on plantings. Thank you for joining me in the story telling part of the adventure, you folks make it so much fun!ReplyDelete
Everything is in except some plants I have potted up that can survive a light freeze! Are you ready for the big change in weather?
Tina, Did I capture Fairegarden? it is not an easy garden to describe or photograph to capture the whole place. I sure wished I had a wide angle lens!ReplyDelete
You have to get the Muhly grass! It would look gorgeous in your garden!
Thank you, I wanted everyone to see this spectacular garden! It is quite a hill...I could have a nice set of legs going up and down those hills! Must exercise more!
What would be your iconic plant? Wen I think of your garden, the vignette that comes to mind is the planting with the driftwood...it is beautiful!
You captured some beautiful photos of France's garden. It's always nice to see a garden through someone else's eyes. I'm so glad you gals had a good visit.ReplyDelete
cindy, The alpacas were so cute. We drove by the farm and hoped to stop but the business was closed. The woman spins her own yarns and makes beautiful throws and other creations. Your daughter would love the herd!ReplyDelete
Thank you for coming with us! How is your garden after the frost? Did I remember correctly that you were going to have a change in weather? Ours is coming tonight and I might cover some plants up...since the weather will rebound to the 60's. I love denial!
I would love to visit your garden! Maybe I can convince Frances to take a tour of gardens in the southeast! What fun...we would need a trailer for all the plants we would bring and purchase along the way!
You would love her garden! I would suggest coming to visit both of ours but she is 3 hours from my house!
I am hoping that you will attend Spring Fling in Chicago! On the other hand a trip to Canada would be a delightful time! Must think about this!
Did I capture the hill at Fairegarden? Is is not easy to convey distance with my camera!
Gail, I have seen so many photos of Frances' beautiful garden on her blog, but it is really interesting to get a different person's perspective on it. I can only imagine how excited you must have been to see it in person--it's truly a wondrous place.ReplyDelete
I love all your photos--the close-ups are spectacular!
Aren't you sweet! I like that photo, too! Thank you for coming along with us...you know you were all with us as we chatted and gardened. We talked about plants we had seen at various garden blogs...I mentioned the beautiful Blanket Flower you showcased while we are visiting a very special nursery. I couldn't locate it here, either! We both agreed that we love your new blog look! Isn't blogging fantastic and aren't bloggers the very best to share their ideas and plantings with us!
I am glad you came along with us...I wish I had half the energy Frances has!
Isn't the Euonymous wonderful? Frances told me the name...but I didn't write it down. I was very taken with it! You would so like her garden, it has some little gems like the euonymous everywhere!
We did! Your daughter would have a great time scrambling up and down the hill! You would too!
It is a lovely garden and I did hate to leave it! One could spend time discovering many different plants and combinations. I think a video would be a good idea!
Frances is a generous soul! I am very appreciative of the plants she shared! The muhly looks good in its new home and I look at it everyday and marvel at such beauty.
You know I've been looking forward to this review of Frances' garden and your visit. It is a daunting task to capture another gardener's pride and joy and I would add especially one with Fairegarden's reputation. You, my dear, have done a splendid assessment. You've made me feel like I was with you, as well as confirming all the posts Frances has so beautifully shared with us of her very own rich, well-cultivated spot.
It is a magnificent garden with so many interesting elements. Unlike anything here in the flatlands of Florida. So glad to be included in your visit. You took great photos... that muhly grass just cannot be viewed enough in all its glory.
We had a big time of it! It is so much fun to spend time with another passionate plant person! I know you understand that completely!
I was excited. I didn't even want to take the time to carry the luggage into the house! Frances was able to corral my must see the garden enthusiasm and organize us! Isn't her garden beautiful? I do wish that you all were with us, you were in spirit but I would have loved to turn to you and say..Rose, did you see that planting?
Thank you...I hoped to captured how beautiful and energizing her garden really is! She does a marvelous job of showing us, so I have a big yardstick to measure it against!
Magnificent may be the exact word to use to describe what Frances has 'made'. The Muhly is too incredible to describe...I was pleased the photo turned out so well! I think internet sales of that plant have increased since Frances first showcased it! It is wonderful. Plant zones 6, 7, 8 and 9!
As always, it is fun visiting with you!
Gail - this is a delightful post all round. Seeing Frances garden through your eyes, and seeing you and Frances together at the end - just great.ReplyDelete
I loved your boot-full of plants in the previous post too.
What a fantastic post! I can tell by the smiles on your faces you had a wonderful time.-Randy
Gail - My husband and I have thought of raising alpacas for some time now. We still have some work fixing up the property though before they can be added to the mix but it's still an often thought about dream and seeing alpacas (in person or picture) always brings it back to the top of the thoughts.ReplyDelete
This is great documentation of Frances garden, looking at it through somebody's others eyes :)ReplyDelete
Idea is great! Pictures and your story as well :)
That pink grass is amazing! I love it! I want it! :)))
Thank you for best wishes to Atomik - he is much better today :)
What fun! It is interesting to see Fairegarden through your eyes and camera lens. I'll have to scoot right over now and read Frances version!ReplyDelete
Hi Gail! What a great post on your visit to FaireGarden! It is obvious from your words and photos what a wonderful time was had by all. I always say "it is such a small world we live in" and the story about how you both met and hit it off just goes to show....I know you will both enjoy many years to come in friendship. It will be fun to see a post in the future of Frances' signature plants growing in your garden. Thank you for sharing your fun visit with us.ReplyDelete
Wasn't the 'boot' fun all stuffed with plants! I wish we had great words like boot and trainers and brollies! Word envy!
Frances' garden is now indelibly printed on my memory. It was a pleasure to visit and share it with you.
We had a great time! I do think we were exhausted after wards! Has the frost nipped your garden yet?
I have a weak spot for hills, Gail, whether it be Tennessee, Alabama or Faire Garden ! Thanks for showing us Frances' beautiful garden . Sometimes it takes seeing it through someone else's eyes to make us appreciate it more.ReplyDelete
How serendipitous for Frances to drive me by the alpacas...so some day your sweet little girl will be enjoying these interesting creatures!
Hi Gail! Like everyone else, we loved your story and photos. We've always been in awe of Frances's Faire Garden, and we think your description captures it beautifully. But best of all, we love the final photo of the two of you together. Just adorable! Er. Growing up as we did in nashville, we always think of Middle Tennessee as being the Nashville/Murfreesboro area. Is that where Clay and Limestone is? And if so, is it really another 3 hours to Frances's? We were hoping to drop by en route to or from Nashville when we went down for Thanksgiving, but if that's the case, maybe we'd better wait 'til spring break when we're en route to Asheville. What do you think?ReplyDelete
You must get some! I wonder if piet Oudolf has it at his nursery? He does have a nursery in Belgium doesn't he? Easier to ship from Europe then the US!
Gail, It is wonderful that you and Frances have developed a good friendship! :-) Thank you for your tour of her wonderful garden. You both are indeed creating fond memories.ReplyDelete
Robin, We had a great time and I hope I captured Fairegarden's fantastic looks! It is funny that Frances and I posted about a lot of the same things! I am glad you stopped by!ReplyDelete
I have some photos of the Muhly in the garden that i want to share! We had fun. She is a great hostess...I can recommend Chez Fairegarden, a wonderful Bed and Breakfast spot for all garden lovers!
We have beautiful hills in this state but none as lovely as France's Fairegarden! If you travel to Florida during the growing season...you have to stop by to see her!
We do have a lovely friendship...I feel so fortunate to have met her. Isn't her garden lovely! Now come on down here and visit!
Our Friend Ben,ReplyDelete
I live in Nashville! Out West End Avenue near St Thomas Hospital....in the older suburbs. Frances lives off of I-75 between Chattanooga and Knoxville! Murfreesboro is southeast of us! Wait until Spring Break on the way to Asheville...the garden will be so lovely then. Plus Frances spends time at a great ice cream shop in Asheville...I can vouch for the ice cream. It was delicious!
Her garden is lovely and a must see if you are going to be nearby!
If you venture into Nashville over Turkey weekend let me know!
How beautiful! Every garden a delight for the eyes and I would assume all of the senses. I am very intimidated though-such a lot of work and planning. Glad you had such a good visit. Isn't it wonderful to be able to share your gardening passion with someone of like mind?ReplyDelete
It's so neat to see a garden through someone else's eyes--Frances must treasure that perspective. And it's a spectacular garden (and my gosh, she harvests her own saffron!) Thanks for sharing your trip.ReplyDelete
I couldn't envision the garden that Frances created...she is a visual person. It would intimidate me to even attempt to garden on that scale! It is absolutely lovely isn't it! A sensual delight is the perfect description.
It is fun to share gardening with Frances...I have a garden pal here but she doesn't want to talk about plants like I seem to need to!
I am glad you enjoyed the tour! It was a fun visit and I came home inspired along with a car full of plants!
We need to have a southeastern garden bloggers meet up!
A hillside garden is not easy to photograph, but you did a marvelous job of showing a wide view of it, and your pics confirm how lovely I knew Faire Garden to be from Frances's images. That picture of you two together really shows how much you enjoyed each other's company. What a fun visit!ReplyDelete
Wow, oh wow, oh wow. All other appropriate adjectives are momentarily wiped out of my vocabulary. It's so hard to capture a garden on camera, you know it has to be ten times more splendid in real life so I'm trying to visual that. You can tell there are many hours of love put into her garden. It's wonderful you live close enough to visit, share plants and build a friendship. Thanks for the great tour. Now to the burning question tho ~ what is the spike of fuschia in the photo you've captioned "wherever you look are colorful plantings??" I MUST know. It's exquisite.ReplyDelete
Gail it's suppose to be 35 degrees here tomorrow night, but I don't expect a good frost for another few weeks. We'll go below freezing before then though, I would expect. Last year we only had three or four good frosts.ReplyDelete
I often wished to have a better camera to capture her garden. It is huge and covers the entire hillside property. If you come this way again...you have to make sure you are passing through the Knoxville area...then you can visit Fairegarden.
Spring Fling in Austin opened the flood gate to gardeners connecting; even folks who couldn't make the event are visiting one another. Isn't it wonderful! You and your committee did a wonderful job Pam!
I have asked Frances to ID the flower for you! ...she told me, but it never made it into long term memory! I love the contrast of the two colors and the flower forms. I think Frances is very good at pulling these elements together.
...Where is a garden Stacy or Clinton to give me notes to carry to the nurseries...so I don't take home the garden equivalent of the same t-shirts each time;-)
Isn't Fairegarden a fun place!
I know that frosts are a signal that the end of fall is near but I still want to hold onto the bloom a bit longer! Just three or four frosts! Sometimes we get very cold dips...down into the teens!
Hi Gail, Sorry, today is laundry day and the cupboard was emptied during the weekend so serious restocking took place. The comments are heartwarming as are your replies. About the plants, the aster is A. frikartii 'Monch' and the fuchsia flower is Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail', read about in Piet's book and mail ordered from Forestfarm.ReplyDelete
Gail - I have one blogfriend Threadspider whon I see almost weekly. But then she only lives a 10 minute walk from me! We met via our blogs, but it turns out we went to the same school over 30 years ago. Amazing coincidence - eh? A bit like the Tulsa connection you and Frances have found. I've also met about another 15 or so UK bloggers this year. It's been the best bit about blogging and like you and Frances, I've talked non-stop with each one. I guess things like that are so much easier here in the UK as the distances aren't so great. I think it's wonderful that you and Frances will continue your trips 'across the mountain', just like I go up the hill to see Threadspider :)ReplyDelete
It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Who wouldn't enjoy doing all of their favorite things with a friend? Glad the garden beauty was able to hold out for you to enjoy.ReplyDelete
I loved reading about your visit, both here and on Frances' blog. Your pictures of her garden are just fantastic, but I agree with everyone else - the best picture is of the two of you.ReplyDelete
It is wonderful to see Faire Garden through your eyes Gail. It is beautiful. You ladies look like sisters too. Sisters of the garden.ReplyDelete
what lovely photos I am very envious of the gardens.ReplyDelete
Gill in Canada
Frances' garden is just amazing. I'm still sighing in appreciation. We can see from that last picture that y'all had an absolutely fabulous time. Here's to many more such adventures together, and the blog posts that result from them!ReplyDelete
Thank you Gail for asking Frances to ID the Persicaria and a big thanks to Frances for the name! I am off to look that one up ~ I'm feeling an order coming on....ReplyDelete
Glad to help! Can't wait to see how you use it in your garden.
It is a very lovely and amazing garden! While your garden is not hilly, I think that you would recognize a kindred gardening spirit in how she works with plants.
She's a lot of fun, too! We had a very nice time.
I am so glad you stopped by and enjoyed the photos of Frances' garden. It is a special and fun place to visit. What is your garden like?
Don't you just love her hill garden and her spirit? We had a great time ...with more visits to come. I have to see the garden during the spring!
I think it is the only photo we have of us together...her son took it the last night as he was grilling our dinner! Chicken!
it is hard to photograph her garden and make it look bad! It is just a great garden! I am very glad to stopped by to say hello and take a peak at the photographs!
Here you are getting ready to get really cold weather. Brr. Didn't winter just end up there? We were lucky the frosts held off until tonight...you know I covered up some plants I want to save...our weather will be back in the 60s for the weekend. I am in total denial that we shall have winter here! Thank you for popping by to say hello! gail
It sounds like Kathleen is very interested in the Persicaria! I can see why, it is a lovely plant and it looks wonderful with the Aster.
How fantastic- I love that you guys visited each other and your descriptions and pictures.ReplyDelete
A visit?! Wouldn't that be fun! :-)ReplyDelete
What fun you had with Frances! Her garden is so beautiful and your photos are great as well.ReplyDelete
What a great tour of Frances' garden Gail. I just know you 2 had a great time. Her garden looks so luscious & full.ReplyDelete
Her garden is lush and full! That is a perfect description..I do wish I could lush mine up a bit! You know what I mean?
Her garden is beautiful and it was fun to visit her. I think the photos came out nice; it was important to show her garden in all its beauty.
It really would.
We wish we lived closer, like you Austin Gardeners! The TN gardeners live far from one another!
How great you two met up for a second time this year!ReplyDelete
Absolutely beautiful photos of France's garden. I've just discovered her delightful blog, now I'm looking forward to reading yours, also.
We really like visiting with one another!
Thank you, I am feeling very complimented by your comment. Frances has a wonderful garden and a brilliant blog...I feel delighted to be bracketed with her! I popped over to see your blog and it is absolutely lovely. I loved the mountain top photo!
How wonderful to see you both together, this blog post really warms my heart, it is a tremendous pleasure to have you as 'garden friends' far far away yet very close. Thank you Lots of Love TyraReplyDelete
Garden friendships are so very dear! I am glad to have met you. Isn't it wonderful to know people who live continents away and share so much in common with them! Gardenblogging is a wonderful gift!
How lovely to see the Faire Garden through your eyes this time, Gail. Glad you did find at least some time to take a few pics.:-)ReplyDelete
And thanks for supplying me with the botanical name of that elusive Muhly grass.
Re the last pic: that's what I love to see, 2 happy, smiling people, who found each other through their shared hobby; gardening. Long may your friendship last!
Off to see Frances's post!
Glad to help! Don't you think that the Muhly would be available at Piet O's nursery?
The photo was from Frances' son! He took a series and this was the best of the lot! We had a great visit and it was a delight to get to know Frances even better...and to get to see her garden! She is a generous and thoughtful person and her plant gifts will be a part of my garden.
I read about your get-together with Frances (who I just met this week); not in person, of course!! I was just passing through blogland and came upon your nice blog and wanted to say hello. It looks as if you had a wonderful trip. I haven't been with Blotanical very long, but have 'browsed' garden blogs for the past year (until I accidentally deleted my posts--that's another story). But I started a new blog and thought I'd just jump on in. Jan
PS: I know I'm commenting on an Oct. post and it's now almost Thanksgiving! I just thought I'd post where I last looked:) Hope that isn't too confusing!!Take care!!