Morning Walkabout 1 – The Dinner Bell Garden


Most mornings, shortly after sunrise, I get a cup of coffee and the plant clippers, and take a walk around the yard to check on the progress of several different flower beds, a small garden, and other features around the yard.

We live on about 1.5 acres in Middle Tennessee. The climate is moderate, usually with adequate rain to keep plants green. We moved into the property in 2007, and since then we have gradually added what I call “features”—mostly small gardens—around the yard. In the next several posts in this series, we will visit some of these features. This has been a good growing year, and there are many flowers and other plants to make up a reasonable series of photo-essays.

The Dinner Bell Garden
(Click on any image for the full-sized view.)

The Dinner Bell Garden

The Dinner Bell Garden

The dinner bell has been part of the property for a many years. The bell mounted behind the original house, was a working dinner bell, alerting family working in the surrounding fields that dinner was ready. Today, mounted on its original cedar pole, it has become the centerpiece of a small garden area in front of the house. A rope rigged from the bell to the front porch keeps the bell functional, and is especially enjoyed by our younger guests.

The spotted grass (Miscanthus sinesis) was the first thing planted in the garden several years ago. Two small clumps have come back and expanded each year. I anticipate splitting the clumps of grass this fall and using half of the grass in a new, yet undetermined area. In the late summer, the grass develops flag-like seed stalks.

Spotted Grass

Spotted Grass

In front of the grass are several stargazer lilies (Lillium “stargazer”). These are lilies that had been purchased individually in pots for special occasions. After the occasions had passed and the flowers wilted, I planted the lilies in the garden, more as an experiment. Over a period of several years, they have returned, until this year they are magnificent. There are three plants, each with at least a dozen flower buds.
Stargazer Lilies

Stargazer Lilies

I have experimented with several different flowers in the lower foreground—jonquils and tulips—with only moderate success. This year I opted for some sure color, planting some small Vinca (Vinca sp.) and Celosia (Celosia sp.). Everything was going smoothly until the Vinca really took off, and promptly crowded out the Celosia. Lesson learned!
Vica and an overrun Celosia

Vica and an overrun Celosia

This fall and in the coming spring, I plan to rework this bed, with a little better planning. I believe I could have early tulips, followed by the lilies, and the Vinca (planted as annuals)
Incidentally, the candle lantern, a garage sale find, adds a nice touch to the garden. And did you notice the torch-cut metal rooster? There are several of them around the yard and may appear in later walkabouts.
Finally, the rock border is made from rocks that were on the property.

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1 Response to Morning Walkabout 1 – The Dinner Bell Garden

  1. Pingback: Morning Walkabout 3 – Flag Pole Garden | Renaissance Musings

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