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UT Knoxville Roses


Our young man, Makai Edwards, is studying horticulture at the University of Tennessee and is currently the Beall Family Rose Garden intern. Makai took these photos yesterday. Proud parents. ūüôā

“The Beall Family Rose Garden is the largest public rose garden in East Tennessee. The garden features two Tennessee sandstone waterfalls cascading into Japanese koi ponds and more than 100 rose varieties ranging from disease-resistant shrub types to the latest hybrid-tea introductions. A 22-foot gazebo adds a special venue to the UT Gardens for holding weddings, receptions or other events.


“The Beall Family Rose Garden is a significant addition to the UT Gardens in Knoxville providing unique opportunities for education, student training, and horticulture research. The endowed garden ensures perpetual funding for student internships and training as well as support for maintenance of garden structures. This wonderful gift to the gardens not only benefits the university but the Knoxville community and surrounding region. I’m proud that we can host a beautiful and educational rose garden that the general public can visit and enjoy,” says Sue Hamilton, UT Gardens director.


The Beall family established the rose garden in honor of their loving wife and mother, Mary Anne Beall. The Bealls are known throughout the area for their kindness and generosity. They share a passion for roses and hope their gift will inspire students, gardeners and visitors to the garden.”


Container Garden Ideas

Some awesome container garden ideas from a selection of picks from Tumblr. Enjoy!Container Gardens 12Container Gardens 11Container Gardens 10Container Gardens 9Container Gardens 8Container Gardens 7Container Gardens 6Container Gardens 5Container Gardens 4Container Gardens 3Container Gardens 2Container Gardens 1

When Autumn’s Here, Mums The Word

Pretty Garden ? Mums

Pretty Garden ? Mums

There is no better way to keep that lovely daisy flower in the garden all season long than to have a few Chrysanthemums in the garden. In cultivation since 1000 B.C., it seems like humans really like these flowers. They have many cousins in the botanical world and have been used as food and medicine.

In the garden, be sure to purchase hardy mums that are available in the fall, especially if your goal is to fill a seasonal space in the flower border with something more permanent. Florist mums that are selected for flower color and size may not be grown on hardy root stocks. They may not re bloom the same color and they may not tolerate cold weather. Set mums in the soil deep as they are usually added late in the growing season and this will help prevent frost heaving.

The official flower in Japan since 910, mums are often depicted in
Japanese art. The plants and flowers are extremely versatile for gardeners. They work well in the garden as annual color, make great flower arrangements, and add interesting color and flavor to autumn salads. Every garden has space for one or two.

Fall Vegetable Garden

Cold Season Raised Bed Garden

Cold Season Raised Bed Garden

The fall vegetable garden is planted and I could not be more excited. It was a project in patience and planning. I decided to plant vegetables in raised beds at our house after being hired to do it for several of our landscaping clients.

I had to wait until the height of summer, when we had some spare time to think about our own spaces. The beds were built with wood we had around the shop and filled with soil that we had made in our compost heap. I must admit, they turned out better than I expected what with the leftover materials.

I’ve got vegetables for fall and winter such as Brussels sprouts, kale, carrots, lettuce, spinach and more in one bed. I harvested lettuce from that garden today. In the other bed, I sowed flower seeds for a cut flower garden. I will be so happy to have fresh bouquets from my own garden all over the house next spring and summer. I’m hoping to have plenty to share with friends as well.

Germantown Private Outdoor Spaces

We designed this fence, patio and garden September and October of last year. The project was finished a few months ago with great success. The goal was to create outdoor spaces for the homeowners to spend time outdoors for a dose of fresh air and pretty surroundings. First off, in January of 2013, we constructed a new tall privacy fence and ornamental back gate leading to the alley to insure security and privacy for the new improved spaces. Next we installled a new front walk with a side walk leading to the backyard along the narrow space between the houses in Historic Germantown in Nashville, Tennessee. The back yard Crab Orchard stone patio was designed for outdoor living and dining to enhance the square footage of the actual living space of the house. The semi-circular Crab Orchard stone patio along the side property works as a non repeating pattern consistency in the overall design feel of the property. The gardens were freshly cut to repeat similar serpentine lines to compliment the new patios and walkway in relation to the 90 degree angles of the house. And last but not least, low voltage outdoor lighting was installed to light up the patio and garden space after dark.




























Okra in the Garden for Flowers and Food

Until this summer, I never had a designated area for vegetables in my garden. I love the look of all the flowers and colors happening together. Plus, it leaves less space for weeds. For many years, I harvested my flowers and vegetables at the same gardening time. One plant I would not be without is Okra.

Okra from the Garden

Okra from the Garden

In the mallow family, Okra flowers are very showy. They look like hibiscus. The deeply palmate leaves are attractive as well, and the whole plant seems to be disease and insect resistant. Varieties come short and tall so there’s a spot for the in any garden setting. It is very popular and also very wise to landscape with edible plants. It’s a real way to grow your own money.

Okra Flower

Okra Flower

Okra is extremely prolific in the garden. When harvesting, smaller, spineless okra fruits are the best. They taste great with tomatoes and are ripe for harvesting at the same time.

Okra is a great garden plant for its appearance, flowers, and delicious fruit.

Photo Blog of a Patio Construction

I usually don’t photo document a project but I tried it here and the results are interesting as a record of the effort of creating complex layers of patio both functional and beautiful.¬†photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 6 photo 7 photo 8 photo 9 photo 10 photo 11 photo 12 photo 13 photo 14 photo 16 photo 16 photo 17 photo 18 photo 19 photo 20 photo 21 photo 22 photo 23 photo 24 photo 25 photo 26 photo 27 photo 28 photo 29 photo 30 photo 31 photo 32

St. John’s Wort

Another lovely shrub in our garden is the semi-evergreen Sunburst St. John’s Wort and their bright yellow May bumblebee flowers.¬† It is¬† still looking nice with about half its foliage still out. Because of the flower’s bright yellow-gold colors, it was once believed to have some sort of enchanted link with the¬† sun. It is not hard to see why, considering every flower appears to be an individual burst of sunshine. Each radiant flower seems to bloom more lovely than the last. Bright orange and yellow stamen sprout from the center of the blooming beauty.¬† After the flowers fade, the seed head is showy as well.

The Hypericum frondosum ‘Sunburst’ shrub in my garden is pruned 2-3 feet tall to keep it honest and well-behaved. St. John’s Wort is also known to be resistant to deer, making it a good substitute for deer grazed and¬† lost azaleas. It is not particular to any soil requirements and will grow in the sun to part shade¬† and can survive without irrigation. The plant prefers a mild climate, where its emerald-bluish colored foliage can remain evergreen. With those brilliant yellow flowers in combination with its splendid leaves, St. John’s Wort is a treasure in the garden.

Even more attractive then their appearance, St. John’s Wort is known to have medicinal properties. Extracts from the plant have been known to heal conditions ranging from muscle pain and skin burns to minor and major depression. Rob Proctor states in his book Perennials that it can even be helpful with conditions such as ADHD and Parkinson’s disease. Perhaps this sunshine flower is magical after all.

Garden Plant Design

Click here to see a Sample Garden Design Plan from Teacup Gardener

As a lover of all things gardens, I believe garden design is the most important aspect of any beautiful garden anywhere in the world. That may sound a little boorish but it proves true time and again. Garden design is not a hit or miss process. It’s thoughtful, mindful, and meant to provide homeowners with the most attractive and beneficial use of their land.

With that said, I will agree that certain times of the year mask poor or no design better than others.¬† In the summer, when every plant is full of leaves and many plants have flowers, the fullness and density cover up bad placement or lack of thoughtfulness.¬† In the winter, a few well chosen evergreens can give the appearance of good garden bones.¬† Companion plantings may be nonexistent, but it’s hard not to like a healthy boxwood hedge.

Now let’s think about this time of year, late autumn and early winter, the beginning of December when the last of the well planned fall color that was ever so important for beautiful outdoor living spaces falls and returns to the soil.¬† There’s just no way to have floral color and good fall color without a good design.¬† A good garden installer¬† working from a thoughtful garden design can make sure that this time of year has plenty of floral impact, and not just pansies and mums.

The other season that responds  to well planned design is spring. So many choices exist in the spring as far as color in flowers and  emerging leaves.  In order for the outdoor living spaces to really pop without clashing or being difficult to look at is through good garden design.

We strive to achieve the  idea of a garden plan that takes into account the 3 Ds of of garden plant design.  The 3 Ds of garden design are Diversity, Depth, and Density.  All great gardens are comprised of a well diversified pallet of plant materials taking into account color and texture for both floral and foliage to create a serendipitous experience when enjoying the garden.  Depth is an important aspect for the viewer to experience layers of interest as the eye travels into the garden spaces.  And Density is the fullness and spaciousness of a well planted garden.

These 3 basic rules dictate our plant material planning methods for the beautiful mixed borders and beds that are the hallmark creations of Teacup Gardener.  Total garden design may also incorporate waterscapes and  hardscapes such as water gardens, patio fountains, koi ponds, patios, decks, walls, gazebos, and arbors into the creation of custom outdoor living spaces. We consider everything when we design the spaces that make you smile year after year as you enjoy the perfect garden at your home.



Landscaping is a Powerful ROI.

Recently I read an article about home improvements. It is often difficult for homeowners to determine what to spend money on so that they get the best return on their investment. Since home ownership is the single largest investment for most Americans, it is important that folks spend their money wisely.

Layers of Color and Diversity by Teacup Gardener

It turns out, that landscaping is one of the better, if not the best ROI (Return On Investment). In the first place, a home that is for sale won’t have even one showing if the house does not have an enticing curb appeal. Curb appeal means that the house looks good from the street. The grass is mowed, the shrubs and trees are trimmed and colorful, and pretty flowers are planted in the beds.

An irrigation system is another way to be sure to receive excellent return on investment. Where I live, an irrigation system would be invaluable as we have had days and weeks and months of 90+degree weather. Any prospective homeowner would be relieved to know that an irrigation system was in place to water all of the landscape.  The irrigation system insures that the grass is green and the trees, shrubs, and flowers are thriving in the summer heat.

Spending money wisely so that homes increase in value, or in this real estate market, maintain their value, landscaping is an excellent choice. Whether it’s maintaining what is there or adding new plants, it just makes sense to spend money wisely on improving the areas around the outside of your house. Call Teacup Gardener today so that we can help you add value to your home.