Southern Garden Symposium

The Southern Garden Symposium met in Saint Francisville, Lousiana, in October, 2019.  Although I knew that gardening conditions are very different there than they are here in Central Texas, it was a chance to see some old southern gardens and hear some interesting speakers.Saint Francisville is a small town with few large meeting venues.  So attendees could choose different sessions held in small buildings in different parts of town.  On the first day, a catered lunch was provided at Afton Villa Gardens.

The antebellum home was destroyed by a fire in 1963.  The gardens remain and are used as a park.

Not sure if this concrete basket is as old as it looks, but it fits perfectly in the setting.

My kind of flower bed – massive plantings with different kinds of flowers.  There are red Zinnas, white Cleome Spider plants (Cleome hassleriana), Marigolds and Pentas.White and Pink Cleome Spider flowers look like sparklers.

Bright Marigolds mixed with Mexican Bush Sage.

English Ivy clinging to the old bricks, more Marigolds, and small purple flowers in the clay pot make a stunning display.

The same flowers were repeated in many beds.  I don’t know if that was intentional or because those flowers were suited for autumn.

Pink Cleome mixed with a wood fern and some kind of shrub.

Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) is what I consider to be a Central Texas plant, but it obviously does well in other types of climates.

It is native to subtropical and tropical conifer forests in central and eastern Mexico.  This area is about the same latitude as Central Texas.

Brazilian Black and Blue Sage, also called Blue Anise Sage (Salvia guaranitica), needs some shade from midday sun.

Gardening book sales are always a hit anytime gardeners congregate.  Purple Plumbago or Cape Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) in pots flanking the statute.

These large old tree with Spanish Moss hanging down just screams “southern garden.”

After lunch, there was plenty of time for wandering.Peaceful setting for wandering and relaxing.

“Southern living:  where the tea is sweet, words are drawn out, days are warm and faith is strong.”  unknown

Peel Mansion Gardens

This should be the last post from our autumn trip to Arkansas.  The Peel Mansion was built in 1875 by Colonel Samuel West Peel.  His wife used the garden areas for food crops to feed their nine children and staff.

Colonel Peel,  a pioneer businessman and US congressman, traveled on business and to Washington often.  So his wife ran the homestead and farm, which included a 180 acre apple orchard.

houseArk1We did tour the house, but I didn’t take pictures inside.  The house is in the left side of this picture.  It was definitely a grand house, even for today.  It lay in disrepair for many years after their deaths but has renovated with the original woods cleaned up and shining.

The Maidenhair Tree or ‘Ginkgo biloba’ is the oldest known species of trees on earth.  I’ve always loved the leaves on this tree and wish they would grow here in our clay and hot climate.  Just have to enjoy them when I have the chance to see them.

houseArkdThis was my kind of garden that meanders around with all different kinds of trees, shrubs, and flowers growing.  There seemed to be a surprise around every turn.

I love the tall Spider Flower (Cleome hassleriana).  Some internet sources state that it survives in zones 8 – 10, while another sources says all zones, and even other sources say a tender annual.  So it’s a mystery.

houseArk2The beds were filled with all sorts of flowers.  I love the red leaves that are scattered through the garden.  The source of them will be seen shortly.houseArk3

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houseArk7Black and Blue Sage (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’) is hardy in zones 8 – 10.  I bought one at a garden club meeting in Waco, so they must have it in the ground there.  But, I plan to grow it in a pot.

houseArk6This looks like a Dahlia to me.  They don’t survive in our Texas Fire Breathing Dragon sun.

houseArkjjThis is the tree responsible for those brilliant red leaves – a gorgeous Sugar Maple.

houseArk8From another angle, the bright red tree can be seen from many parts of the garden.

houseArkllI drool over this tree.

houseArk9This looks like it’s in the Coxcomb or the Gomphera family.

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houseArkgLove the color of these zinnas.

houseArkhChinese Lantern Plant or Strawberry Ground Cherry (Physalis alkekengi) has a unique look.

houseArkhhI recognize the Castor Bean plant (Ricinus communis) from my childhood in West Texas.  So I’m sure it would grow here.  This plant is the source of castor oil: that dreaded remedy for colds we were given as kids.  Yuck.  That dates me, for sure.

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houseArkmGuess it’s because spiky plants are common here, but the twisted branches of this little tree appealed to me.

If you know the names of any of the plants I did not try to identify, I’d love to hear what they are.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I enjoy hearing from you.

“If you have a garden and a library, then you have everything you need.”  Cicero