Tag Archive for: dogwood

One of my favorite stops on our road trip this year was visiting the gardens at the University of Tennessee.

Earlier in our trip, I visited the gardens of the University of South Carolina, so I was looking forward to seeing more campus gardens.

Even though, I had heard great things about the gardens at UT, I was surprised at how much there was to see. 

The kitchen gardens were the first area we came up to.

kitchen garden

The kitchen garden was bordered by trash cans filled with flowering annuals and tulips.

kitchen garden

Roses and a clematis vine greeted us at the entrance of the kitchen garden.

I wish I could grow clematis vines in Arizona.  I tried once – it did grow, but wouldn’t flower.  Definitely NOT a ‘fuss-free’ plant for a desert garden.

kitchen garden

The fence was made up of tree stakes, sawed in half and painted lavender.  The area inside was filled with vegetables, herbs and other plants.  The garden was a also a test garden for many yet to be released plant varieties.

kitchen garden

Here is a strawberry with red flowers, called ‘Toscana’.

kitchen garden

Garlic planted among leaf lettuce look so attractive, don’t you think?

Did you know that garlic keeps bad bugs away from the lettuce?  It’s true!

square-foot gardening

Here is a great example of ‘square-foot gardening‘.

Flowering chives

Flowering chives were just a few of the herbs that bordered the outer area of the garden.

The flowers are so pretty, that I think I’ll let some of my chives go to flower this year.

artichoke plants

The artichoke plants were huge – my mother posed beside it so you could see how big it was.

kitchen garden

Some of the beds were full of what many would call weeds.  But this crop of ‘hairy vetch’ is actually a cover crop, which is planted in between seasons because it adds nitrogen to the soil.

kitchen garden

Have you heard of the newest trend of vertical gardening?  I love this display.

kitchen garden

Of course, a kitchen garden should have a compost pile.

Do you see the plastic tube in the middle?  That is perforated all the way down, in order to get air to all layers of the compost pile, which helps with decomposition.

kitchen garden

Outside of the kitchen garden was an old, rusty truck that had potatoes growing in its bed.

This was a great example of what I like to call ‘functional garden art’.

A Rusted Pick-Up, Trash Can Containers and a Kitchen Garden

Here is a cute praying mantis figure.

Glandularia pulchella

I did see some familiar plants that are equally at home in the desert southwest like this prickly pear and verbena (Glandularia pulchella), below.

university garden

After leaving the kitchen gardens, I walked through the larger part of the university gardens.

university garden

One of the things that I enjoy about traveling, is discovering new plants that don’t grow where I live.  

Viewing this garden, I was often surprised to find quite a few plants that I also grow, even though my garden was about 1,800 miles away from here.

beautiful shade plants

As I walked through the larger garden, there were beautiful shade plants, like these hosta.

Brightly colored azaleas

Brightly colored azaleas dotted the landscape.

University of South Carolina

Isn’t this ‘Encore’ azalea beautiful?

delicate flowers

Lily of-the-Valley was blooming.  I love their small, delicate flowers.


I love the lime-green color of this hosta, don’t you?


This honeysuckle smelled heavenly!

University of South Carolina

It was so pretty, too.

wisteria vine

We also found a huge wisteria vine, which also had a wonderful fragrance.

dogwood trees

The dogwood trees were blooming.

Did you know that the outer white petals aren’t the actual flower?  They are called ‘brachts’.  The real flower is in the center and isn’t too showy.

Road trip
Road trip
Willowleaf 'Blue Star

Willowleaf ‘Blue Star’ was in full bloom.  


Throughout the lawn areas were softly mounded planting beds, which I liked because they added height and interest to this large expanse of lawn.

red-flowering plant

From a distance, I could see a red-flowering plant. I walked closer to see what it was…

Trifolium rubens

I was surprised to find that it was Red Clover (Trifolium rubens).  It was very pretty, but you need to be careful when using it as a groundcover, because like other clovers; it can be invasive.

shade garden

As we got ready to leave the garden, we walked through the shade garden, which had places to sit and eat.

The UT Gardens have so many different events for the public.  I only wished that I lived closer ๐Ÿ™‚

I encourage you to take some time and visit the gardens at your local university.  You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find there.

Our trip is nearing its end, but I am looking forward to visiting Kentucky.


“Thank you” to my friend, Dave Townsend (from Tennessee) who sent me to this wonderful garden.

I encourage you to visit Dave’s blog, Growing the Home Garden, which is a hugely popular blog – once you visit, you’ll see why.

We have left South Carolina for one of my favorite parts of North Carolina – Asheville.

I had visited Asheville 2 1/2 years ago and was so excited to return. 

North Carolina Asheville

Each time we go on a road trip, we stay in regular hotels – (Hampton Inn is our favorite).

However, we usually pick one special place to stay for one night of our trip.

My mother knew where she wanted us to stay – The Grove Park Inn.  She had visited the inn years ago with my dad, but they had never stayed there.  Sadly, my dad died before they got the chance to visit again.

The inn is over 100 years old and just beautiful.  As you walk through the inn, rocking chairs are scattered along the property, inviting you to sit down and take some time to relax and enjoy the view.

North Carolina Asheville

When we arrived, we were water-logged from seeing a lot of rain.  It was chilly and I took advantage of a warm seat in front of the fireplace.

North Carolina Asheville

The fireplace was huge…

North Carolina Asheville

Over 30 ft. tall.

We had a delicious dinner overlooking the gardens from the balcony.

In the morning, we were happy to see a bright, sunny day.  

North Carolina Asheville

But, before we left, I had to see the gardens.  

North Carolina Asheville

The hotel sits atop a steep slope, so access to the gardens is via a LOT of stairs.

North Carolina Asheville

The creeping phlox and the flowering dogwood were just lovely.

North Carolina Asheville

After we left the hotel, we headed to the Historic Biltmore Village, which is filled with small shops housed in what was formerly a planned community built in the 1890’s at the entrance to the Biltmore Estate.  

Later, we headed downtown for shopping the unique shops filled with the work of the local crafts people.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Just before we left Asheville, we hopped onto the Blue Ridge Parkway, is over 400 miles long and runs through the Appalachian mountains in Virginia and North Carolina. 

Folk Art Center

One place that you must visit in Asheville is the Folk Art Center, which features crafts made from artisans who live in the Southeastern Appalachians. Another wonderful reason to visit is that they feature a local artisan who creates his/her craft in front of you and answers questions.

Now, it was time to get back on the road and head for Knoxville, TN.

On our way, we drove through some small towns and visited some roadside stands.

'boiled peanuts'

Seriously, ‘boiled peanuts’ are a big deal in the South.


Jars of cider, honey and preserves filled the shelves.


I bet you didn’t know there was such a thing as ‘kudzu’ and ‘moon shine’ jelly, did you?


Fresh pork rinds were available.  I must confess that I have never tried them before.  


We stopped by this roadside stand in order to buy ‘toe’ and ‘frog’ jam.

Toe jam

Toe jam is made from tangerine, orange and elderberry.  Frog jam is made of a combination of fig, raspberry, orange and ginger.  I bought a jar of each.

Cherokee Indian Reservation

Along the road, we journeyed through the Cherokee Indian Reservation.


Then we took the road through the Smoky Mountain Parkway.  It is so picturesque.  

Garden on a Hill and a Forest of Trees

The road was windy and fun to drive.

Garden on a Hill and a Forest of Trees
Garden on a Hill and a Forest of Trees

We arrived to our hotel in Knoxville and then headed out for dinner.  On our way, we passed a restaurant whose billboard advertised ‘chicken livers and gizzards’ for dinner.

We went to the local Italian restaurant instead ๐Ÿ˜‰

Come back tomorrow for our next day of adventures.