Creating Spring Color and Texture With Conifers and Japanese Maples….in my garden…

conifersand JapMaples_5


I’m all about color.  In my garden that is. Anyone who has visited my garden knows that between all the roses, hydrangeas, peonies, bulbs, perennials, and annuals that color always makes a statement every spring and summer in my garden. However, for the last several years my spring garden has been displaying a different type of explosion of color and texture — one that involves an obsession of mine–  collecting conifers and Japanese Maples. I have been avidly collecting both for over 6 years now and there seems to be no stopping me. That is until I run out of space which I am precariously approaching ( I garden on about one acre) and when that happens I’m convinced I’ll start redesigning my landscape to justify my need (obsession) for the latest cool new conifer or alluring Japanese maple.

One thing is for sure, this obsession of mine gives me a spectacular display of color and texture and that is something I cherish each spring….



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Far left: Acer palm. ‘Koto no ito’


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Large Dissectum JapMaple, ‘All Gold’ juniper, weeping Alaskan cedar.




Acer palm.’Ornatum’, ‘Saligna Aurea’ Monterey cypress



‘Saligna Aurea’ monterey cypress, ‘ Acer palm. ‘Beni otake’











Acer palm. ‘Watnog’, weeping Alaskan cedars, ‘Daubs Frosted’ juniper, ‘Crimson Queen’ large Dissectum, Cupressus glabra ‘Raywoods Weeping’, Picea orientalis ‘Firefly’.



conifersand JapMaples


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Picea orientalis ‘Firefly’



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Acer palm. ‘Hana Matoi, Acer palm. ‘Baldsmith’.










For short video of the conifers and JapMaples in my garden click here:



‘Spring Fling’….in my Garden…



It’s that time of year again. Time to share the tulips and other spring bulbs that are in full bloom in my garden.

Every fall I judiciously plant (even though last fall I planted far less) more than a thousand tulips and other bulbs in my garden. All my hard work and sore muscles are then rewarded with the beautiful blossoms that emerge this time of year. I planted a lot more daffodils this time around since the deer stay away from them.  It’s always a ‘touch and go’ scenario with my tulips since the deer tend to eat them. This year was one of my ‘fortunate’ years since they spared my tulips (all 1,000 of them).

Here’s a glimpse of whats blooming in my garden now.  For more photos and inspiration check out my previous posts about bulbs in my garden here:  and  here:




Tulip ‘Queen of Night”





Tulip ‘ Maureen’





Daffodil ‘Pipit’





Daffodil ‘Hawera’





Tulip “Queen of Night and ‘Maureen’






white tulips






Snowflake “Gravetye Giant’








Ahhh Spring….in my garden

Spring 2015

My Winter Roses….


Happy Valentine’s Day….

'Don Juan' climbing rose
‘Don Juan’ climbing rose

My Visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens… Imaginary Worlds —a New Kingdom of Giant Plants…

This weekend my family and I visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, as my birthday present, to see the spectacular Imaginary Worlds exhibition. There we strolled through the gardens and saw giant plant sculptures such as; Gorillas, frogs, butterflies, cobras, an Ogre, unicorn and shaggy dog. Of course, stealing the show was the lovely Earth Goddess, being the largest of these sculptures at 25 feet tall!

These giant animal sculptures are planted with thousands of plants using a horticultural art called Mosaiculture, created in Canada by the International Mosaiculture of Montreal.  As defined on the ABG website, “Each sculpture is a living work of art. Thousands of annuals are planted in colorful, ornate patterns on steel forms covered with netting and soil. A combination of internal irrigation systems and hand watering help the plants to flourish. Each sculpture is meticulously groomed on a weekly schedule to maintain the artistic lines as the plants grow.”


Here are some of the fabulous works of horticultural art we saw…


Shaggy Dog
Shaggy Dog greets you as you enter the gardens…


One of the Gorilla’s…


The Ogre
The Ogre


Lovely vibrant Butterfly…


The Giant Cobra 2
The Giant Cobra’s were a hit with my boys…


The Giant Cobra 3


The Giant Cobra 4


Frog lily pad
Frogs on lily pads…


large frog


Loved the Unicorn…



Earth Goddess
Stealing my heart- the beautiful Earth Goddess, 25 feet tall, overlooking the Cascade Gardens Waterfalls. She is made up of 18,000 annuals. Amazing!


Earth Goddess2

family ABG



Hope you enjoyed the tour of the spectacular exhibition at The Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  I know I did!


ABG-Atlanta Botanical Gardens




















Wordless Wednesday in my September garden…

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Julia Child








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Wordless Wednesday….in my garden



Amber flower carpet


The President


Princess Alexandra of Kent


















Mother of Pearl




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My Garden…a Country Gardens Award Winner…a ‘Labor of Love’


that my garden and myself, Brenda Addington  (aka-The Graceful Gardener), are featured in the current fall issue of Country Gardens Magazine as one of their Country Garden Award winners!

They gave my garden the ‘Dream Country Garden’ award.  Heavens!  This is the first experience I’ve had at winning a garden award.




 Included in the six page feature is a list of a few of my favorite roses that I grow in my garden….










In the Resources section of this issue is a list of some of my favorite mail order sources for roses, organic fertilizers,etc.


Many thanks to the folks at Country Garden Magazine, especially the editor, James Baggett, and to Danny Flanders who wrote the wonderful article ‘Labor of Love’  about my garden. So Thrilled!

Glorious Hydrangeas in my garden…


H.arborescens ‘Annabelle’

My Glorious Hydrangeas

Recently, there’s been a glorious explosion of hydrangea flowers in my garden.  This month my hydrangeas (along with my roses) have taken center stage.

I grow several varieties in my garden which is a small collection of about 40 Hydrangeas.

Hydrangea arborescens:


H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’

The blooms of ‘Annabelle’ are absolutely huge in my garden. Some are  nearly 12 inches across.

‘Annabelle‘ has big balls of flowers that start out green, then turn to white and eventually dry a pale green as the season progresses. The flowers are lacy and delicate, but don’t let that fool you, this plant is tough. Mine are massed in a bed around my fountain.

‘Annabelle’ in my white garden.


Hydrangea macrophylla:

‘Alpengluhen’ (Glowing Embers)

H. macrophylla ‘Glowing Embers’

 ‘Alpengluhen’- (Glowing Embers) is a new addition to my hydrangea collection this year. A compact 3′ tall hydrangea with beautiful pinkish-red flowers.


‘Endless Summer’ and ‘Big Daddy’

Mass planting of H. macrophylla ‘Endless Summer and ‘Big Daddy’

My Endless Summer are planted in my backyard amongst a few other hydrangeas, ‘Big Daddy‘ and ‘Snowflake’ . What a spectacular show of blooms they put on every year.


‘Endless Summer’ & ‘Big Daddy’

‘Endless Summer’ is a very hardy hydrangea and blooms on both the current season’s growth as well as old growth, providing the advantage of a longer bloom period.

‘Big Daddy’, another H. macrophylla, has giant flower heads a foot across or more.




Endless Summer ‘Blushing Bride’

H. macrophylla  'Blushing Bride'
H. macrophylla ‘Blushing Bride’

Endless Summer ‘Blushing Bride‘ produces blooms throughout the season on both new and old stems. Huge blooms start out pure white and become more of an antique pink as they fade. I have several planted with H. macrophylla ”Mariesii Variegata’ ‘Blushing Bride‘ is very lovely…

Blushing Bride’ planted amongst H. macrophylla lace cap ‘Mariesii Variegata


H. Macrophylla  ‘Mariesii Variegata‘-LaceCap

Lace cap ‘Mariesii Variegata’

This LaceCap  ‘Mariesii Variegata’,  I must admit was a bit cold sensitive for my Zone 7b climate. The first two I ever planted, died the following year after an usually cold winter. Two years ago, I planted two more in a more sheltered location and am hoping they will survive. So far so good. The leaves are green with white margins and flowers either pink or blue lacecap blossoms.


H. macrophylla ‘ Blue Wave‘-LaceCap and ‘Nikko Blue

‘Blue Wave‘ (behind JMaple)’ and ‘Nikko Blue, H. macrophylla’ planted amongst ‘Autumn’ ferns and a variegated Japanese Maple ‘Oku Kuji Nishiki’.

 Many of my Hydrangeas are inter-planted with Japanese Maples and ferns in my backyard garden. I love this combination, especially with my ‘Blue Wave’ and ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangeas.

‘Blue Wave’ Lacecap Hydrangea

 H. macrophylla, ‘Blue Wave‘ happens to be my favorite LaceCap hydrangea in my garden. A glorious sight when in bloom.The Lacecap flowers are a captivating blue that I love to photograph. Mine are planted in light shade under pine trees receiving late morning /early afternoon dappled sun and are thriving. Beautiful!


Hydrangea quercifolia:


H. quercifolia ‘Snowflake’

Ok, if I had to pick a favorite hydrangea in my garden, it would be this one- H. quercifolia ‘Snowflake’.

This one is a stunner. “Snowflake’ has absolutely gorgeous clusters that are densely layered just dripping with showy white flowers. I have several planted with many of my H. macrophylla’s throughout my garden.

‘Snowflake’ planted with ‘Endless Summer and Big Daddy H. macrophylla.

‘Snowflake’ and ‘Annabelle


‘Snowflake’ starting to turn pink in color..

The flowers age beautifully and I love every stage throughout the season. Snowflakes flowers start out pure white, gradually fading to pink and then turning brown by late summer. I can’t say enough about this plant… 


‘Snowflake’ in late summer


While these photo’s I’ve shared with you represent many of my hydrangeas, there are some however that were camera shy…here’s a list of a few others that are gracing my garden..

 Arborecens ‘Radiata”

H. macrophylla ‘Painter’s Palette’

H. macrophylla ‘Fuji Waterfall’

H. paniculata ‘Vanilla Strawberry’

H. paniculata (PeeGee) ‘Tree Form


 Some Hydrangea links:

Time to meet the Austins…in my garden

That would be David Austin— roses.


Who doesn’t love a romantic garden? The fragrance, the charm, flowers billowing over paths. If you want to add some instant romance and Old World charm loveliness to your garden, then planting English bred David Austin roses is the way to go. David Austin roses have the look of old garden style roses, fill the air with lovely fragrance and with repeat blooming no wonder I’m smitten with these roses for my cottage style garden. I must confess though, it’s the full billowing fragrant blossoms of these roses draping from my arbors, trellises and containers that have me hooked. Also, my nose can’t get enough of them. These roses are so full petaled that sometimes people mistaken them as peonies in my garden.

Having added many David Austin roses about 2 years ago (many still considered babies), I must admit not all have been successful in my Zone 7b garden. I am a no-spray organic rose gardener, so a few did succumb to black spot and disease. However, having gone through several I have narrowed it down to these beauties; (Note: Some are new this spring that have yet to show their survivability).

Here are a few of my favorite David Austin roses in my garden today….



The lovely ‘Evelyn’ is absolutely beautiful. This was my first David Austin rose purchase. I’m training mine as a small climber (6/8 feet) in a small corner of my garden near my back deck. Even though ‘Evelyn’ tends to get blackspot from time to time, due to a part sun location, I keep her in my garden for her grace and wonderful fragrance.


'Bishops Castle'
‘Bishops Castle’

 I love pink in my garden. I actually have a bed of just pink roses, one of which is ‘Bishops Castle’. This rose has lovely large pink blossoms with a delicious strong fragrance. I plan on planting another next spring. Mine is getting pretty tall about 5 feet. ‘Bishops Castle’ tends to hold its lovely color even in the heat of my summers.

'Bishops Castle'
‘Bishops Castle’



'Benjamin Britten'
‘Benjamin Britten’

 A lovely red rose with deep cupped shaped blossoms and a nice fruity fragrance. The red color does tend to fade to a reddish-pink when they age or perhaps due to the sun. I have mine planted towards the back of my rose bed since it grows quite tall (6 feet) in my garden.


'Princess Alexandra of Kent'
‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’

“Princess Alexandra of Kent’… a fitting name for such a lovely rose. New to my garden this spring I must say that I am impressed. It’s beautifully shaped pink blossoms have a wonderful lemon scent. So far it’s a prolific repeat bloomer and holds its color very well in my morning sun location.


'The Generous Gardener' climbing rose
‘The Generous Gardener’ climbing rose

 A new climber to my garden, so its still a baby, this David Austin climber is quite beautiful. It has pale, soft pink blossoms that fade to white and a wonderful fragrance. Very healthy, resistant to blackspot thus far. Looking forward to next spring when it will produce more blooms.


Huntington Rose
Huntington Rose

 One of my favorite David Austin roses -‘Huntington Rose’. I had two in my garden until early this spring.  Sadly, the deer devoured them both. I’ve included this to my list since I plan on planting more next spring. It is a prolific bloomer, wonderfully fragrant, good disease resistance and has exquisite pink blossoms. I highly recommend this rose.


'Jubilee Celebration'
‘Jubilee Celebration’

Another newcomer, ‘Jubilee Celebration’ has beautiful large full blossoms and an unusual color of pink/orange/apricot. Lovely fruity fragrance. Mine are planted in large containers. David Austins catalog notes this rose does well in hot and humid climates in the southeast (mine Zone 7b); we shall see how this rose fares through one of my summers….



‘Tess of the d’Ubervilles’

‘Tess of the d’Ubervilles is a very lovely rose that I am growing as a climber in my garden.  Bright crimson red blossoms and a wonderful fragrance. Beautiful.


'Darcy Bussell'
‘Darcy Bussell’

 Oh my, the lovely ‘Darcy Bussell is probably one of my favorite. Beautiful rich red/pink rose blossoms with a mild citrus fragrance. One of the smaller DA roses,one of mine is growing in a large container, another in the front of my rose border. Rebloom is good and pretty resistant to blackspot.



Darcy Bussell
Darcy Bussell


 So try adding some romance to your garden—you never know what might happen…


Wordless Wednesday…. Clematis in my garden


venosa Violacea


The President




John Paul II


Crystal Fountain




Dr Ruppel




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Wordless Wednesday Roses…in my garden

Climbing 'Eden'
Climbing rose ‘Eden’


Climbing 'Eden'
Climbing ‘Eden’




Hybrid Musk rose 'Belinda'
Hybrid Musk rose ‘Belinda’




David Austin rose ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’


Climbing 'Golden Gate'
Climbing ‘Golden Gate’



Climbing 'New Dawn'
Climbing ‘New Dawn’



Double Knockout roses
Double Knockout roses



'Julia Child'
‘Julia Child’



Hybrid Musk 'Lavender Lassie'
Hybrid Musk ‘Lavender Lassie’



Rose de Reucht



Climbing 'Lady Ashe'
Climbing ‘Lady Ashe’



Climbing 'Laguna'
Climbing ‘Laguna’



Climbing 'Iceburg'
Climbing ‘Iceburg’



Conifers and ‘Amber’ Flower Carpet shrub rose



‘Buff Beauty’

Springtime Tulips… my Garden

My Gardening Friends,

It’s been a long time since I last posted on my blog and I apologize for that and the lack of pictures. The need to help others and myself dominated the better part of these last 4 months. I’m glad and hopeful things are finally getting back to normal.

My garden is bursting with blossoms everywhere. All my hard work in planting bulbs last fall paid off. The tulips have just about finished their explosion of color and my peonies, irises and roses are gearing up for their beautiful display. Right now the Japanese Maples and azaleas are in their splendor (pics to follow in another post).

Here’s a peek of some of my tulips blooming in my garden this Spring….



Every year I plant this purple and pink combination ‘Strike Me Pink’ in this bed. These colors blend beautifully with my emerging JapMaples.





Pink and soft yellow tulips ‘Pillow Talk’.


I love the combination of maroon ‘Queen of Knight’ with the lovely white ‘Maureen’.




White daffodil- ‘Thalia’



Snowflake-‘Gravetye Giant’
Daffodil- ‘Hawera’






Lovely ‘Angelique’- my favorite tulip.



Till my next post…..hope you enjoyed!

‘Daffodil Drama’….in my garden

My Daffodils are taking center stage in my garden this week. Many I planted years ago; I planted 300 more last fall. Some of my daffodil choices are: Ice Follies, Carlton, Double Campernelle and Pipit, just to name a few.

Here’s a peek….










Daffodils from previous years in my garden…




My son- Nicholas


Next post…my tulips in all their splendor.







My Garden Moments of the Year…Farewell 2013….


      As 2013 draws to a close, its time to reflect on my many garden moments throughout the year. 2013 was an exceptional year for my garden; blossoms galore, abundant rainfall, tolerable summer temperatures and shhh… magazine photo shoots, to name just a few. I’m hoping mother nature will bless my garden once again for 2014.

So, just sit back relax, and enjoy my 2013 garden virtual tour….Cheers and Happy New Year!


Camellia’s, the ‘Winter Roses’ in my garden….

Camellia japonica 'Nuccio's Bella Rosa'
Camellia japonica ‘Nuccio’s Bella Rosa’


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Camellia japonica ‘Nuccio’s Gem’


Assortment of Camellia's from my garden.
Assortment of Camellia’s from my garden.



Painting my garden with beautiful roses….

"Marilyn Monroe' hybrid tea
“Marilyn Monroe’ hybrid tea


‘Love Song’ Floribunda rose


'Don Juan' climbing rose
‘Don Juan’ climbing rose


'Mystic Beauty' Bourbon rose
‘Mystic Beauty’ Bourbon rose


Tulip ‘Spring Fling’…(finally finished my bulb planting for 2014 just this week)….


My alluring Japanese Maples and Conifers…


My Fringe Tree…

Fringe Tree
Fringe Tree



Captivating Clematis….

Clematis ‘Rooguchi’
Clematis 'Rooguchi' rambling on my garden bench...
Clematis ‘Rooguchi’ rambling on my garden bench…



C. viticella 'Etoile Violette' and 'Grande Dame rose
C. viticella ‘Etoile Violette’ and ‘Grande Dame rose




C. 'Victoria' and 'Etoile Violette'
C. ‘Victoria’ and ‘Etoile Violette’



Clematis 'Nelly Moser'
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’


Yes, More Roses….

Climbing rose 'Don Juan'
Climbing rose ‘Don Juan’


Hybrid Musk rose 'Buff Beauty' gracing one of my three obelisks.
Hybrid Musk rose ‘Buff Beauty’ gracing one of my three obelisks.



David Austin 'Evelyn'
David Austin ‘Evelyn’


'New Dawn'
‘New Dawn’



Amber Flower Carpet rose with weeping Blue Atlas cedar.
Amber Flower Carpet rose with weeping Blue Atlas cedar.



Some of my Summertime containers…

Dragon Wing begonia window boxes
Dragon Wing begonia window boxes


Succulent Basket
Succulent Basket


All dressed in black container.
All dressed in black container.


Blue container's corner of my garden.
Blue container’s corner of my garden.

A Little Wildlife to amuse….

Woodpecker in my garden.
Woodpecker in my garden.


Bunnies in my garden. They loved my begonias!
Bunnies in my garden. They loved my begonias!


So much for growing cherry tomatoes for myself...Mr. Squirrel would have a daily feast!
So much for growing cherry tomatoes for family…Mr. Squirrel would have himself a daily feast!





Pumpkin time….

Pumpkin Spills adorning my front entrance.
Pumpkin Spills adorning my front entrance.


Roses and Pumpkins
Roses and Pumpkins


My fall potting bench.
My fall potting bench.



Christmas garden basket
Christmas garden basket


My Christmas potting bench.
My Christmas potting bench.


Evergreen Christmas garden arrangement.
Evergreen Christmas garden arrangement.


Goodbye 2013…..


Happy New Year to All!

Health and Happiness for 2014!
















A Southern Style Christmas in my Garden…2013



With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I’m a bit late in posting photo’s of my Christmas garden this year.   Here’s a peek….

Note: All Christmas arrangements, containers, wreaths and photos were designed and made by me (Brenda Addington) …The Graceful Gardener.


My garden bench decorated with fresh evergreens from my garden…


My potting bench all decked out for the holidays.






Christmas arrangement made from magnolias and evergreens picked from my garden.






A Christmas basket (my former succulent basket) embellished with evergreens, lenten roses and yes, a few succulents.


My Outdoor room console table.


My outdoor room mantel. Every year I have a family of birds nesting in one of these birdhouses.


My Entrance that I decorate each year with my life size Santa and over-sized bell swags I made several years ago.






My outdoor Christmas arrangement – ferns, berries and some faux and real evergreen sprays and magnolia leaves ( I have 6 huge magnolia trees in my garden).


I love the Christmas wreaths I made five years ago. I spruced them up a bit this year adding more pines cones and evergreen sprays.

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my garden to yours……








A ‘Festival of Pumpkins’ … my garden



I Love to decorate my garden for the seasons. Fall is no exception, especially when it comes to PUMPKINS!

Nothing enhances my garden more this time of year than their vibrant array of colors, shapes and warmth. Pumpkins combined with gourds, mums, grasses, Chinese lantern plants and other ‘fall’ accents bring a cozy and inviting feel to my garden. With little effort, (except for the effort of collecting all the pumpkins) you too can decorate your garden with colorful pumpkins.

I must warn you though, it is fun and addictive!  Of course, I tend to go a little over the top with pumpkins in my garden, but that’s what makes it ‘festive’.

Note:  All photo’s, fall garden decor, containers and wreaths were designed and made by …ME…”The Graceful Gardener”.


Hope my ‘Festival of Pumpkins’ inspires you to add some to your garden…..



 Spilling down my Staircase….

Every year, I always choose a colorful medley of pumpkins, gourds and mums to spill down my front entrance staircase. Many of my pumpkins were purchased from my local farmers markets or pumpkin farms in my area.












My Potting Table and Bench……





My Moongate…..





Pumpkins in containers and spilling into my Garden….









My Fall Wreaths and Entrance….HaPpY FaLL!




Thanks for visiting…

Full Moon Maple