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My Fancy New Fence

(post written by Jason) A few weeks ago I shared a photo of some brand new four board fence with some friends captioned. “My fancy new fence!”. Many of my friends were quick to point out that when you own upwards of five miles of “fancy” four board fence its something of a misnomer to label some of it as being “fancier” than the rest of it. Of course they are right, and I quickly reassured those who asked that my new fence is not plated in gold or otherwise outwardly any fancier than any other fence on this farm.

In this case, my fancy new fence encloses the yard immediately surrounding our home; it’s a bare, untreed acre of grass right now but before spring I hope to begin the process of transforming it into a nicely landscaped farmer’s garden filled with ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers with spaces set aside for a vegetable garden, edible herbs, fruit trees, berry vines, etc. I’ve spent the last year watching this space closely and I now have a rough picture in my head of what I’d like it to look like.

The process of transformation will be a slow one. Partly this is due to time and money constraints but honestly it’s mostly because I find the journey of creation at least as enjoyable as arriving at the destination…the end result. A big part of any large landscape planting is selecting plants. Perhaps the most crucial part of plant selection is seeing how mature specimens work in a landscape. To that end I’ve already dragged Melissa and Carter on many trips to local botanical gardens….we are now lifetime members of Cheekwood in Nashville, and at three years old Carter can already identify the main areas of the gardens. “Oh look, Dad is heading for the Japanese gardens. Again.”

The second part of plant selection is spending time at local nurseries and garden centers. Unknown to most people, several Middle Tennessee counties not too far away from here have tens of thousands of acres devoted to nearly every kind of commercial nursery stock. Most of these commercial growers measure their holdings in hundreds or thousands of acres….they cater to large garden stores and national chain stores and they are not set up to deal with individual consumers who want to buy one or two of something. Fortunately most of these large enterprises have excess plant materials and they DO market directly to consumers at attached garden centers. The combination of quality plant materials adaptable to a wide variety of zones and available at wholesale prices is heaven for the home landscaper here in Middle Tennessee. Melissa and Carter can look forward to many, many Saturday trips to McMinnville to source plants !

Since my passion for landscaping and gardening is nearly as strong as Melissa’s passion for all things horses we may be in for some interesting trips in the future. I can already anticipate Carter’s sighs of boredom and dismay when we ask him whether he wants to go with Daddy to look at gardens or Mommy to look at horses. Maybe in twenty five years he’ll be old enough to appreciate the results of our efforts. Or more likely not so much! 🙂


B-Rad and Alex napping in the sun

Kennedy, Clayton, Rocky, River, Toledo and Donovan were standing around in the sun with drooping lips after breakfast. Such a tough life when eating breakfast wears you out.

Levendi (Moe hiding behind him)

Lotus and Cocomo were just a tiny bit wild yesterday

Thomas, Moe, Apollo and Hemi

It has been the perfect weather for stuffing your face with hay the last few days. Grand, Elfin and Rip.

Slinky, Duesy and Lightning with Merlin behind them

Gus and George were also having a good time . . .

. . . I really liked this under the head move by George . . .

. . . and of course when all else fails just grab the blanket as Gus demonstrates here. The new season of blanket destruction is in full swing.

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