Cottage Charm | Volunteer Gardener


– [Troy Marden] 11 years ago this house in the historic St. Elmo
neighborhood in Chattanooga, here at the base of Lookout Mountain, was actually condemned. Scott Drucker and his
wife Olga have turned it into a showpiece and I can’t
wait for you to see it. Well from the Artemisia
and the Queen Anne’s lace and the roses out by the street, all the way into the
little entrance courtyard, this is sort of your responsibility Scott. You’ve started planting right at the front edge of the property
and worked your way inward. – I created the monster. And now I have to deal with it. – I gotcha. I completely understand. – You know it takes care
of itself in some ways. And I enjoy it. – Yeah, and so the little
strip even by the sidewalk, it’s only 12 or 14 inches wide. It’s very narrow. But it probably was just
crab grass and bermuda grass. – It was just always a chore to keep that weed eated. I’ll try something native
like the Queen Anne’s lace, ’cause it should be tough. And it has turned out to be amazing. And also the Artemisia, very
invasive spreading variety, was able to be contained in there. And we love the silver
foliage and the white to tie in with our theme. Not something you’d want in the garden, because you couldn’t–
– No I wouldn’t wanna put it in here. But it’s a ground cover
Artemisia and it mixes with the beautiful white Queen Anne’s lace and at night it just
glows and it just really, it lightens the whole
property, I think, out there. – [Troy] So the front garden was the first thing you developed, garden wise, after you
moved into the house. – [Scott] Right, just for
the curb appeal, of course. And then at first there
was no fence and arbor and we just did curb appeal planning. And then fence and arbor came
a little later after that. – [Troy] As often happens.
– [Scott] Right. – [Troy] You know you have to
just sort of wait sometimes. A, decide what you want. B, pad the budget to do it. Those kinds of things. – [Scott] But we did
save that historic gate from our previous historic house. And we knew we wanted to reuse it someday. And I painted it white
to go with everything. And we have another one
that’s gonna go in the back to match. So everyone loves that gate out there. – I noticed you have a lot
of roses and you’ve got the most sun probably in
this part of the garden. – There’s the most here and
a little bit in the back too. Some areas. – [Troy] Are they heirloom roses or are they historic varieties? What’s your preference
on many of the roses? – [Scott] I love the
antique heirloom roses. So we do have, like this one is called Clothilde Soupert, it’s a French name. And it’s a Polythantha and it smells and it’s a beautiful rose. It’s blooming now even when nothing else, most roses have gone over. – Yeah, there’s some other
interesting little plants in here that I noticed. This almost looks like a little hollyhock. – It is, it’s Malva Sebrina
which is the French hollyhock. And everyone loves that one. And although it gets a little
rust like most hollyhocks, you can control it by pinching
off the infected leaves. But you can let it, I
like to let it go to seed and even though they get
tall and ratty looking, like that one over there, you save the seeds and then
you can give ’em to friends, you can throw ’em in your garden. – [Troy] Right, scatter
them around and it’s– – They just kind of come up everywhere just like these Cleomees do. – [Troy] Right. I also like that you used these topiaries and some other evergreens in places. It offers structure in the garden. Probably at a season, maybe
even not so noticeable in the summer when everything’s grown up, but then in the winter you really get great structure out of them. – [Scott] I love these
Ligustrum topiaries. They’re easier than boxwoods. I love boxwoods too, but Ligustrum seem to be tougher than anything. And as long as you prune
’em but they don’t let ’em go to flower, and just
shape ’em up a little bit, they’re pretty low maintenance. And then we have these
beautiful tea olives Osmanthus fragrans on this side here, which add so much, not only evergreen, but the smell that you get from these. – [Troy] Right, and those
bloom in the winter. – Um hmm, they have a
very tiny white bloom, but their fragrance is amazing
in late fall, early winter. And then we have camellias
and cherry laurel on that side and actually banana shrub is in there too. – [Troy] So that gives
you evergreen and privacy, even though your neighbors are very close. – [Scott] These are great
neighbors, but we still like to have a little bit
of a garden room feel. So it has mystery, it adds
mystery to the garden. – So as we walk from the front
garden to the back garden, it kind of transitions into
this really beautiful deck and sitting area. Tell me about the garden back here. – Well Troy, this garden was a sun garden. And we have roses all around the fountain. But as you can see we have
this 100 year old oak tree that came with the house. And then as the tree kept growing, then the roses kept getting
leggy, they didn’t bloom enough. So we figured that we had
to change our original idea. We kept getting more shade. We completely changed the whole scheme and now it’s like a woodland garden. – Right, right, and then you also have beautiful containers around on the deck and other places too. Do you do all your containers? – Yes we do. We like kind of a woodland loose style, because I like to watch the hummingbirds. I like to sit there and
eat and then just see them going from box to box. And we inspire by cutting
spire by the gardens in London. So this is like an English
mix, southern style. – [Troy] Gotcha. So you have a lot of
hydrangeas in the garden also. – Yes, we love hydrangeas because they add a lot of color when a lot of other shrubs and perennials are tired, you know are overbloomed in the summer. – Yeah, so you’ve got the oak
leaves, and then these pretty, blue, just the old fashioned mopheads. This could be any number
of varieties probably. But these really beautiful big flowers that last for several weeks. And then on behind you here a little bit we’ve got lace caps, and
then even the Annabelle. – Yes, we like to match a lot of white to the fencing and like that bench. And for example, we
have a snowball viburnum on this side so it looks
beautiful in the spring, the big snowballs with the bench. – Uh huh, you also have a
really interesting mixture of trees, shrubs, perennials,
evergreens, non evergreens, so is that on purpose, it gives
you the most interest maybe? – Yes, because as you can see, we don’t have a lot of annuals. And we like plants that come back. So we do have a lot of the
perennials but for example, like the Helleborus is an evergreen and it’ll bloom in the winter. So while a lot of things are not blooming, we have the Helleborus
and a lot of camellias. Which looks spectacular. And we like to have a succession
of blooming in the garden so we have a lot of redbuds
and roses and magnolias and so on. – Yeah, so any season of the year, you can have something beautiful in bloom, and whether you’re out here enjoying it or whether you cut it
and bring it indoors, there’s always a flower to be had. – Yes, and even if nothing
is blooming, like in here, we have the structure with the boxwoods and the beautiful hostas. We get a lot of texture. As you can see we like to mix
the (mumbles) with the ferns, the finer leaf with the
thicker and broader leaves. So that it looks interesting. – Right, so you’ve got
that textural combination. And then even in the winter
when the hostas are dormant and underground, you’ve
still got the boxwoods and the monkey grass
and that sort of stuff giving you the structure
even in the winter time. – [Olga] Yes. – [Troy] And one of my
favorite oakleaf hydrangeas is this double flowered one. It’s so beautiful. It looks like it really
blooms a long time. – [Olga] Yes, it does. And we love to combine it
with other kinds of hydrangeas because it’s so unusual. And it’s so bright, the white really pops because as you can see
this is a shade garden and it gets kind of dark sometimes. So that adds a lot of light to the garden. – [Troy] Yeah, it really brightens it up. – [Olga] Um hmm. – Well Olga, Scott, I wanna thank you for letting us come and
be a part of your garden for a little while. It’s obvious that this
garden brings you guys so much joy and pleasure
and you can really have a beautiful garden all the time. – We try. (laughs) What we really try, is just
maybe to impart on everybody is that don’t be overwhelmed. You know you can always change things, you can move things around. We have the planters
that we can experiment and we like to explain that you can have four
seasons of interest. So you have to have your
evergreen for structure and then your color, your perennials that come
back every year for the color. And the little pops of
annuals if you like. So you always can have something. You don’t have to feel like there’s dead seasons and no color. Even in the winter here. So that’s what I would say is don’t be overwhelmed
and just try something and you can do it. – [Troy] Well thank you both so much. – [Olga And Scott] Thank you. – [Scott] Thanks for coming. (happy music) – [Announcer] For inspiring garden tours, growing tips and garden projects, visit our website at
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