Grand is the Garden | Volunteer Gardener

– [Annette] Today I have
stepped into an acre and a half of estate gardens
from front to back that are filled,
and Debbie Pittman and her husband over 38 years
have designed and planted. So Debbie, you start
over there with water. – [Debbie] Right. And I have a lot of swamp iris that are in that smallest pool. I have water lilies, and
something called corkscrew. – [Annette] Yes. What makes this so good? – Well, this is so
easy is one reason, but I have the pickerel. – [Annette] With
the purple bloom. – [Debbie] That just takes,
the only thing we have to do is that at the end of the season we pull some of it out,
because it’s gonna be, you know, it loves to grow. The parrot feather
is right there, and again, all I do at
the end of the season is take that out and
keep a couple of sprigs, and over winter it. Water hyacinth’s the same way. The water hyacinth is not… I have some water hyacinth
in there that’s blooming, but it will proliferate. So everything is easy. That keeps the algae down, along with the
black dye I put in. Everything’s happy here. You see the dragonflies,
they’re happy. – [Annette] Those herons
look like they’re real. – [Debbie] (laughing)
No, they’re not. – [Annette] I know
it, but I’m amazed at the number of dragonflies
that I see in here. And you have no mosquitoes. – [Debbie] No, and that’s one
reason I have no mosquitoes. I also have frogs and
tadpoles that help. I put the mosquito
dunks on the surface to make sure their
eggs don’t hatch. But it’s easy, its
really is easy gardening. – [Annette] You know,
it’s just so amazing, I just can’t take it all in. And everything about
it, aesthetically, what I hear and
smell and see is, it’s overwhelming
to me, it’s just… – [Debbie] You’re nice. – [Annette] That’s real truth. And then we can swap
over onto the other side, and you fooled me on
this optical illusion. – Yes. – There’s really no water
going under this bridge. – Right, there’s
three separate ponds, because they’re three
different levels. – [Annette] I see
a reflection pool, and there is a secret,
so give us the overview and how this achieved, Debbie. – [Debbie] Well, this
one is our deepest pool. We wanted to put the fish here. Now, I don’t have any
fancy fish because I don’t trust the
raccoons or whatever else, the herons, to
come and get them. So it’s three feet deep. I just have a lot
of goldfish in here. The black dye that
I put in the pond keeps the algae out, really, and it also helps
show the goldfish when they do come up. I feed them with the duck weed, which is also pretty,
we just don’t try to let it proliferate too much. – [Annette] Yes, if
it gets out of hand, you just dip it out? – [Debbie] Right, right. But it doesn’t. Whatever I put in here,
those fish will go. It’s that pond over there
that’s kind of like my, I grow it there and then
put it in here for the fish. Because this is
my prettiest one. – [Annette] Yes, to say. And the ladies over
there, they represent– – [Debbie] There’s
actually four seasons. The fourth one is– – [Annette] Oh, I see it. – [Debbie] So it’s
the four seasons. – [Annette] The four seasons,
that’s what I thought. – [Debbie] That was a
Christmas present, so, yeah. – [Annette] Well, as
beautiful as this is, there’s another
area that I love, and it’s a cutting garden. – [Debbie] Okay. – [Annette] You know, Debbie, I myself believe that there
never should be a garden that doesn’t have
a cutting garden, because even though you
can see them outside, it’s so wonderful
to take them inside. – Right. – And you’ve designed this
yourself geometrically, and you’ve placed
certain plants in here. What do you like? – Well, originally,
in the spring, I love the peonies, which
are all over the place, but they are past their prime. – I understand. – And then I have dahlias
that I can get to come back. I’ve figured out
a way to make them come back and to bloom twice. So I have really added
a lot of dahlias, but then I have some
heirloom rubrum lilies that are really old,
and then I’ve just added a lot of Asiatic lilies
to have some color in here during the spring. – [Annette] Yeah. This is backed up by something that really protects them. Tell us about your cryptomerias. – [Debbie] Right. The cryptomeria are
about 10 years old. I never thought they would
get this large this fast, but they give a lot of
texture to the grounds, really, when you look at it, because they add a lot. And then I repeat them
in the back, and anyway, I like cryptomeria. – [Annette] You
know something else, because that’s
west, this is north. This is a wonderful windbreak. – Yes. – Because your bad
weather and all in the wintertime comes
from that direction, so you’re creating protection– – That’s correct. – For the plants
that are in here. – I’ve tried, and the Burford
Holly do the same thing. – Yeah. – So yeah, we’ve got it
pretty much enclosed. – Yes you do. Debbie, in a garden
of this size, what’s surrounded by
these magnificent trees, you do have some shade, also. And as we go along through
this shaded area here, you’ve got a lot of
wonderful plants, but this is such a beautiful
spotlight right here, and I believe you said you
have two annuals in this kind. – Right, well that
one, that’s a fern, and then my mandevilla. – [Annette] That is remarkable. Because people fill in
sometimes with annuals, but you don’t need to. – [Debbie] Well,
it’s low maintenance, so I’d rather not
buy them every year. – I find that a little
bit low maintenance that just came
out of your mouth, but I don’t believe you. – Lower maintenance,
let’s put it that way. – Okay. And I’m enjoying
walking with you, because I know that you
are the gardener here. It’s you from the
very beginning. – And my husband, right. – Right, exactly. And in this shaded area,
you are afforded the luxury of hostas, aren’t you? – I have lots and
lots of hostas. I like them and they
also keep the weeds down, so that’s another reason. – [Annette] That’s good,
that’s another mulch. – [Debbie] So lower maintenance. – [Annette] That’s good, it
still holds down the moisture. It keeps it in, too. And I see you have azaleas,
and they bloom well in here? – [Debbie] They do fine. They do great. This is deciduous, so
they still get enough sun in the early spring
to bloom great, yeah. – [Annette] I can tell that,
and the wild ropy’s happy also. – [Debbie] Yes, that’s
again a way to just, less expensive way
to line your borders. – [Annette] Well,
it camouflages, and strolling through this path, it’s very cool and
the breeze is in here, so I think that you
probably enjoy this area. – That’s right. – With these two
chairs to sit in. – [Debbie] And we sit
over there, that’s right. It’s the coolest place. – I wanted to talk to you
about this Solomon’s Seal now. – Right. – Is this native, because
it’s not the variegated. – [Debbie] No, it is native. I think I put in my first
variegated this year, but I’m not sure where it is. It’s just one plant. – [Annette] They’re
actually relative to the lily of the valleys. – [Debbie] They look like
that, they do look like that. – [Annette] They’re
in that family, and then there’s
something else that you’ve included in here
that gives you green in the wintertime,
is your hellebores. – [Debbie] I love them. I’ve had those probably
20 years, and they just– – [Annette] And
they self-propagate? – [Debbie] They go
all over the yard, and I let them go. – [Annette] That
makes it exciting. – [Debbie] Right, yes. Because they’re beautiful
from December until, I mean, they’re still pretty. – [Annette] So Debbie, I
noticed an interesting sign at the front of your driveway. You are participating in
the natural wildlife… – [Debbie] Wildlife federation, and it’s an urban
wildlife habitat. And so that is
encouraging people to, in the suburbs,
to understand that they can enliven
their gardens by adding the three things
that animals need, which is food, and water,
and a place to hide. The things that are desirable, the butterflies, the bees,
you’re looking for pollinators. I added even a bat house. So it’s just, when
you look outside, it doesn’t look boring. It looks very active and fun. There’s always
something to look at. It just makes you
want to sit outside. So that’s why I do
it, and that’s why I talk to other
people about doing it. – [Annette] Debbie, this alley
of white Natchez Crape Myrtle is fabulous and it’s
a good example, to me, of how it takes time
to make a garden. – Right. – It takes two people
willing to work together. They may not have the
same sight and vision, but they cohesively
work together, and you have created
a masterpiece. (mellow guitar music) – [Announcer] For
inspiring garden tours, growing tips, and
garden projects, visit our website at, or on YouTube at the
Volunteer Gardener channel, and like us on Facebook. (mellow guitar music)


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