Peggy Hill is a garden consultant, writer, speaker and plant ho. She blogs about her garden shenanigans at hiddenhillsgarden.com. Peggy is also working to preserve 435 acres and 25,000 feet of magnificent shoreline on Smith Lake in North Alabama as part of the Forever Wild Land Trust. For more information and to register your support, visit savesmithlake.com.
 

 

Great Gift Ideas for Gardeners
by Peggy Hill - posted 11/10/13

My original plan was to start showing you my garden, but I changed my mind. There are a couple pictures of my garden in this post, but it focuses on great gifts for gardeners. Do you realize how little time we have before Christmas? It’s scary. I post here every other week, so there's only time for three posts before Christmas: this post about stuff in my garden, then my favorite gardening books and finally can’t-live-without tools.

Gnome be gones

These gnome-be-gones are my absolute favorite garden decoration. They would have blended into the mulch and disappeared, so I put them on a bed of golden creeping Jenny. They're in the lower right hand corner of this next picture.

This one bears a slight resemblance to me.

It sits at the entrance to the wonderful outdoor area we call the Starlight Lounge

The Starlight lounge

"I don't often hang out in lounges, but when I do it's the Starlight."

Gnome be gonegnome be goneMy last one beckons visitors into the woodland garden.

The one I have on this year's Christmas list is called the bird wave. The cute little gnome-be-gone is doing the middle-finger-extended, back-of-the-hand wave, and at first I thought, well that’s rude to have a gnome-be-gone flipping visitors off, but then I realized he doesn’t have to flip off people. I can use him to release my aggressions. For instance, next time the Heliopsis gets attacked by mealy bugs I’ll just park his little gnome-be-gone butt right next to it; or maybe I’ll use him to send a message to the darn voles; or when an area gets weedy he could mark the spot until I have time to deal with it. I think somehow this will make me feel better. If you’re interested in gnome-be-gones, here’s a link to the website www.sugarpost.com.

Water FeatureThe pond was a present one year, and I bought the fishing dog on a trip to Daytona Beach.

Container gardeningA gardener can never have too many pots.

Yard Art, frogs

My husband Dale gave me these last Christmas.

Rain barrel

I use the rain barrels a lot, but that rain chain doesn't work very well. I need to try a different design. Maybe I'll get a new one this year. - hint, hint

wind chime

I love wind chimes.

You might not find these exact items, but hopefully I've given you some ideas. Happy shopping!

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The Biltmore Estate
by Peggy Hill - posted 11/08/13

Last weekend the whole family was in Asheville, North Carolina for my niece’s wedding. I’m quite convinced that nothing I have ever done during my 28+ years of marriage…not raising three wonderful children…not running a successful business…not writing for a large publication……..nothing has ever impressed my mother-in-law so much as my ability to score free tickets to the Biltmore estate. She bragged about it to everyone at the wedding.

I wish I’d taken more pictures to show you, but I was busy socializing. These first two pictures were downloaded from the Biltmore website.

Biltmore EstateBiltmore EstateBiltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate

Vanda Pachara Delight 'Isabella'

Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate

This is my favorite picture. We caught the tail end of fall, and it was beautiful,

just like Rachel and Jared's wedding.

Vacation has put me behind on everything, so this is a very short post. You should go see the Biltmore estate for yourself. It’s amazing!

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A Fun Game
by Peggy Hill - posted 10/30/13

I’m always very happy for other people when nice things happen to them or they achieve something special. I would never begrudge someone their good fortune. However, I am a little bit competitive, and therefore I’m most happy when good things happen to me, and when my achievements are better than your achievements. There, I said it. It’s sad, but true. I’m still a nice person. You would probably like me, if you met me. And doesn’t everyone want to win? So let’s play a little game called ‘Whose Picture Looks Best?’

I’m sorry; I couldn’t resist. 

I also want to tell you that I’ve changed my plan. Originally I was going to alternate weekly posts between my two blogs, but now I'm thinking that I might post something short on the off weeks….maybe a pretty picture, or a tip, or a fun game.

Anyway, this week I’m on my other blog, plantho.com, talking about how gardening makes you a nicer person, and I’m showing pictures of Larry Miller’s garden. Since this is Alabama Gardener, you probably didn’t see the garden profile I did on Larry’s garden for the Feb. 2013 issue of Georgia Gardening, but it’s a beautiful garden. Pop over to plantho.com (also known as hiddenhillsgarden.com) and take a look.

I don't want you to think that reading my blog today was a waste of your time, and you came away with nothing but the satisfaction of having indulged me in my silliness, so here's the best advice Larry ever gave me, "Concentrate on creating an environment that attracts all types of insects, birds and other wildlife, and just let it come to its natural balance." And here's a pretty picture from Larry's garden.

Larry Miller's Garden

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