Troy is a plantsman, author, photographer and garden designer who co-hosts Nashville Public Television's hit gardening show, Volunteer Gardener.  He has recently joined forces with Garden Travelers, of Indianapolis, Indiana, leading unique, small group garden and history focused tours both at home and abroad. His personal blog, "Gardener Cook" is a hit with gardeners and food enthusiasts, alike. For more information about Troy, visit

Recent Blog Posts

Apr 20
Jewels of the Spring Garden   (1 comment)

Mar 26
Dreaming of Summer  

Mar 01
Where, Oh Where, Is Spring?  

Feb 11
The Roses of Winter  

Jan 24
Classic Gardens and Country Estates of England  

Jan 13
The View From Wits’ End  




The Roses of Winter
by Troy Marden - posted 02/11/14

Helleborus x hybridus 'Tutu'

With the exceptionally cold weather that we have experienced in Tennessee this winter and with little to no snow cover to protect plants from the single digit temperatures, I was elated when I saw new growth and even a few buds on the hellebores (aka Lenten rose) pushing through the ground this week as the weather moderated just a little.  Winter is far from over, but I found a glimmer of hope in the fact that maybe the plants aren't quite as bad off as I thought they might be. In another week or so, I'll carefully trim last year's brown, freeze-dried leaves from the plants as flower buds and new growth begin to emerge, but for now, the dead leaves are still offering a little protection to the new growth that is just emerging.

I have been experimenting with hellebores, or Lenten roses, for nearly 20 years and I am especially fond of some of the new cultivars with flowers in clean, clear colors and in single, semi-double and fully double forms. Hellebores are happiest in part to full shade, in rich, well-amended soil.  They need good drainage, especially in winter.  Once they're established, they are quite drought tolerant and if you have a deer problem, they'll quickly become one of your favorite shade garden plants, since the deer won't touch them.  Here are a few current favorites.

Helleborus x hybridus 'Golden Lotus'


Helleborus niger 'Double Fantasy'


Helleborus x 'Winter Moonbeam'


Helleborus x hybridus 'Red Lady'


These are but a few favorites.  There are many others.  I hope this sparks a little interest and sends you on a search for these tough, forgiving, easy-to-grow and exceptionally beautiful plants.

Happy Gardening!


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Classic Gardens and Country Estates of England
by Troy Marden - posted 01/24/14

One of the things you will see me post about here from time to time will be opportunities to join me as I lead garden tours to a variety of destinations around the world. Since we have a deadline coming up very soon, I thought I would extend my first invitation to join me on a one-of-a-kind trip to England from June 18-27, 2014. This itinerary includes visits to some of England's most famous gardens and other historic destinations including the Chatsworth Estate, Hever Castle (the childhood home of Anne Boleyn) and Leeds Castle, as well as the world-famous gardens of Sissinghurst, Barnsley House (the garden of the late Rosemary Verey), Great Dixter (the garden and home of the late Christopher Lloyd) and many others.

The deadline for reservations is February 1, 2014.  You can find the full itinerary at my website, here:  or by emailing me at

I hope that some of you will consider joining me on this very special trip!

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The View From Wits’ End
by Troy Marden - posted 01/13/14

Welcome! I am so excited to begin writing this new blog, The View From Wits' End, which will detail the goings on in my home garden, as well as introduce you to some of my favorite plants, garden products and more.  I'll also take you along with me as I travel around the country on speaking engagements and book signings, which often include visiting spectacular public and private gardens along the way and you'll have a front seat view with Garden Travelers, a garden tour company that I am now associated with, as we take groups of travelers to fabulous gardens and historic destinations around the world! (And you'll be given the opportunity to join us!)

You can also follow along with the many things I have going on by "Liking" my Facebook page at and by visiting my website at

As we kick off 2014, I hope you'll come back and visit on a regular basis. I will post something new from the garden at least once a week and I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback, reading your comments and answering your questions!  Thanks again for joining me and I hope you enjoy "The View From Wits' End"!

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