Yes, I really preferred a lawnmower to cut flowers. I’m just that kinda girl.

May 28th, 2004
A Reel Mower

As a combination Mother Day’s/birthday present, I got a reel mower, which arrived yesterday. After a bit of research, including going to look at some at Breed and Home Depot, I decided on American Lawnmower’s 1815-18. It is supposed to work best on our coarse St. Augustine grass and it has the highest blade level. (As summer progresses I mow higher and higher, so that the leaves of grass shade its roots.) We purchased the mower on sale at When the UPS man delivered it, he was so excited. “Look what I brought you. Man! I haven’t seen one of these since I was a kid. I can see what you’re going to be doing this holiday weekend.”
Read the rest of this entry »

photo: Magnolia Little Gem
2004-05-26. Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’.

photo: Magnolia Little Gem
2007-05-27. Loving this wet, cool spring.

May 26th, 2004
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’

Maybe because my Mom wore “White Shoulders”, I love the scent of the flowers old South: jasmine, gardenias, and magnolias. AJM, too, is impressed by magnolias and wanted me to plant one. But they grow into huge trees, casting a dense shade. I also worried that a magnolia would get chlorotic in our chalky soil and need special treatment, like azaleas (another plant I’ve avoided so far). This winter, however, I was impressed with some magnolias in an apartment landscaping along Victory Drive behind the Target on Ben White Blvd. They seemed green and healthy and the trees had a beautiful conical form.

So, after a little research on the net, I decided to buy ‘Little Gem’, a “dwarf” magnolia that is supposed to grow only to 12 to 20 feet tall. I found one at Floribunda Nursery and planted it last January. Today, although still quite young and only three feet tall, it produced three creamy flowers, each five inches across. The leaves are glossy green on the upper surface and a velvety-textured russet underneath. And the scent! sweet but also sharply lemon.

Zanthan Gardens History

Bought 3-gallon ‘Little Gem’ magnolia at Floribunda.

Fed, weeded and mulched with compost. Topped with cuttings from the Christmas tree and put the cover of flat rocks on top.

“As the UK’s leading gardening charity, the RHS advises on good gardening practice, with environmental responsibility being central to our idea of excellence.” — Simon Thornton-Wood. RHS Head of Science, Advice and Libraries.

May 15th, 2004
Encouraging Biodiversity and Wildlife

The Royal Horticulture Society focuses on biodiversity and wildlife in their current issue of The Garden. All gardens impose a human construct on nature. Whether we benefit or destroy the environment in which we garden depends on our approach.
Read the rest of this entry »