Camellias- ‘Winter Roses’ in my garden….

Assortment of Camellia's from my garden.
Assortment of Camellia’s from my garden.


I’ve always  been amazed with the delicate beauty of camellias. Their flowers, in my opinion, often resemble those of a rose. Of course, everyone knows I love roses, so during the winter months my camellias become my ‘winter roses’.

My camellia collection consists of a dozen- 9 Camellia japonicas and 3 Camellia sasanquas.   Of course, by choosing both species I can have the best of both worlds with blooms in the fall, winter and spring.

Presently, I am enjoying the glorious splendor of the Camellia japonica’s in my garden…


Nuccio's bella rosa
Camellia japonica ‘Nuccio’s bella rosa’

Nuccio’s bella rosa is one of my favorites. I planted two medium sized bushes a few years ago and it never disappoints. Beautiful formal, 4 inch red blooms almost all winter. Gorgeous! 

Nuccio's bella rosa
Camellia japonica ‘Nuccio’s bella rosa’


Camellia japonica 'Nuccio's Gem'
Camellia japonica
‘Nuccio’s Gem’

Another favorite that I’ve grown for years is ‘Nuccio’s Gem‘. I must say what a gem it is with its sparkling white formal winter blooms. Mine is 6 feet tall and situated in a protected area in my garden. 

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‘Delores Edwards’

 This X williamsii hybrid grows well in my Zone 7b hot and humid climate. ‘Delores Edwards‘ has beautiful large semi double orchid pink flowers. Lovely.

 Please click this link for a previous post on my fall blooming Camellia sasanquas .









Queen of Vines…Clematis blooming in my garden….


This has been a spectacular spring for my clematis.This captivating vine is definitely the ‘Queen of Vines’ with its elegant and colorful meandering blooms. Having grown close to 50 varieties, the majority purchased from Dan Long @ Brushwood Nursery I just can’t get enough of them in my garden.  Here’s a video peek of several varieties blooming in my garden now….


Sombreuil … my garden

The lovely Sombreuil, an exquisite creamy white climber that I would never do without in my garden.

She has beautiful old fashioned blooms with a wonderful fragrance. Good repeat flowering too.

Give Sombreuil some room since mine is about 12 feet wide.



Wordless Wednesday…in my garden…..

Tulip 'Carmen Rio'
Tulip ‘Carmen Rio’


‘Your Imminence’






Camellia ‘Nuccio’s Gem’


Camellia ‘Nuccio’s Bella Rossa’








Tulips ‘American Dream’






Edgeworthia with hellebores


Camellia ‘Nuccio’s Pearl’


Camellia ‘Nuccio’s Gem’


Camellia ‘Professor Sargent’

A Southern style Christmas in my garden….

Since I skipped decorating my garden for Christmas this year (been focusing on decorating inside for Christmas) I thought I would repost this from Christmas Garden past….Happy Holidays!  Peace and Happiness!


With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I’m a bit late in posting photo’s of my Christmas garden this year.   Here’s a peek….

Note: All Christmas arrangements, containers, wreaths and photos were designed and made by me (Brenda Addington) …The Graceful Gardener.

My garden bench decorated with fresh evergreens from my garden…

My potting bench all decked out for the holidays.


Christmas arrangement made from magnolias and evergreens picked from my garden.


A Christmas basket (my former succulent basket) embellished with evergreens, lenten roses and yes, a few succulents.

My Outdoor room console table.

My outdoor room mantel. Every year I have a family of birds nesting in one of these birdhouses.

My Entrance that I decorate each year with my life size Santa and over-sized bell swags I made several years ago.


My outdoor Christmas arrangement – ferns, berries and some faux and real evergreen sprays and magnolia leaves ( I have 6 huge magnolia trees in my garden).

I love the Christmas wreaths I made five years ago. I spruced them up a bit this year adding more pines cones and evergreen sprays.

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my garden to yours……


Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day….May Roses in my garden….

Time  for my roses to take center stage in my garden.

I grow all my roses organically using no chemicals or pesticides.

Here’s a peek of some of my no-spray roses that are blooming in my garden today….



'Distant Drums' shrub rose
‘Distant Drums’ shrub rose



Amber Flower Carpet rose
Amber Flower Carpet rose


Amber Flower carpet rose
Amber Flower carpet rose


'Julia Child' Floribunda rose
‘Julia Child’ Floribunda rose


'Princess Alexandra of Kent' David Austin rose
‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’
David Austin rose


'Poseidon' Kordes Rose
‘Poseidon’ Kordes Rose




Double Knockout roses
Double Knockout roses


'Mystic Beauty' Bourbon rose
‘Mystic Beauty’ Bourbon rose


Drift roses and climbing rose 'Lady Ashe'
Drift roses and climbing rose ‘Lady Ashe’



Climbing rose'Zephirine Drouhin'
Climbing rose’Zephirine Drouhin’


Drift roses
Drift roses


'Evelyn' David Austin rose
‘Evelyn’ David Austin rose




This monthly Bloom Day is hosted by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Many thanks!

Creating Spring Color and Texture With Conifers and Japanese Maples….in my garden…

conifersand JapMaples_5


I’m all about color.  In my garden that is. Anyone who has visited my garden knows that between all the roses, hydrangeas, peonies, bulbs, perennials, and annuals that color always makes a statement every spring and summer in my garden. However, for the last several years my spring garden has been displaying a different type of explosion of color and texture — one that involves an obsession of mine–  collecting conifers and Japanese Maples. I have been avidly collecting both for over 6 years now and there seems to be no stopping me. That is until I run out of space which I am precariously approaching ( I garden on about one acre) and when that happens I’m convinced I’ll start redesigning my landscape to justify my need (obsession) for the latest cool new conifer or alluring Japanese maple.

One thing is for sure, this obsession of mine gives me a spectacular display of color and texture and that is something I cherish each spring….



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Far left: Acer palm. ‘Koto no ito’


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Large Dissectum JapMaple, ‘All Gold’ juniper, weeping Alaskan cedar.




Acer palm.’Ornatum’, ‘Saligna Aurea’ Monterey cypress



‘Saligna Aurea’ monterey cypress, ‘ Acer palm. ‘Beni otake’, Acer Murasaki Kiyohime











Acer palm. ‘Watnog’, weeping Alaskan cedars, ‘Daubs Frosted’ juniper, ‘Crimson Queen’ large Dissectum, Cupressus glabra ‘Raywoods Weeping’, Picea orientalis ‘Firefly’.



conifersand JapMaples


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Picea orientalis ‘Firefly’



conifersand JapMaples_8
Acer palm. ‘Hana Matoi, Acer palm. ‘Baldsmith’.










For short video of the conifers and JapMaples in my garden click here:



‘Spring Fling’….in my Garden…



It’s that time of year again. Time to share the tulips and other spring bulbs that are in full bloom in my garden.

Every fall I judiciously plant (even though last fall I planted far less) more than a thousand tulips and other bulbs in my garden. All my hard work and sore muscles are then rewarded with the beautiful blossoms that emerge this time of year. I planted a lot more daffodils this time around since the deer stay away from them.  It’s always a ‘touch and go’ scenario with my tulips since the deer tend to eat them. This year was one of my ‘fortunate’ years since they spared my tulips (all 1,000 of them).

Here’s a glimpse of whats blooming in my garden now.  For more photos and inspiration check out my previous posts about bulbs in my garden here:  and  here:




Tulip ‘Queen of Night”





Tulip ‘ Maureen’





Daffodil ‘Pipit’





Daffodil ‘Hawera’





Tulip “Queen of Night and ‘Maureen’






white tulips






Snowflake “Gravetye Giant’








My Visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens… Imaginary Worlds —a New Kingdom of Giant Plants…

This weekend my family and I visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, as my birthday present, to see the spectacular Imaginary Worlds exhibition. There we strolled through the gardens and saw giant plant sculptures such as; Gorillas, frogs, butterflies, cobras, an Ogre, unicorn and shaggy dog. Of course, stealing the show was the lovely Earth Goddess, being the largest of these sculptures at 25 feet tall!

These giant animal sculptures are planted with thousands of plants using a horticultural art called Mosaiculture, created in Canada by the International Mosaiculture of Montreal.  As defined on the ABG website, “Each sculpture is a living work of art. Thousands of annuals are planted in colorful, ornate patterns on steel forms covered with netting and soil. A combination of internal irrigation systems and hand watering help the plants to flourish. Each sculpture is meticulously groomed on a weekly schedule to maintain the artistic lines as the plants grow.”


Here are some of the fabulous works of horticultural art we saw…


Shaggy Dog
Shaggy Dog greets you as you enter the gardens…


One of the Gorilla’s…


The Ogre
The Ogre


Lovely vibrant Butterfly…


The Giant Cobra 2
The Giant Cobra’s were a hit with my boys…


The Giant Cobra 3


The Giant Cobra 4


Frog lily pad
Frogs on lily pads…


large frog


Loved the Unicorn…



Earth Goddess
Stealing my heart- the beautiful Earth Goddess, 25 feet tall, overlooking the Cascade Gardens Waterfalls. She is made up of 18,000 annuals. Amazing!


Earth Goddess2

family ABG



Hope you enjoyed the tour of the spectacular exhibition at The Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  I know I did!


ABG-Atlanta Botanical Gardens




















My Garden…a Country Gardens Award Winner…a ‘Labor of Love’


that my garden and myself, Brenda Addington  (aka-The Graceful Gardener), are featured in the current fall issue of Country Gardens Magazine as one of their Country Garden Award winners!

They gave my garden the ‘Dream Country Garden’ award.  Heavens!  This is the first experience I’ve had at winning a garden award.




 Included in the six page feature is a list of a few of my favorite roses that I grow in my garden….










In the Resources section of this issue is a list of some of my favorite mail order sources for roses, organic fertilizers,etc.


Many thanks to the folks at Country Garden Magazine, especially the editor, James Baggett, and to Danny Flanders who wrote the wonderful article ‘Labor of Love’  about my garden. So Thrilled!

Glorious Hydrangeas in my garden…


H.arborescens ‘Annabelle’

My Glorious Hydrangeas

Recently, there’s been a glorious explosion of hydrangea flowers in my garden.  This month my hydrangeas (along with my roses) have taken center stage.

I grow several varieties in my garden which is a small collection of about 40 Hydrangeas.

Hydrangea arborescens:


H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’

The blooms of ‘Annabelle’ are absolutely huge in my garden. Some are  nearly 12 inches across.

‘Annabelle‘ has big balls of flowers that start out green, then turn to white and eventually dry a pale green as the season progresses. The flowers are lacy and delicate, but don’t let that fool you, this plant is tough. Mine are massed in a bed around my fountain.

‘Annabelle’ in my white garden.


Hydrangea macrophylla:

‘Alpengluhen’ (Glowing Embers)

H. macrophylla ‘Glowing Embers’

 ‘Alpengluhen’- (Glowing Embers) is a new addition to my hydrangea collection this year. A compact 3′ tall hydrangea with beautiful pinkish-red flowers.


‘Endless Summer’ and ‘Big Daddy’

Mass planting of H. macrophylla ‘Endless Summer and ‘Big Daddy’

My Endless Summer are planted in my backyard amongst a few other hydrangeas, ‘Big Daddy‘ and ‘Snowflake’ . What a spectacular show of blooms they put on every year.


‘Endless Summer’ & ‘Big Daddy’

‘Endless Summer’ is a very hardy hydrangea and blooms on both the current season’s growth as well as old growth, providing the advantage of a longer bloom period.

‘Big Daddy’, another H. macrophylla, has giant flower heads a foot across or more.




Endless Summer ‘Blushing Bride’

H. macrophylla  'Blushing Bride'
H. macrophylla ‘Blushing Bride’

Endless Summer ‘Blushing Bride‘ produces blooms throughout the season on both new and old stems. Huge blooms start out pure white and become more of an antique pink as they fade. I have several planted with H. macrophylla ”Mariesii Variegata’ ‘Blushing Bride‘ is very lovely…

Blushing Bride’ planted amongst H. macrophylla lace cap ‘Mariesii Variegata


H. Macrophylla  ‘Mariesii Variegata‘-LaceCap

Lace cap ‘Mariesii Variegata’

This LaceCap  ‘Mariesii Variegata’,  I must admit was a bit cold sensitive for my Zone 7b climate. The first two I ever planted, died the following year after an usually cold winter. Two years ago, I planted two more in a more sheltered location and am hoping they will survive. So far so good. The leaves are green with white margins and flowers either pink or blue lacecap blossoms.


H. macrophylla ‘ Blue Wave‘-LaceCap and ‘Nikko Blue

‘Blue Wave‘ (behind JMaple)’ and ‘Nikko Blue, H. macrophylla’ planted amongst ‘Autumn’ ferns and a variegated Japanese Maple ‘Oku Kuji Nishiki’.

 Many of my Hydrangeas are inter-planted with Japanese Maples and ferns in my backyard garden. I love this combination, especially with my ‘Blue Wave’ and ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangeas.

‘Blue Wave’ Lacecap Hydrangea

 H. macrophylla, ‘Blue Wave‘ happens to be my favorite LaceCap hydrangea in my garden. A glorious sight when in bloom.The Lacecap flowers are a captivating blue that I love to photograph. Mine are planted in light shade under pine trees receiving late morning /early afternoon dappled sun and are thriving. Beautiful!


Hydrangea quercifolia:


H. quercifolia ‘Snowflake’

Ok, if I had to pick a favorite hydrangea in my garden, it would be this one- H. quercifolia ‘Snowflake’.

This one is a stunner. “Snowflake’ has absolutely gorgeous clusters that are densely layered just dripping with showy white flowers. I have several planted with many of my H. macrophylla’s throughout my garden.

‘Snowflake’ planted with ‘Endless Summer and Big Daddy H. macrophylla.

‘Snowflake’ and ‘Annabelle


‘Snowflake’ starting to turn pink in color..

The flowers age beautifully and I love every stage throughout the season. Snowflakes flowers start out pure white, gradually fading to pink and then turning brown by late summer. I can’t say enough about this plant… 


‘Snowflake’ in late summer


While these photo’s I’ve shared with you represent many of my hydrangeas, there are some however that were camera shy…here’s a list of a few others that are gracing my garden..

 Arborecens ‘Radiata”

H. macrophylla ‘Painter’s Palette’

H. macrophylla ‘Fuji Waterfall’

H. paniculata ‘Vanilla Strawberry’

H. paniculata (PeeGee) ‘Tree Form


 Some Hydrangea links: