Monday, January 24, 2011

It’s time to visit Nashville, Tennessee…

I’m not sure if I even mentioned that we visited Nashville last November? It was my first trip to the south…well except for a crazy trip to N’Orleans in the very early 2000’s but that was a whole different thing, trust me. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Nashville, especially since we were visiting so late in the fall. My first shock was the limestone…as my father-in-law zipped along the freeway I was awestruck, the walls appeared to be designed in some abstract horizontal pattern, finally I spoke up and asked about them…limestone. Beautiful, and probably cursed by a gardener or three. My second observation, the lawn is king in Nashville. The homes are set way back on enormous lots and it seemed that every single one had a huge lawn laid out in front. In Portland these lots would have been divided and sub-divided again, a skinny house or three could comfortably fit on each still leaving a sizable yard for the original house. My in-laws home is on a cul-de-sac and seemed to buck the trend, having a modest sized front yard and a huge back yard. This is a set up that makes more sense to me! As we walked around their garden for the first time my camera finger was twitching, I was seeing the most amazing creations! Were these garden tools, or folk-art? Hard to thing for sure though they were all created by my father-in-law, a college mathematics professor. The tools… A dyi tool rack. The wooden handles wore out and were replaced by pipe. This digger was made as a gift to me, but since we didn't check bags I wasn't able to bring it home. Can you just imagine me trying to board a plane with this in my carry-on luggage? The wheelbarrows… And furniture… Pretty marvelous collection wouldn't you say?


  1. rebar planting stakes? A man after my own heart. My wife was not pleased with my creating planting stake solution last Summer. My mother-in-law was horrified that our children would impale themselves on the rebar (which was taller than the kids). The bend over method your father-in-law uses looks like a good idea.

  2. Wow, I think I'd want to take everything home with me...

  3. Welcome to the South Baby! Most of these items are seen in everyone's yard around here. I love reading your take on all of this. Most everyone here has pretty big yards too.

  4. I love that "Use it Up, Make it Do" ethic, both philosophically and aesthetically. A couple of those creations are especially gorgeous: the half oil barrel wheelbarrow, and your digger. They have a wabi sabi kind of perfection. And I predict this post is sure to feed Grace's well-known "lust for rust."

  5. I'm loving this! My dad used to putter and turn out this kind of stuff. My daughter's stroller became a hose caddy, an old washing machine formed the base for a patio table. These guys would have been kindred spirits.

  6. It's funny the things we see when we travel: I love this observation of daily life/living.

    I once packed in my suitcase an old, rotting barn window frame from grandparent's farm in Kansas. It's now one of my favorite things in the garden. It's all in the eye of the beholder, but in this case, the connections to loved ones and family.

  7. I hope you enjoyed your visit to our lovely state. You certainly have Nashville pegged pretty good. I'd so love to see Oregon one day!

  8. Pretty rugged terrain. I imagine many gardeners cursed the rock. Still the tools seem like the heavy duty sort that are required! And no, I don't think that would make it through as carry on, lol!

    My blog has moved, stop by for a visit when you get a chance!

  9. You would see those limestone cliff walls and cut-through roads in Austin too, Loree. Tennessee is a beautiful state. Did you get to visit any gardens while you were there?

    You'll meet two wonderful Tennessee garden bloggers at the Seattle meet-up this summer: Gail of Clay and Limestone and Frances of Faire Garden. They came to the Austin meet-up three years ago and haven't missed one since.

  10. Love the wheelbarrows ! I've been to Nashville few times on business and I was also amazed by the vast swaths of lawn-can you imagine the water bill out here in the west??

  11. The big, private rear garden makes so much more sense to me too. Even if you don't need to water the front in wetter climates, there's all that upkeep, and keeping up appearances wouldn't last long if I lived there.

    The tools are great and I'm hoping the diggers made it out West. Makes me nostalgic for the days when we didn't have to check our hula hoes.

  12. Ryan, besides saving the kids I bet the little "handle" makes them much easier to pull out too.

    Mary, I have to admit I was eyeing a few things with that intent...although I doubt we'll ever actually drive to Tennessee.

    Darla, I forgot to mention the fact that so many houses were brick and had shutters! I've never seen so many shutters in all my life.

    MulchMaid, you selected two of my favorite things.

    ricki, glad to spark some happy memories?

    LeLo, I love that you packed a window in your suitcase!

    tina, hopefully you will have the chance! I would like to see more of Tennessee.

    Laura, I was wondering where you went off too. Google reader still wants to send your new address to your old blog. Bummer.

    Pam, yes and no. We went to a couple of parks, and the Hermitage. We tried to go to Cheekwood but they were closed. We did visit a nursery!

    ks, I got to thinking later "I wonder if the irrigate" I should have asked when we were there.

    James, I once flew with a set of steak knives and a carving set in my's almost humorous now to thing about it. The digger hasn't made it here yet...I need to drop a couple of hints, soon.

  13. really loved it all, but had nothing constructive to say. what do you call all those tools, and rusty stuff and wonderful worn paint/patina? life? in nashville, at least. lovely!

  14. Too bad you could not make it to Cheekwood, it's lovely. When are you going to tell us about New Orleans?


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!