A Forever Garden | Volunteer Gardener


(upbeat music) – Just north of downtown Nashville, in historic German town, is a beautiful little garden. It is the Campbell Land Trust garden. And it was recently inducted into the Tennessee Land Trust, and we’re going to go
take a quick tour and see all the tender loving care that has been put into it. I’m here with Burdell Campbell in this spectacular garden. Why don’t you just tell me about it. – Well this garden started out as my husband’s garden, Ernest Campbell. He was a professor at Vanderbilt and when he was starting
retirement he said, “When I retire, I’m
going to be a gardener.” He went to Master Gardener, so he was a master gardener. And the whole idea was his. That from street to alley was space. And anywhere we traveled, anywhere in the world that he saw something growing, especially if it was an indigenous plant, he wanted some of it. Brought it back here. It wasn’t indigenous but there’s specimens in here that inspired him that was from lots and lots of places.
– Okay. – You couldn’t bring plants but you could buy seeds,
– Okay. – And you could find addresses that you could order them from places that has license to ship them. But our specialty is native plants. – Wonderful. – And we have a collection of wildflowers back here. These are wild Woodland Flocks. – Yeah.
– The purple. And in here are at least three kinds of Woodland Violets which become a plague from time to time. The Virginia Bluebells
have finished except one tiny speck I can see back there. And over here is Star of David, Star of Bethlehem, different people. That’s a wild one.
– Yeah. – And these are may apples. Oh, and here’s on with a blossom. – Yeah here’s one that’s
just starting to open. – Every plant has one white blossom, and there’ll be one
little green apple there. – So this is a beautiful
little Jonkle here. – Yes and it’s a heritage
bulb that goes back. It’s supposed to be
the kind that the early settlers, the first people
that planted flowers in this country likely had some of those. – Wonderful. – My mother had some but we weren’t settling America. And behind it is the Chinese Blue Forget Me Not which is just a favorite of mine. – It is. Those colors together. – I love that little blue Forget Me Not. – And so these are the Spanish Bluebells? – Yes. And occasionally you get a pink one like that one. – A few pink ones here. – And these are Specie Tulips. And Species are never hybrids. They’ve never been hybridized. This is the way they grow in the wild. – We have at least five different kinds of species, and they come up every year. These have been here at least ten years. – Wow. So perennial tulips yeah? – Oh yes.
– I just love the spurs. – Just look at the front
of that little blossom. It is one of the most complex blossoms on the face of the earth. – It is. So this is- – Traditional colors. We have some other columbine that’s not, and we allow them to come up. We go with the flow and we’ve never had this clump here just all by itself. This is a new delight. – Now is this your house
actually right here? – Yes this is my house. This is where I live. – Wonderful. – And we wanted to, we grow no grass. We have no lawn.
– Thank you. – We come out of the
house into the garden. – So these are some really mature trees, tell me about these. – The Kwanzan Cherry, the pink one is the Kwanzan. Every tree in this garden we planted. – Wow. Are these apple trees over here? – Oh yes. That’s an apple tree. I have at least four apple trees. – Wonderful.
– Maybe six. – You got a little mini
orchard going on here. – Oh yeah not a mini. A big! And I think there were
about 19 peach trees. – Oh wow!
They got very out of control. Now we have removed
half of the peach trees totally from the ground. And the ones we left, we prune severely. And then we sprayed them with an acceptable approved organic spray. And they get sprayed
one more time next week. And after cutting all those trees down I count and I still have 11 peach trees! But at the end of this year I’ll take out half of those peach trees. I have too because they
had not grown like this when my husband was here. He had no idea how overgrown the orchard would get. So come back, we should
have some good peaches. – Oh yeah! I would love too! So with this size of a garden there seems to be tons of work. How do you do this? – There’s tons of work all right. And it’s endless and I’m
lucky that as the garden became known as a Land Trust garden, people called and said, “Oh can I help?” And I said, “Those are dangerous words.” “The answer is yes.” And so I’ve had as many as half a dozen different people, not at one time, working here.
– Sure. – But four people are
here off and on regularly. Now Steve is more than a volunteer. He is a volunteer but he’s also the man you have to prune the peach trees and spray the peach trees, and he also is a gardener
over at Monell’s. – Oh wonderful yeah. – So between Monell’s and Campbell Garden, we keep him very full time occupied. So it demands a lot of
help and then if something is needed to be done and we can’t do it, then it waits until we can. – Sure. – It’s an easy casual, we let the plants have
a mind of their own. And then we have to be casual about, we’re serious but we get the jobs done but nothing is rigid. – Well I can tell it’s a working garden and I love, I love, I
love the flows of it. And you just let things seed out and let them be where they wanna be. – And if you visit next week and come down this path you’ll stop and say, “But this is not like it was.” And it’s true. – It’s constantly evolving. – And later in the year, keep in touch because
the lilies are a show! – Oh I bet. – They really are. The early spring bulbs
in the ephemerals are, you say that this must
be my favorite because it’s so wonderful to
get them after winter. But then when the lilies move in but they are not native flowers. The blooming things are the show pieces that we enjoy. But the wild plants
are still our favorite. – So we’ve got this
wonderful sign that you’ve got here that’s y’know talking about the induction of it into Land Trust. So when did that happen
and tell me about that? – Well this was last summer. We had a garden tour and that’s a picture the first spring we lived in this house. And that’s the row of houses that are restored beautifully. And that’s Ernest tilling the first time and I’m digging with a hoe back there. That was his first and this was his last
spring in the garden. And those are tulips that he planted, the last tulips that he planted. – That’s wonderful. And I’m sure they’re still blooming today. – Oh they are! Of course I was gardening with him, but there were days I said, “It’s his inspiration” “And some days it’s my persecution.” But we were both in here working on it. One of the things that
bothered him greatly, he’d be sitting out here on a stool, pulling weeds, planting bulbs, and saying, “I wish there were
something that I could do” “That would assure me
that when I can’t garden” “This place, nobody can
put any buildings on it.” And we didn’t know anything could. So when the Land Tust started focusing on preserving urban green space, I jumped at the opportunity and called Jenny Nelson. And she knew the garden and she was as excited as I was. So the have it under
protective easement now is just a dream that he was having that he didn’t think would ever come true. I want you to see the Carolina Silver Bell before you leave. – Yeah well lets got look at it yeah. – Okay all right. You have to come around and then look up because we’ve been looking down so much. – Wow. Yeah and when we first walked in I totally missed this! It was just over my head the whole time. – This was our master
bedroom was up there. The windows, it was so wonderful every morning to be greeted with it. – Sure, sure. And so this garden is open to the public? You like to have people walk through? – No it’s not open to the public. People can check with me, and I’ve told neighbors, “If you’re wandering through,” “I’d like to see you.” “Check. If I miss you” “And there’s something you want to see,” “There’s a gate at the front” “And a gate at the back.” So they may walk through. But it’s not an official public garden. – Sure, okay. – It’s a private garden that I like to share with people. – Wonderful yeah. Well it really is a gem here in historic German town. – Well you’re very nice. – I really appreciate
you sharing your stories and the history of the garden. It’s really been fun. – I’ve enjoyed doing it. – Thank you so much. – And come back! Especially when the lilies bloom. (upbeat music) – For inspiring garden
tours, growing tips, and garden projects, visit our website at vounteergardener.org or on YouTube at the Volunteer Gardener channel. And like us on Facebook.

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