Sleep, Creep, Leap!

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Sleep, Creep, Leap!

By Brandon Branch

We just finished at Paula’s house planting the new summer gardens. Paula has an amazing gardener named Steven Boyce who always comes up with bright and new inventive plantings.

Last fall, Paula chose several different tropical bulbs of Alocasia and Colocasia. Steven got them in the first part of the year, and has been growing them off in the green house. She decided that she wanted her garden to have more of a tropical feel, so we also planted many banana trees.

For color this year, we planted tons of Angel Wing Begonias, Impatiens, a wonderful bed of Sun Coleus by the koi pond, and even planted 200 Amaryllis buds, to cut and bring in doors for table arrangements. We also added our own peach tree onto the property!

Paula’s citrus garden is in full bloom, with tons and tons of lemons, limes, tangerines, grapefruits and kumquats. Also, on the croquet court for loquats are loaded down and everyone that sees them goes over and picks them to eat. This is the third year of the garden.


The rule of thumb is, first year: sleep, second year: creep, and third year: leap! That saying is currently holding true at Paula’s; everything is leaping!!

Planting your own garden? Here are four tips to keep in mind:

1. When planting bedding plants, a great tip is to sacrifice the first blooms, by pinching them off. By sacrificing the blooms, you encourage a healthier and branchier plant.

2. Don’t forget to fertilize!  We like to use Osmocote, which is a slow-release fertilizer. At my house I prefer to use the Miracle Grow spray wand, but I have a much smaller garden.

3.  I always like to add new soil to my garden every year since the minerals in the old soil tend to get bleached out.

4. Also, read the small tags, which will tell you where to plant your plants.  A lot of people plant Impatiens in the sun – it’s a shade plant! (It’s a pet peeve of mine!

At my garden, I planted all white and green. White Impatiens, white Christmas Caladiums. It’s more of English boxwoods feel. I planted climbing white roses on my white picket fence, which are currently in full bloom. And I am most proud of my latest plant vine, which is a ten-foot tall seeded eucalyptus tree. This is the second year of my garden, so we’re just in the creeping stage. I do like the depth that my Japanese Red Maple gives the garden!

Do you garden? I’d love to hear about it, no matter how big or small!

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Reader Comments:


Me encantan los jardines, en general los bosques y selvas, lo verde me atrae y relaja mucho. Lamentablemente en mi casa no tengo jardín ,sin embargo siempre procuro tener macetas con plantas tanto de sombra como de sol. A propósito, quisiera me dijeran como puedo lograr que se den las plantas aromáticas, se han secado los que compre. Es urgente su amable consejo pues quiero formar mi huerto en macetas tanto con hortalizas como con frutos. Gracias, espero su amable respuesta.

By rosario guadalupe villarreal flores on November 18, 2012


I love new ideas and looking at beautiful gardens from others. I find it so peaceful to work in my flowers when lifes stress becomes to much. I have a pretty good green thumb I am learning but its so neat to see how other do, though I am north so we have to wait a little longer to work in gardens so it's so nice to see ya'lls gardens in full bloom. Keep up the wonderful work.

By Tina Gaylor on April 24, 2012


Beautiful Haven of rest.. I'm sure you could go to that yard relax and feel totally in tune with all of God's nature. Paula as hard as you work send somebody else inside to cook and you sit outside have a drink and enjoy it you deserve it...

By Sharon Hudson on April 15, 2012


Brandon, Loved the photos! I'm starting a new garden, not on such a grand scale, but the 30 tulips I planted are just blooming here in So. Central Minnesota as well as the daffodils, magnolia trees and other early spring flowers. Can't wait until we can catch up to you in Georgia and get the other flowering plants and vegetables in, as our growing season is so short. Absolutely love Paula Dean as well as her sons - such a class act!

By Shirley Hansen on April 14, 2012


When I was a child I wanted flowers on our lawn . Having no money I took a walk into the woods and found flowers growing wild . I dug up violets and planted them in the front lawn around a tree . I was so pleased with my garden . I still plant in my garden , and I still enjoy the harvest of my hard labor for months .

By alice mcquoid knitel on April 14, 2012


wow that is really beutiful paula you chose a good planter

By Riley Deeben on April 14, 2012


I just moved to San Antonio. Tx last week started working on my garden flower and veggie hope soon the bath will take off soon.

By Darlene Corgan on April 14, 2012


Brandon, I enjoyed the pictures so much. I am exited and nervous to start my own garden. It's my first one and I don't have much of a green thumb so I really hope it turns out ok!! My husband and I recently bought the house we love so I really want to beautify the outside as it is on the inside.... By: Monica Hill on April 11, 2012

By Monica Hill on April 11, 2012


Brandon, I love the pictures of Paula's gardens! I am an avid gardner and always looking to do new and different things. We have a log home on 80 acres and we also do vegetable gardens but I sure do love my flowers. I start my favorite heliotrope from seed every Feb. in our cellar, my husband has set me up with a big table with overhead lights, works really well. I love Paula and watch her shows every night from 5-6 PM and never tire of them, watch QVC everytime Paula is on and have her blue speckle Southern Belle cookware and several other pieces. My dream is to get to Savannah and go to the Lady's and Son's!!!! Paula, you are the best!!!!! I love cooking and try just about everything you do, have all your cookbooks!

By Sylvia Spear on April 11, 2012


I haven't tried any of them yet, but I might as well give them all 5 stars just going on faith, and easy faith at that! I love your episode today on your show about buttermilk buscuits and white gravy made with bacon drippings. It cried just like the girl on TV because that is some of my fondest memories about Saturday morning breakfasts at my Mama Hill's house right across the street from Judson Mill on Easley Bridge Road in Greenville, S.C.. Mama Hill was sweet just like you and your grandmothers and kept prayer going for everybody she knew and those who rode in their cars up the road. I sure am so glad you were born and were given the opportunities God had in store for you so that we can all keep getting to know you even if it is only by TV. You are so precious! Love, Diane

By Diane Adelstone on April 10, 2012


Thank you for the recognition, Brandon! Our most peaceful Saturdays are spent working in Paula's garden - especially when Aunt Peggy is in town to help!

By Steven Boyce on April 10, 2012


I would like to know when i need to put my herds in the grown. Thank you vickie henderson

By VICKIE HENDERSON on April 10, 2012


I am not what you would call an avid gardener, but I am 36 & have learned through trial & error what will work on my 1 acre of property! Every spring, I have pots of impatiens on my lovely front porch b/c their colors just make me smile! Our back yard is drenched in full sun in the summer, so of course lantana is the favorite back there....that stuff was just made for hot Georgia summers smile We have 2 butterfly bushes that I just love to watch as well. We planted a small vegetable garden this spring...fingers crossed. My knockout roses, well, they are gorgeous I must say! I'm pretty sure the monstrous thorns could kill a person though.

By Amy Hagan on April 10, 2012


How about planting some pineapples in the tropical garden? They are very easy to grow and will produce a fruit. I grow them in pots and leave them out on my balcony during the summer.

By Darlene Parker on April 10, 2012


Love your garden!!!! Love everything about you!! Have all your books and magazines LOL . We are the same age, but that has nothing to do with it!! Hope to make it to Savannah one day!!! Can't wait!!! Oh yea, I'm the one who sent you the receipe for stuffed jalapeno's with chili sauce, cream cheese, and pecans... it was so sweet of you to send me a post card back , saved it!!!! Stuffed it in one of your cookbooks!!!

By jean campbell on April 10, 2012

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