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Armchair Gardening: Visit Bruce Batman's Garden


When Bruce Batman's wife Daisy retired last year, they packed up and headed to Davidson, North Carolina to be closer to their children and grandchildren. I'm sure it was bittersweet for Bruce to leave his well-tended, loved, colorful garden in Texas, but he rolled up his sleeves and set to work on making a garden out of this "little less than an acre" wooded lot.


The soil is red clay (which Bruce has amended with compost) and the garden is mostly shade to semi-shade, so the plant palette is different. Six varieties of Camellia, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea, two varieties of Azalea, three 'Artic Fire' Dogwood and six other varieties of Dogwood have been planted, getting the garden off to a good start.


Stone steps lead to the backyard; Bruce and Daisy placed the stones edging the steps and around the shed (not pictured).

While mostly shaded, there is one area adjacent to the driveway that gets some sun and Bruce plant to create a perennial border. Day Lily and Iris are currently planted and he plans for add Shasta Daisy and Coneflower shortly.


The urn in the center of the vegetable garden made the journey from Texas, as well as the old bricks that serve as edging.

Bruce and Daisy cleaned out under the trees in the back yard, giving them "more space to play". Behind the trees is land belonging to the Davidson Land Conservatory, so privacy is assured. The yard has been rolled and re-worked and the grass is growing nicely.

The Bird Girl statue came from a concrete store near Austin. Daisy found it when she was commuting for work and brought it home for their Texas garden; Bruce said "of course we couldn't leave her behind". The original Bird Girl statue was made by Sylvia Shaw Judson in 1936. It achieved fame when it was featured on the cover of the non-fiction novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Only four statues were made from the original cast. The most famous of which was bought by a family in Savannah, Georgia, who named it "Little Wendy" and placed it in the family's plot in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah; it has since been relocated to the Telfair Museum.

Along with the bench and pots, plants they brought with them from Texas include 'Lemon Ball' Sedum (in the pots), Peonies, Iris and Day Lilies.


Bruce is waiting to have a couple of stone paths installed, which will divide the larger section into three pie-shaped areas. Three 'Little Lime' Hydrangea will be planted, along with some purple and white Coneflower.


Always modest, Bruce is quick to point out that they haven't done this completely by themselves, but under his supervision, I think they've come a long way in a year. He intends to plant bulbs under the trees in the back in the fall.


Bruce says, "We’ve enjoyed our new adventure, but we do miss our Texas friends!" We miss you too - thanks for sharing your garden with us.

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