Memphis in May

In May, Memphis has a month-long festival and salutes a certain country. There are ample opportunities to learn about the customs, culture, food and art of the featured country all around town. The business people stay busy establishing new commercial relationships, but the rest of us just enjoy the ride at events like the Beale Street Music Festival, the Memphis in May Triathlon, the Sunset Symphony (held on the riverbank) and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest that draws entrants from all over.

This year’s honored country is Turkey. One of our local public gardens participated by highlighting Turkish plants and garden design. I made sure to take the walking tour since my lj friend is Turkish and loves gardening. I learned that Turkey has three main zones, a rainy foresty one in the north, a Mediterranean section along the coast and a larger desert part in the middle. It was interesting to find out that the garden staff did not have to bring in many species because they already had many of them growing there! Turns out the Turkey has an incredible number of different plant species within its borders. Here is some more from the museum’s website.

Historically, the people of Persia and Turkey had a profound impact on horticulture and garden design. The Persians were among the first to develop and codify priciples of garden design, and their influence still exists today in gardens around the globe. Moreover, plants native to Turkey and plants valued by the Turks have yielded important medicinal, agricultural, and ornamental crops. Surprisingly, some of these plants are cultivated here in the Mid-south–even by the staff and volunteers of the Dixon!

How cool is this giant allium! I am SO getting this for my yard.

Giant alium

Speaking of the yard, our back yard is getting a big renovation! Gwensdad designed it. There will be a workshop for Gwensdad, a new cool patio, access to to the back door for Gwen’s wheelchair, and lots of places for plants including a giant raised bed for growing food and flowers. The noisy construction is very intrusive but it will be worth it.

backyard renovation

This is the trench for a concrete barrier to keep the neighbor’s cane out of our yard. Gwensdad has had an ongoing battle with this tenacious creeping plant ever since we moved in. Plus the neighbor is a real jerk. One day he saw Gwensdad cutting some cane that had grown through the fence into our yard and started yelling at him not to bother his fence. Yeah, that lovely chain link thing. Then he said “I hope you get a brain tumor”. We tore down a rotting wooden fence to make room for the barrier and when it is done we’ll cover up the ugly chain link with something much prettier.

concrete cane barrier

This is the first major work we have been able to do since moving in and it is so exciting!

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