Spring has Sprung – Savannah Style

Thunderbird Inn's garden historic Savannah GA USA

Refreshed Spring Garden at Thunderbird Inn, Savannah GA USA

Written by “Landscapes by Rick”

There’s no place on Earth quite like beautiful downtown Savannah, also known as the ‘First City in Georgia’. From the stately historic homes and businesses to the 22 beautiful squares, signs of spring are everywhere. Mother Nature has been very kind to us this year. Temps have been in the 80’s this week. What beautiful weather for ‘playing in the dirt’. Yes, I refer to my job as ‘playing’ because landscaping is my passion. When I’m planting, all the problems and cares in life just seem to take a back burner. I like to think of it as therapy.

One of my favorite places to ‘play’ is the historic Thunderbird Inn located on West Oglethorpe Avenue, just a short walk away from the heart of downtown Savannah. The moment you arrive, the atmosphere makes you feel like you’re right at home. Hats off to Mark Thomas, General Manager, and all his staff for their hard work!

Since The Thunderbird Inn is a retro hotel (built in 1964) and known as ‘The hippest hotel in Savannah’, nothing less than a really ‘hip’ landscape will do. For our plant material, we chose red Double Knock Out roses, purple Mexican Sage, deep pink Gaura, red Lantana. And, since this is the Girl Scouts 100th anniversary, the ‘plant of choice’ is the Daisy (in honor of Juliette Gordon Low – founder of the Girl Scouts and known to her family as ‘Daisy’) we used yellow Bush Daisies, double pink Daisies and white Shasta Daisies. The color combinations are stunning together. A special thanks to Steven Boyce and Oelschig Nursery for all their help in plant selection.

Knock Out roses are one of the hardiest varieties for this area and will give an explosion of blooms from early spring until late fall. Both the Mexican Sage and the Gaura grow in loose, bushy clumps with long, slender stems filled with blooms. Both gracefully move with the breeze and give the sense of just drifting along with the wind. Lantana is a tropical perennial that works well in our region. It’s very low maintenance and the yellow/red blooms match the hotels color scheme to a tee. It’s also one of Mark’s favorites of all the plants. (Of course, every time he would walk by, he’d dub a new plant as his favorite.) The assortment of daisies adds the finishing touch to the beds.

I never cease to be amazed at the beauty plants have to offer. There’s no better feeling than being able to stand back and admire something that you designed and installed. If ever in town, you should make it a point to swing by and see the beautiful grounds and enjoy a Moon Pie® and an RC Cola ®. And should you be visiting and need an AWESOME place to stay, my highest recommendation goes to Thunderbird Inn. I can assure you, once you’ve stayed once, you’re hooked. Tell the staff the ‘landscaper guy’ sent you.

Until next time……..Happy Planting!

Rich Poole