Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden Full of Variety

Nenita Franck follows the beat of her own drum when it comes to planting her garden.

"Here are a few more pictures of my garden on the Central Oregon Coast.  I'm still gardening "my way" and planting whatever I can.  It's now plant packed all around the house on 1/3 acre but I continue to plant, propagate, and rescue plants. My paths just gets narrower to make more room for the plants.  I'm still partial to blooms and look for blooming trees, perennials, annuals, and bulbs.  My garden is mostly hillside so I tend to plant hardwood cuttings straight into the ground.  Digging is so difficult even with soccer shoes on.  I haven't been able to amend the soil nor apply fertilizers so I'm grateful for "how my garden grows."  I've had fair weather with lots of shade, some sun, mild temps, and lots of wind."   

Have a garden you'd like to share? Please email 5-10 photos and a brief story about your garden to GPOD@taunton.com. Please include where you are located!

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don't have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.


A viburnum

Euphorbia and London Pride

Fushia, Persicanea, Spirea,  Foxglove, and Bergenea

Japanes Maple, Hydrangea, Heuchera, Rhododendrum, and Vine Maple

Perscicarea, Lungwort, Bleeding Heart, and Winters Drymri

Roses, Clematis, Hosta, Japanese Maple, Pieris, and Skimea

View Comments


  1. user-7007498 06/06/2016

    Nenita: Wow, your garden is so deceiving. You said it is 1/3 acre, but looks so much more extensive. What a great collection of plants. It really doesn't look like there is any room left.The viburnum is stunning. The flowers of the Saxifraga look great with the euphorbia in the background. What a lovely garden. It is amazing you have this much diversity, despite the ground being so tough to dig in. Thanks for sharing.

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      My body is feeling the tough these days but I'm not digging much hardly these days with my propagation. I've got some non- clumping Bamboo that's starting to worry me and is taking up more and more space. What an awful thought to have to dig up plants. I'm thinking of how to trim and contain the Bamboo. I use to propagate them too when I they were so nice and young. I didn't think they would even survive here.

  2. frankgreenhalgh 06/06/2016

    Lovely colourful and interesting garden which is well layered, Nenita, despite adverse slope and soil conditions. Gardening 'my way' is obviously working well for you. Keep up the good work.

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      Thank you. Glad you noticed the colors. I'm trying to get all colors in there without worrying about themes. They look good together, I think.

  3. diane_lasauce 06/06/2016

    Splendid combinations. Your rescues inspire me to continue here in central VA.

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      Oh, please rescue always. Can't stand a good plant thrown away. And it's so good to see one live and thrive again.

  4. NCYarden 06/06/2016

    Well, Nenita, I like your "way" of gardening. Amazing variety, which I think just makes for a spectacular garden..so much to look at. You have really filled your modest space, and I celebrate the fact that you plan to get more in there. That is awesome gardening zeal...guilty myself.
    In the 3rd to the last photo...is that Ceanothus so brilliantly blue in the foreground? Looks amazing.
    You have great garden sense. Keep it up. Thank you for sharing.

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      Yes, Ceanothus. They sure attract bees! They are so heavenly fragrant too and the blue color is eye catching.

  5. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 06/06/2016

    You've certainly been successful in achieving your goal of lots of blooms throughout your garden, Nenita. I'm also wondering about the identity of the blue flowering plant which seems to have woody stems? And. speaking of woody stems, could you share, in a little more detail, your propagation method of planting the hardwood cuttings straight into the ground? Do you make that specific spot a little more hospitable with amending it with a little potting soil? or, do you just stick the "twig" into the ground? I experimented this spring with doing the "stick the stick" into the ground with some of my hydrangea cuttings after pruning and about half of them survived and leafed out. Well, anyway, your soil might not be great but your garden is so you have the magic touch!

    1. user-7007848 06/06/2016

      Is the blue flowering woody bush Ceanothus?

      1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

        Yes, at the time I couldn't remember the spelling. It is also called California Lilac, isn't it?

        1. user-7007848 06/06/2016

          Yes, California Wild Lilac. I have 2 and mine are growing at a snails pace here in San Diego. How many years did it take for yours to get to that size?

          1. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

            That one is 1 yr. and it was a large size when bought. They are picky about location. I had four in front that died in soil that may have been too soggy. I have a smaller plant out front now that is not doing as well.

      2. User avater
        Linda on Whidbey 06/06/2016

        That was my guess, Karen, since it looks just like the one in my garden.

    2. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      That is Ceanothus. I haven't been successful with sticking a cutting in the ground of that plant. I should try amending the soil for some plants and maybe I can be more successful with the tough to propagate ones. I just use unamended soil even in pots so far.

      1. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

        Cuttings do like a very moist soil so I do most of it during the rainy season. A cutting from a healthy plant is a sure bet. I've used big old branches during the dry season and also in real bad soil that did not grow. My garden also has some old, mature pine trees with lots of roots that get in the way and also real make the soil weird. I have to break them up before I can plant anything. The soil doesn't drain well. Even after watering or after a good rain, I can dig a little and the soil would be dry. I also have those pests, Voles, that live underground all over.

  6. wGardens 06/06/2016

    Wonderful Viburnum! Is it fragrant? Great job mastering your gardening techniques in less than "good" conditions. Thanks for sharing! Your plant diversity and combinations are delightful!

  7. Cenepk10 06/06/2016

    Wait... What ? Can't amend the soil ? With those results- who needs to ? That viburnum.... Off the charts. All the combos are dreamy. Loved seeing your garden !

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      That's why I don't plant vegetables. Amending the soil is a lot of work!

  8. user-4691082 06/06/2016

    Does anyone know the name of that viburnum? Plant envy, plant envy! Nenita, you are rocking your location. I agree with Kevin, it looks much bigger than 1/3 of an acre. I don't think that Persicaria is hardy in zone six, but I wish it was! Great job! Thanks for sharing!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/06/2016

      Hi Rhonda; I'm fairly certain the first photo is a Deutzia. I think most persicaria are hardy in zone 6 (especially the aggressive, self-seeding varieties); if this one is 'Red Dragon', then definitely. Although I say that and I think I killed it once or twice in my zone 6 garden........

      1. user-4691082 06/06/2016

        Thanks Tim!

      2. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

        They do flower but I do end up cutting them back before they flower as they tend to get too tall before they flower. Maybe that's why they don't self multiply here. I started putting some cuttings in pots so I can plant them in another garden.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/06/2016

          They are beautiful foliage plants! I had 'Painter's Palette' and that variety of Perscaria virginiana was almost impossible to get rid of, but it was a beauty! Love the color of yours.

    2. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      The Persicaria does great and I actually do a lot of cuttings and plant. It doesn't spread on its own here. I also have the green one. I didn't buy them. They too were cuttings from somewhere locally.

  9. user-2077552 06/06/2016

    I just have to learn the name of that viburnum. Gorgeous! All your plants look strong and healthy, Nenita, so you're doing things right.

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      Sorry, it's a Deautzia, Yuki.

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/06/2016

    Nenita, I was so excited to see more of your garden when I saw your name. I'm so glad you've been doing it 'your way': a collector's garden on a difficult site = great variety. Love it. I don't think that is a viburnum in the first photo: my bet is one of the pink Deutzias. Beautiful flowers. I love the look of your Drimys foliage and was so disappointed to look it up and see it is just out of zone-reach for me. What a great shrub. Thanks for sending in more photos of your cool site.

    1. GrannyMay 06/06/2016

      Tim, you are amazing! Given your lead on the plant being a Deutzia, I Googled and found what I think is the cultivar - "Yuki Cherry Blossom", see http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/DEYC.html

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/06/2016

        That's a nice link with great images, May. I only recognized it because I've considered it. I have "Chardonnay Pearls' Deutzia and sort of wish I had gotten 'Yuki'. I had mine in too much sun and it burned like crazy and it hasn't quite recovered since I moved it to shade: perhaps too much shade. They seem like great shrubs, though, and Nenita's photo is wonderful.

        1. GrannyMay 06/06/2016

          It is sooooo tempting, but I must not get any more plants! We are in drought season and I already have trouble keeping my current plants watered enough to survive.

        2. user-7007498 06/06/2016

          Great pickup. When I saw the photo last night, I was googling viburnums and it just didn't fit. The blooms on that 'Yuki' are beautiful. Might need to find a place for it.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/06/2016

            Nice to know there are other plotters and schemers out there, Kevin. My local nursery just stocked some gorgeous, healthy, gallon-sized Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur' shrubs, about which we had conversed. I've been obsessing over where I can fit one in since yesterday. That glossy foliage is calling my name relentlessly!

          2. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 06/06/2016

            I think I dropped the ball last autumn showing you a picture of my 'Winterthur' with its fall color but here it is with its spring blooms. Ha, kind of have a patriotic thing going on with the red, white and blue.

          3. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/06/2016

            Beautiful and enormous (for a shrub). And if I need room for a second, different variety to get good berry production, I might have to kill a lot of plants to find room. I think every growing thing on my property is thinking of ways to look indispensably beautiful before I get home to chose who will stay and who will go..... :)
            Thanks for the photo, Kevin.

          4. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/07/2016

            Well, I must have been drunk, Michaele. I thought this photo was from Kevin! my comment wouldn't have changed, but I CAN spell your name!

          5. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

            That' a beautiful combination all blooming together.
            This is Sargentii. The flower starts white and looks similar to a Hydrangea then turns pink in late August. This picture is from last year and it has bloomed yet this year.

          6. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 06/07/2016

            Goodness, that variety is a beauty and yes, if you hadn't told me it was a viburnum, I certainly would have guessed it was a hydrangea.

          7. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/07/2016

            Me, too, Michaele. So crazy how those Viburnum flowers look just like Hydrangeas. Speaking of Hydrangeas and sargentii, Ed Bowen of Opus plants has some older photos on Flikr of some of the Hydrangeas he's growing and breeding with enormous, cool leaves:
            He also has bred some with really amazing foliage color, like Mountain Mojo and Mountain Mania:
            I don't have any....yet.

          8. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 06/07/2016

            Both those links proved very interesting. The world of plant hybridizers always impresses and humbles me. It takes such a combination of vision and patience (and a lot of real science) to create worthwhile new varieties of plants. I tried for one season to do some strategic fertilization between a couple favorite daylilies. I got as far as the seed pod stage and then decided I didn't care enough to wait and see what the bloom would be. I rationalized that I create more value by being a buyer of other people's efforts!

          9. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/07/2016

            I know what you mean! I had some different mayapples bloom at the same time this year and for the first time ever, I took a brush to try to pollinate, since allegedly they aren't self-fertile. I figured that is easy enough because if they set seed, they are definitely hybrids. If they do set seed, how far am I willing to go? Not sure.

          10. user-7007498 06/06/2016

            Here is my oldest 'Winterthur'. You can prune it up into a vase shape and layer beneath it. This one lived by itself for 5 years, and had good berry production. It has improved though when I added another V. nudum 'Brandywine'. If you can fit it, go for it. It is a lovely plant.

          11. user-7007498 06/06/2016

            Wow, that looks weird on the website. I think I will only send 1 photo at a time.

          12. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 06/06/2016

            Oh, so funny, Kevin... at first, I was super impressed with how the picture seemed to just go on and on and then I realized it was 3 separate pictures

          13. user-7007498 06/06/2016

            I know. That would be 1 very tall viburnum. I was trying to convince Tim to buy one. After seeing my "extended" picture , I think that would scare him away for sure.

          14. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/07/2016

            Did you re-post? I see three separate photos. Really a winner. Do I see berries on the top of the shrub in the first photo, with flowers, too? The light just came on in my head as to why this species is 'nudum'. Not just a clever name.
            I was so distracted tonight planting a few things I bought Sunday that I didn't survey the yard to see where the shoehorn would go. Tomorrow is another day!
            Thanks for the photos, Michaele, I mean, Kevin.....

          15. user-7007498 06/07/2016

            Hi, Tim. Hope you had fun planting. I was also out planting. I had just bought 5 heuchera's and 1 Tiarella (I have you to blame for giving me the desire to squeeze a few more in after your great post).

            I didn't re-post, but the photos show better now. Don't know what happened.

            Great eye for details in the photo. Those are berries from last year. They are quite shriveled, but still look good on the plant. I guess the birds weren't all that hungry last winter. That is not the case with my Amelanchier canadensis. The berries just ripened today. I was out there tonight battling with the birds just to get some for myself. It was worth the effort, however.

          16. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/07/2016

            Collect them all! What did you get?
            My go-to local nursery rarely carries Tiarella or the newest plants on the market, which is one reason why my plant lust drives me to mail order. They do slowly get in nice Heuchera throughout the summer, though. I did pick up a red Pulsatilla and my first juniper this weekend. which is when I spied the viburnum. I don't really like junipers, but Blue Star fit the bill for a spot in which I wanted something low and either blue or silver.
            Very interesting that the berries survived the winter. It does look cool.
            My serviceberry is slowly adjusting: year 2 now. It has a few berries and the robins love it. I'm hoping for Cedar Waxings to come down out of the tall trees in the area. I can hear them, but rarely see them. I tasted one of the berries for the first time on Sunday: tasty!

          17. user-7007498 06/08/2016

            I picked up: Carnival Watermelon, Frosted Violet, Midnight Rose (3), Silver Scrolls (3), and Black Taffeta (2). I also picked up Tiarella 'Brandywine'. I was able to plant half of them tonight (and only had to "adjust" about 15 plants to get them in. We will see about the other half.

          18. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/08/2016

            Awesome. Carnival Watermelon and Black Taffeta have been on my list for a while. Hopefully they'll turn up locally this summer since I don't mail order during the heat. Pack 'em in!

          19. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

            Wow, you are Viburnum. So, they're more of a shrub rather than a tree? Or is it the way you've let it grow? Here's Davidi which I've seen as a shrub. The leaves are hairy, glossy, interesting.

          20. user-7007498 06/07/2016

            Definitely a shrub, usually large and wide. 'Davidii' is a compact version that you can grow, but not in my area

          21. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

            Thanks for all the research. I'll be changing the name for my records. I've got a white Deutzia and that flower is not as complex as this Yuki. I lost the tags and I just didn't remember.

          22. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

            Mine doesn't take up much room right now. Do you know how big they might get?

          23. user-7007498 06/07/2016

            If you are talking about the Deutzia, 1-2 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. Deutzia can get wider because the drooping branches root easily when they touch the ground, essentially creating a new plant (thus much wider). If you are talking about the Viburnum, it looks like a Viburnum plicatum (but I can't tell the cultivar). 6-12 feet tall is likely.

        3. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

          Mine does not get much direct sun or heat at all. I've also got it surrounded by more plants and it may love the protection from the wind.

    2. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      This I think is a Viburnum that's 5yrs. old that I bought along with the pink one that I posted that you all say is a Deutzia. They are both the same size so far. I posted it for you, Tim who's got a great big one. I can't wait for mine to grow. I don't think it's a miniature.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/06/2016

        I love this viburnum. Those flowers are like little dancing butterflies! That's a great photo. Do you know what the reddish-edged, oval-leaved plant in the lower right is? Very cool, too. Cheers!

        1. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

          That is a Hebe. It's got beautifully shaped, and colored leaves with a bonus pink flower too.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/07/2016

            Yet another plant to make me sad, as it won't grow in my zone 6 garden! I love Hebes, very nice.

      2. user-7007498 06/06/2016

        Nenita: Now that is a beautiful viburnum. I love how the flowers float above the leaves.

        1. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

          Yes, they do seem to be floating. I cherish the size for now. If it ever grows as big as Tim's, I won't see them as well. I should keep the lower branches.

          1. user-7007498 06/07/2016

            Nenita: I have a viburnum that is now 8 feet high. A few years ago, I started pruning it in layers, so sun gets into the interior of each layer. In this way, it blooms from top to bottom, and into the interior of the plant (not just the tips)

  11. Sheila_Schultz 06/06/2016

    Nenita, your gardens are gorgeous, combinations stunning and your hillside is drool-worthy! Your post is a lovely start to our GPOD week!!!

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      Thanks, I was going to wait until the Hydrangeas bloomed.

  12. wittyone 06/06/2016

    My goodness. Is the rest of your garden up that slope in the background of the first picture before the general information? If so that would make for quite a hike to-ing and fro-ing with implements and plants in hand. Good thing you don't need to amend the soil or fertilize: carting soil additives, fertilizer, and mulch would do you in.

    It looks gorgeous and I'm amazed at how well the plants are doing with so little help from you. We should all be so lucky! You must have two green thumbs. Or maybe even four if you count your big toes.

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      During the dry periods I do have to lug around some heavy hoses to water the hill side and it is a difficult task. The soil is so hard and the water just rolls down the hill. I heard that the nutrients also roll down the hill. The plants don't do as well on the real steep areas.

  13. GrannyMay 06/06/2016

    Love the result of "gardening your way"! One of my favourite things to do whenever pruning, is to just remove some of the lower leaves of the pruned bits and stick them into the ground. They will either grow into new plants or die. Worth trying!

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      I can't seem to throw away cuttings that might grow if I stick it back in the soil. They are all worth trying. I have tried Rhododendrons with about 5 that have grown but the Japanese Maples won't take so far but I keep trying cause I do have to prune them. I started pruning the Japanese Maples cause the branches got too heavy and broke off one cold and windy and rainy Winter.

      1. GrannyMay 06/06/2016

        I felt the same way. Now, I have no room and have almost stopped propagating things. If you don't want a specific Japanese Maple cultivar, you can try growing them from the maple seeds (keys) that fall from your trees. I was successful with some of those. I put the seeds into soil into 1 gallon pots and then buried the pots so the rims were just below the level of the ground. I let nature do her thing and sometimes a tree would grow. The only reason I used pots was so that the tree, if it grew, would be easy to dig up and move to where I wanted it without disturbing the roots too much.

        1. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

          I'll have to keep trying that. I've seen them grow from where they drop but not in my garden. My Bloodgood JM have keys recently and I'm gathering them up to try that way. I don't have any in the back yet.

  14. Dvngardener 06/06/2016

    love that viburnum! what is the cultivar?

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016

      That must be a favorite of mine too. It's a Deautzia as I myself just found out. I'm hoping that I can propagate it.

  15. Schatzi 06/06/2016

    The blue shrub is a Ceanothus and the Deutsia is gorgeous. Beautiful, full, varied garden - great job.

    1. nenitafranck 06/06/2016


  16. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 06/06/2016

    Nenita, you have my sympathies, gardening on a slope but what you have managed to accomplish is so impressive. As others have said, that Deutzia is a beauty. It's hard to tell from your photo, but how tall is yours? The site where I looked it up made it sound like a ground cover. If the deer don't like it, I may have to add one of those. Your garden is misleading in that it looks way bigger than a third of an acre. Do you suffer from summer drought like we do up here in the coastal areas of WA because your garden looks quite lush?

    1. nenitafranck 06/07/2016

      My Yuki is only about 4 ft and must be close to 5 yrs maybe more. I'm not real familiar with the plant but looks like it's more of a shrub than a tree. I like its size right now. I've moved it several times and this spot might be its favorite as it seems to be growing up and out and blooming like crazy. It's still in bloom and not fading at all and I'm seeing new growths.

  17. PerenniallyCrazy 06/06/2016

    They say "Variety is the Spice of Life." Your garden has envious variety and is truly spicy! Thanks for sharing. Hope you'll be sharing more. I think anything can grow in OR.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Magazine Cover

Take your passion for plants to the next level

Subscribe today and save up to 37%

"As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack."


View All