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Garden Photo of the Day

Gorgeous Shades of Green

By Kim Charles

Teddy the Golden Retriever

Leslie McHugh of PA shares her passion for woody plants and the color green.

"Here are my favorite shots of the garden. I live in Bucks County, PA. Zone 6B. The garden has evolved over 15 years. I think the best feature is my gorgeous climbing hydrangea, which was one of the first plants to be planted and is just coming into its own, covering the back brick wall of the house and also sneaking around the side of the house. Woody plants are my passion so I really rely on them as the bones for the rest of my plants. My favorite color is green which is a good thing since I have a lot of shade to deal with! Deer are a huge issue and only my backyard is fenced, so my front and side gardens are full of plant material that they don't readily eat. The house is sited at the top of a very steep hill and that hillside garden is still a work in progress, but I am conquering it a little more each year! Next week all the backyard roses should be bursting with color! Thanks for reading!"

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 05/30/2017

    Hello there Leslie - Really nice work and story. Love your 50 shades of 'green'. Teddy looks very content in his space. Cheers from Oz

    1. Schatzi 05/31/2017

      Ooo - that correa! I want one!

  2. user-7007498 05/30/2017

    Hello, Leslie. Greetings from Harrisburg. Another, wet, cloudy and cool day in PA. A few months ago I had asked our friends from the PNW to send some rain our way (I think they took me very seriously).

    Unfortunately, it looks like there was no email notification on the blog today. I just checked the website when I got home from work, and saw your post. This would explain the lack of response from the terrific group of people on GPOD.

    Looks like you are doing a great job tackling the challenges presented to you. Your garden is lovely. The bark on your Paperbark maple is fabulous. I also love the photo (2nd to last) of the garden against the brick of the house and the mature hydrangea quercifolia on the left. Also love the Japanese maple in the 3rd photo.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 05/30/2017

      Hi Kev. - I was getting a bit lonely down here mate. The 'old' team is back in business hey! Cheers, Frank

      1. user-7007498 05/31/2017

        Yep, just us boys keeping up the site. Hope things are well down in Oz. We have been going through a cool, wet period. There has only been 3 sunny days in May. Temps mostly in the upper 60's, occasionally low 70's. Drizzle most days. Our gardens look great. Things growing like crazy.
        Here is a picture of my backyard "woodland" garden

        1. frankgreenhalgh 05/31/2017

          Hey Kev. - OK let's have some fun since we have the site to ourselves at this stage. Life is pretty good down under, thanks. Just experienced a wonderful autumn, but a little dry in May. Winter starts tomorrow for us.

          Everything looks lovely and lush in your woodland garden. I'm wondering if any GPODers (when they get on-line to this blog) have heard of or even grow Correa species. Correas are natives of eastern Australia. Here are some pics of a hybrid called Marion's Marvel, which I have shared with Linda (on Whidbey) and Cherry (there can only be one wonderful Cherry) - they both liked the plant/flowers. Correas flower from autumn to early spring, grow in full sunlight or filtered light, and generally are 4-5 feet high and up to 6-7 feet wide. The flowers also attract birds. The plants are frost tolerant, but snow could be a problem for them (?). Cheers from Oz

          1. user-7007498 05/31/2017

            Cool plant. Reminds me a bit of fuchsia.

          2. frankgreenhalgh 05/31/2017

            Funny you should say that Kev. It is known as the native fuchsia.

          3. tennisluv 05/31/2017

            Lovely plant, but since it grows in our zones 9 & 10, it appears to be more suited to our West Coast, from what I can find. My first thoughts when I saw your question was baseball (Juan Carlos Correa, Houston Astro shortstop and American League Rookie of the Year in 2016). Hubby is from Texas is the only reason that would happen as I am not a big baseball fan.

          4. frankgreenhalgh 05/31/2017

            Hey Sonia - very interesting about Correa the shortstop - a very important position in a great game (we play baseball a lot in Oz); and correctly positioned Correa plants add a nice element to a garden. Kind regards

          5. User avater
            Linda on Whidbey 05/31/2017

            Huh, Kevin, that's just what I said when I saw it:) Your back garden looks like it's enjoying the rain. We're already getting dry out here in the rain shadow, but it's still fairly cool, mostly 50's.

          6. user-7007498 05/31/2017

            Hi, Linda. We had a strong thunderstorm this morning, but the sun just came out. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, but then we are expected to go back to cool and cloudy for another 10 days. Oh well...

            Hope you warm up soon.

          7. Maggieat11 05/31/2017

            Lovely, Frank! Is it fragrant?

          8. frankgreenhalgh 05/31/2017

            No fragrance whatsoever, Margaret.

          9. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 05/31/2017

            What a delightful looking plant, Frank. I love the color palette of the flowers. I don't think I've ever heard of a correa and ' Marion's Marvel' is thoroughly enchanting.., looks like a bush full of glowing lanterns. I could imagine gnomes and fairies gathering under it on a moonless night!

          10. frankgreenhalgh 05/31/2017

            Hi Michaele - your imagination and use of words never cease to amaze me ('gnomes and fairies gathering under it on a moonless night' - priceless!). Thanks

          11. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 05/31/2017

            You have a kind and generous nature, Frank. Thanks for enjoying my sense of whimsy.

          12. User avater
            Linda on Whidbey 05/31/2017

            Love this plant, Frank. I wonder if we could grow it in our greenhouse as a smaller plant like we do with our clivia and pineapple guava.

          13. frankgreenhalgh 05/31/2017

            Hi Linda - Correas grow well in containers and are easily propagated as cuttings. I'm wondering if any of your nurseries have the plant e.g. in CA. If not it might be a big job getting plants through your country's quarantine system - may need to be imported in tissue culture. Cheers, FG

        2. Maggieat11 05/31/2017

          Great shot of your "woodland" garden, Kevin! So lush, full and gorgeous! Hope you can experience some sunny weather soon... and send some to NY please~ :-) !

          1. user-7007498 05/31/2017

            The plants are mostly loving it. The containers are getting too wet. We had big thunderstorms this morning, but the sun just came out. Yay!

    2. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      Thank you Kevin! Sun is out today!

  3. Vespasian 05/31/2017

    Lovely, not just all the shades of green but the lovely textures, shapes and focal points, you have done an amazing job. Thanks for all the long shots I love to see the garden in context.

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      Thank you!

  4. peggyjomccrackensheets 05/31/2017

    If plants could smile, yours surely would. What a feast for the eyes! I hope you flop down in that beautiful grass and gaze at the wonderland you've created. You've created a magnificent garden. I don't blame the deer for wanting to partake.

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      No time to relax, too much work to do 😉!

      1. peggyjomccrackensheets 05/31/2017

        Okay, I'll come laze in the grass. It looks so inviting. Ours is currently more of a pond than a lawn.

  5. Maggieat11 05/31/2017

    What a soothing~ and beautiful garden, full of lovely greens , great texture and great plants! Love the Japanese maple and the Paperbark Maple! You certainly have created a lovely place. Congratulations!

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      Thank you!

  6. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 05/31/2017

    Hi, Leslie, I couldn't help but be struck by admiration for the great job you do limbing up your ornamental trees. Their trunks add such architectural interest...plus, then one can plant hosta, ferns, huecheras, etc...a win/win! So, with your house sited on a steep hill, do you have a "great" view of the deer headed your way? What are some of your go to plants that the deer find less than tasty? Your outdoor spaces look like they have been well thought out and lovingly tended during your past 15 years. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      I love trees with interesting bark too! Hellebore, amsonia, epimedium, variegated liriope, ferns, baptisia, lady's mantle, and lamium all seem pretty deer resistant.

  7. NCYarden 05/31/2017

    Very pleasant full garden. Green is right...green with envy. The plants look so vibrant and unstressed. I too like to use trees and shrubs as the foundation of the garden - it's a great structure to work with. Sorry to hear about the deer, but it sounds like you've engaged a pretty defensive strategy. Hopefully no voles. Thanks for sharing.

  8. tennisluv 05/31/2017

    Your garden is such a lovely compilation of greens highlighted with spots of color that pop like jewels in the lushness. Love the first photo with Teddy gracing the background (Aren't Golden Retrievers the best dogs ever!). Is that a lilac (light lavender blooms) in the background of two of the pics? Got a chuckle out of the face on the tree 'oohing' over your garden. The recent rains have definitely helped to green up landscapes along the East Coast (we are getting rain daily this week in GA).

    Both my front and back yards are steep. Just had the front one terraced so I could walk on it enough to begin planting. Back sloop is covered with creeping juniper (big green blob) and plan to begin working on that next year. What plants are you using on your sloop? Thanks for sharing.

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      Hi Sonya! Yes, Golden are the best! I love my 'Miss Kim' lilac for it's size and so far it is pretty deer proof! The face is on a giant hickory tree, one of three that anchor our front hill. We had them limbed up for more sun and so we could grow plants underneath. Viburnum, dogwood, redbuds, Green Giant arborvitae and styrax are now our understory woodies and lavender, creeping phlox, hellebore and euphorbia robbiae make up the bulk of the perennials.

  9. user-3565112 05/31/2017

    I Good morning Leslie, You've done a terrific job blending green hues & textures with trees a little pop of color here & there. Creative ideas are every where. & your garden is PNW worthy in my opinion.
    We are scheduled for sun tomorrow ,good luck,Joe

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      Thank you!

  10. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/31/2017

    Oh, my. Love all of this. Packed with beauty!

  11. user-4691082 05/31/2017

    Ooh, Teddy looks like my daughter's golden "Kaya"! They are wonderful dogs. I'm in love with your moss! I have an area that stays damp and shady that moss would be perfect for. Did you buy it? You have done a great job with your property. I'm in Chester county so we're not that far apart!

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      Yes, some of the moss is store bought. Thank you for your kind words! Chester County is so beautiful!

      1. user-4691082 05/31/2017

        So is Bucks county- so many beautiful farms and stone buildings!

  12. user-6536305 05/31/2017

    So lush and so green. Love your Lawn. Love your helper or rather your boss. Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden with us.

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      I yell, "No garden!" at least 10 times a day! We use all organic products on the lawn and it has made a huge difference. Lots of hand digging weeds too.

  13. Foxglove12 05/31/2017

    Love all the texture and colors. The pooch is awfully cute too. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Schatzi 05/31/2017

    Beautiful, lush, and green is very soothing. Love the hits of color as in the J. maple. And Teddy looks like a love.

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      Thank you! And Teddy is a love!

  15. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 05/31/2017

    Good morning, Leslie. While I like living on a hilltop for the long view, it sure does pose a challenge to gardening. You seem to have met the challenge. Your garden is so lush and green. I love your Paperbark maple. How do you keep the deer from eating your hosta or are they all in the fenced area?That is one huge impressive quercifolia. We used to have a climbing hydrangea on a brick house in WI but it started to cover all of our windows as they can be quite aggressive. Now we just grow them up our big Douglas firs. Thanks for sharing.

    1. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017

      Hi Linda! Most of my hostas are in the fenced garden, but I do have a few Blue Angel hostas which have thick leaves, that the deer mostly leave alone. We do also use deer spray. I prune the climbing hydrangea every year to keep it in check. I wish I could grow more conifers but we just don't have enough sun!

  16. lesliehudsonmchugh 05/31/2017



    They finally bloomed!

  17. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/31/2017

    Lots of rich shades of greens and I see other colors mixing it up. Nice job working with your site!

  18. bsavage 06/01/2017

    Your grass is so green and healthy! Everything is lovely!

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