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Garden Photo of the Day

Part 1: An Awesome Summer in PA

By: Kim Charles

View of part of the front garden, in front of the garage. 

Kevin Kelly's award winning pollinator garden, is chock full of so many delights, we will be featuring his garden in two parts…enjoy!

"Good morning, fellow GPODers. This year has been an awesome gardening year in central PA (zone 6b). We had an early spring, followed by cool weather well into June. Summer has been warm, but not oppressive. Only 2 heat waves in the 90’s, but more importantly, we have been getting 1-2 inches of rain per week throughout the summer. I have continued packing my garden in with plants, adding another 8 conifers, 2 Japanese maples, and over 100 new perennials. I now have 152 conifers on the property.

My garden is just over 20 years old. It was a complete blank slate when I began. I am in a suburban development in Harrisburg, with just under 1/2 acre. My garden is a PA Master Gardener Certified Pollinator Garden, and last year I won the Blue Ribbon Award from the PA Hort Society Garden Contest. I stopped using any herbicides or insecticides about 10 years ago, and rely solely on leaf compost as a fertilizer (except for the annuals, where I use fish fertilizer).

I am the designer (for better or worse), digger, weeder, and all else. After all these years, I could never get my wife to be interested in gardening (she just enjoys the views). I just lost 3 trees this spring, 2 Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select’, and 1 Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’. All 3 were planted the first year of the garden. I am happy about the loss of the Cleveland Select Pears, as I planted them when I didn’t know better. They are coming down next month, and will be replaced by Nyssa sylvatica ‘Tupelo Towers’ and Heptacodium miconioides. The Cherry will be replaced by Cornus mas. I am excited about the new trees."

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Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake’ 

Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’, Pulmonaria

Hydrangea serrata ‘Preziosa’

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Snow White’ (background), Phlox paniculata ‘David’ (not in flower) 


A cool Coleus I found, unlabeled (I will be taking cuttings of this).

Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’

Agave

Front bed, near the front door. Cyperus papyrus ‘Prince Tut’, Ageratum, Coleus, Sedum ‘Neon’ 

View Comments

Comments

  1. frankgreenhalgh 09/06/2017

    Good morning Kev. - It is always a pleasure to have a virtual and informative tour of your outstanding garden. Congratulations on your well deserved award. Sounds and looks like you are having a marvellous growing season - half your luck! I love your hydrangea. There is no doubt that as the designer, landscaper, planter and maintainer etc. etc. of your garden, you are the 'full bottle' (Aussie colloquialism) master gardener. In terms of your lovely wife's interest in your gardening - it is great that she enjoys the fruits of your obvious passion. I would be very interested indeed in your thoughts about the effects of artificial fertilisers on pollinators. Cheers from Oz

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Good hearing from you, Frank. Attached is another photo of the same hydrangea as is it getting ready to start it's fall color.

      I am not sure about artificial fertilizers and pollinators. In general, I have found that leaf compost has worked great as my fertilizer for the grass and beds. I did have to supplement with manganese around a river birch. The annuals seem to like the fish fertilizer, and I have abundant pollinators and nesting birds throughout the year, so I think I am doing OK. Do you have any info about fertilizers, since you asked?

      1. frankgreenhalgh 09/06/2017

        Kev., the use of organic fertilisers is fine, except where soils may be deficient in trace elements. You have already realised this with your comment about manganese. As you are aware, availability of nutrients is affected by soil PH. In Australia, we generally have very old, leached soils. They are acidic and very low in phosphorous. One of our important pasture legumes is subterranean clover (derived from the Mediterranean region). It is grown on 20 million hectares of dryland pasture in temperate areas of southern Australia, both for its high quality protein for grazing livestock and for nitrogen fixation in the soil via bacteria in its root nodules (i.e. biologically produced nitrogen). In the 1950's agricultural scientists found that only a few ounces of molybdenum added to superphosphate fertiliser per acre resulted in massive increases in growth of sub-clover. Farmers claimed that they could write their names in the side of hills using superphosphate incorporated with very small amounts of molybdenum as fertiliser. The trace element is very important in the nitrogen fixation process (affects enzyme function). Subsequently, other factors affected the growth of sub-clover (e.g. root diseases), but the discovery of the need for molybdenum for nitrogen fixation was very important for pasture and animal production in our country. Cheers mate

        1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

          Thanks, Frank for the information. I love interacting with others for the awesome things we can learn from each other. Knowledge is most powerful when it is shared. Have a great day.

  2. user-7007498 09/06/2017

    BONUS PHOTOS:

    I have taken a few more photos over the past week. Enjoy









    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/06/2017

      Love the street view of your front walk.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 09/06/2017

        I'm with you, Tim - it looks great!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/06/2017

          He's quite a talent! Hope you are well as you are sliding into spring!

      2. user-7007498 09/06/2017

        Thanks, Tim. This is the only place where my wife has had input (or actually limits), to my gardening. While she has tolerated the Acer japonica 'Aconitofolium' near the front of the house, she has threatened me if I have any plants that visually are taller than the top of the porch railing in the front.

        I think she is right, since I don't want to hide the architecture (but I won't tell her that).

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/07/2017

          Having partners can be a big help to get a different perspective, but I can't imagine sharing a home with another passionate gardener. It would be divorce court for sure for me!
          My wife could have caught the gardening bug, but she said my controlling nature killed any desire she has. Now I consult before any major changes and most of the time she has great ideas; sometimes I just plow ahead anyway-especially when it comes to removing something of which I've grown tired! :)
          Lorraine wanted true lilies and I didn't; now I'm hooked. The problem now is that she wants cut stems in the house and I put my foot down; not a cutting garden!!

  3. luckylady2 09/06/2017

    How nice to see a local garden! Beautiful! It has been a good gardening season.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Judy. It has been an awesome season. Where do you garden?

      1. luckylady2 09/06/2017

        Shippensburg!

        1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

          Nice. I was there recently and saw the garden of Jill Hudock as well as the Peace Garden she created.

  4. jeffgoodearth 09/06/2017

    always snazzy! love it all. watching it rain here today. Is that Agave Blue Glow?

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      I don't know, Jeff. I found it unlabeled at a garden center last year.
      I had 1.5 inches of rain last night right after work. It looks like I will be getter some of the rain you are having soon. The high is only going to be 65 today.

    2. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/06/2017

      Definitely Blue Glow.

      1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

        Thanks for the ID, Tim. I knew you would know it.

      2. Chris N 09/06/2017

        Thanks, Tim.

  5. Maggieat11 09/06/2017

    Love your garden and photos, Kevin, and congratulations on your well-deserved award!! I appreciate that you included a photo of your gorgeous home so we can see how everything blends together so well. What is the variety of the Pine in the first photo? Is it a mature" height? Love it! That was a great "find", the coleus! I appreciate the info; your posts are always so interesting. Thank you!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Margaret. Sadly, I do not know the cultivar of the Pinus strobus out front. I bought it about 18 years ago. A very slow grower, but I have also done some sculptural pruning on it. I hope you saw my bonus photos as well.

      1. Maggieat11 09/06/2017

        Thanks, Kevin. It is indeed a great specimen! I did see your bonus photos. Absolutely wonderful! I would love to visit, perhaps next Spring. Your garden is a traffic-stopper!

        1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

          Anytime you are in the Harrisburg, PA area, you are welcome to visit. Just let me know on a GPOD post, and we can make arrangements.

  6. Luvfall 09/06/2017

    So that's where all my rain has gone! Just beautiful.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      We have been hoarding the rain this summer. We are about 9 inches ahead so far this year.

  7. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 09/06/2017

    Hi, Kevin, although I am not one of Pavlov's dogs, your first picture (and all the subsequent ones) definitely elicited a "drool" response...photos of and from your garden always do that to me! The words impeccable and tasteful quickly come to mind as I take in the street views of your beautiful landscaping. If I were driving by and saw you out working, I would have to stop and practically drown you in a gush of complimentary words. Your use of color and texture truly does create a plant tapestry of very great artistry. I love the container you have chosen for the agave..its simplicity serves to accentuate the captivating architectural interest of that very handsome plant. I now can't wait for tomorrow's part 2.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Hi, Michaele. I enjoy reading your comments so much. You word choice elicits beautiful images. Thanks for the complement about the agave/container. I searched for 3 days to find the right one once I acquired the agave, but once I saw it, I knew it would be perfect. I wish every choice was that great.

      How's the weather in TN. Did you get a good rain. That front slowed down and has been sitting over Harrisburg for the past 6 hours. I had some time off work today from 1-4pm and thought I would be working on the gardens where I had the trees removed, but no such luck. Maybe tomorrow evening.

      1. User avater
        meander1 (Michaele ) 09/06/2017

        We've had a summer much like yours, Kevin, with generous amounts of rain and temps not as torturous as most summers....although, come to think of it, our "not so bad" might seem miserably hot and humid to you. I hope we continue to be blessed throughout the fall since autumn is such a favorite time of year for me. It's when I get to go weak kneed at the beauty of my clumps of magical muhly grass.

        1. user-7007498 09/07/2017

          That's it. Rub it in with the muhly grass. I just can't get it to overwinter. Make sure you post pictures 😊

  8. NCYarden 09/06/2017

    Good morning, Kevin. Looking exquisite. A very different looking garden with all the perennials filling in the spaces from the winter visit. I'm gonna have to shoot for a Summer tour maybe next season. I have finally gotten my Hakonechloa to take in a spot, but I so hope it can become even half that clump you have shown here...Wow. Really like that flow of Ageratum, the way it spills forth through the other plants - nice effect. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Hi, David and Christine. With our mild summer and abundant rain, the garden is looking very lush (my way of saying overgrown). I have a few clumps of Hakonechloa that size. I have found that 'All Gold' seems to perform best and definitely handles heat and dry better than the other cultivars.

      Would love to show you around during the growing season. Maybe we could include a trip to Chanticleer as well. I am planning to make a trip down to your area next spring to see your garden, Plant Delights and maybe Jay Siffords garden if the invites are still there.

  9. janet_sydoruk 09/06/2017

    Wonderful garden. Lots of work I'm the main gardener too so I know. It's a work if art !

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Janet. I love the design element and am constantly editing. It also is a great mental break from my job.

  10. Jay_Sifford 09/06/2017

    Just wonderful, Kevin. I can see why you've won the awards. Happy gardening!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Jay. Hope you get time to enjoy your own garden apart from the work you do with your clients.

  11. Chris N 09/06/2017

    Great seeing your garden again, Kevin. I think I have that same agave - also purchased unnamed! Looking forward to part two.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks Chris. Tim definitely ID it as 'Blue Glow'. I looked it up and he is absolutely right, as always.

      1. Chris N 09/06/2017

        Double checked mine and it is also 'Blue Glow'. Thanks.

  12. sigridmacrae 09/06/2017

    Love the identifications! A friend to true gardeners. Thank you

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks. I try my best to ID the plants in case someone sees one they want to locate for their garden.

  13. floreyd 09/06/2017

    Looks terrific, Kevin. Good for you--the opportunity to plant new trees is always fun, but especially in a garden as established as yours. Thanks for the great photos!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks. I admit I was actually excited when they died, since it gave me the ability to redesign 2 areas that I had planted years ago.Funny how gardeners can be.

  14. user-3571852 09/06/2017

    Kevin, a wonderful garden. That first picture is magazine worthy! How do you make your leaf compost? I have shredded leaves and put in a wire holder outside but it takes a long time for them to break down and I never really get "black" gold. I'm wondering this year if i just put shredded leaves straight on the beds.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Margaret. I just shred the leaves in the fall, keep them in piles like you do, turning them every week, and then spread them in the garden in the spring. I top dress them with a thin layer of shredded mulch (to keep them from blowing away). By next fall, when I work in the beds, they have completed decomposed.

    2. tennisluv 09/06/2017

      I did a simpler method. I raked the leaves each fall, shred them, left them piled under a brown tarps all winter in the center of my back yard, which was also mulched with shredded leaves (fortunately my house and the large azaleas hid this monstrosity - grandkids could disappear from sight - from all but two of my neighbors), and then spread the shredded leaves around in all my beds in the spring. They made a lovely mulch and naturally decomposed by the time I was ready to start again. Almost never had to fertilize any of my beds. Unfortunately I left that garden behind last year and now struggle to learn how to garden in a LOT of sun.

    3. Luvfall 09/06/2017

      I keep two piles in an evergreen tree line. They are always in the shade but get little rain. In fall I shred the leaves and pile them up but I water the pile really well every 6 inches and if there are not grass clippings in the leaves I add some organic nitrogen. Some time the following summer I move the pile to the second location which is the only time it gets turned over. Again, I make sure to water it in really well. The following spring (18 months later) it's not quite black gold but I use it as a mulch. If I leave it for a full two years I can get to the black gold stage.

  15. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/06/2017

    I'm floored, Kevin, but not surprised. Your use of evergreens is so inspiring; nothing boring - just structural gems. Your Agave 'Blue Glow' is amazing. I'm ready to compost mine because I can't get the color or structure that I want. I'm excited for your new trees, too. That Tupelo should be amazing. I tried to procure one but they are hard to find around here. One tree nursery that I called said they refuse to sell them because of the clay soil in Columbus and, although native, they only thrive in acidic ravines. There is a small one planted as a street tree on my block and its leaves are absolutely stunning from spring to the fall explosion of color.
    So terrible that so many parts of the country are have had unseasonable heat, are under water or on fire, while Ohio and PA have had a glorious gardening season. I'm very grateful....

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks for the ID on the agave. It is just perfect in that container. I will see how many years it will look that good.

      I am so excited about Tupelo Towers. The prior garden was a shade garden, but now is in full sun. I decided to plant a mostly native butterfly/pollinator garden to go with the Nyssa. It will give me a new place to sneak in a few conifers as well.

      Attached is my initial planting of the new garden, and 2 new conifers I added to it.
      I had off from work this afternoon from 1-4pm and planned to be in the garden, but a front from TN to New York has stalled over the top of Harrisburg, and it has rained all day (after 1.5 inches of rain last evening, which also started as soon as I got home from work). I just took these photos in the rain.



      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/07/2017

        That will be awesome!

  16. tennisluv 09/06/2017

    Everything everyone else said. Always enjoy your postings and later today/evening plan to spend a couple of hours perusing past offerings. Although I was online before all but Frank, your pinus strobus sent me off on a web search for a similar species for my landscape and now has me collecting my purse and keys,heading to the local gardening center. Favs include the shot of the pineus strobus 'Unknown' flanked by soft grasses and fuzzy staychs, the Hydrangea serrata ‘Preziosa’, and the stream of Ageratum flowing at the feet of the Cyperus papyrus 'Prince Tut'. What a great garden you have created!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks so much, Sonya. I wish I knew the cultivar of the pine. This was before I was keeping good records (somehow I had deceived myself into thinking I would remember them). I found a faded tag 3 years ago near the pine, but could only make out strob (so at least I knew it wasn't P. parviflora).

      I love 'Preziosa'. The faded blooms get maroon and hold through the winter. The leaves also get very red once the weather cools. The ageratum/Papyrus has been my favorite annual combo in the last 10 years.

      1. tennisluv 09/06/2017

        I understand. I have only recently begun keeping a gardening log of what I buy, cost & source {some centers give a year's replacement ;-)], where I plant it, and when. I have a lovely little Japanese Maple in a large red planter that I would love to transplant into my garden, but since I don't know what it is, I have not idea what it's mature height/width will be. Keep planning on taking a picture and going back to Maple Ridge, where I bought it. Love the use of blue flowering or leaved plants to create a streaming effect. You have down to an art.

  17. thevioletfern 09/06/2017

    Spectacular! I love supporting, hearing about supporting our pollinators and the refrain from using insecticides. The new trees sound great - especially Cornus Mas. I have quite a few dogwoods in my own garden and they never fail to attract the birds and bees. I love the sculptural Agave and just about everything else!!! I hope my Clethra grows up like yours. I am curious about your master gardener pollinator award? Here in Northern NY we (Cornell) have created a pollinator pathway in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy and our gardens are mapped on YardMap.org. If you haven't heard of it, you should definitely add your garden to the map!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Kathy. I am excited about my new garden areas and the new trees. The Master Gardener Certification for a Pollinator Garden requires a 5 page application, describing the site and must include pollinator plants in spring, summer and fall, as well as providing water sources and food. Photos of the garden must be included.

      I briefly checked out the Cornell site and it looks pretty cool. Will look more in depth later. Looks like it has more educational/social aspects to it. Thanks.

  18. hedygalow 09/06/2017

    Love the way you labeled your plantings as I am trying to help my son with his blank slate new home garden.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Good luck, Hedy. Blank slates are fun.

  19. greengenes 09/06/2017

    Your gardens are wonderful Kevin! What a treat today! Isnt it fun to plant trees! Sorry for your loss but there are some great choices out there for replacements! I have a heptacodium and they are nice. The bark is beautiful and the end of season blooms add so much. The coleus you found is so awesome. I havent seen it over here this year. A real treasure for sure! The agave is so beautiful and in that pot it is stunning! So you must over winter this somewhere? Thanks for sharing with us! Our gardens just get better and better!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks Jeanne. I was excited when the 2 Pyrus calleryana died (gardeners are strange people). It has been fun working on the new design. and, yes, it was fun to plant TREES (instead of just dwarf conifers/Japanese maples), even though that is fun as well.

      I am starting to collect succulents, so I am setting up a series of plant shelves with lighting in my basement where they will reside this winter. Last winter the agave was in our guest bedroom-that created a stir.

  20. user-4691082 09/06/2017

    Hey Kev, what a pleasure to see your cramscaping this morning! Yours is the only garden that I've seen that masters that concept. You are down to about 10 days till your sons wedding...we all wish you and Kathy a blessed day! I have recently met Dee from Delaware and Jill Beringer. We are touring each other's gardens. What a blast. My garden is tomorrow... I entered my garden in the PHS contest this summer- hoping to come out with an honorable mention! Frank, you are bowling me over with your knowledge! Kevin, how do you keep 'David' from getting powdery mildew? Looking forward to tomorrow!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 09/06/2017

      Hi Rhonda - Good luck with your PHS entry, and have fun with the tour of your garden tomorrow. Cheers from down under

    2. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Hi, Rhonda. Thanks so much. Why didn't I get invited to these garden tours? Just kidding. This summer has been crazy. 4 trips to Atlanta for my daughter. She is now a Speech Language Pathologist and has her first job in Harrisburg working with head and neck cancer patients. She loves it, and we love having her here (even though I had to drive the moving truck from Atlanta).

      Good luck in the PHS contest. I had fun interacting with the judges and hearing what they had to say.

      Maybe next years, we can arrange tour of all 4 properties?

      I have never had problems with 'David'. Despite all the rain this summer, not a spect of mildew. And as you know, I tend to crowd plants together, so it's not like David gets good airflow.

  21. Sheila_Schultz 09/06/2017

    What a delicious start to the day! Your gardens are a visual delight no matter the time of year, Kevin. You have created an amazing work of living art that never fails to give pleasure to gardeners and non-gardeners alike. One thing for sure, you have found a passion that makes a whole lot of folks smile from ear to ear... and then their are the pollinators that are sure to get fat and sassy when stopping by for a lunch date! Thanks for the eye candy, can't wait for tomorrow's edition of beauty!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Sheila. I think you are trying to compete with Michaele for the best composition in writing your comments. Loved your style. Hope you will enjoy tomorrow as well. Keep your eye out for more bonus pictures, just like today.

  22. user-7008735 09/06/2017

    Simply gorgeous, Kevin! Planting papyrus in the ground is a revelation to me; I've only ever seen it growing in water gardens, but the neighbourhood raccoons (Tim's "trash pandas") shred everything I try to grow in my pond. I have one in a pot that I've been putting in the garage overnight for protection, but I'm going to try it in the ground and hope I remember to give it extra water. Your Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake' is a beauty! The one in my sunny front garden looks like a tiered wedding cake in May and is still putting out new flowers in September. It was introduced by the University of British Columbia (my alma mater), so I'm delighted to see that it has made its way across the continent to you. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your garden tomorrow!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Lorraine for the wonderful comments. I have previously only put papyrus in containers, but I love how it looks in the ground. I water it every other day, but have not fertilized it. It is a spectacular accent.

      Interesting about 'Summer Snowflake'. I love learning about plant origins, so thanks for sharing. Mine is also lightly flowering. I have been pruning it to accent the layered look. I agree, in spring it is stunning.

  23. Schatzi 09/06/2017

    Always love seeing your gorgeous garden, Kevin. I had a gorgeous viburnum for many years that also looked like a wedding cake (per Lorraine) but it died last year in spite of my attempts to keep sufficient water on it. Fortunately one young trunk survived and is persevering, so I have hopes for its future. Love your river of ageratum, your agave in its beautifully simple pot, your unique cool coleus - love all of it! What is the ruffled succulent in the extra pics? Besides beautiful, that is. Looking forward to tomorrow. Your garden is totally gorgeous and inspiring. And I cannot get my head around how much you pack in without anything looking crowded. Awesome!

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks Shirley. I hope you will enjoy tomorrow as well.

      The succulent was only labeled echeveria. No cultivar. It was not very impressive when planted in early June, but now its stunning. This is one I am digging up and potting for the winter.

  24. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 09/06/2017

    Wow, Kevin, your garden is even better than usual this summer. Your choice of pot for that stunning agave makes it a stand out. Love your front walk view with that river of ageratum. I can't tell you how jealous I am of your weekly rainfall but I hate to complain about the lack of rain after seeing those poor people in TX dealing with a year's worth in a couple of hours. I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's post.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Linda. It is a shame that weather has to come in extremes, but it has been a perfect summer for gardens here. It took me 3 days to find that container after I bought the agave, but it was the perfect combo. I wish all my choices were that good (or lucky).

      The ageratum river has been special.

  25. Meelianthus 09/06/2017

    Goodmorning Kevin ~ What a wonderful tour of your gardens and I love the photo of the walk-way up to your front door, really stunning. I thought we in the PNW had the great gardening climate but yours sounds incredible for really great gardening. We have not had any rain ALL summer with temps 80-90 every day, UGH! How amazing that you are able to fit l52 conifers, AND all of those perennials onto your property - you must stack them ;) What a truly beautiful job you have done and your passion really shines through. Thanks for the tour.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Linda. It looks like there has been a flip of the coast this summer. That said, the PNW and the Mid-Atlantic are truly gardening paradises. I count my blessing every day for living where I am, even when I am envious of the plants you can grow that I can't. I have fallen in love with dwarf conifers, and continue to search for ways to squeeze them in. It forces me to restrain from large perennials that have an open growth habit, since the tend to overwhelm the conifers.

  26. bsavage 09/06/2017

    Wow, so very beautiful, all of it! Thanks for sharing!

  27. peggyslemp 09/06/2017

    Beautiful, lush garden! I think you will really enjoy your heptacodium miconiodes. Be patient, as it takes awhile to show its virtues. Hummers love the flowers, which look like it is decorated with baby's breath. So glad for gardeners like you who garden responsibly.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks Peggy. I can't wait to see the heptacodium mature. I had bought it mail order and have kept it in a container for 2 years to develop a good root system before moving it to the garden.

  28. user-6536305 09/06/2017

    Very stunning! Love your plant choices! You are certainly a good designer, weeder, digger and an excellent photographer! Thanks for sharing! My husband is not interested in gardening and I am pretty happy about it because I could do whatever I want in the garden (for better or worse).

    You certainly deserved the blue ribbon. Love your organic approach.

    1. user-7007498 09/06/2017

      Thanks, Lilian. While there are times I would like to have a helper to do the work, having only one designer has worked out well.

  29. terieLR 09/06/2017

    Hi there Kevin, I have found cool unidentified coleus over the years, never to be found again. Yours is exceptional! I hope you have success with rooting and wintering it over. Your gardens are dreamy... made up of all the best choices for our region. We have had a beautiful summer season here in central NY also. Congrats on the Blue Ribbon! Well deserved. Can't wait until tomorrow morning. Bravo!

    1. user-7007498 09/07/2017

      Thanks, Terie. I also had a stunning coleus a few years ago. I was sure I would find it again(and support my local nursery), but I never saw it again. I am not going to let this happen again next year.

  30. Cenepk10 09/06/2017

    Kevin !!! So glad you showed the gorgeous house with the garden. I need perspective- & folks usually leave that out. Your garden is a stunner & so appropriate to your home. Really delighted you added more photos & can't wait for part deaux. Beautiful !!!

    1. user-7007498 09/07/2017

      Thanks so much. You are so right, we gardeners focus so much on the plants, we forget to provide the context of the garden (because we see it every day).

  31. user-5579651 09/07/2017

    love your statuette next to the coleus, beautiful garden

    1. user-7007498 09/07/2017

      Thanks Elizabeth. I have a number of fairy statues tucked away in the garden (just to keep an eye on things).

  32. user-6861263 09/07/2017

    Hi Kevin-
    I have heard from Rhonda how stunning your "Cramscaping" is and she wasn't lying! Your selection of plants- including the "hell strip" is inspiring! It sure doesn't look like you have much mowing to do! I am lusting for a tupelo too for it's stunning fall color but am fighting the shade as is. But, where there's a will, there's a way! :) I'd love to do the same in my front yard- Do you have any pictures showing the winter view? Looks like I need to put in a central walk so I can get the same gorgeous look and feel as you. Looking forward to seeing Rhonda's garden today- and feeling like a "weak sister of the poor"
    by comparison to you all! Great job!

    1. user-7007498 09/08/2017

      Thanks Jill for the compliments. I love to have plants interact and weave into each other. We can take advantage of differences in textures and colors to create a wonderful tapestry. It takes me 12 minutes to mow-I am pretty proud of that. I have attached a photo of the front yard from Jan 1st.

      Hope you enjoyed your time with Rhonda. Sometime next year, we should create our own garden tour of the relatively local GPOD gardeners.

  33. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 09/07/2017

    Your gardens are stunning! I'm looking forward to round #2.

    1. user-7007498 09/08/2017

      Thanks, Joanna. I hope you have enjoyed both days.

  34. user-7007498 09/08/2017

    Hi, Diane. I was just going back over yesterday's posts and saw your reply. Must have missed it. Sorry for the late response.

    Thanks so much for the kind words, especially since you have such a beautiful garden yourself. This is the first year I tried papyrus in the ground. I have been watering it every other day, and have given it a splash of fish fertilizer every 2 weeks. It has performed well. I love it with the ageratum. Definitely something I am going to do more of.

    I am in love with hakonechloa as an accent grass. It always draws the eye, no matter where I am in the garden.

  35. user-3565112 09/08/2017

    Kevin, All of your garden scenes are beautifully planned & executed. I am sorry about being late to your post. My gardening buddy & best friend since kindergarten ( 70 yrs. ago) passed away & his funeral was yesterday. I have a question: if you were planning a memorial garden (100 s.f.) what small plant,above all others, would you choose as a focal point ? The site I have in mind is partial shade & well drained. I value your & Tim's advice as well as the other GPOD'ers & would appreciate any advice. Thank you & good luck, Joe Koller Zone 7 central Md.

  36. gardencook 10/03/2017

    Hi Kevin. I enjoyed all the pics of your gardens and I value the information you have provided. I particularly loved your hydrangea, the coleus and the viburnum pictured! Gorgeous plants! Would love to see some of your Japanese Maples. I have Clethra "Hummingbird" and I enjoy its flowers and its fragrance in my garden! Love to see more of your gardens. Congrats on your awards - it looks as if they were well deserved!

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