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Garden Photo of the Day

Summer Growth in Joe’s Front-Yard Garden

Joe Koller from Baltimore Highlands, Maryland share his one-year-old front yard garden here. Here are the plants all grown up, and up, and up!

"Attached are recent photos of the  one year old garden we previously submitted in the spring. Some of the plants are much larger than we thought originally and may need to be divided in the spring. The ornamental grasses are recent additions to the west side and we are considering expanding this area with shade tolerant plants. I am open to suggestions for this area  that is to the west of the blue yellow garden.  We have also included several photos from different areas in our yard. My wife once said I plant jungles not gardens & I think she had a point."

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  1. candicedirckzeperera 08/13/2015

    beautiful. Do i see some coleus. These should grow great in sri lanka where I live, but I dont know whether I am caring for them too much. What are your tips!

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Yes those are coleus on the left side of the red & white area. I planted those in late spring and added some organic fertilizer and leafgro & water occasionally.I don't think it will make it thru the winter in my area. Thank you for your response, Joe

      1. candicedirckzeperera 08/13/2015

        THANK YOU JOE. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  2. Chefin1950 08/13/2015

    But what wonderful Jungle Gardens they are!! I especially love the yellow-blue garden.

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Thank you,that is the area we might expand towards the crape myrtle in the background. This area gets morning sun and is bordered by an herb garden on the left side

  3. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 08/13/2015

    Big WOW on how everything has filled in with such lushness and vibrant color. I'm so glad you sent in this second round of pictures so we can see the progress. Also, it was nice to revisit your first set of pictures and read your comments since they hadn't appeared for me last time around. Looks like you choose a variety of switch grass...do you recall the name? I am a big fan of the panicums and you will be amazed at how filled in they get by their second year. If your shade area is shady enough, you might enjoy having some ferns and hosta. I adore the hosta variety named 'Guacamole'...it's very showy and, I admit, I like saying the name!

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Meander, I think I may have responded to you earlier but I had to leave for a doctor appointment. The grasses are panicum with Cheyenne morning mist in the center & Cheyenne Sky flanking. It sounds like I might need to space them out a little bit .I appreciate your advice and have had good luck with hosta & ferns in other areas of my yard. I will try to find the Guacamole. I just bought a bunch of painted ferns for $4.00 each and I will go back and buy the rest to plant in this area next spring or this fall if I can get motivated. I like your suggestions. If this is a repeat I apologize but my eyes are dilated (& possibly my brain) at this time. Thank you & good luck to you. Joe

      1. User avater
        meander1 (Michaele ) 08/13/2015

        No, this wasn't a repeat, Joe and thanks so much for passing along the names of your panicums. Are you noticing that one gets red tips earlier than the other? I love Japanese painted ferns and have been extra delighted that, much to my surprise, they seem to self "seed" and pop up in new places. I dig up the babies and put them together to create new drifts of them.

        1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

          The morning mist in the center got red tips before Sky and is taller. I am hoping it remains taller than the other 2 because that was the effect I was looking for. I also bought Karl Foerster at that time to combine with these but decided to plant those in back by the pond.. This area is backlit by the setting sun & I might yet move them back to this area. I am a sucker for plants on sale. & then wonder what to do with them. Thank you for your responses. & good luck. .

  4. Raleighgardener 08/13/2015

    I agree with Marsha! The 2nd photo, with purples, silvers, and yellows is my favorite! Love the textural and foliage contrasts, the billowing mounds of varying heights, and not all neatly soldiered up in symmetrical rows strictly adhering to shortest in front to tallest in back. Can you tell us the names of the varieties planted there?


    Not all gardens need to have every plant well-spaced so they aren't touching, with large expanses of mulched ground showing through, to be beautiful. Or, maybe that's just a reflection of my "loose" attitude toward gardening, housekeeping, etc.


    Joe, I'm sure your garden must bring you much joy! Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Thank you. Some of the plants are phlox david, the taller phlox blue boy, the tallest plant in the center is helenium,the agastache is purple haze,the daylilies are happy returns,the Russian sage is longin, the roses are david austen molineaux there are also tickseed golden gain,aster bluestar,coreopsis Jethro tull,catmint purrrsian blue. rudebeckia Golldsturn. I could make a complete list of all the plants if you'd like & send them to you or post them later.

  5. katieerb 08/13/2015

    I have the same problem, altho I try not to over plant, when the plants grow I have to move and re-arrange but that is a good problem to have! I love the colorful beds, they look great!

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      When in the planning stage we were not sure whether to go with five of each or three. We decided to go with 3 & 1 each of the larger ones. There were originally 175 plants in the 2 areas but I lost some & replaced some & now I am not sure how plants are there. I will most likely move the hydrangea out & that was the only plant there before we started. Thank you, Joe

    2. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      I apologize for the typo. Please insert (many) between how & plants. I am not sure it's due to dilated eyes or age. burt I am rooting for dilation. Joe

  6. galealdred 08/13/2015

    One year! A beautiful accomplishment. My shade garden has ferns and lots of hellebores. Long blooming and very deer resistant. A great combo. Also Lady's Mantle and Japanese forest grass. The list goes on. Good luck and keep planting!

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Thank you for the suggestions. The extension will be about 15x12 ft. and I think I want to go with small plants. I will research hellebores . Also this area floods in heavy rains but drains in about 4 hours. The board you see to the right of the grasses is to stop the flood f from washing out the garden & has worked well so far. Good luck, Joe

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/13/2015

    Boy, Joe, that is one mature-looking garden. I love that its exuberance is NOT contained. Looks great. My philosophy is plant things way too close, then move as needed and divide what thrives (and you love!). So glad you've sent in more photos. That tall Astilbe is a killer, and that deep red coleus is one of my favorites that I overwinter and take cuttings from year to year. Keep tending the jungle!

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Thank you for your for comments & advice. I saw the article in Fine Gardenning featuring your shade/sun hillside gardens and it was impressive. I know you know what you are doing in the garden and appreciate your comments. Good luck, Joe

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/13/2015

        Thanks, Joe. I have a lot of experience *pretending* that I know what I am doing, and somehow it adds up! Keep sending updates: it's fun to see.

  8. user-7007076 08/13/2015

    Ha, ha, I love your wife's comment about planting jungles. Lush jungles create wonderful oases in suburban areas. I especially love the second photo displaying your yellow and blue garden. I think it is especially strong due to the intermingling ground hugging creepers that create a nice contrast in height and invite the viewer into the garden. I also love the contrast in color created with the white plant. (If it is a wormwood....how does it do in your garden? In nature, the wild ones tend to be invasive. I love the color and texture of the plant, but have been afraid to utilize in my garden under that premise.)

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      I am not sure how the wormwood will do because added it this spring in a hole created when an aster did not make it. I am going to cut it back some
      because it is crowding out the asters. The ground cover is veronica Georgia blue. Thank you f& good luck, Joe

  9. Sheila_Schultz 08/13/2015

    I love the full look of your gardens... so many happy, happy plants! Pollinator's must think they've hit the jackpot when they come upon your jungle! Keep on having fun, Joe, a bare space in the garden is a space that needs to be filled in my book ;)
    Ever think about adding some milkweed? I'm sure Tim will fill you in if you're interested in what makes Monarchs happy!

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      I appreciate your comments and will check out milkweed. Their are lots of bees but so far no butterflies. I have black & blue salvia thru out that garden & in past years( in other areas of my yard) it attracted lots of butterflies & hummingbirds but this year no luck. Thank you & good luck, Joe

  10. NCYarden 08/13/2015

    Jungle love, my friend...jungle love. There are no complaints about big crowds of plants. They'll figure it out, and you can step in when necessary to aid the territorial disputes. It's much better than a lot of bare ground...plenty of that elsewhere. When some or most retreat for the cold season, I know your wife will certainly miss the jungle. You have done some serious decorating to the urban landscape, and I'm sure it needed it. Those astilbes are magnificent..what kind of steroids are they on? Street value please!
    Joe, this is bad ass!

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Thank you for your response. The astilbes were moved from their previous location because the tree shading them died, I fertilize the area they are in with cottonseed meal because of the azaleas and the astilbe apparently like it. Thank you & good luck Joe

  11. GrannyCC 08/13/2015

    Love the wonderful fullness of it all. It is so colourful and you obviously have an eye for design.

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Thank you, I had design help with the front yard gardens from Alan Summers a local talk show host & former owner of Carroll Gardens.He was often mentioned in earlier additions of F.G. as a source for plants. I added other plants this year to fill holes that developed from attrition & keep my fingers crossed. Judging by the responses the blue-yellow side is coming along but the red_-white side may need some work. I am open to suggestions. Good luck,,Joe
      P.S. Alan's talk show is on Sat. 7:00 a.m. edt.on WCBM 680 a.m. He covers a lot of topics and handles a dozen or so calls.

  12. Meelianthus 08/13/2015

    I do love a great garden 'jungle'! Beautiful job Joe and everything is just so robust and healthy looking.
    The fullness of your garden beds is so very lush looking and it seems that you have a lot of sun. I do mostly shade gardening and have only spots of sunshine. I have planted hundreds of ferns, hostas, Dicentra (bleeding hearts), Ligularia and Rodgersia are also beautiful and many others. You will find that shade gardening opens a whole new world of plants. Have fun and thanks for a peek into your jungle.

    1. user-3565112 08/13/2015

      Thank you for the information & your response. I am not familiar with Liguaria &Rofgersia & will research them. I have never seen them in nurseries in this area & have not had much luck with mail order plants. Most likely I dealt with the wrong firms. Good luck to you & thank you for the information.,joe

  13. Jeff Goodearth 08/14/2015

    looks great and hard to believe it's such a young garden! this will give inspiration to those who are fearful of beginning thinking it will be 10 years before it's full. i love this "jungle" and will look forward to more seasons photos

    1. user-3565112 08/14/2015

      Thank you for your compliments. Last year we had a late but brutal winter & I am not sure what is going to bloom this fall. The hydrangeas and crape myrtle Plum Magic failed to bloom this year & I am hoping the plants in these gardens aren't effected. There are some holes on the blue-yellow side & hopefully I will find some fall blooming plants this weekend,Thank you & good luck, Joe

  14. TheGenerator 08/14/2015

    LOVE it!

    1. user-3565112 08/14/2015

      I am glad to hear you like what we have done, I wish the butterflies & hummingbirds felt the same but this year no luck. Good luck, Joe

  15. user-3565112 08/15/2015

    Thank you for the information. I am going to combine this list with the other suggestions on this site and start looking tomorrow. The 2 nurseries that I buy most of my plants from are now running sales. Thank you & good luck, Joe.

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