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Garden Photo of the Day

Textures in the Late summer garden

Kevin Kelly sure has a handle on adding beautiful texture to what was once a blank canvas!

"I have been gardening on this 1/2 acre site for almost 20 years. I live in a suburban development of Harrisburg, PA. There was not a plant on the property when we had the house built. The last 5 years have been spent working on textures and how plants play off one another. Just took these photos mid-September. Hope everyone enjoys and can derive inspiration."

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  1. PerenniallyCrazy 09/21/2015

    You have the perfect plant combos Kevin! These are truly inspiring. Love your garden. Please send in photos of your garden regularly. I would love to see your garden all year round. Thanks.

  2. Cayugamorning 09/21/2015

    Hi Keven
    Love your garden. I love the use of green-variegated green & blue. I particularly like the planting arrangement in photo 6. What is the arrow-leaved plant? And the tall umbullifer type plant?
    Beautiful gardens, nice strategic use of sculpture.

    1. user-7007498 09/22/2015

      The large leaved plant is a Colocasia. I usually plant a different variety there each year, rather than trying to overwinter it. The taller one is Cyperus papyrus 'King Tut'. Also an annual for me. I created a "mini" rain garden there (4 by 2 feet) Water from my neighbors yard floods it with each rain, so I need water plants there. The depression also has acoris, hakanechloa, care and hostas

      1. Cayugamorning 09/22/2015

        Good idea to make use of what is (ie the flooded area from the neighbor) rather than railing against the fates! I like the combination.

  3. user-4691082 09/21/2015

    I love the papyrus and the taro. Is that a pulmonaria cultivar in photo #8? I just got one this year. Nice job!

    1. user-7007498 09/22/2015

      Yes it is, but I don't have a record of the cultivar

  4. HelloFromMD 09/21/2015

    A favorite is the Colocasia and King Tut with the Zen art object. Very nice combos!

  5. user-7007496 09/21/2015

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

  6. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 09/21/2015

    Hi, Kevin, your pictures show lots of my favorites and you have placed them in such a complimentary way with each other. Love the backlit clumps of sedum 'Autumn Joy' as well the generous clump in picture 3 which shows how that soft mauvy pink goes so well with the vibrant orange above it. I also would be delighted to see more photos of your garden through out the year.

  7. greengenes 09/21/2015

    It looks like you have been having a whole lot of fun! Great pictures, Kevin!

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/21/2015

    Very inspiring, Kevin. Great combinations and textures. Looking lush and incredible for September. Definitely share more seasons, please. I love the containers in your beds and envy your self-control to leave them empty (so it seems). I've added some containers to my garden this year, but as much as I like them empty, my horror-vacuii tells me it is room for more plants!
    I'm trying to add more evergreens, as well, for structure and low maintenance. Do you know the name of the conifer to the left in the 2nd picture? Is it dwarf?

    1. user-7007498 09/22/2015

      Thanks. The conifer is Pinus parviflora 'Goykuri'. I have planted a number of slow growing conifers throughout my garden beds to improve the winter look here in Harrisburg. Most of these plants I treat somewhat like bonsai specimens. I love to open them up and accentuate irregular and twisted growth.

      I love containers in the garden, and am always looking for unusual or striking pots. I have 24 planted and 28 empty throughout my landscape. The nice think about empty containers is that you can pop them anywhere needed. Sometimes they are being used to hold up floppy neighbors.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/22/2015

        I've had my eye on a couple of P. parviflora cultivars: Fukuzumi and Goldilocks. Goykuri looks like a great contender. Are your containers frost-resistent and outside year round? I assume Harrisburg is about zone 6?
        Sounds like your garden is the destination at which I am aiming; more structure. Thanks for sharing your garden and enthusiasm.

        1. user-7007498 09/22/2015

          There are more and more cultivars coming out each year that are really cool. I have seen both that you are looking at. Fukuumi is more like a ground cover, and looks awesome weeping over a large rock or wall. It reportable does not produce cone (if that matters). I have heard that Goldilocks burns in full sun, so east wall or other sun protection is important. Another great cultivar is 'yatsubusa'.


          I am OK leaving containers that are glazed (and thus hot-fired) out in the winter. I make sure the drainage holes are not clogged. I have only lost one over the years. I still bring into the shed really expensive or unusual pots


          Yes I am zone 6b. Was getting close to 7 for a while, but we had 2 really cold winters again in a row. I lost a few plants where I was pushing the zone.

  9. Cenepk10 09/21/2015

    Lovely !!!!!

  10. GrannyCC 09/21/2015

    Love all the colours and textures. Sedum is so lovely in the Fall.

  11. CJgardens 09/21/2015

    Kevin, beautiful! Lovely composition. I like your use of conifers and grasses. Yes, we would like to see more from other seasons. What is the tall orange/rust colored flowering plant in the 3rd photo? Thanks for sharing. cj

    1. user-7007498 09/22/2015

      That is a zinnia (Zowie Series). I wasn't sure how it would look against the reddish sedum, but I am pleased with this combo

      1. CJgardens 09/22/2015

        Thanks for the name. It's so obvious now that it is a zinnia. I find myself using more of the old time favorites (dahlias, zinnias, marigolds, etc) for the long term color.

  12. kimberlyweigner 09/22/2015

    Just beautiful.

  13. diane_lasauce 10/11/2015

    Looks like you nailed it, Kevin. I too have a 1/2 acre...and although here fourteen years, there is always and edit or addition to make.

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