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Garden Photo of the Day

The Lushness of Early Summer

By Kim Charles

A memorial to a past garden buddy.

Peggy Fox from Gig Harbor shares her lush and vibrant garden photos with us.

"Hello, this is Peggy Fox – I’ve submitted photos several times before but June is such a lush time for the garden that I wanted to share a few photos of what’s blooming.  I’m gardening in between zones 7b and 8a in Gig Harbor, WA."

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The Lady’s Mantle in the rockery is just glowing right now alongside Phlomis, Royal Purple Smokebush and and a potpourri of other things including various Spireas and Geraniums.  The Euphorbia seeded itself there and is happily adding it’s warm tones to the mix.

The lawn at the top of the rockery, with Berberis Helmond Pillar marking the bottom of the Forest Grass lined steps. Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear’ is peeking out between the Berberis with beautiful caramel colored new foliage.

Steps up from the dock are lined with Rhododendron Impeditum and ‘Belinda’s Find’ Sedge.  My poor ‘Polka’ Rose has succumbed to black spot in this damp, north facing part of the garden. 

This season's purple pot ensemble.

And, this season’s annual pots at the entry area.   

More of the entry pots and the garage stairs.

Our lovely fence (new last year) and the newly established garden at its feet, with Astilbe, Astrantia, Cimicifuga and other shade lovers. 

Here is Cerinthe poking its head out between the Eucomis and Kniphofia.

Garden wind chimes and the path to the potting area.

View Comments


  1. brian_mazzer 07/04/2017

    What a beautiful garden you have. Well done

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you Brian, I'm obsessed! As addictions go, it could be worse...

  2. frankgreenhalgh 07/04/2017

    Hello there Peggy - Wow you have created an absolutely spectacular garden. I love everything about it. Congratulations on a brilliant job and great photography. You should be very proud indeed of your wonderful achievements. Thanks for sharing. Cheers from Oz
    PS. Two Aussies starting the ball rolling today! G'day Brian.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thanks Frank! The photography is so much fun for me, and a great record of what the garden is doing during the year. Hope gardening down under is going well!

  3. mjensen 07/04/2017


    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you!

  4. Kim5205 07/04/2017

    I visited this garden during last years Tour. Even more spectacular this year....well done!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thanks Kim! I think that this year is probably the best so far. The garden is pretty mature now and so I'm doing more editing and removing what isn't working, and adding some new areas of interest.

  5. tennisluv 07/04/2017

    What a gorgeous, lush PNW garden you have. You have definitely created Eden on earth. Too pretty for words. Garden envy for sure on this end. Thanks for sharing; I'm heading back go back thru the photos several.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you Sonya! I've grumbled over the years over our heavy clay soil and the difficulty of creating a garden on a hill but I guess the water retentive soil makes gardening on a slope possible, and the elevation itself does add interest to the garden!

  6. user-4691082 07/04/2017

    Peggy, I'm not surprised to hear your garden is on the tour rotation. You are so talented. I too, will be going over and over these photos. Happy 4th of July!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you Rhonda, it's been a real learning process for me to work with the slope of our property, the soil and the micro climates. My trial and error has cost the lives of many poor plants!

  7. user-7007498 07/04/2017

    Thanks, Peggy, for a wonderful start to the day. What a magnificent garden you have. I am so in love with the stone paths and steps, and the well designed collection of plants that line them. I wish I could see your garden in person. The views are so inviting. Your new fence is fabulous, and the plantings look like they've been there for years. I will be coming back to your post frequently.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thanks Kevin! I love all the stone paths and steps too, though when they were created in 2001 I was pretty overwhelmed when trying to figure out how to make a garden around them! If you live in the area you'd be welcome to see the garden in person - we usually open in late June or early July.

  8. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 07/04/2017

    Hi, Peggy, what a nice treat to get to revisit your lush and beautifully done garden areas. Your various pathways tickle my inner child's curiosity to go exploring and see what fun surprises are around the corner. Your generous use of chartreusy toned plants give your edges a welcoming luminosity and brightness. I was not familiar with Cerinthe...the shape of the flower is so charming and who wouldn't want pops of blue-ish purple mingling amongst other plants. I did some googling of it and it is described as a generous self sower...is that true for your growing zone? If so, lucky you! What is the vining plant forming the arch of greenery over your entry porch? ...it looks fabulous. And the new fence is so handsome ...love its architectural elegance.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Good morning! I love using chartreuse to make other things stand out, and to define areas like the path. I think it helps in a garden like mine to give your eye something to rest on or follow, otherwise it's kind of a chaotic jumble! The Cerinthe self sows a little, but not as much as I'd like, and it doesn't winter over well for me so I gather the seeds for the spring. The vine at the entry is Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). It is in full bloom now and is heavenly! It actually got a pretty heavy pruning this spring; it was growing into the boards that face the underside of the porch roof and was also starting to make us have to duck around it to exit the porch!

  9. Jay_Sifford 07/04/2017

    Peggy, you've managed to do something that many people find impossible: create a very abundantly planted garden without having it look messy. Great job!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thanks Jay - it's kind of a fine line between abundant and chaotic! I think it helps to have areas in the garden where your eye can rest.

  10. Sheila_Schultz 07/04/2017

    Peggy, your gardens are layer upon layer of gorgeousness. They are so enticing with the meandering paths and dreamy, moss covered boulders... your new fence is a winner, love it all!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you Sheila - and I love the new fence too! A friend of ours built it. At first it looked WAY too big to me, but now I think the scale is just about perfect for the area and plantings.

  11. Dvngardener 07/04/2017

    Gorgeous! I love all the layers, colors, and textures. I was looking at my backyard garden the other day and I was realizing it was a sea of the same shade of green. Time for me to add some chartreuse and other pops of foliage color to make it more interesting. I guess that's why it's time to begin anew! Bravo and cheers to you !

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      I really like using bronze and purple foliage as well as the chartreuse. Having the different foliage colors juxtaposed draws my attention to how cool each plant is individually!

  12. greengenes 07/04/2017

    Well it sure is a special treat today having a fireworks of color and design! All so beautiful and interesting. Isnt it fun to have some annuals to change out to different plantings each year!Thanks for sharing! Happy forth of July!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you Jeanne, I love the intensity of the annuals for some parts of the garden. And I STILL want to get up to see your garden!

  13. wisestguy 07/04/2017

    Thanks for sharing. Looks lovely :)

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you - I love photographing the garden and sharing it!

  14. Foxglove12 07/04/2017

    Very nice garden. You are a master at color. Love it all. Sadly, I missed the Gig Harbor garden tour this year.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thanks Lori - experimenting with color and texture is so much fun! We were on the Gig Harbor tour last year but not this year. I usually open for the Northwest Perennial Alliance in July though. The GH tour this year was great, but too HOT!

  15. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 07/04/2017

    Good morning, Peggy. Like Jay said, you have managed to pack your garden with so many plants without making it look 'messy busy' and have achieved a great layered look especially in your rockery. Love all of your paths with the grasses and the cerinthe poking through with it's beautiful purple/blue color. My cerinthe reseeded every year except this summer probably due to our harsh winter. Thanks for the tour. Happy 4th everyone!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Hi LInda, thank you! I often step back and try to decide if it's good or if it's 'messy busy'; one tends to devolve into the other... I think the paths and grasses lend order and quiet to the 'busyness' of the other parts. I wish my Cerinthe would reseed well but it usually doesn't.

  16. peggyjomccrackensheets 07/04/2017

    I always seem to chime in after others. Your garden is gorgeous! So tidy and still casual. The best of the best!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Another Peggy! Thanks for your kind words!

  17. cindyblanding 07/04/2017

    Hello Peggy! What a beautiful garden you have created! We'll be moving to Gig Harbor in a couple of years, and I hope to be able see your garden featured on tour sometime!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thanks Cindy, we do usually open each year around the first part of July so I hope to meet you when you move here!

  18. Cenepk10 07/04/2017

    Oh stop it. That's real ???? Not CGI ? That Lady's Mantle pic is the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. Then each pic got even better. Glorious garden. I wish I could stroll through it :). Happy Independence Day !

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 07/04/2017

      What a fun comment, Cenepk10...I smiled the whole way through it.

    2. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Golly - thank you! You're very kind. I love the Lady's Mantle too, it's such a fresh color in the garden.

  19. Green Thumb Joe 07/05/2017

    Nice garden. I live in the Northwest too. In Renton.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you Joe, I visited some beautiful gardens in the Renton area last summer - happy gardening!

  20. grannieannie1 07/05/2017

    Lovely!! But what is the name of the bright blue flower in a pot in the foreground of a picture of annuals with a white bench in the background? It is outstanding. As are all your pictures.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/05/2017

      Looks to me like the annual, Anagallis monelli or another Anagallis cultivar.

      1. grannieannie1 07/05/2017

        Thank you, Tim. It looks like you nailed it perfectly. AKA Blue Pimpernel. Will have to add that to a growing list for next year.

        1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

          Some years I'm good about taking cuttings and propagating it in the greenhouse - it's a fairly easy one to grow and so worth it!

    2. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you, and Tim is right, it's Anagallis 'Skylover'. I LOVE this little annual for its amazing blue color!

  21. pam_clemmons 07/05/2017

    Absolutely breathtaking in color and design! I loved every single photo! Kudos to you and your green thumb!

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you Pat - gardening is such a joy for me!

  22. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/05/2017

    Late to the party today. Peggy, this is such a treat and everything in every photo is breathtaking! From the charm of your wind chimes to the magnificent stone steps, I'm just enthralled. Great colors in your plants and textures galore. Love your purple container with the purple and chartreuse plants and the central Stachys Bella Grigio (?). Wow.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thanks Tim, and I always love seeing your garden posts! Yes, Belle Grigio. I've used it in this pot for the last few years - I think it plays well off the various purples.

  23. glojo 07/05/2017

    I am so envious. Your garden is so beautiful and I always enjoy visiting in your area on vacations and seeing all the wonderful flowers. Here in east Texas where I live my yard is already suffering from the heat and high humidity. May and June are our best months.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thank you Gloria, we'll be pretty dry here by the end of July, but nothing like what you have to deal with!

  24. LaurelEm 07/05/2017

    So gorgeous and inspiring. I have never seen Euphorbia gain that red/bronze shading. That is lovely. At first glance I thought it was Hydrangea Pistachio. But it couldn't be. I think I need to try some euphorbia at my house. Thank you for sharing your lovely pictures.

    1. user-7007059 07/10/2017

      Thanks Laurie, the Euphorbia is something that does really well here (too well in the case of Robbiae), but for the most part it's easy to edit it out where it's not wanted, and (except for Robbiae) I love it popping up wherever!

  25. user-7007059 07/10/2017

    Hello! For some strange reason I wasn't able to see that the garden was posted on Facebook and didn't think to do an internet search until this morning, so sorry for not replying to comments until now!

  26. user-7007059 07/10/2017

    Thanks Diane - all the plants you mentioned are particular favorites of mine too, especially the Hakonechloa. It's so graceful falling over the stones and down the stairs, and blends beautifully with the 'mossiness' of the garden.

  27. user-5117752 07/20/2017

    (Better late than never.....) Your gardens are DE-LUSH-OUS! (Couldn't resist the silliness.) Just to add to all the wonderful comments, I particularly love the garden art in memorium to your "garden buddy". I have 2 buddies and wouldn't know what to do without them. Your rose campion was so lush as well.

    1. user-7007059 07/22/2017

      Thanks Judy, I have a couple new kitty garden buddies now, but certainly still miss the old ones. I love the Rose Campion for its old fashioned appeal, and its willingness to settle in almost anywhere!

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