I got extremely luck with this shot from 2014. Concolor fir on right, deer standing in front to of Black gum.

Dan Callahan's story about how a plant awakened his passion for gardening is beautiful! What plant did it for you?

"I have been in my house for 20 years (Cincinnati, Ohio). My love of gardenIng was awakened about 15 yrs ago I guess when I decided to plant some hostas in a shaded area. That awakening turned into a passion which resulted in a career change. I have now been employed full-time in the nursery industry for almost 12 yrs. My garden has been a labor of love and learning. 

My lot is a little over 1/3 of an acre and the neighbors have allowed me a little overlap. I've been very blessed with a relatively small but multi-leveled lot. I feel it has provided me so much more opportunity & dimension than with a flat lot of the same size. When I moved in there had been some grading work done and some native woodland trees were here and some landscaping which I have replaced. But I have added pretty much everything else. I think I counted 16 trees that I've planted but I haven't bothered to count the shrubs or perennials. One of my favorite garden quotes is 'It is only to the gardener that time is a friend, giving each year more than he steals'." 

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Snowflake oakleaf hydrangea.

'Zagreb', 'Fineline buckthorn, purple loostrife,  'Stargazer' lily.

'Adagio' grasses, 'Skyrocket' English oak, weeping white pine, Veronicastrum 'Fascination', Hypericum calcium (foreground groundcover).

Black gum (left rear), 'Slender Silhouette' sweetgum, 'Skyrocket' columnar English Oak, Redbud (overhanging to right).

Aside from their toughness hostas are so alluring. To see nothing but bare dirt in my bed of various hostas in the dead of winter, then the slightest little spikes protruding when Spring just begins. Then to see them grow several inches daily as Spring continues until they reach their fully expanded glory is nothing short of inspirational. 

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