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Garden Photo of the Day

Garden Photo of the Day

Donna's reclaimed-pasture garden in Washington (8 photos)

comments (29) October 4th, 2013 in blogs
MichelleGervais Michelle Gervais, Senior Editor
451 users recommend

Tall grass at left is Karl Forester calamagrostis, lots of Verbena bonariensis, orange short flowers are Profusion zinnias, orange dahlia is the wonderful Andries Orange, phlox at right is Laura, and dark leaved tree in upper right is Cistena plum. 
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Grasses are Shenandoah panicum, Gracillimus miscanthus, and All Gold hakonechloa in pot. 
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Mid border, roses with fall flush of blooms are Bonica, to their left is Monch aster, and the dark leafed shrub in front is Crimson Pygmy barberry which is adjacent to a bluish Montgomery spruce. Rosa glauca, which has such wonderful fall color and hips, backs the Bonica roses. 
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Another section of my garden - grass in distance is Morning Light miscanthus.
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
I love the country garden look with Blue Bouquet ageratum leaning toward a dark leaved heuchera, grass is a pennisetum which is just beginning to bloom.  
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Tall grass at left is Karl Forester calamagrostis, lots of Verbena bonariensis, orange short flowers are Profusion zinnias, orange dahlia is the wonderful Andries Orange, phlox at right is Laura, and dark leaved tree in upper right is Cistena plum. 
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window. Click the image to enlarge.

Tall grass at left is 'Karl Forester' calamagrostis, lots of Verbena bonariensis, orange short flowers are 'Profusion' zinnias, orange dahlia is the wonderful 'Andries Orange', phlox at right is 'Laura', and dark leaved tree in upper right is 'Cistena' plum.

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE: Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.

Photo: Courtesy of Donna Umland

Today's photos are from Donna Umland in Washington. She says, "My garden is located in eastern Washington state near Ellensburg, where my husband and I built our home on three acres of open range pasture 22 years ago. This area, known for its timothy hay production, is very windy during spring and summer and also has very late spring frosts that limit garden choices. The garden is a mixture of shrubs, perennials, and annuals. I've used many grasses, which seem made for windy sites. Roses also do well. Many annuals, which I start in my greenhouse, cannot be set out until at least mid-May. As you can see my garden is full of Verbena bonariensis, which reseeds ubiquitously. I absolutely love this scrim plant and find it is so easy to pull up where I don't really want it." Gorgeous, Donna! We need more photos, for sure.

****Hey all, I'm not getting many submissions these days! I need to bulk up on posts for the looooong winter months, people, and it's all on YOU! ;-) Get outside and take some last minute shots, or compile a few you took earlier int he season. I'll be eternally grateful.... Email them to GPOD@taunton.com. Thanks! ****

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posted in: Washington

Comments (29)

SumHillGardener writes: Absolutely beautiful. I love shade gardening, but this reminds me how much more colorful the sun garden. One sees verbena bonariensis in England but not so much here. Your plant combinations are fabulous --- each plant complimenting it's neighbor so effectively. Maybe I'll stop worrying so much about losing my ash tree to the dreaded borer. Thank you!
Posted: 9:07 am on October 10th
cwheat000 writes: Glad I checked back on this day I missed. Awesome, awesome, awesome! Posted: 1:47 pm on October 9th
wGardens writes: An explosion of FANTASTIC! Posted: 5:55 am on October 7th
Verbenabon writes: I must say the greatest thing about sharing photos are all the wonderful comments, thank you all. To answer, I live in cold zone 5(-20), but honestly I find strong winds and late spring frosts to be the greatest challenge. 'Blue Bouquet' ageratum does sporadically reseed but it takes so long to get going I seed fresh in my greenhouse each year. The bluish shrub in front of 'Bonicas' is 'Blue Rug' juniper and the evergreen in back is 'Sky Rocket' juniper. Thanks again, Donna
Posted: 9:23 pm on October 6th
bee1nine writes: This may have been pasture once, but look at it now- incredibly transformed into your own lovely and livable oasis!
Include me in who agrees on the wonderful contrasting selection of color and textured plant, grasses ideally framing this fine acreage.
Great job, Donna!! Posted: 5:20 am on October 5th
JaneEliz writes: Love your garden, Donna! So spacious and wild with just the right amount of control! Gorgeous colors, too! Posted: 8:01 pm on October 4th
terieLR writes: Happy weekend GPODers. These colorful borders just put a smile on my face. Thank you Donna and WELL done. Posted: 6:11 pm on October 4th
NevadaSue writes: Awesome! I absolutely love it all. Wind can be a real challenge as I'm learning here in Nevada but you have done a wonderful job of making your little spot in the word beautiful. thanks. Posted: 3:40 pm on October 4th
wildthyme writes: I know that area well, and agree that you've done an incredible job with your weather challenges. Love the graceful sweeping curves of lawn and the lush beds. Beautiful!
Posted: 1:38 pm on October 4th
CJgardens writes: Donna, your yard is gorgeous. I love the purple and orange mix in the first photo. The borders are wonderfully layered and love the soothing feeling from the gentle curves. Purple foliage is one of my favorites and beautiful when mixed with blues & grays. I also found the second photo down on right to be my favorite. Will be looking to add ageratum and verbena bonariensis too. You've accomplished much with your hay field. Congrats. Posted: 12:40 pm on October 4th
KiahG writes: Totally gorgeous!! Love the Karl Foerster grass and the verbena in particular. Posted: 12:10 pm on October 4th
Sheila_Schultz writes: Gazing at these photos of an incredible 'pasture' garden filled with dreamy colors and textures just makes me want to see more. Please? Your vision could not be better, from my perspective... and like many others, I love the unexpected wildness of Verbena bonariensis! Posted: 11:13 am on October 4th
greatdanes writes: Oh my! (with a sigh) Will my acreage ever look as wonderful as this. I've been at it for 20 yrs. and in the midst of redoing AGAIN. Nebraska would be hard pressed to be up against beautiful Washington state. Maybe I need a few extra pairs of hands and backs to help me. Colors are fabulous! Thank you for sharing.



Posted: 10:08 am on October 4th
Annek writes: Sumptuously designed. I would never have believed this was an eastern Washington garden (some of my family moved near the tri-cities area years ago and I empathize with your challenges). You've taken a dry, windy locale and converted it into an oasis.

I, too, love the expansive photograph tntreeman mentioned. Wonderful composition!! Posted: 9:55 am on October 4th
GrannyMay writes: Love it all Donna! The "out of control" verbena is wonderful, adding a nice touch of informality and lovely colour wherever it springs up. Your long views across the grass are gorgeous, if more formal. Great choice of plants and placement. Bonica is a rose I grow right beside my deck, where it is a never-failing source of beauty and blossoms for my vases. Posted: 9:41 am on October 4th
Wife_Mother_Gardener writes: Beautiful! I love the Verbena bon. everywhere! You planting has a lovely rhythm to it too. Thanks for sharing!! Posted: 9:26 am on October 4th
thevioletfern writes: What fantastic mixed borders! Wonderfully balanced and planted. Inspiring. Posted: 9:26 am on October 4th
thevioletfern writes: What fantastic mixed borders! Wonderfully balanced and planted. Inspiring. Posted: 9:26 am on October 4th
gramamarg writes: looks like a botanical garden! wonderful colors! Posted: 7:31 am on October 4th
flowerladydi writes: Absolutely Gorgeous Donna!! I too LOVE verbena bonariensis,so whimsical and airy, love the blue/purple of the ageratum which both blend so nicely with your spruce and then, there's the pop of pink with your roses,and barberry -- so beautiful together! I could just gaze at your garden all day long! And if that weren't enough, your grass looks great too!! Posted: 7:26 am on October 4th
hortiphila writes: Donna, Terrific texture and color combos. What is the silver blue/green plant in front of the beautiful Bonica Rose, and the tall evergreen, (I think), in the back on the same photo? I love the way these two plants echo each other. What zone are you in? Do you reseed the Ageratum 'Blue Bouquet' each year, or does it volunteer like the Verbena? Very Nice! Posted: 7:16 am on October 4th
meander1 writes: My thoughts as I read your copy and looked at the pictures were similar to the ones that Vojt expressed...nothing looks limited about your abundance of and diversity in plant material. It's all a glorious celebration of fall splendor...love all the different grasses, the profusion of Verbena bonariensis, the generous tumbles of blues in the asters and ageratums.
It's all just stunning and makes me feel like humming America, the Beautiful...the line about "fruited plains" seems appropriate! Posted: 7:03 am on October 4th
tractor1 writes:

Fantastic garden subjects for photos, I only wish it weren't so overcast a day. I too like the 2nd photo down on the left, the lighting is better, I can see some blue patches amongst the clouds. With those long distance shots one should really use a tripod to cut down on the blur. I can tell from the lushness that it was old pasture, no fertilizer needed. Perhaps a stand of Norway spruce along one property line would help cut down the wind. I need lots more photos, some with the house to get a better perspective. Thank you, Donna.

Posted: 6:49 am on October 4th
gloriaj writes: Everything is beautiful and has a peaceful feel. When is the tour
Posted: 6:28 am on October 4th
Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt writes: harsh climate plus limited plant choices does not equal dull garden! what a great job and design. Posted: 6:24 am on October 4th
mainer59 writes: Your garden looks like a lovely estate, not a former hayfield! I love how full and lush it is. I must try that ageratum. Posted: 6:22 am on October 4th
Jay_Sifford writes: Lovely design and execution. I'm a huge bonariensis fan as well. Great job! Thanks for sharing. Posted: 6:16 am on October 4th
kimberlyfawn writes: Spectacular and inspirational! Posted: 5:42 am on October 4th
tntreeman writes: all great and man, what a pasture! i love any garden with lots of "verbena on a stick". favorite photo is 2nd down in right column with the swath of grass and the pine in upper left corner with Miscanthus as the bottom border but every view is beautiful. Posted: 3:47 am on October 4th
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