Recent comments

Re: Daniel's tropical garden in AUSTRALIA

This is gorgeous and right about now, I am thinking about a large fruity rum drink with a fancy straw.

Re: Scenes from The Pocket Park in New York (5 photos)

This is indeed beautiful. As a followup to Meander's request, can you fill us in on how you worked with the government and community to get this done? Are you designated as an official "Park Steward"? Are there other such pocket parks in your part of New York? In my community (Arlington Va), we have several spaces like this that I am sure could be converted from mowed grass to wonderful planted areas.

Re: Nancy's garden in Oregon, revisited

Fabulous, Fabulous! -- What I like most is the flow and the mystery of the various "rooms" and paths. I love the naturalness of the paths, which blend in with the plants. Too many gardens have path materials and structures that distract the visitor's eye from the plants.

The only (really the only) thing I would consider is to "freshen" up the table by cleaning it up (bleaching) and then given it a subtle and natural stain that announces the table and that patio as your formal visiting space.

Re: Winter is beautiful in Daniela's garden (12 photos)

Hey, everything is covered with snow!! Just kidding. It looks great.

Living here in global-warming, Northern Virginia, I am getting nostalgic about such scenes, which we do not seem to experience recently.

Re: Kim's from-scratch garden in Missouri (12 photos)

Great garden and great ideas for pots. Frankly, the only thing that is a little distracting is the landscape wall. There is something about them that is a little too uniform and unnatural. But it looks as though you soon will have plants that drape over them.

Re: Sally's garden in Maryland, up front!

Sally -- As usual, the Maryland gardeners seem to have the most impressive designs. (Confession: I live in Virginia!)

I really like the tapestry look of all of your "moundy" perennials.

To follow up on tntreeman's Pulmonaria question, how do your lambs ears do as Summer proceeds? In Northern Virginia, mine get pretty ratty looking and I find that if I hack them back they start to look a little more civilized again.

Re: Arrange Daffodils that Won't Flop

Seems like a lot of work.

Re: Beth's garden in Iowa, Day 1

That bleeding heart is quite amazing. I don't know how you do it. A question, though, what do you have in that area for when the bleeding heart fades as Spring and Summer progress? In my experience, they tend to die back severely during the year.

Re: Maria's visit to Monet's garden

Beautiful! But, how come the lily garden is "infamous"? Is there some story behind it?

Re: Carol Jean's garden in Wisconsin

Great lessons for growing a new sunny garden where one was once shadier.

I love the way you provide interest by creating unexpected curvilinear perennial beds within your lawn.

Re: The gardens of Union Hill

Wow. This beautiful garden gives me some great ideas for plant and hard scape composition in a semi-urban, semi-formal context.

Re: Happy 3rd Birthday to the GPOD!!

Wow, its Garden All-Star, Hall of Fame day!

Michelle, I love the theme that you display for all these gardens--its the design, not just the pretty plants that makes the difference.

Re: Nathan's visit to Longue Vue in New Orleans

Long Vue is gorgeous. For the vacationing gardener who likes to visit the great gardens in America, its one of those must-see places.

Signed, cold Northeasterner.

Re: Kathy's garden in Missouri, Day 2

The Sweet Potato Vine as a seasonally showy groundcover is a brilliant idea. I have always done them in pots. You have me inspired for a different place to plant them next year.

Re: Fall in Sally's garden in Maryland

Sally -- You have done it again. This is the prettiest garden I have ever seen on these pages.

Re: 3 more of Karen's favorite plants (Day 2 of 2 in Karen's garden)

Wow! Beautiful colors on your headline picture!

Re: Clare's garden in New Jersey, Day 1 of 2

This is beautiful. Michelle, I really like the photo presentations that show how the plants fit in with the garden designs. Franlky, I get much more out of it than just looking at close-up, pretty pictures of plants. (Oops! Sacrilege!)

Clare, I love the effect of how you position complementary plants in front of and behind your walls of stone, while allowing the eye to sweep along the curves of the garden.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Daryl's garden in New Jersey

A beautiful job combining many of the traditional, toughest perennials.

I made a copy of your 3 yellow pots with blue flowers. Thats what I am doing next year!

Re: READER PHOTOS! Kristina & Bob's garden in Illinois

Now that's a garden.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Jana's garden in Massachusetts

Fabulous color combinations! What kind of ivy is that in a couple of the pictures? Is that a problem for you?

Re: READER PHOTOS! Linda's containers in Maine

Yes. Great hair!

Re: READER PHOTOS! Mike and Sheila's garden in New York State

This is great. But I have a general question. How do these gardens with lots of rock pathway, rock "mulch" do over time? They look wonderful during the first couple of years. But in my experience, whenever a place rocks in the landscape, eventually weeds come through and the rocks start to get interspersed and covered with soil. Landscape mulch, which I don't prefer either, doesn't work. Over time, crushed leaves, broken twigs, blown soil creeps in on top of the mulch and weeds grow up in that medium. As you know, weeds are difficult to extract from rocks, as opposed to pure soil.

Re: READER PHOTOS! A final day in Ellen's garden in Massachusetts

Meander1 always has good insights and the right questions. Yes, my first questions was the same. What is the low-lying ground cover in that photo?

Re: READER PHOTOS! Jay's garden in North Carolina, Day 2

The cedar fence is intriguing and a great idea. I wonder if there are other evergreens that could be used for that.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Amy's garden in Ohio

Neat. Looks like a lot of work. With so much space, it would be nice to also see a more naturalistic section with things less clipped and ordered.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Sally's garden in Maryland, revisited

I have been looking at these photos for a few years.

This is the prettiest ever.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Judy's garden in Ontario, Day 1

Judy! Not fair! Too much sun, space, and gardening/artistic skill.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Ana's garden in Portugal, revisited

I love the architecture of those chairs. Where can I get them?

Re: Year-round focal points from humble materials, Day 2

Thats great! Tractor1, come on, have a sense of humor.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Bill's garden in Virginia

This is very nice. I have a question, though. Whenever I have put rocks in a bedding garden or as a border to a lawn area, the weeds end up being a problem after a while--and its much more difficult to weed between rocks. I have found that weed blocker fabric is useless after a year or so.

Anybody have other solutions?

Re: READER PHOTOS! Karen's garden in Ohio

The coziness of the back patio is wonderful. The combination of the hill slope and the walls is a beautiful design. Looks like a nice place for a gin and tonic!

Re: Gardens, mountains, and streams

Michelle -- Thats cheating. Thats not a garden, thats the Blue Ridge. Thats not a water feature, thats a river.

Just kidding. Beautiful.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Jan's garden in Wisconsin

Michelle -- I am not worthy! These gardens just get better and better. Great mid-Winter inspiration!

Re: READER PHOTO! More from Lola's garden in New York

The watered down latex paint becomes a stain, which will not peel, rather than a shell of paint, which will peel. This is really useful with pressure treated wood structures, where regular paint can be a peeling disaster.

I have used this idea on on outdoor deck flooring and outdoor wooden furniture.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Lola's garden in New York

Very nice! Thats why you keep us husbands around for, right?

Michelle, I especially appreciate it when you show how people have come up with a beautiful solution to a garden "problem."

Re: READER PHOTOS! Bruce's garden in Louisiana

Thats cool. Do you have a lot of pool maintenance with leaf dropping?

Re: READER PHOTOS! More from Kielian's garden in Montana

Yeah, I am not seeing a lot of garden there, but I am seeing Montana, and its beautiful.

Re: Just a little bit of color

Is that Squirrel Buster comment a commercial? Doesn't seem appropriate.

Re: O Romeo, Romeo...

Okay experts. Whats the large vine? Climbing Hydrangea?

Re: READER PHOTO! Jan Johnsen in upstate New York

I tend to agree with Tractor1. Its pretty, but there is a lot one can do with lots of money. Michele, its just nice to know if a garden is a professionally designed, landscape garden or one that is essentially produced by the homeowner themselves. It gives us a better perspective on what is possible.

Related to this, I was amazed be the "clean" almost sterile look of the water feature. In the stone creek that I built myself, out of stones from my own garden, things get pretty messy, with leaves falling into the creek, and dirt flowing in to it from storms. Maybe the pictured water feature is very new.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Nora's garden in Australia

This is very nice, but I agree with gdigi; The pea gravel, or other similar solution only works successfully in certain locations. In the East Coast of the U.S. there is too much stuff (leaves, twigs, etc.) that comes down onto the surfaces during the year. The gravel gets tough to keep clean and maintain. (Dirt actually starts filling in!)

Flat stones, flagstones, etc. interspersed with walkable ground cover, to mimic the lost lawn grass is another idea.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Brenda's garden in Georgia

Unbelievable! I'm not worthy!

Re: A chainlink fence transformed

Very Nice. Another way to fix up a old chain link fence, is to paint it. Take some good old Rustoleum (comes water-based now and in many colors--black, dark green are really good). Then slop it on with a roller on the chain-link part and with a brush on the poles/rails. Since its an outside paint job, you can do it very fast.

Re: READER PHOTOS! The best of the tomato season

Anyone who grows flowers or vegetables in the Pacific Northwest is cheating. The weather and soil conditions are too nice. Whenever I see a great garden in a magazine or book, my first instinct is that its in Oregon, Washington, or B.C.


Resident of Virginia

Re: Perfection in reflection

Chanticleer is an astoundingly beautiful garden. The variation of the plants and flowers, the fantastic flow of the grounds and the artistry of the designers and craftsman who have built the hardscape are all wonderful. Its also the most enjoyable collection of container plants I have ever seen. If you ever have a chance, go there.

Re: A pool that belongs

Michelle -- I love the way we are getting more edgy and critical--yet respectful with our comments.

I agree on the impracticality of the pool. But golly, it sure is pretty!. I love the two layer stone "walls."

Re: Perfection is boring

Michelle -- You little minx! You changed your picture!

Re: Roses And That Cup Of Bone Meal In The Planting Hole

Thanks Susan 749. So what is the concensus on bone meal and bulbs? Are we wasting our money and time using it? I had always assumed that some type of fertilizer is needed for them to keep blooming year after year.

Re: It's Russian sage time!

In Zone 7 in a sunny, drained bed, my Russian sage comes up and expands, but its floppy and takes much of the Summer before in blooms, and not that much.

Any ideas?

Re: Wonderful windowboxes

Beautiful! How do you keep the Lambs Ears staying attractive? Mine tend to kind of rot away at the time they start blooming. Even when I clip the flowers, which aren't that attractive, they turn brown.

Re: Push your Pot off the Patio and into the Plants!

Thats nice. I hadn't thought of using a tall pot for helping to draw the eye to the other plants.

Ditto on using pots to fill in for season gaps in the bed.

Re: Veggie trellising ideas from Longwood Gardens

Way cool! The one reason I hesitate growing more vegetables in my fairly small urban front and side yards, is that they can become a bit messy and ragged as they reach maturity. Solutions like this can help us give them a more pleasing visual interest throughout the growing season.

Re: Repetition is the key to happiness

Sorry, I am not feeling it. The container is really nice, but its so attractive and striking, the repetitive use takes away from its effect. Also, the plant seems out of place in that locations with that backdrop.

Re: READER PHOTO! Spring reflection

That's great. How did you get that Wood Duck to pose like that?

Re: READER PHOTOS! Springtime at Longwood

That's forsythia, behind the bench, isn't it? Or is that too late a blooming time for forsythia?

Re: Garden in Winter 2nd runner-up! Winter Grasses

I have got to get me some of those Karl Foerster grasses.

Re: Remember what spring feels like?

So what kind of tree? Come on, experts! I need to know!


Re: READER PHOTO! Winter asparagus

Thats a great idea. I have a large plant that has been repotted and grown over several years. I then bring it inside. However, it is very heavy and sheds quite a bit. Maybe I will divide some of it next Spring for other pots and then leave the big remainder outside for the Winter look.

Re: READER PHOTO! Grasses & a hay bale table

Thats very clever and pretty. I just wouldn't want to put my glass of wine down on that table!

Re: READER PHOTO! A lawn of thyme

Beatiful. But how does the thyme look the rest of the year, after the couple of weeks of blooming? In Northern Virginia, the thyme is very nice, but then looks ratty and needs to be filled in.

Re: Paint the garden red! Or green...or blue...

Way Cool. A neat way to get color into the garden. My garden could use it during certain times of the year.

Re: READER PHOTO! Another great native groundcover

Wow! Where do I find Cornus canadensis?

Re: Pink and burgundy for fall?

This is nice.

But I have found that Japanese Blood Grass is one of those plants that are sold and promoted, because of their distinctiveness and conveniently small stature, but which do not grow well in many locations. I have tried them 2 or 3 times in various locations in my garden and they either do not thrive or are overwhelmed by neighboring plants.

Re: A successful experiment

Sorry, but its a bit awkward and harsh, visually.

Re: This plant's future is in your hands...

Keep it. Thin it.

Re: A sublime spot for a cup of tea

If you do 5 things when visiting San Francisco, make one of the places, the tea garden.

Re: Gazing balls have a place in gardens...

Double, way cool!

The Haupt Garden is small, but wonderful. And free!

Re: A simple tuteur for annual vines

Looks easy!

Re: Black & blue isn't always painful

This is absolutely beautiful. But its not really black.

Re: READER PHOTO! All the joys of a garden, on a deck

This is great! As a fellow N. Virginian, it inspires me for my own small garden and deck.

Re: We can't help but personify plants

Thats kind of weird.

Re: A simple solution turns into garden art

Sorry, its not that attractive, at least from this angle.