Garden Photo of the Day

20 Years in a Vermont Garden

The results of decades of hard work and love

Today we’re visiting Cheryl Joslin’s garden in Warren, Vermont.

I am very thankful to have the backyard that I have. It’s taken me 20 years to get what I have now, but the next 20 are also looking promising for more and more flowers.

A tapestry of different flowers creates a lush, informal, cottage-garden look.

red bee balmA dense planting of red bee balm (Monarda didyma, Zones 4–9), orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva, Zones 3–9), and pink everlasting pea (Lathyrus latifolius, Zones 3–8). All three of these plants are vigorous growers and can spread a little too aggressively, which is why planting them together is genius. They’re all strong enough to compete with each other and thrive, rather than overwhelming less vigorous plants.

The tall border of flowers to the right, a small greenhouse, and beautiful views of the Vermont landscape behind make this look like a gardener’s paradise.

A mix of perennials, with, in the back, what are certainly the tallest spires of foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea, Zones 3–8) I have ever seen! Cheryl knows how to grow plants huge and happy!

In this row of perennials blooming along the edge of the porch, there’s a good reminder that though we usually grow hostas for their leaves, many varieties have beautiful lavender flowers as well.

zinniaAnd a final shot of a zinnia (Zinnia elegans, annual) in bloom. Zinnias may be the single most commonly seen flower in the GPOD—and for good reason: They are easy and inexpensive to grow from seed, flower all summer, make terrific cut flowers, and are hugely popular with butterflies and other pollinators. Every garden needs some zinnias!


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View Comments


  1. garden1953 01/14/2020

    Love these gardens! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/14/2020

    Looks like you have not only created a soul touching paradise for yourself, Cheryl, but also the ultimate in fine dining for all winged creatures in your area. I'll bet you have some wonderful variety in your butterfly population and no lack of other beneficial insects taking up residence to feed and feast. Do you have hummingbirds, as well?

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/14/2020

    I never thought about packing spreaders together to keep them in check -- great idea. Those foxtails are amazing!

  4. blondie3 01/14/2020

    Fabulous, thank you for sharing, shows what years of labor and staying put can accomplish. One of my favorites.

  5. Musette1 01/14/2020

    Cheryl, those foxgloves are stunning, as is your entire garden! What an amazing mountain backdrop, too! Wishing you every happiness in your next 20 years in the garden.

  6. carolineyoungwilliams 01/14/2020

    Cheryl, Thank you for sharing. I love your plant selection and your color combinations. More flowers to you.

  7. User avater
    simplesue 01/14/2020

    You sure know what you are doing! That flowerbed is something I aspire to have oneway myself! Magnificent!

  8. Maggieat11 01/14/2020

    Ah! I can easily see the pleasure you must have each time you stroll through your garden. What a beautiful magnet for birds and insects as well. Best wishes for continued pleasure and success with your gardens.

  9. Cenepk10 01/14/2020

    I saw the title of this post and the stand of bee balm- rolled my eyes & thought ... This is going to piss me off. What a GLORIOUS GARDEN !! My bee balm was fantastic the first year & totally disappeared year two. It’s not easy to find here. I was kidding of course about being pissed off. I have gardeners envy when it comes to the New England & North Western Gardeners. Seems like you get all the good rain & reminds me so much of English gardens. Your place is magnificent & my gardens wantto grow up to be like yours !!!! I promise. So grateful you shared.

  10. [email protected] 01/15/2020

    I spotted a honeysuckle behaving nicely in one of your pix- Have to figure out how to get mine to play nicely with others- I think year one we let it go, and this year we had to cut the heck out of it! Love your garden!

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