Today’s photos come from Anna Tsai of Bayside, Wisconsin.
When we moved in twenty-one years ago, there were only a few hostas and some overgrown bushes. I learned that the backyard is very wet, has clay soil, is filled with a lot of shade areas, and is a buffet dining room for rabbits and deer. I opened up flowers beds, worked on the soil, started planting some wet- and shade-loving plants, removed some sick trees, and then replaced those trees with my favorite evergreen trees. It was a lot of work, but I’ve loved gardening since I was little. I enjoyed seeing my garden completely changed to what it looks like now.
Working with wet soil and shade is all a matter of finding plants that love those conditions. Clearly these hostas, ferns, and astilbe are perfectly happy.
It’s hard to imagine that none of this was here when Anna started gardening. One of the most inspiring aspects of this view is the great use of vertical accents—from the tall trellis, to tall shrubs, to the imposing golden yellow spires of foxtail lily (Eremurus sp., Zones 5–9). They contrast beautifully with lower-growing plants and give the whole garden a rich, three-dimensional design.
Atop the trellis are masses of rich purple blossoms from Jackman clematis (Clematis ‘Jackmanii’, Zones 4–8).
Red Asiatic lily (Lilium, Asiatic hybrid group, Zones 5–9) is just beginning to flower.
A bold-leaved hosta (probably Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’, Zones 3–8) contrasts perfectly with smaller-leaved and needled shrubs and perennials.
Evergreen shrubs provide a reliable background of color and interest 12 months of the year, while perennials add seasonal color and excitement.
This photo features all the bold, primary colors: blue garden phlox (Phlox paniculata, possibly the cultivar ‘Blue Paradise’, Zones 4–8), a red rose, and a yellow lily.
Mixing all sorts of different plants, grasses, flowering perennials, shrubs, and annuals creates a rich, varied planting with a long season of interest.
What a magical garden! I want to wander down these paths through the flowers forever.
Our visit ends with a perfect seating area, seen through a yellow cloud of tall coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata, Zones 3–9).
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