Garden Photo of the Day

A New Garden in Massachusetts

A new garden fills in beautifully

ground covers growing next to stone walkway

Lisa Remby sent in today’s photos.

After many years of living in the Midwest for work, my husband and I decided to move back to Massachusetts for retirement in 2020. Like the Pilgrims, we landed in Plymouth, on the south shore, about 40 miles south of Boston, in garden Zone 6b. Coastal breezes and sandy soil create a perfect climate for hydrangeas, grasses, sedums, and other perennials that prefer fast-draining soil. Because our home was new construction, this garden was an opportunity to start from scratch. The building blocks were several Japanese tree and shrub varieties such as white pine (Pinus parviflora, Zones 4–7), black pine (Pinus thunbergii, Zones 5–8), lilac (Syringa reticulata, Zones 3–7), dappled willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ Zones 5–7), various maples (such as Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9), and hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa, Zones 4–8). A long, indirect stone walkway from the driveway to the front door is anchored by 25 lavender plants (Lavandula × intermedia, Zones 5–8). This path helped to divide the rectangular front space into several smaller bedded areas dotted with large rocks from the construction site, along with bulbs and perennials. We have just marked the third summer of our new, full-sun garden, bringing us much pleasure and opportunities to chat with neighbors as they stroll by.

recently installed walkway in the new gardenThe stone walkway takes visitors on a meandering walk through a variety of beds. Trees, shrubs, and large stones are used as anchors.

finished gardenThis is how the beds looked after they were filled with a variety of perennial sedums, guara, grasses, and a hardy cactus. The open lots to the south of our house made the first summer challenging, as the plants didn’t have much shelter from gusty coastal winds and blowing sand.

garden bed beginning to be planted with small shrubs and perennialsThe bed closest to the front porch is set aside for a carpet or tapestry garden—a bed for a collection of low-growing perennials. A recycled rainwater irrigation system was installed as part of the house beds to provide drip irrigation.

light pink climbing rose used as a foal point in the walkwayThe center square of the pathway was created for this steel sculpture, now planted with a climbing rose (Eden ’85) and drift rose (Rosa ‘Miemirrot’).

close up of mass plating of lavender along walkwayA lavender border anchors the longest stretch of walkway (Lavendula ‘Vicenza Blue’).

wide view of the back garden in summerThe front far corner of the garden showcases (left to right) Digitalis hybrida ‘Arctic Fox Rose’ (Zones 5–9), upright sedums (Sedum ‘Pink Bomb’ and ‘Brilliant’, Zones 4–8) along with oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sikes Dwarf’, Zones 5–9), and Monarda didyma ‘Purple Rooster’ (Zones 4–9), as well as blooms from Heuchera ‘Grape Expectations’ (Zones 4–9).

ground covers growing next to stone walkwayA barely blooming stalk of Allium amethystinum ‘Red Mohican’ (Zones 4–9) lords over the tapestry garden, which includes creeping thymes such as Thymus ‘Annie Hall’ (Zones 4–8) and wooly Thymus pseudolanuginosus (Zones 5–8), low-growing stonecrops such as Sedum ‘Coral Carpet’ (Zones 3–9), and blue fescue (Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’, Zones 4–8).

close up of a garden bed with small japanese maple and various ground coversThis view of the carpet garden features Scotch moss (Sagina subulate ‘Aurea’, Zones 4–8), Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’ (Zones 4–8), Scotch heather ‘Tip’ (Calluna vulgaris, Zones 4–6), and ‘Red Dragon’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Red Dragon’, Zones 5–9). In the background, the showy sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora, Zones 5–9) is in full bloom on the gate arbor. We now have a house built next door that frames the front garden nicely and protects it from wind.

close up of pink, orange, and white flowers in summerIn midsummer, the front beds were full of showy bulbs and perennials such as Allium sphaerocephalum ‘Drumstick’ (Zones 4–8), Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed, Zones 5–9), Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum, Zones 4–9), and blooming oakleaf hydrangea.

husband and wife in their gardenThe homeowners, Lisa Remby and Aaron Aleithe, in the center of their springtime Plymouth garden.


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View Comments


  1. gardendevas 12/07/2022

    Wow - what a wonderful time you are having! So lovely in a short time. And that rose trellis!!

    1. virtual_flower_garden 12/07/2022

      I am enjoying every minute!

  2. User avater
    user-7007816 12/07/2022

    Absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing.

    1. virtual_flower_garden 12/07/2022

      Thank you!

  3. User avater
    simplesue 12/07/2022

    Oh my! I'm so impressed with your garden-
    In only two short years you made a newly constructed house look established and comfortable in the landscape!
    Just love the iron sculpture made for the climbing rose (and I'm impressed with the Rose "Eden ’85" The paths are fabulous, as are your choices of the plants along them!
    I hope you post your garden here again in three more years so we can see how it matures!
    Great job!

    1. virtual_flower_garden 12/07/2022

      Thanks so much! I've enjoyed every minute of it.

  4. btucker9675 12/07/2022

    What a wonderful garden you've created - it complements your lovely new home perfectly! Bravo!

  5. sheila_schultz 12/07/2022

    Oh my... so much eye candy going on in your new home garden landscape. It's obvious you two are not new to this game of landscape!!! The beds are so thoughtfully designed with combinations of plantings that make you both happy. It's all so lovely and an amazing beginning... because we all know that our fave nursery is not far away! So very lovely! Bravo for a stellar new beginning.

    1. virtual_flower_garden 12/09/2022

      Thank you, Sheila! You hinted at "our fave nursery" tell!

  6. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 12/09/2022

    Thank you for sharing your garden, it's truly lovely! Here's to many more successes and many years of future enjoyment!

    1. virtual_flower_garden 12/09/2022

      My pleasure! I'm so happy that you enjoyed looking at the photos.

  7. jos29803 12/10/2022

    Gorgeous, beautiful and stunning seem inadequate to describe your amazing garden photos. Thank you for sharing and giving us all inspiration.!

    1. virtual_flower_garden 12/13/2022

      The pleasure is all mint. Thank you for your kind words.

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