Garden Photo of the Day

A Passion for Growing From Seed

Growing outside of Washington, D.C.

two small dogs in a garden seating area surrounded by potted plants

Today’s photos are from Lesley Golenor.

For the past 10 years, since I started gardening, growing flowers from seed has been my passion. I love experimenting with different varieties, colors, and texture combinations. Lately I’ve been growing a lot more for drying purposes. Who doesn’t want flowers in their home and to share all year round? Up until 2020 I was gardening out of a small urban rowhouse lot in Washington, D.C. Now I’m in the ‘burbs and have a lot more room to play with, so I’ve been expanding my plant palette with more trees, shrubs, and perennials, fitting in as many native plants as I can and focusing on supporting wildlife—and dog-life, as my garden companions Ripley and Max remind me to maintain a chasing circuit for them as I carve out new beds. While I continue to build out the design of my new garden, packing in annuals grown from seed is a rewarding and inexpensive way to fill in the gaps, both for me and for the pollinators. I know it will take years to achieve the lawn-free, layered, and mature garden of my dreams, but I could not be more thrilled for the journey ahead!

section of the garden with lots of tropical foliage plantsBig banana (Musa sp.) leaves set the tone in the background, while a diversity of bright foliage and a few flowers fill in the gaps.

bouquet of pink and yellow flowers on a table in the gardenA bouquet from the garden includes some beautiful rudbeckias (Rudbeckia hirta, Zones 3–7), gomphrena (Gomphrena globosa, annual), and the flowers and showy purple seedpods of hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus, Zones 10–11).

gardener holding a large harvest of white flowersLesley is almost hidden behind just a small harvest of statice flowers (Limonium sinuatum, Zones 8–10 or as an annual). They look just a good dried as they do when fresh.

a wheelbarrow and watering can seen in the garden through purple flowersThis garden is full of tools for a gardener ready to get to work.

bouquet of red, pink and yellow globe-shaped flowersThe round blooms of both gomphrena and Craspedia globosa (Zones 8–11 or as an annual) dry beautifully for long-lasting flower arrangements.

pink and orange flowers planted in pots on a patioPots of zinnias (Zinnia elegans, annual) and hyacinth bean on the fence bring color to the garden and are easy to grow from seed.

two small dogs in a garden seating area surrounded by potted plantsRipley and Max approve of this seating area surrounded by lush garden goodness.

bouquet of various dried flowersBundles of dried flowers to share and enjoy all year.

small bowl of harvested strawberries, blueberries, and blackberriesLesley’s garden doesn’t just have flowers. How delicious does this harvest of berries look?

wide view of the garden with lots of pink and blue flowers in the foregroundRipley and Max are ready to make use of the garden paths for their games.

seedlings growing in soil blocksThe next generation of plants for Lesley’s garden is growing from seed on soil blocks.

If you want to see more from Lesley, check out her instagram: @floralhighground


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View Comments


  1. btucker9675 01/16/2023

    Delightful! Everything is so pretty - that dried arrangement, those berries, Max and Ripley!!

    1. Lesley_G 01/16/2023

      Your are so kind, thank you!

  2. starvnmarvn 01/16/2023

    Absolutely outstanding!

    1. Lesley_G 01/16/2023

      Thank you for the kind words!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/16/2023

    So very pretty!

    1. Lesley_G 01/16/2023

      Thank you so much!

  4. gardenconcierge 01/16/2023

    Dear Lesley,

    Your garden is gorgeous! The beneficial wildlife must love it. Your photography skills are wonderful too.

    1. Lesley_G 01/16/2023

      Thank you! Once the pollinators and birds start showing up, all you want to do is provide more for them. They help me out with pest control too, so everybody wins!

  5. User avater
    cynthia2020 01/16/2023

    Lesley - I enjoyed reading your gardening story and looking at all the photos. Your portrait with the bouquet of statice is lovely.

    1. Lesley_G 01/16/2023

      Thank you for the kind words. I have my lovely mom to thank for that photo :)

  6. [email protected] 01/16/2023

    resolution: sow more seed! May I suggest Godetia as a fairly easy one to try?

    1. Lesley_G 01/16/2023

      Oooh, great suggestion. Always looking to fold in something new. I will put it on my shopping list!

  7. User avater
    simplesue 01/18/2023

    Your garden is a pretty little paradise!
    Love the way you made paths for your dogs to chase, the dried flowers are just amazing!
    The bowl of berries grown in your garden is as gorgeous to see as the flowers! Beautiful!

    1. Lesley_G 01/22/2023

      Thank you! I love to see the dogs having just much fun as I do in the garden. And yeah, that bowl of berries did not make it back into the house!

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