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!
Big banana (Musa sp.) leaves set the tone in the background, while a diversity of bright foliage and a few flowers fill in the gaps.
A 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).
Lesley 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.
This garden is full of tools for a gardener ready to get to work.
The round blooms of both gomphrena and Craspedia globosa (Zones 8–11 or as an annual) dry beautifully for long-lasting flower arrangements.
Pots of zinnias (Zinnia elegans, annual) and hyacinth bean on the fence bring color to the garden and are easy to grow from seed.
Ripley and Max approve of this seating area surrounded by lush garden goodness.
Bundles of dried flowers to share and enjoy all year.
Lesley’s garden doesn’t just have flowers. How delicious does this harvest of berries look?
The 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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