Garden Photo of the Day

A Perfect Blend of Native and Non-Native

By Kim Charles

Pattie Clifford of Westfield, Indiana has created a beautiful garden with a backdrop of beautiful mature trees.

“When I moved here 17 years ago I had a clean slate to work from.  There are many mature trees, so my plantings are shade or partly sunny.  I try to blend native and non-native.”

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 03/14/2017

    Hello there Pattie - You have done a great job with your garden. Love the mature trees in the background, and especially like the second last photo. I'm sure the sound of the water from your fountain adds to the lovely atmosphere in your garden. How large is your property? Cheers from Australia

    1. pattieswinfordclifford 03/14/2017

      Good morning, Frank. I have 12 acres altogether; lots of ephemerals "God flowers" in the woods, especially in the spring. I've only seen harbinger of spring this year, but more will be coming soon.

    2. user-4691082 03/14/2017

      I'm glad to hear your temperatures are back down to the comfortable eighties!

      1. frankgreenhalgh 03/14/2017

        Rhonda - temperature just went up today (see comment to our mate Kev). The snow storm looks pretty serious. You guys missing the Flower Show today is a pity, but such is life. Do you have many storms like this during the year? The impact on productivity and the economy must be enormous. Cheers my friend

  2. Sunshine111 03/14/2017

    Good morning Pattie... seeing the photos from your garden made me chuckle… I think you and I have similar tastes! I too love a bleeding heart and Virginia bluebells together. I'm also doing a lot of gardening under the trees in an area I recently cleaned out… You're doing a great job!

  3. user-7008377 03/14/2017


  4. tennisluv 03/14/2017

    Pattie, your landscape is so pretty and tranquil looking. You have done a great job with your blank slate. Your hostas seem to really love where you have put them. Obviously deer are not too big a problem for you. Thanks for sharing pictures of your handiwork.

    1. pattieswinfordclifford 03/14/2017

      Thank you. The deer have eaten my lilium buds, but have not really bothered my hostas, thank goodness.

      1. Luvfall 03/14/2017

        I've had some success with putting a dab of Vicks on the unopened bud.

  5. bsavage 03/14/2017

    Apparently I now need some Virginia Bluebells to go with my bleeding heart (yes... just one, but it's lovely). Your hostas are so happy! Beautiful, all of it!

  6. user-4691082 03/14/2017

    Good morning Pattie! Gee, does your beautiful garden look like that today? We have snow and freezing rain this morning, changing to all snow this afternoon. Kevin and I are not going to the flower show today because they cancelled his train from Harrisburg to Philadelphia! We are going to try to go on Sunday. You may have many comments because so many people are stuck at home- they will be looking for something to do! Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden.

    1. pattieswinfordclifford 03/14/2017

      Thank you. These photos were taken 2016 during the year. We had snow yesterday, but nothing like the east coast is getting.

    2. deeinde 03/14/2017

      I feel your pain! Tom and I were going to the Flower show in Philly today too. Hopefully Friday, now, but I am afraid it will REALLY be packed with people.

    3. user-7007498 03/14/2017

      Yes, a sad day for me. Took the day off work to go the Philadelphia Flower Show. All roads and trains from Harrisburg are closed. 14 inches of snow right now and still falling. Fingers crossed for Sunday.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 03/14/2017

        Hi Kev - boy lots of snow! When you have weather like this and public transport is affected, do people simply not go to work or do some work from home if possible? Must have a major impact on the economy. Cheers, Frank

        1. user-7007498 03/14/2017

          Hi, Frank. The governors of a number of states have declared a weather emergency, so that only essential workers are to be on the roads or risk being ticketed. This does help the road crews not have to deal with traffic.

          Nearly all businesses are closed.

      2. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/14/2017

        Wow! Just a dusting here, staying below freezing until tomorrow. At least you've got that blanket of snow to keep your plants snug for the duration of the cold snap! Be careful!

        1. user-7007498 03/14/2017

          Hi, Tim. Just measured 17 inches. Looks like it is slowing down. We are supposed to have low temps of 12-15 degrees the next 3 nights, so it will be nice to have the snow blanket (trying to look on the bight side).

          I was surprised to hear you only got a dusting. I thought the storm was bringing about 5-6 inches as it moved east.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/14/2017

            That cold must be stuck between the mountains and the ocean! Low predicted her tonight of 15F, but warming afterward so that our highs and lows will be dancing above and below freezing....I think the blanket of snow and the cold is actually better than the freeze-thaw cycle. Chin up and stay off those roads!!!

      3. Chris_N 03/14/2017

        I thought getting 6" of snow was bad. I guess I had nothing to complain about!

        1. user-7007498 03/14/2017

          Hi, Chris. Just measured 17 inches. We got hit because the formation of a secondary low in off the coast, that is pulling moisture from the Atlantic (our typical Nor'easter).

          1. Meelianthus 03/14/2017

            Aren't these storms that blow in off the oceans just amazing! I'm so sorry for all of you that are now buried in snow. We have had storms lining up out on the Pacific all week and are being hit with torrential rains and winds, which almost always equals land slides and falling trees - scary stuff ! Hope you can 'find' your gardens soon Kevin - and that you make it to the garden show.

          2. User avater
            meander_michaele 03/14/2017

            17" is serious snow...hope it's decently light and fluffy so shoveling isn't backbreaking.

      4. sheila_schultz 03/14/2017

        Too bad you all can't be in Denver today... sunny and 70, 79 by the weekend! We'd be happy to take that snow off your hands, I'm going to be watering today!

        1. user-7007498 03/14/2017

          Sheila, your killing me. 70 degrees. We are not supposed to be above 40 for the next week.

          1. sheila_schultz 03/14/2017

            It's just a weird winter from coast to coast. Our temps have been roller-coasting but Denver and E of the mountains have had no moisture. We have also had a long run of heavy winds so fires have already started. You gotta always be careful what you wish for! I hope you are enjoying your snow day even though it was the reason you and Rhonda had to miss your PGS meet up!

      5. Maggieat11 03/15/2017

        Hi Kevin,
        Sorry that you had to miss the show today.... hopefully, you can get there Sunday. It was wonderful- I was there Sat. Today, SO FAR, there is 28 inches of snow here... and still falling. A GOOD day to order plants!

        1. user-7007498 03/15/2017

          Good morning Margaret. I am glad you got to see the Flower Show. We finished up at 19 inches at my house. How much did you finally get? At least the plants are tucked away in their snow blanket for the next few nights of cold temps.

          1. Maggieat11 03/15/2017

            We had 28" as of dusk last night. There is still a light snow falling; I have not yet ventured out to shovel so don't know what we have had overnight. 2-4, probably, as a guess. Thankfully, it isn't a heavy snow so I am hoping trees and shrubs won't be ruined. Best Wishes to you... and hope you get to the show. I'll be headed to the Boston Show (I hope, anyway!) on the 25th.

  7. deeinde 03/14/2017

    Your gardens are beautiful! How I love Virginia bluebells! mine were just coming up but are now covered with snow and ice. I need to place some near my bleeding hearts. Do you know what variety of blue hosta you have? Blue Angel maybe?

    1. pattieswinfordclifford 03/14/2017

      Yes, they are Blue Angel with a Sum and Substance.

  8. user-7007498 03/14/2017

    Good morning, Pattie. Your garden is beautiful. So nice to see flowers this morning. Love the vignette with the fountain.

    Snow today here in the Northeast.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 03/14/2017

      No Flower Show, Kev? Sorry - just read Rhonda's comments. Hope you can make it Sunday. Cheers, Frank

      1. user-7007498 03/14/2017

        Not today. Roads are a mess. The trains and buses have been cancelled. 14 inches of snow so far and still falling. I work the rest of the week (and Saturday), so I am hoping to go on the last day (Sunday).

        Could use some of your warmth right now. Can you send some up from Oz. We have predicted lows of 12-14 for the next 3 nights. Expecting wind gusts of 30mph later today.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 03/14/2017

          Kev. - 91F here today, and I would love to send some heat over there and help you out, but unfortunately I don't have divine intervention. Best I can do is send this pic. of a flowering gum in an attempt to brighten things up for you guys. Mind you, Pattie's garden is pretty special today - I'm sure it is helping. Regards, Frank

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/14/2017

            Love that color, Frank. It seems to me that so many native plants in Australia are almost or completely petal-less, and instead are amazingly-colored stamens and pistils. Seems so exotic to me!

          2. frankgreenhalgh 03/14/2017

            Yes Tim that is the case. The tree was originally classified as Eucalyptus ficifolia, but now the genus is called Corymbia. Keep warm. Cheers, Frank

          3. user-7007498 03/14/2017

            Frank, that plant is gorgeous. There are so many really cool plants from your part of the world. The photo has lifted my spirits. Thanks.

          4. User avater
            LindaonWhidbey 03/14/2017

            Oh, that's wild, Frank.

          5. user-6536305 01/07/2018

            This is so odd and so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

        2. User avater
          LindaonWhidbey 03/14/2017

          Kevin and Rhonda, so sorry that your garden show plans have been disrupted. I think that we were all looking forward to seeing some photos. Maybe Sunday will work out. Try to enjoy your snow day.

          1. user-7007498 03/14/2017

            Thanks, Linda. You had the worst of it in February, while we were warm and rainy. Back to reality.

  9. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/14/2017

    What a fabulous swath of hosta taking center stage in picture how the 'Sum and Substance' is highlighted against the blues of the 'Blue Angels'. Your backyard looks like a happy place for you, the gardener, Pattie, as well as younger family members with the swing set and fun slide in the background. That's a beautiful celebration of summer flowers around the fountain. You have a beautiful property and with 12 acres, lots of room to expand if the spirit moves you.

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/14/2017

    I love your gardena and your property, Pattie. You've really integrated natives and non very well. Love your Asclepias syriaca. Despite it's very, very aggressive spreading, I keep it for the Monarchs and the amazing scent of those dusty pink flower balls. I really need to add some Mertensia to the garden. Yours are beautiful. I love all of the midwestern spring ephermerals, but they are hard to place in the garden. Nice job.

  11. LaurelEm 03/14/2017

    Beautiful! I feel hope for spring now!

  12. Chris_N 03/14/2017

    Love the gray treefrog sitting on the hosta. 12 acres! What fun! I would love to have property full of spring ephemerals. Your mixing of natives and non-natives is very well done. I agree with others on here that the Virginia bluebells/bleeding heart combo is great. What is the yellow in that photo? And your sunny mix around your fountain is a real boost on a cold day like today.

    1. pattieswinfordclifford 03/14/2017

      Celandine poppy.

  13. sheila_schultz 03/14/2017

    Your garden is just lovely Pattie, and a most welcome sight for our snow covered east coast GPOD friends! I lived in IL most of my life and the springtime combination of Virginia Bluebells and Bleeding Hearts never failed to make me smile. They always brought hope for the following gardening season!

  14. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/14/2017

    Everything is gorgeous. Good work!

  15. cynthiamccain 03/14/2017

    Hi Pattie! Thank you for the photos of your beautiful garden. They provided the perfect green tonic for this snowy late winter day. I especially liked the little frog on the hosta. Think spring!

  16. user-7008412 03/14/2017

    I love your garden, Pattie! It's beautiful!

    Please tell me how you are able to get such lovely shade loving plants to thrive with tree roots wanting to surface and choke them out? I've yet to learn that secret. ?

  17. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 03/14/2017

    Good morning, Pattie, and thanks for sharing your lovely garden. That hosta row is so appealing and leads me to believe that you have either a fenced or deerless property. 12 acres is a lot to play with and it looks like you're having fun making the most of it. It sounds like spring is getting delayed in the NE. How has it been there in IN? It's coming along very slowly out here in the PNW but it's a bit warmer today and threatening to be sunny so there's hope.

    1. pattieswinfordclifford 03/14/2017

      I do have deer, but "knock on wood" they leave my hostas alone. Most of the 12 acres is hilly woods with walking trails. It has been a very mild winter. A lot of daffodils and hellebore are blooming and forsythia blooming, but now it has been in the 20's and some snow.

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 03/15/2017

        You are very lucky but I think on an island where there are almost more deer than people, they will eat whatever they can find so my hosta are hidden behind fences. We've had a harsh winter in the PNW and several of our zone 8a plants are looking iffy for survival, but at least our edgeworthia looks great.

        1. user-7007498 03/15/2017

          Linda, thanks for posting the Edgeworthia. It looks fantastic. That is one of the many plants that I lust over, but cannot grow in my climate. WOW!

        2. user-6536305 01/07/2018

          Your edgeworthia looks so pretty. I missed this post and clearly missed a lot of excitement!

  18. schatzi 03/14/2017

    Good morning All from the rainy Northwest. Beautiful garden, Pattie. And I do not envy you guys in the snow belt one bit. Been there, done that. Sorry you are missing the flower and garden show - that's really a bummer. Better luck Sunday. Good to hear from you again, Frank. Glad the temps are moderating - mostly. Not to ignore your beautiful garden, Pattie - I can only echo everyone else's admiration.

  19. Meelianthus 03/14/2017

    A beautiful property Pattie and your plantings blend so nicely with your surroundings. I love the 'bleeding hearts' garden and your Hostas are stunning. Nice to have so much room to roam - and plant! Thanks for the sun this morn.

  20. greengenes 03/14/2017

    Thank you Patty for sharing your gardens with us! I love the flow and warmth they have brought to us! I am sure the birds love your fountain! Isnt it wonderful to have the evergreens around. It sure frames your gardens nicely!

  21. Maggieat11 03/15/2017

    I am envious of your 12 acres... and wonderful gardens. What a gorgeous row of hostas... and I LOVE the mature trees in the background. Your gardens are so appealing and so tranquil. Thanks for sharing your gardens with us!

  22. Cenepk10 03/15/2017

    Nice ... makes me long for summer... so lush !

  23. user-6536305 01/07/2018

    Large, expanse, and beautiful garden. Seamlessly blend with nature. Thanks for sharing.

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