Garden Photo of the Day

A Perfect Moment

Spring light catches as garden just so

Kelly Stevens gardens in North Carolina, where she works for a local garden center. Her garden at home is a plant-lover’s paradise, filled with happy specimens, beautifully placed and set off by mosaic-work garden art. Today’s photos capture a perfect moment in her garden when the light was catching everything just right.

Sometimes the light hits a garden just right and makes magic! Here sun is glowing through the garden. The whole scene is wreathed in the purple flowers of Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria, Zones 6–9). This species is native to the United States. It blooms a little later than the invasive Asian species with shorter flower heads, and is much better behaved. The Asian species tend to try and eat the entire garden, and then head out to conquer the local woodland. The native species stays smaller and is usually a much better choice.

Tradescantia virginiana (spider lily, Zones 4–9) blooming gracefully surrounded by beautiful tile mosaics.

Another view of the sun catching American wisteria, blooming over tile mosaics.

Sometimes plants with yellow-green foliage can be hard to use in the garden, as the bright yellowy color can clash with other tones. But not with Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Sweet Kate’ (Zones 5–9). Here the bright yellow leaves are complemented to perfection by the right blue flowers. It is a match made in heaven.

A lovely bearded iris, white touched with blue so delicate and exquisite it looks like it was painted.

The new leaves on Fatsia japonica ‘Spider Web’ (‘Spider Web’ fatsia, Zones 7–10) emerge so brightly variegated with white it looks like they wouldn’t have enough chlorophyll to survive! But as the leaves age, they grow more green and so provide the plant with plenty of energy to grow and thrive. And when the new leaves come out, they are as beautiful and striking as any flower.

Achillea (yarrow, Zones 3–8) comes in colors ranging from scarlet to pink to orange to, as here, yellow. Looking at this, it is hard to image any of those other colors being better than this bit of bright sunshine turned into flower form.


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View Comments


  1. NCYarden 05/23/2018

    Good morning, fellow NC gardener. I hope your plants have been enjoying all the rain lately. By the looks of your beautiful garden, I would probably say so. The mosaic tile work is a nice decorative and structural complement to the plants. Did you do those yourself? I love that 'Spider Web' Fatsia - I keep putting off that purchase for no clear reason...with all my shade I need to go ahead and do it. Where in NC are you? Thanks for sharing.

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    meander_michaele 05/23/2018

    Such wonderful garden scenes, Kelly. I'm as enthralled with your mosaic art work as I am with your plant choices...and the relationship between the hard and soft elements is beautiful. The new leaves on that fatsia are amazing...esp. compared to the darker glossy color they mature into. Ha, I should age so beautifully!

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    treasuresmom 05/23/2018

    Love, love, love all that tile! And your garden is just delightful!

  4. Chris_N 05/23/2018

    Lovely photos, Kelly. You certainly picked the right time of day to highlight your garden. The tiled art goes so well with your garden. It's too bad Fatsia won't survive here in Zone 5 Madison, WI as it is an amazing plant. However, some varieties of Wisteria frutescens will. Olbrich Botanic Gardens has some beautiful specimens.

  5. Chellemp 05/23/2018

    Beautiful spotlight on your plants and tile-work. I had to look up the two tradescantia plants and have fallen in love. But the tile mosaics on the walls are amazing accents! Thanks for sharing!

  6. btucker9675 05/23/2018

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful artful garden. Makes me feel like I will finally be able to also get things going in my Waxhaw NC garden!

  7. sheila_schultz 05/23/2018

    There's a whole lot of creativity and fun going on in your garden, Kelly... and I'm not even talking about your collection of interesting plant material! Oh, add me to the list of admirer's of your gorgeous Fatsia, it's stunning!

  8. foxglove12 05/23/2018

    Love your garden photos. The mosaics are amazing and have given me some great ideas. That white iris is pretty incredible. Thanks so much for sharing!

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