Garden Photo of the Day

A Seaside Garden

A flowery paradise on the coast

Today’s photos come from Christine Petersen.

I’m sending you some photos of my seaside garden in Asharoken, New York (Zone 7). I have gardened here for 37 years. My first gardens began as my husband built our home. I designed the house, and he built it nearly on his own. While he worked, I created two half-circle beds and filled them with plants transported from our previous home. I took care to bring my small daylily collection with me. We were building and planting on an extremely limited budget, so pass-along plants were gladly accepted. Now, so many years later, I have a collection of over 650 daylily cultivars, and my garden is a display garden for the American Daylily Society. I also grow all kinds of other plants for both sun and shade.

yewThe first photo is of what I call the yew bed. I limbed up the enormous yew (Taxus sp.) after seeing it done at Wave Hill in New York. That yew is my grandson’s favorite climbing tree! It is underplanted with hosta, ferns, foxgloves, corydalis and now martagon lilies.

variegated maiden grassThis photo is of the “Bamboo Bed.” I created a fence from bamboo that I scavenged from a landscaper. The beautiful variegated maiden grass is Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus ‘Cosmopolitan’ (Zones 5–9). Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ (Zones 3–9), Carex ‘Silver Scepter’ (Zones 5–9), and Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ (Zones 4–9) occupy this garden along with daylilies, lilium, and other perennials. I have more recent photos of this bed showing the changes that I’ve made.

Northport HarborAnd here is Northport Harbor, which is in what I call my front yard.

white gardenThis is my white garden. The stone pathway is sunken slightly below the gardens on either side in order to give it a more intimate feeling. This garden is planted with cream or white flowering plants. The foliage colors are green and chartreuse. Persicaria polymorpha (giant fleece flower, Zones 4–9) creates an imposing structural element at the far end of the path, while Hydrangea serrata ‘Shiro Fugi’ (Zones 6–9) and Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’ (Zones 5–9) spill over the rock borders. There are over a dozen near-white daylilies planted within this garden. Hemerocallis ‘Joyful Journey’ is pictured.

H. ‘Handsome Prince’These daylilies and lilies are planted in a raised walled bed. Hemerocallis ‘Handsome Prince’ is in the foreground with yarrow (Achillea millifolium, Zones 4–8) and rose campion (Lychnis coronaria, Zones 4–8). H. ‘Third Witch’ is a very vigorous, deep red daylily.

Container annualsContainer annuals on the deck.


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View Comments


  1. mainer59 02/10/2020

    I had the privilege of seeing this garden last summer on a regional daylily tour. There were daylilies, but a diversity of plants, too, as seen in these pictures. It is a stunning garden that complements its coastal location. These pictures, as pretty as they are, can hardly do the garden justice.!

  2. garden1953 02/10/2020

    Gorgeous gardens! Thanks for sharing and hope to see more in the future.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/10/2020

    Love red daylilies. That Red Witch is gorgeous.

  4. nwphillygardener 02/10/2020

    Indeed, Christine, when you mentioned 650 varieties of daylily, I realized that if we plead, maybe we can look forward to more glimpses into your savvy gardens on GPOD. Each of the photo angles makes me wish I could simply rotate my head to see more. I especially love the feel of the slightly sunken path. More, please!

  5. hazyhill 02/10/2020

    Beautiful garden, Christine. I like the idea of the sunken pathway in the white garden - must try that. I am originally from Northport so I also especially loved the photo of beautiful Northport harbor!

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/10/2020

    Your gardens are definitely worthy of that stunning backdrop of Northport Harbor...everywhere one looks, whether it's up, down, right, left, close at hand or off in the distance, beauty fills the eye. I especially adore the artistically limbed up trunk of your old yew. It adds so much character and 4 season interest to that garden bed. Instead of just being a large green blob, it is a timelessly elegant senior citizen of your garden.

  7. Maggieat11 02/10/2020

    Glorious! (And what a view!) How big is your property? Love your stone pathway and the lovely effect it provides for your gardens. I would love to see more photos, including how your home fits in them. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. User avater
    bdowen 02/10/2020

    So beautiful, both gardens and setting. I love the way you have developed the theme of each garden area. I agree with everyone that we'd love to see more but I'd also be interested in photos showing what you started with and how it all developed along the way.

  9. arboretum 02/10/2020

    cynthia, first let me thank you for such a professional piece. It is pieces like yours that up the GPOD experience to where it once was. MY specific takeaway today is those 2 daylilies. i will be sourcing those 2 this year!! thx so much

  10. btucker9675 02/10/2020

    Your gorgeous garden has aroused a bad case of garden envy in me this Monday morning! So beautiful!

  11. User avater
    simplesue 02/10/2020

    Just drinking my coffee and eating up your garden! Love love love that photo of the old "limbed up" Yew with the shade garden under it! I hope you send photos in again when your Foxgloves are blooming. I'm giving them a try this year with tons of seeds hoping to establish them- so I was especially interested in the location you mentioned yours are under that amazing Yew.
    I loved your story of the house your husband built, and how you brought your plants with you (I just moved 8 years ago and did the same).
    Oh I don't find myself feeling envious very often but at this time I do feel envy seeing that view you have!
    Wow, thanks for sharing I really enjoyed your garden story and photos!

  12. Cenepk10 02/10/2020

    Beautiful! I’m a huge fan of daylillies. So lush & carefree for the most part. Your front yard is spectacular- and sure would like to see more !

  13. Sasha_HMS 02/12/2020

    If you are working your own shade garden, there is now an tool which will help you tremendously: A new app in the Google Play Store tells you *exactly* how much sun or shade any place will get.
    Have Fun!.

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