Garden Photo of the Day

A Secret Garden Behind the Hedge

Creating new spaces in a hidden corner of the garden

Welcome to Judy Boyle’s garden!

Hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis, Zones 3–7), Leyland cypress (× Cupressocyparis leylandii, Zones 6–10), and green giants (Thuja ‘Green Giant’, Zones 5–8) create a privacy border for the backdrop of my half acre. As proud as I am of my lawn and gardens in front of this backdrop, seen from the entire back of the house, I am even more proud of what I’ve accomplished (along with glorious Mother Nature!) behind the backdrop of my Zone 7A garden.

Three years ago, this was a forgotten section of property behind the wall of evergreens. Fallen branches, dead trees, poison ivy, and discarded stone were strewn everywhere. Little by little, I began clearing the space of all the debris.

My hubby built this adorable shed, and it’s now in the process of getting landscaped.

I have mostly planted astilbe, ferns, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, tiger lilies, ajuga, ivy, creeping Jenny, and hostas. There are very few annuals in my garden. For the past few years, I have only planted perennials; otherwise, I’d go totally bankrupt.

More of the new landscape behind the evergreen wall.

This is one of the openings from the woods to the main part of the backyard, which is in front of the evergreen wall.

My hubby built this pond about 20 years ago. It had an abundance of koi for many years, but sadly they perished during a particularly frigid winter, and now we use the pond as a water garden.

In front of the evergreen wall is a garden filled with grasses, sedum, peonies, iris, and on and on.

I have been smitten with gardening for 40 years. Every Mother’s Day since my daughter was born more than 30 years ago, I’ve received something special to plant in honor of all moms. I don’t know how I will ever leave my garden. (Here is a weeping blue cedar, Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca pendula’, Zones 6–9.)


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View Comments


  1. mjensen 06/19/2019

    beautiful,i too plant perennials

    1. judithcesaroboyle 06/19/2019

      Thank you!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 06/19/2019

    Such a nice well established garden. I like the way you have the sunny garden and pond and then just beyond that....the secret natural shade garden. It's like two different worlds- both great garden spaces to be in. What a nice tradition to receive a plant for your garden every Mother's Day! The pond is such an amazing focal point with it's moving water and natural stones. You and your husband really have done a great job!

    1. judithcesaroboyle 06/19/2019

      Thank you!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/19/2019

    All of us here in gpod land understand your great love for your beautiful garden areas. It's obvious you have put your heart and soul (plus huge amounts of sweat equity , $$, and nurturing) into creating a place of special joy. Your husband's contributions are stellar as well.

    1. judithcesaroboyle 06/19/2019

      Thank you, and hubby thanks you, also!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/19/2019

    Wow! Looks like a few Japanese Maples in there as well??

    1. judithcesaroboyle 06/19/2019

      Yes, I have several of them on the property, and I love them all. Thanks.

  5. Cenepk10 06/19/2019

    Wow !!!! What a beautiful garden, shed & pond !!! Love it !!!!

    1. judithcesaroboyle 06/19/2019

      Thanks! I had my doubts about the shed which is vinyl, but it has held up well and does the job for a fraction of what it costs for wood. Planting around it has dressed it up.

  6. btucker9675 06/19/2019

    Love, love, love your gardens! I agree about perennials - only use annuals in pots or hanging baskets on my porches. Thank you for sharing this lovely place.

    1. judithcesaroboyle 06/19/2019

      Thank you. I've even begun purchasing only perennials that can be divided, i.e. sedum, ajuga, creeping jenny. Also, I love coral bells (heuchera) because they easily multiply. I've even been lucky enough to have hydrangea sending out runners for a new shrub, and was able to transplant two of them. No flowers yet, but they are doing very well.

  7. marcellamathews 06/19/2019

    I love the pond area. I could spend all my day there. It looks so peaceful. How lucky are you to have so much space to create your beautiful gardens. A good job well Done.

    1. judithcesaroboyle 06/20/2019

      Thank you! Running water is so soothing, and you really don't need a large space. Something as small as one pot dripping into another pot makes a beautiful sound.

  8. carolineyoungwilliams 06/20/2019

    Judy, I enjoyed touring the different rooms of your garden. They look very relaxing. I understand your point about buying perennials over Annuals....too bad it have taken me over 25 years to realize it..... :-( ….better late than never :-)

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