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Garden Photo of the Day

A Teaching Garden

A living classroom on the campus of Virginia Tech

The Hahn Horticulture Garden on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, is not only a beautiful public display garden that shows off a wide range of plants grown to perfection. It is also a living classroom, used to teach horticulture students at the university. With a wide range of different types and styles of gardens spread over nearly six acres, it offers a lot to see and learn. Here are some of my favorite shots from a recent visit (and here are some plants that do well in shady areas).

Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla, Zones 5–9) is a dramatic, tropical-looking plant, even though it is perfectly hardy far into the north. The huge leaves look incredible all summer, and in the spring, the absurdly oversized flowers are a treat.
Seen from below, the enormous leaves of the bigleaf magnolia make you feel like you are in a tropical jungle.
An enormous Acer palmatum ‘Koto no ito’ (Japanese maple, Zones 5–9) in the shade garden. Koto no ito means “harp string” in Japanese and refers to the narrow, threadlike leaves of this selection.
A waterfall plunging down to a small pond is a popular spot in the garden. Nearby, a small patio with a comfortable bench invites visitors, be they garden lovers or stressed-out students, to stop and take it all in. View some garden waterworks inspiration.
A purple moment in the garden. Catmint (Nepeta × faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’, Zones 3–10) flanks these steps with clouds of fragrant purple flowers, and at the top of the steps, purple ornamental onions (Allium sp., Zones 4–8) continue the color scheme.
A magnificent specimen of yellow-leaved redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Hearts of Gold’, Zones 5–9).


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View Comments


  1. Maggieat11 06/08/2018

    Looks like a garden well-worth visiting ! Love the water feature, especially.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/08/2018

    Love that Bigleaf magnolia. It grows at the lake where we camp but I have never been able to catch it in bloom.

  3. hontell 06/08/2018

    my Bigleaf magnolia never fails to draw ooohs and aaahs from visitors. Bloomed last year for the first time, a real treat.

  4. PatinMapleValley 06/08/2018

    What a treat! Must add this garden to my places to visit the next time we visit our son on the other side of the nation. Thanks.

  5. cheryl_c 06/08/2018

    Thank you for sending these beautiful pictures. I especially love the first one and the last one - the first because the newly emerging leaves have not yet obliterated the framework of the trees, and the last one because of the sharp contrast between light and shadow making the leaves particularly distinct. Wonderful!

  6. PatrickKnowles 01/21/2020

    It’s great that there are сlasses like these. I think that studying biology and botany with real examples is much better. Plus, it encourages students to interesting thoughts and brings them ideas for research. By the way, students can find interesting papers for their classes at https://phdessay.com/category/case-study/ and this will help them to do their tasks. Nevertheless, practical knowledge can give a lot and the results of such experience can lead to interesting conclusions.

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