Garden Photo of the Day

Alana’s Ohio Garden

Flowery paradise in Columbus

garden border along a fence with pink and yellow flowers

My name is Alana and I garden in Columbus, Ohio. My current garden is about 7 years old and I’m constantly tweaking it. One of my favorite parts of gardening is being surprised by the unexpected. I love self seeders and biennials or not-quite-hardy plants that survive over several years. The current layout takes up most of my 1/4 acre property and there is not much grass left. Looking back at last year there were some nice moments.

close up of purple plants in the garden

In April, Miss Saigon hyacinth (Hyacinthus ‘Miss Saigon’, Zone 4 – 8) complements a moss phlox (Phlox subulata, Zone 3 – 9), I believe ‘Ronsdorfer Beauty’. Hyacinths provide fabulous color before much else is blooming. I’m starting to get into tulips now that the yard is fully fenced, but before that hyacinths were my deer-resistant early spring stars.

garden border along a wooden fence with pink and purple flowers

The pinks/purples in this bed in May are common mallow (Malva sylvestris, Zone 4 – 8), Felix Crousse peony (Paeonia ‘Felix Crousse’, Zone 3 – 7), Cloudburst phlox (Phlox ‘Cloudburst’, Zone 4 – 8), and Dianthus ‘Kate’ (Zone 4 – 9). The mallows self seed well in my yard and some of them grow taller than I am.

garden bed with orange and purple flowers

Here is a different bed in May. Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ (Zone 4 – 9) is one of my favorite plants but doesn’t always come back after our wet winters in clay-ish soil. Many of the bearded irises I‘ve tried also struggle but the ones that make it tend to reproduce amazingly quickly. The orange iris here I believe is Iris ‘Maid of Orange’ (Zone 4 – 8). The dianthus is Dianthus ‘Vivid Cherry Charm’ (Zone 5 – 8) and there is a Clematis ‘Dr. Ruppel’ (Zone 4 – 11). On the left behind the iris is common chives (Allium schoenoprasum, Zone 4 – 8). I like them as ornamental plants until the flowers fade, at which point they flop and I cut them back. I don’t know the cultivars of the blue iris or the geranium.

long garden bed full of different pink flowers

Pink! This bed in June is a little eye-popping. Most of the plants that are flowering in this picture came from seed I direct sowed and hoped for the best. The pink flowers are sweet William (Dianthus barbatus, Zone 3 – 8), Dianthus ‘Delilah’ (Zone 4 – 9), Phlox ‘Fashionably Early Flamingo’ (Zone 4 – 8) phlox, rose campion (Lychnis coronaria, Zone 4 – 8), and Penstemon ‘Red Rocks’ (Zone 4 – 8). The campion and sweet Williams have self seeded like a champ and the original clumps have been there for 3 or 4 years despite the heavy soil.

garden border along a fence with pink and yellow flowers

In July, the yellow-orange Crocosmia ‘George Davison’ (Zone 6 – 9) plays off the pinks from the phlox, Rainbow Marcella purple coneflower (Echinacea ‘Rainbow Marcella’, Zone 5 – 9), a species purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zone 4 – 9) from seed, and Allium ‘Millenium’ (Zone 4 – 8). There is also a salmony canna (Canna hybrid, Zone 8 – 10 or as tender bulb) crammed in here I got after volunteering at a botanical park.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    musabasjoosue 01/19/2024

    What a colorful breath of fresh air on this cold morning!

    1. user-5847317 01/19/2024


  2. nwphilagardener 01/19/2024

    Thanks, Alana! Rich combination of bloomers! In the final photo, can you share the tall vertical plant to the right of the Canna? It's directly behind the Crocosmia

    1. user-5847317 01/19/2024

      Thanks! Behind the crocosmia are an Orange Rocket barberry and a species purple coneflower.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 01/19/2024

    Excellent flower beds! You have tons of amazing flowers, just fabulous!

    1. user-5847317 01/19/2024

      Thank you!

  4. User avater
    cynthia2020 01/22/2024

    Alana - I looked at your garden again today. Especially like the photo with the Lychnis coronaria. Thank you for sharing!

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