Garden Photo of the Day

Amy’s garden in Massachusetts

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Amy Murphy

Two days in a row in Massachusetts! Today’s photos are from Amy Murphy. She says, “I have a large suburban garden in the Boston suburbs. It is a formal garden with brick lined paths of gravel, stone walls, wood fences, gates, and hedges. Despite it’s formality, the plantings tend to be more on the wild side as I am a great admirer of Piet Oudolf and have been much influenced by his planting choices and style.

“I have several perennial beds organized by color, an area devoted to native trees and shrubs, and a number of Japanese maples. A big focus of my gardens is peonies. I have two long herbaceous peony beds of mixed colors, several smaller peony beds arranged by color (coral, salmon, and red), and the beginnings of a tree peony border.

“I am a Master Gardener and budding garden historian. I blog about my gardens, other gardens, and garden history on my blog, Of Gardens. I am a Garden Club member here in suburban Boston as well as in Nova Scotia, where I spend summers, a board member of NELDHA (New England Landscape and History Association), a member of the Garden Writers Association, a student of landscape design, history, and preservation at the Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College, and a member of Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Everything about gardens interests me and I try to bring some of my interest to my readers on my blog.”

Beautiful, Amy, and your blog is so great! Now we need even more shots of your garden….perhaps some that show wider views? I definitely haven’t seen enough yet!

It’s almost SPRING, people! I know you’re going through your photos from last year, planning what you’ll do differently this year. Send some of those photos in to me! [email protected]

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  1. flowerladydi 03/14/2014

    Beautiful photos Amy,,,,, lovely Hollyhock,,,, and the lupines, pansy's and poppy are great!,,, I have a hard time growing Lupines,, yours are lovely! Love the clematis on the bench,,, but would love to see more! You mention gravel paths, walls and fences,,,, and I am sure they are fabulous! Please send more!
    I checked out your blog,,,, it is GREAT!!!! SOOOOO love the Chihuly gardens!,,,, and the Memorial Wound is so special,,, I need to go back to it all when I have more time,,,,wonderful!!

  2. wGardens 03/14/2014

    Oh, my! beautiful photos and surely a tease for more! The clematis looks fabulous... as does the rest! Please send more photos. Thank you!

  3. GardenGrl1 03/14/2014

    The flowers are beautiful, but I too, want to see more! I'm following your blog now. You have so many new (to me) things on there. I'm spending my morning researching Piet Oudolf and Gardens for Health.

    Thank you for sharing your photos, please send more!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/14/2014

    Hi, Amy, wonderful appetizer course to introduce your garden but we are a greedy and hungry bunch here on gpod so more servings will be very welcome! Your home looks like the perfect backdrop for being surrounded by lush and stately flowers. And the white painted bench and fencing make such a complimentary architectural statement. It doesn't get any prettier than that deep pink clematis twining around and through the top of the bench...just love it. Could you please share the name of that particular clematis?
    Don't be surprised if your blog site-meter shows that someone from Friendsville TN spent the day going from posting to posting. Looks like it has many wonderful photos and informative writing.

  5. PAdesigner 03/14/2014

    Definitely want more photos and I too checked out your blog and thought it was great - want to check it out in more detail. How big is your garden and how long have you been there? I too admire Piet Oudolf. I just finished reading his (with Noel Kingsbury) latest book, Planting: A New Perspective. It has such depth of knowledge of how plants grow and how they work together. Highly recommended, even if you might not be interested in that type of garden for yourself.

  6. tractor1 03/14/2014

    Lovely specimens, Amy. I like lupines too and they grow well here but I need to have them in a fenced bed or the deer would devour them. I like hollyhocks and have tried some along my creek but the deer feasted in th ebuds before then could open, so this year I plan to plant some in my fenced vegetable garden. What is that plant with the golden foliage? I bet your property is very pretty but this is only a tease, I too would enjoy seeing wide angle photos. Thank you, Amy.

  7. user-7006902 03/14/2014

    Just imagining those two long peony beds - sigh. Such gorgeous gardens/plantings. Picture perfect I must say. I will be visiting your blog when I have more time. I am starved for lush beautiful gardens/gardening! Thank you.

  8. greengenes 03/14/2014

    Beautiful pics, Amy. You are a garden enthusiast for sure! I checked out your blog as well. Could you send us pics of your peonies in bloom? Its all so great. Thanks for sharing with us! Great job!

  9. cwheat000 03/14/2014

    Amy, thank you for sharing your lovely garden and blog. It looks like you have wonderful hardscape (I love your fencing,bench,and stone walls.), enough plant knowledge, and plenty of good taste, to create a stellar space. If you find the time, I would love to see more of your peony collection in bloom. I personally am interested in adding a coral colored one to my garden. Any suggestions? Love her or hate her,Martha Stewart, has a huge peony garden. I think you would enjoy it,if you haven't already seen it. I think it is at her Katonah, NY home at Canticoe Corners, if you try to look it up. P.S.- I right with you on Piet Oudolf.

  10. OfGardens 03/14/2014

    Thank you for all the wonderful comments and requests for more photos. I will definitely send more to GPOD and hopefully Michelle will feature my photographs again...especially the peonies in bloom, which are lovely to behold.
    In answer to some questions:
    The clematis trained through the bench is Ernest Markham
    The tree with the golden foliage is a Kwanzan Cherry tree in autumn

  11. OfGardens 03/14/2014

    cwheat000 there are a number of wonderful coral colored peonies. I devoted a whole bed to coral peonies, which should bloom this year. A good tried and true coral to plant is Coral Charm. There are a number of corals, such as Coral Sunset, Coral n' Gold, Pink Hawaiian Coral, Coral Supreme. There are fewer coral peonies than other colors, but still a good choice, and the color is a knockout in the garden.
    Yes, I know of Martha Stewart's peony garden in is lovely, as are all peony gardens.

  12. GrannyMay 03/14/2014

    Beautiful lupines! And that clematis over the bench is a work of art! I have just checked out your great blog, Amy, where you mention planting hundreds of assorted daffodils into a peony bed. You MUST send photos of that bed both this spring and later when the peonies are in bloom! Please!

  13. GrannyCC 03/14/2014

    Amazing gardens. You are one busy lady!! I enjoyed your Blog and will have to come back to it later when I have more time. I would love to see what you plant in your Peony beds once they are finished blooming. I admire all your energy and hard work.

  14. OfGardens 03/14/2014

    GrannyMay & GrannyCC
    I will send photos of the daffodils amidst the peony beds....I am warning you though, since the daffodils are so much earlier than the peonies, it looks just like a lot of daffodils in plain dirt...but it is a nice prelude to the peonies, and here in the NE daffodils (and hellebores) are essential to get the garden season going!

  15. WAgardener48 03/14/2014

    Amy, you have a garden that I greatly envy. All the classic elements that I love are present in your beautiful landscape. The lovely combination of stone and wood painted white speaks of elegance. Love the fact you have repeated the color on the bench. Maybe I will gather my courage and paint some of my teak furniture after seeing your excellent example. All these elements complement the beautiful plants. Lovely job, Amy. Oh, btw, so glad you recovered your dog. Such a wonderful story. Do send more pictures to Michelle during the garden season. I, too, have planted bulbs by the hundreds and they make spring so very special. Would like to see yours.

  16. londonlady 03/14/2014

    Absolutely beautiful photos - would love to see some more of the daffodils mentioned! I particularly like the wide shot of the lupines. And thank you for sharing your blog - the way you link garden history and modern innovation with strong imagery is very evocative.

  17. cwheat000 03/14/2014

    Thank you so much for the information.

  18. cwheat000 03/14/2014

    Thank you so much for the information.

  19. OfGardens 03/14/2014

    WAgardener48 & londonlady (great name) Thank you for your kind, generous and sophisticated comments
    GrdenGril1 : thanks for following my blog. I am sure you won't be disappointed finding out more about Piet Oudolf and Gardens for Health.

  20. OfGardens 03/14/2014

    PAdesigner - yes, I have read Piet Oudolf's & Noel Kingsbury's latest book. I like it, but then again I like all of Piet's books. I especially like the early books he collaborated on with Henk Gerritsen.

  21. OfGardens 03/14/2014

    flowerladydi I too have a hard time growing is just a little too humid in my suburban Boston garden for them. I start seeds every year indoors, and also every year I generously throw lots of lupine seeds around the garden, but I never get more than a handful of plants. The rabbits also like to eat the little plants, so I have to spray them with Critter Repellent . All in all it's a labor of love, but I am rewarded when they do grow.

  22. cwheat000 03/14/2014

    Thank you so much for the information.

  23. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/14/2014

    hi, again, Amy, I was reading some of your early blog posts and I was wondering how the campaign to plant daffodils along the Boston Marathon route went? I used to live in Hopkinton back in the early 90's and the marathon was always such an amazing would fill little Hopkinton with so many people. IS Weston Nursery still in operation?

  24. OfGardens 03/14/2014

    meander1 - Weston Nurseries is still in operation, although greatly diminished from its former glorious self. The story I heard was the family wanted to go their seperate ways - some wanted to keep the nursery, others wanted their "share" so the nursery had to sell a lot of it's land to a developer. Consequently, Weston Nurseries no longer field grows its stock. Everything is brought in from other sources. It is a shame.
    The daffodils for the Boston Marathon was a big success! Garden clubs all along the route planted bulbs. (I myself planted a few) There should be a wonderful display of daffodils come spring (although since there is still quite a lot of snow on the ground, the daffodils may not be blooming on the day of the Marathon which is only 5 weeks away, but fingers crossed)

  25. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/14/2014

    Aww, I felt a pang as I read that Weston's no longer has its extensive growing fields. They were an amazing resource to have in the vicinity since you knew as a customer that the stock was definitely hardy to the area. Everyone who worked there was so knowledgeable. Didn't one of the founders of Weston's develop the PJM Rhododendren?
    So glad to read that the daffidil campaign was such a success. It should be a beautiful sight if the bloom hits during the marathon. I'm rooting for Mother Nature to smile upon you all.

  26. cwheat000 03/15/2014

    Thank you so much for the information.

  27. CJgardens 03/16/2014

    This is a repeat of all the wonderful comments about your garden. Enjoyed your clematis on the bench, all the white fencing and bench, hollyhocks, lupines, etc... I have visited your blog and it is very interesting. I planted many bulbs this past fall and am anxious for spring to see if they survived our rough winter. I am encouraged by your efforts to grow lupines and hollyhocks and will continue to plant/scatter seed until they begin to reseed in my garden. I planted several peonies the last years (no where near 100), I want the early color in the garden, they're tough and low maintenance.
    Thanks for sharing photos and your blog. Looking forward to more.

  28. OfGardens 03/16/2014

    CJgardens thanks for your comments and for visiting my blog....I encourage you to keep trying to grow hollyhocks and lupines...I've had luck with hollyhocks starting them indoors (I haven't had luck starting lupines indoors)...good luck!

  29. grannieannie1 03/17/2014

    Your blog is chockful of very interesting things and will take up some evenings of reading to catch up.

    It was sadly heartening to hear others also have trouble growing lupines just as I do though they grow along roadsides freely somewhere. Yours are beautiful and whetted the appetite to try them again.

  30. OfGardens 03/17/2014

    grannieannie1 it depends on where your garden is for the lupines. So if you are further south then say Massachusetts, don't be too disheartened. In Maine and Nova Scotia the purple lupines grow everywhere, but that's the right climate AND they are not the Russell Lupines of different colors that everyone seems to want to grow.

  31. OfGardens 03/17/2014

    GRANNIEANNIE1 I am so pleased you stopped by Of Gardens and read some of my blog posts. I hope you visit again! Thank you.

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