Garden Photo of the Day

An Eye for Design in ME

By Kim Charles

Charlene Sprague has renewed her passion for gardening.

"I have been gardening since I was 6 but only became passionate about it when my girls started in school and I had a little time to myself.  I have raised bed vegetable gardens as well as perennials/trees/shrubs to frame and soften the lines of our house (which I designed BTW and my sweetheart and I created…this is what we do for our customers too).  We live on a tidal piece of property in Milbridge, Maine which can be challenging.  The granite of the raised beds helps to warm the soil to make up for the lack of heat due to being on the ocean."

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 01/25/2017

    Hi Charlene - House number 175 is lovely and is set off by a beautifully designed, executed and maintained garden. Your passion for gardening is evident. Congratulations on your gardening achievements. Also, a remarkably blue sky in the house pic. - not a cloud in sight. Cheers, Frank

  2. user-4691082 01/25/2017

    Hi Charlene! Are you an architect? And a garden designer? Whoa! To live on the coast of Maine, aah. When it's stinkin hot here in Pa, I'll be thinking of you and your lovely garden. I love the color of that hydrangea. I can almost feel the ocean breezes, although I don't need them right now! What zone are you? And is the blue flower a lobelia? Thanks for sharing!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/25/2017

    You have a wonderful eye for complimentary colors, Charlene. I am particularly captivated by the juxtapositioning of the plants in the third picture down....such a pleasing balance of color repetition and contrasting shapes and textures...and, no room for a weed to even think about growing. Your home looks lovely and you have surrounded it with beauty.

  4. user-7007498 01/25/2017

    Charlene, good morning. Michaele beat me to the admiration of the 3rd photo. Awesome use of color and texture. I will be returning to that photo throughout the day for a burst of sunshine. No sun here in Harrisburg for the last 3 weeks?. I love the granite birdbath. Fits in so well with the landscape plants. Great job.

  5. Sunshine111 01/25/2017

    Charlene, your work is smashing! As a former garden and landscape designer I know the importance of form, color and texture and you have nailed it on all levels! I am impressed. Your neighbors are quite lucky I would say.

  6. tennisluv 01/25/2017

    Charlene, as the others before me have said, your home and landscape are just lovely. I especially like how the perennials are showcased by your choices of shrubs and trees. Kevin and Michael are right, the bed in picture three has great texture and color. The stone birdbath in your last picture is just what I had in mind for a natural Ishi Bachi (Japanese water basin) next to a stone bench in my garden. Looks like I'm headed to the closest stone yard , thanks to you. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Chalis2 01/25/2017

    Those wonderfully deep and luxurious colors make your garden outstanding! You've really put together a beautiful landscape. I'm having some serious garden envy about now!

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2017

    Charlene, I love your house, your property and your garden. The use of local granite is amazing. The little clump of Hakone grass really pops next to its companions. Very impressive and artistic!

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 01/25/2017

      Ha, Tim, you probably already guessed that my eye was drawn to that nice clump of Hakone grass. I prowled around mine just yesterday and had a little surge of "oh; goodie...I can't wait for spring to see how much bigger mine comes back as". Yep, I'm a Japanese Forest grass stalker.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2017

        I prefer the term 'groupie'! :)

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 01/25/2017

          Hmmm, "groupie" yes, that has a nicer sound to it. That just popped a funny thought into my head. I am probably as excited at seeing the return of the hakone as I was to see the Beatles perform live during their first US tour.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2017

            Did you actually see the Beatles on their first US tour?
            Sorry, that is WAY more exciting than Hakone grass!!!!!

          2. User avater
            meander_michaele 01/25/2017

            Well, now I feel that I have to do some googling to track down the date and whether or not it was their first US tour. It certainly wasn't when they were introduced on the Ed Sullivan Show. I'm thinking it was 1964. I only got to go because one of my best friends was an only child who had a VERY accommodating mother. She drove us to wherever we went to stand in line to get our tickets. I still stay in touch with the friend and I'll have to see what her memories are. Did we get in the ticket line the night before? I can't remember. The concert itself was pretty fun although I got annoyed with the girls in front of us for standing and screaming right away. It was one thing to stand but then they started standing up on their seats which blocked every one else's view. I don't know if I should dare admit this but, obviously, I am. I was wearing some kind of pin and threatened to prick the girls in their butts if they didn't stand on solid ground. Ha, was I a buzz kill or what?! I think the show we attended was in Atlantic City NJ. My friend and I had divvied the boys up...she laid claim to John and George and I got Paul (of, course, the "cute" one) and Ringo as an after thought. We were always trying to think up scenarios where we could trick authorities and get their autograph. We never succeeded!

          3. tennisluv 01/26/2017

            What a wonderful story. You just took me back to my teenage years. I only got to watch then on the Ed Sullivan
            show. My friends and I in rural south Georgia were way too far
            away from any of their venues and way too poor to attend any of their
            concerts. However, none of us ever picked a favorite or divided up the
            group. Too funny. Just enjoyed their music.

          4. User avater
            meander_michaele 01/26/2017

            Hi, Sonya, glad you enjoyed my long trip down memory lane. In doing some internet reading to try to figure out what year the concert I had gone to had taken place, I came across an article that said that the tickets ranged from $2.75 to $5.50. I'm sure that seemed like a lot to me at the time but, goodness, it's almost hard to imagine.

  9. sheila_schultz 01/25/2017

    Your eye for design is certainly spot on in my book, Charlene. The color echoes and textural differences in your combinations are not only pleasing to the senses they insist on closer inspection to completely understand why they work. And yeah, add me to the list of fans for your third photo...the visual balance of that grouping is a winner!

  10. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 01/25/2017

    Good morning Charlene, and congratulations on a job well done in designing your beautiful house and garden. Of course, the garden part is never done but you have created something that must continue to give you joy each season. I love your use of granite as a heat sync and that third photo is one that I'll be studying all day. The gardening talent on this site never ceases to amaze.

  11. NCYarden 01/25/2017

    POW!... slapped with a beautiful home and garden this morning. I'm awake now. You have obviously surmounted your challenges. Wonderful plant combinations. Love how the yellow blooms with the rosy blush (what are these by the way?) pick up on and complement the red fountain grass in the first pic. Stunning. Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2017

      Looks to me like a begonia in the first photo.

      1. Chris_N 01/25/2017

        Dang you, Tim, how did you sneak that in just before I posted?

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/25/2017

          Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? :)
          Your reply is much more thorough and intelligent than mine!

          1. Chris_N 01/25/2017

            Since I can never just give a simple answer, I probably do have obsessive compulsive disorder. Just one of many.

      2. NCYarden 01/25/2017

        Thanks, Tim. I had a feeling I'd hear from you.

    2. Chris_N 01/25/2017

      David - That looks like one of the newer hybrid tuberous begonias (x tuberhybrida). They are characterized by large flowers that cover the plant all summer. The 'Nonstops' are one series and as their name suggests, they are non-stop bloomers. 'Unbelie vable Miss Montreal" is one I plan to plant this spring.

      1. NCYarden 01/25/2017

        Thanks, Chris. Love something new!

  12. GrannyCC 01/25/2017

    I too love all your plant combinations. Gives me some wonderful ideas. So nice to have a sight of your beautiful garden on a dreary winter morning. Spring is coming and your pictures give us all hope. Delightful!!!

  13. edithdouglas 01/25/2017

    Really lovely plant combinations. Spring is surely coming, and hope I can get all the things done I've been inspired to do by looking at pictures like yours!

  14. Chris_N 01/25/2017

    Beautiful, Charlene. Others have commented on your fine use of color and texture but you also have a good eye for form. And I am impressed by your ability to seamlessly blend annuals and perennials. Please consider submitting more photos of your garden as these are wonderful.

  15. Maggieat11 01/25/2017

    Gorgeous! And your home is a beautiful backdrop for your fabulous plantings! Love the birdbath also. Please do send in more photos. Thanks!!

  16. Meelianthus 01/25/2017

    Charlene ~ Your gardens and all of your settings are so charming. I love the composition of the first photo with such happy combinations. Everything looks so healthy! Thank you for this peak.

  17. chelleisdiggin 01/25/2017

    Everything is gorgeous. You have me begging for more!

  18. perenniallycrazy 01/26/2017

    Beautiful and vibrant! Makes me miss summer even more.

  19. schatzi 01/26/2017

    I agree - it's all beautiful! Love the grasses in the first pic, and the stone birdbath. Great job.

  20. OneKSGardner 01/26/2017

    I especially love the first two pic! The mix of colors and textures are beautiful!

  21. Cenepk10 01/26/2017

    Gorgeous... gardens are so pretty in ME.... love it. Good work !

  22. User avater
    HelloFromMD 01/27/2017

    Hope you see this. Very very pretty gardens. Love your house too.

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