Garden Photo of the Day

Anticipating spring in Doug’s garden in Pennsylvania

Today's photos are from Doug Florey, who we visited for the first time in June 2014 (refresh your memory HERE.) Today he says, "We started planting daffodils en masse about 10 years ago, and each fall we put in a few hundred more.  Although I love some of the more exotic-looking ones, we have found that many of these are not as reliable as some of the old favorites when it comes to naturalizing, so lately we have been planting mostly 'Mt. Hood', 'King Alfred', 'Salome', and 'Ice Follies'. The deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and groundhogs steer clear of them, and the clumps grow larger each year, so we feel they’re a great investment, especially after a long, grey, Pittsburgh winter!  In several of the beds, we’ve interplanted the daffs with daylilies or peonies. This has worked well, since the daylilies and peonies tend to hide the yellowing foliage of the daffodils, which reduces my impulse to cut the dying leaves back (despite knowing I shouldn’t!). Hopefully these photos will brighten up your days the same way other gardeners’ photos have brightened mine." Oh Doug. So nice. Only another couple of months til daffodil time. Will we make it? Sigh. So cold…..  *** Doug promised to send LOTS of peony pics later in the season–let's hold him to it! ***

Send me photos of YOUR garden! Email me at [email protected]

Come and meet up at the  Northwest Flower and Garden Show this year!

I'm scheduled to give another GPOD talk (A few of you will be getting emails in the next two weeks as I put together the slideshow…), and a number of people have emailed to say that they'll be at the show, and that they'd love to meet up with a bunch of fellow GPODers!

The RSVPs so far:

Glenda Curdy (Nurserynotnordstrom)
Tia Scarce
Jeanne Cronce (Greengenes)
Sheila Schultz
Shirley Graves
Chris Niblack (ChrisSeattle)
Kielian DeWitt (Annek)
Linda Skyler (Meelianthus)
Kathy Schuler

So…who else is going to be there?? Let us all know in the comments, and we can start planning an outing! Perhaps after-dinner drinks one night at the bar at the Sheraton?  I'll repeat this announcement for the next week or so, at least, and keep a running list of who's coming….enticement for even more people to come. Oh, and when you comment to say you'll be there, give us your real name so that I can plan name tags that include both that and your screen name…

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  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 01/24/2015

    Ahhhh Spring,I have Spring fever really bad this year and Doug you just made it worse,I can smell Spring in the air through your beautiful garden photos. I love the solarium on the side if your home it must be so nice to relax and enjoy your expansive garden views. I am looking forward to seeing photos of your peonies and daylilies,do you have a favorite Peonies?

  2. user-1020932 01/24/2015

    your photos give me hope and daffodills always give a GO for spring. i love seeing daffs in spring i just hate planting them in fall but can't have one without the others. i agree with Nurserynotnordstrom, that solarium would be the best medicine for cabin fever . will also look forward to your peonies/ they are the first flower i remember from childhood, just my height, flowers big as my head and that fragrance.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/26/2015

    What a happy sight, Doug...up close or from far away, Daffodils put a smile on my face. I can't wait for when it's time to stroll about, look at their sunshiney faces and cut a few for my own indoor bouquet. Your property is beautiful and I must confess that I felt a sigh of envy escape when I gazed upon your lovely sunroom/solarium.

  4. greengenes 01/26/2015

    What a beautiful place, Doug! Yes, the daffodilies steal the show! That's great that nothing seems to bother them. I can only imagine what it must look like when the peonies are in bloom! Your rock wall is so groundingly gorgeous and the sunroom...well I want one so bad! I think I will have to win the lottery to get one! It must be a place that is used a lot! To sit in it and watch the snow fall or see the growth of spring take over would be so wonderful...thanks for sharing your home with us today!

  5. wGardens 01/26/2015

    Just what I needed to see this morning! Thank you, Doug! Close to zero here and expecting snow today and perhaps much more tomorrow. You have a lovely property which displays your daffodils so well. (LOVE the rock wall, especially!) Your peony photos will be anxiously awaited! Thank you!

  6. Lisianne 01/26/2015

    What I would LOVE to see, Doug, is what you have growing in your attached sunroom. I have one -- albeit much smaller -- which I keep at about 55 deg all winter. I have a succulent collection, plus a few perennials which I overwinter, and some standard houseplants (including a jade plant I've had since 1975.) Photos, please???

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 01/26/2015

      Ha, do you have magic long distance powers, Lisianne and were peeking inside my brain? I, also, was wondering if Doug does a lot of plant overwintering inside that lovely glassed in space? I laid claim to a guest bedroom this year as my temporary greenhouse to see if I could keep some of my favorite succulents alive and well throughout the winter. For most of them, so far so good!

      1. Lisianne 01/26/2015

        I've tried multiple types of plants in my (glass-roofed, low E glass) sunroom which I've had about 7 years. Things I thought would work didn't, and vice versa. I have essentially a glass-roofed living room, complete with two couches. It is heated with a vented natural gas heater. I typically keep it at 55 deg during the coldest days. I've really learned the difference between an annual and a tender perennial! I personally think a week of posts from those of us with sunrooms (glass-ceilings or not) would be a great benefit for us!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/26/2015

          Well, start us off, LIsianne! Have we seen the inside of your sunroom and I don't remember? I think a blog series on overwintered plants would be super interesting and educational. I'm stuck with fluorescent lights in the basement and a west window in a third-floor stair well for overwintering. Lots of stairs!

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 01/26/2015

            Oh, the sacrifices we make...right, Tim?, for our beloved green hued stepchildren. Here's a fun frog planter with crazed aloe spikes that I wanted to keep intact over the winter.

          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/26/2015

            That's amazingly cool! Has the aloe blossomed for you? I love those inflorescences! Here's some shots of my messy overwintering efforts. Plants are expensive and every year I tell myself 'no more tender plants' but it doesn't seem to stop me!

          3. sheila_schultz 01/26/2015

            No rest for the weary when you overwinter plants, but it does save a bundle come spring! It's amazing what we can rig up in order to save our faves, don't you think?

          4. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/26/2015

            If there is something I really love that is tender, I just can't risk not being able to get it the following season. Despite the hauling, I don't really 'do' houseplants, so it is nice to have an indoor garden to lightly tend during the off season!

          5. User avater
            meander_michaele 01/26/2015

            Gosh, Tim, looks like you will have a great headstart with lots of goodies for containers and maybe some in the ground beds come spring...hmm, all those yummy coleus!
            And, yes, all my aloes seem like blooming fools but I usually cut the stalks down fairly quickly upon bloom because I don't want them to exhaust themselves. I'm pretty ignorant about what the correct thing to do with them is but since they haven't "croaked" on me yet, I'm feeling pretty good.

          6. sheila_schultz 01/26/2015

            Pretty darn cute Michaele... I think the aloe might be Hedgehog. It's a great succulent

          7. Meelianthus 01/26/2015

            Oh Meander ! I just love it !

          8. User avater
            meander_michaele 01/26/2015

            Thanks, husband thought I was a little crazy to want to bring him inside for the winter esp. since I needed his help in carrying it.

          9. Lisianne 01/26/2015

            I will collect photos from the various winters and send them in. Plus, years ago my husband built me a little growth chamber which I have in my basement and I use it to do seed starts, cuttings, and maintain smaller plants over the winter. I used to use aquarium bulbs in a shop light fixture but finally invested in a relatively expensive fixture which uses T5 bulbs. I've been very pleased with that. And I found a heat mat to be very beneficial also for seed-starting.

          10. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/26/2015

            Awesome! I'll have to look up T5 bulbs; not sure what those are. I'm going to post some overwintering photos in reply to Michaele's aloe image. cheers.

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/26/2015

    Thanks for sending more photos, Doug. The daffs are great and I can't wait to see the peonies. If I could only have five different kinds of plants, daffodils and peonies would definitely be on that list. Like everyone else, love the stone wall and the solarium and am curious how you use it. It's not perfectly clear in the photo, but is your stone counter top costa smeralda? It looks just like our stone countertops, so I must say you have good taste!

  8. annek 01/26/2015

    Daffodils are so cheery and bright...which is a perfect scene to view on my thus far grey and overcast day. Your house looks comfortably nestled into the large yard and the daffs are the perfect punctuation marks. Oh yes, more of everything please...and In particular, the solarium!

  9. GrannyMay 01/26/2015

    Love the Daffs, Doug! They are a reliable lifesaver for those of us whose other spring bulbs are eaten by deer and rabbits. I remember back when King Alfred was the only narcissus you could get at a reasonable price and how delighted we were when the bicolours and the small ones like 'Tete a Tete' became more readily available. I can't imagine a garden without them!

    I looked at your previous post to refresh my memory about your wonderful sunroom ( you called it 'the porch'). It was empty of plants at that time. Have you now added indoor greenery and do you overwinter any tender plants there?

  10. floreyd 01/26/2015

    Hi, all, and thank you for your kind and generous comments!

    Say to say that we made a real mistake when we built the porch: we didn't heat it. The contractor tried to convince us to add heat and a cable jack, and we didn't listen. We thought we'd be happy using the family room with its fireplace in the winter. Boy were we wrong. Also wrong when we realized that we couldn't watch Sunday afternoon Steelers football games on the porch without that cable jack. David drags a tv and 80 feet of cable behind him every Sunday in the fall... Dumb.

    That said, we do overwinter some things on the porch--a fig tree, a bay laurel, and some potted "patio" blueberries and raspberries. Otherwise, it's just for lounging around and dining...

    We're talking with a company called Alitex ( about a "real" glass house, but I think we'll need to start playing the lottery first... : )

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 01/26/2015

      Well, shame on me...I almost always take a minute to revisit previously submitted gpod sharings before I comment but I was all geared up to tackle an odious outdoor task before the rains came in so I didn't click the link. However, now I am all caught up and I definitely remember what a tickle I got out of seeing your wonderful larger than life acorn and your delightful "welcome to our property" sign. You really do have such a beautiful property and you and David have made many great decisions in making it all the more beautiful.

    2. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/26/2015

      That is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos. Man, it's a great way to enjoy your beautiful backyard sans mosquitoes!

    3. user-1020932 01/26/2015

      playing the lottery is right. i got a quote once,,,,,,,,,,,,i couldn't breathe

    4. perenniallycrazy 01/27/2015

      How's the giant acorn?

  11. GrannyCC 01/26/2015

    Thanks for the breath of Spring. Your daffodils are delightful. Such happy sunny faces that you just have to smile. Around here we have to watch for Squirrels digging them up but fortunately the deer don`t like them.
    Your porch is wonderful too bad about no power or cable maybe it could still be put in. I have a small greenhouse which is kept just above freezing. My husband dug a trench from the house and put an electrical cable through a PVC pipe out to the greenhouse. I have heating mats and a small space heater. I mostly overwinter geraniums and succulents. I also start my seeds. It is not big enough to have comfy chairs which would be nice.

  12. sheila_schultz 01/26/2015

    What a perfect way to start the week, thanks Doug! Your mass plantings of daffs must make you so happy when they are in bloom, heck I'm grinning from ear to ear just looking at your photos! By the way, you can add me to the list of GPOD'rs that have solarium envy. It's a beauty.

  13. schatzi 01/26/2015

    Daffodils ARE spring! Love 'em all, but dainty Tet-a-tete is my favorite. Since the deer discovered my tulips, daffs and hyacinths are all I plant at ground level. They won't touch either one. Your swaths of daffs are lovely and such a welcome sight. I don't envy you that storm the NE is having right now - been there, done that. Don't care to anymore. Yesterday was 60 degrees and sunny here in the PNW - shirtsleeve weather after 40's and wet. Did some work in the yard and it felt so good to be outside and enjoy it. Thanks for the pics.

    1. Meelianthus 01/26/2015

      And today is a repeat here in the Seattle area, can you believe it Shirley - I mean isn't this the DEAD of winter ! Enjoy.

      1. schatzi 01/27/2015

        You have to love the sun breaks and enjoy them when they occur. We worked outside again this afternoon and it was so nice out. We had an enormous cedar tree taken down a couple months ago that was right on the corner of the garage and also close to the house - worrisome if it should decide to crash in either direction. So now we have a jungle / tangle of branches to separate and haul off to be chipped. With the nice weather, we have tackled that chore and are making some headway with the help of our 40 year old Satoh Beaver diesel tractor. That tractor is the smallest in the line-up, just fits in the bed of a pickup with the bucket resting on the bumper, which was really handy when we were building this place and didn't want to leave it unattended, and it has done an incredible amount of work over the years. We will get to the chipping eventually and use the chips as mulch. We finally sprung for a DR chipper last year and it is worth the price. Solid, heavy duty, easy to use and so much faster than the smaller one we have. And doesn't beat you up like the less powerful ones do having to push the branches thru. Do I sound like an advertisement? DR equipment is not cheap, but it is worth every penny. And since we are not as young and strong as we once were, we can use all the help we can get. Love this sunshine! Happy spring!

        1. Meelianthus 01/27/2015

          Wow ! You really have your work cut out for you ! Have fun and glad that dangerous sounding tree is gone.

          1. schatzi 01/27/2015

            I call it "part of my exercise program" - heck it IS my exercise program!

  14. arlenewest 01/26/2015

    A group of 4 ladies, myself included will be at the NW Flower and Garden Show and would like to join you for the get together. Please add Kathy Hawkins, Kathy Bromley, Judith Martin and myself (Arlene West ) to the RSVP list.

    1. Meelianthus 01/26/2015

      What fun to meet you Arlene and all of the GPODs at the NWFG ^_^

      1. arlenewest 01/26/2015

        Looking forward to it!!

  15. Meelianthus 01/26/2015

    You have a beautiful property Doug and it certainly looks well loved. I can see that Spring will be an exciting time there. I flipped back to your summer postings again and enjoyed all of your views. A really lovely place. Thank you for the whiff of Spring.

  16. terieLR 01/26/2015

    Hi Doug, happiness on my face here as I view your sunshine-yellow beauties. Your property is absolutely beautiful and I remember well the post from last year. I got a chuckle out Doug dragging a TV w/ cable behind to watch a game. Teehee

  17. foxglove12 01/27/2015

    So springy! Thanks for the ray of sunshine.

  18. perenniallycrazy 01/27/2015

    Can't wait till Spring Doug! I am thoroughly enjoying your garden photos - nothing says HAPPY SPRING like daffodils. =) 8 more weeks!

  19. user-7007327 01/28/2015

    Daffs, my all time favorite.

  20. Cenepk10 02/02/2015

    What a pretty property … and gorgeous daffodils…. I've started my clumps too !!! My uncle digs up his clumps in bloom & brings them to me & I put them in the ground. So far - so good. They and forsythias are the welcome to spring my cold weary bones look so forward to….

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