Garden Photo of the Day

Appreciating Details and the Big Picture

Today we’re visiting Domenia Barbuto’s garden.

Thanks very much for the wonderful photos that gardeners have contributed. I look forward to seeing them every day and plan to incorporate some of the ideas I have seen. I have been working in my in Westbury, New York, garden for over 40 years. During this time I have cleared away trees, created and recreated flower beds, and experimented with a variety of container plantings. I always seemed to concentrate on the big picture—how plants complemented each other, how the garden looked overall. During the past few years I have tried to appreciate the small things that make up the overall effect of my plantings by taking a closer look at individual shapes and variations of colors.

Detail of astilbe (Astilbe chinensis, Zones 4–8) in its full, soft, pale-pink bloom.

Bright, sunny black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgia, Zones 3–9) contrast with the rich blue flowers of a bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 6–9) behind them.

Detail of perfectly blue bigleaf hydrangea flowers. Remember that if you want true-blue hydrangeas, you need acidic soil, as they will blush pink as the soil becomes more alkaline.

And here’s a close-up of some richly saturated Asiatic lilies (Lilium Asiatic group, Zones 4–9). This group of lilies has the brightest colors of the true lilies but doesn’t boast the scent of some of the other types.

Seed heads on Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium, Zones 3–8), a beautiful ornamental grass that is native to a wide swath of North America.

In this view of the patio, bright color is provided by annual pots.

This arbor is simply dripping with a sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora, Zones 5–11).

Each individual flower of sweet autumn clematis is small, but because the flowers are produced in such enormous numbers, they make an incredible display. The fragrance is wonderful as well.

This sweet autumn clematis is running along behind a big bed of black-eyed Susans, making sure that the summer ends with an enormous mass of flowers.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/28/2019

    I love it all - just so pretty!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/28/2019

    Good morning, Domenia. I really enjoyed your photos and appreciate the mix of close-ups and big picture views. I'm so glad you included the long shots of the undulating wave of sweet autumn clematis flowing along behind the black eyed susans as well as it practically swallowing up the arbor...too pretty not to see in its totality.

  3. wittyone 02/28/2019

    The bright blue hydrangea and black eyed susan make a beautiful combination. I can imagine the fragrance of all that sweet autumn clematis covering the fence, but how on earth do you keep that and the black eyed susans from taking over your garden and heading off to conquer the world?

  4. Cenepk10 02/28/2019

    I grow the same plants here in Georgia. The rubeckia & sweet autumn clematis just abundantly spread themselves - truly great for a large garden or the gardener with lots of friends. Very lovely garden you have made. I enjoyed you sharing.

  5. Cenepk10 02/28/2019

    I also have paired the rubeckia with hydrangea. It’s so ot here- I have it in part shade. Really a stunning color combo - especially in shade.

  6. Musette1 02/28/2019

    that astilbe is amazing! I have very little shade, so don't grow it - but I've always dismissed it as being a bit garish. Your photo has me looking at it in a completely different light (no pun intended - okay, maybe a little pun intended ;-)

    thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos of your gorgeous garden.

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