Garden Photo of the Day

Asiatic Lilies in Swansea

By Kim Charles

Linda Mayer has created a special garden space that is 13 years in the making.

"I am Linda Mayer and we live in Swansea IL, just east of St. Louis in zone 6.  I have developed our back yard for 13 years.  As the trees grow, so does the amount of shade.  The fence keeps out the critters, though we have many birds.  Huge river birches next door provide a challenge as they drop much pollen, thousands of seeds which germinate and then yellow leaves to litter the yard all summer.  Asiatic lilies are my favorite, but they don’t bloom long in the heat some years.  I created the shade garden with paver path last fall to enhance the shade.  I enjoy GPOD every day and thank Fine Gardening for the opportunity to see all the wonderful yards of my fellow gardeners."

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  1. pattieswinfordclifford 06/22/2017

    So pretty and peaceful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. DoodleDOG 06/22/2017

    Your clematis are beautiful! Did you put polysand down between your flagstones? It really keeps the weeds out!

  3. LauraH77 06/22/2017

    Wow Linda! Your yard is beautiful. My family and I live about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis and my lilies are frying this year with the 90 degree weather we had in May and then several times again so far this year. Thank you for sharing your wonderful garden and reminding us that there's always next year.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/22/2017

    I am zone 8b. We had 2 freezes in Dec. & then winter was pretty much over. Changes in weather patterns seem to have escalated here. I had lilies bloom in Feb. Looked out yesterday & saw 1 in bloom. This has never happened here - just too late in the year for that. Love yours. They are beautiful!

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/22/2017

    Don't be surprised, Linda, if your passion for Asiatic lilies starts getting some competition from an additional zeal for hosta now that you have that great shade path. Did you do the rock placement yourself? It looks very nicely done. Your backyard looks like a very peaceful place to work in and enjoy esp. when the fragrance from the oriental lilies fills the air.

  6. Sunshine111 06/22/2017

    Lovely! Especially the lilies!

  7. chelleisdiggin 06/22/2017

    Hello from Farmington, Missouri, Linda. We're about 80 miles south of you and just a little west. You've done a beautiful job creating your garden. I love that dark red clematis. And you have just the right touch of ornamental objects with your plants. I'm just getting started here and have nothing to compare to yours. I'm looking forward to be able to plant hosta, some day! The peaceful shady path between the beds you have is just the feeling I'm hoping for. Thanks for sharing.

  8. VikkiVA 06/22/2017

    You should be very proud of the love spaces you have created Linda. Your clematis are stunning and those lilies are drool worthy. I especially like the Oakleaf Hydrangea...gorgeous! Vikki in VA

  9. DarliBarli 06/22/2017

    Breathtaking! What a wonderful garden site: Grows flowers and shrubs beautifully and rejects all weeds! Love your clematis'- wondrous! ANy idea which varieties they are? And highly inspirational!!! Thanks so much for sharing your terrific pix with us..and hope you'll do it again one day soon. Just wondering if you have an irrigation system?

  10. tennisluv 06/22/2017

    Linda, your landscape is really pretty. Love all the shade beds you have created and the lilies are beautiful also. I bet walking in your garden is a sensory overload between the variety of plants, the cooling shade and the lovely scented air. Thanks for sharing.

  11. anitaberlanga 06/22/2017

    your garden is LOVELY! I love all the shade borders you've created. Glad you are adept at 'going with the flow' - it's not like we can control Nature anyway, right?

  12. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/22/2017

    Looks great. Your oakleaf hydrangea is a great specimen and I'd love to know the ID of the ferns planted with the Polygonatum. One looks like a Cyrtomium?
    Wonderful lilies, too.

  13. Cenepk10 06/22/2017

    What a pretty place. I love lillies too. Mine are about to pop ! Exciting days ahead.

  14. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 06/22/2017

    Good morning, Linda. You have certainly created a special place for yourself and I'm envious that you have a fenced area to garden without the bigger critters. The shiny leaves of what looks like ginger ? are a nice mix with your ferns and solomon seal. Thanks for sharing.

  15. hedygalow 06/22/2017

    Absolutely beautiful! Love your path, the clematis and of course your weed-free garden. We have chipmonks that climb up the stalk and eat our lilies! How do you get your clematis so luscious?

  16. foxglove12 06/22/2017

    All so pretty and inviting, thanks for sharing.

  17. user-7008681 06/22/2017

    Thank you for sharing your little heaven on earth. It is indeed beautiful.

  18. user-4691082 06/22/2017

    Linda, what a peaceful and beautiful garden you have created. I find that if I had a choice, I would always choose a shade garden. Everything looks well edged and manicured. I'm wishing my place looked that good right now! Thanks for sharing.

  19. bsavage 06/22/2017

    Very pretty!

  20. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 06/22/2017

    Thank you for sharing. Enjoyed the shade selections a lot. Looks very nice :)

  21. schatzi 06/22/2017

    Absolutely beautiful! Especially love the clematis and the shade garden. Great job.

  22. NCYarden 06/22/2017

    Such a wonderful garden. I especially fancy the clematis. I totally feel your frustration with the river birches. I have several on my property and though I admire the beautiful bark and spreading form, I constantly shake my fists, and head as well, exclaiming it's such a high maintenance tree, for just the reasons you stated, and the slightest breeze drops plenty of twiggy branches. Your shade garden has developed nicely. Thank you for sharing.

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 06/22/2017

      Hi, David, have you ever seen the dwarf variety of white birch called 'Little King'? Sorry, I think my inclusion of a picture is going to end up appearing sideways. Sigh...wish I was smart enough to figure out why that happens to me. Anyway, this tree doesn't have the multiple annoying characteristics of the full size varieties. The leaves hold their color, there aren't a ton of little branches falling but you get the awesome exfoliating bark. I've had this one for over 15 years and continue to love it.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 06/22/2017

        My daughter has brainstormed with me on this funny sideways photo thing that happens to me and I think we found a way around it. So here it goes. Sorry for the repetition of the picture.

      2. NCYarden 06/23/2017

        Hi Michaele, That is a fantastic little tree. Would love to have that in that in the garden. Difference I think is you put yours there. Mine are native, primarily because my property is a dry feeder creek to the main creek a quarter mile below the neighborhood, and they like the path of the water runoff I figure. Aside from the one we have "showcased", if you will, we are considering having the others removed. But Tim did give me a new perspective when he asked what all the yellow daubs were on the grass he saw in a photo and thought they were petals.Works for me...for now.

  23. Maggieat11 06/22/2017

    Lovely, Linda! You have some great plant material there, love the Clematis. Oakleaf, Ferns and lilies especially! Your fence provides a nice backdrop to your plants. Nice job!

  24. MNGardenGirl 06/22/2017

    So beautiful! My kind of garden - not to stuffy and formal. Asiatic lilies are one of my favorites as well. Thank you for sharing!

  25. LaurelEm 06/22/2017

    I love your Oak Leaf Hydrangea and your shade path. I also love the colors you chose in Clematis. Everything is so pretty.

  26. user-6536305 06/22/2017

    A truly beautiful garden in 13 years. Thanks for sharing.

  27. gardencook 06/23/2017

    Lovely shady garden!!! I especially like your clematis plants!!! Your asiatic lilies are beautiful and so healthy looking! Do you have any trouble with the red lily beetle on your lilies? We are fighting them here in The Maritimes! They especially like asiatics!!!! Thank you for sharing your pics of a peaceful retreat!

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