Garden Photo of the Day

Becky’s garden in Pennsylvania

Front walk, early summer. Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Becky Shubert

Today’s photso are from Becky Shubert. She says, “I live in south-central Pennsylvania, a few miles from the Pennsylvania/Maryland line (USDA Hardiness Zone 6). My garden consists of a variety of informal perennial beds spread over about an acre, ranging from dry, rocky areas in full sun or part-shade to cool, moist areas in full shade.


“Many of the beds I’ve carved out around the large swaths of limestone running throughout the property. I’ve been adding and expanding beds nearly every year over the 14 years we’ve lived here.


“My love of gardening comes from my mom and dad, still gardening even as they approach eighty. They raised 6 kids, with most of our fruits and vegetables coming straight from their large garden. Even with all the demands of taking care of us, my mom still found the time to maintain her wonderful perennial beds. The flowers had to be easy-care, mostly old-time favorites such as tall bearded irises, daylilies, coneflowers, and tall garden phlox.


“With 3 young children of my own now keeping me busy, I also go for relatively fuss-free plants that battle on their own with the clay soil, rocks, and dry summers that we have here. Many of my plants came from divisions from my mom’s garden, but I’m constantly adding to my “plant collection” (as my husband calls it) by swapping with friends and family or taking the kids on field trips to our favorite garden centers.

Deck garden, summer

“While my beds aren’t exactly neat and organized, they’re bursting with color through the seasons, full of buzzing and chirping visitors for the kids to enjoy. When mom and I visit each other, the first thing we usually do is take a stroll through the gardens to see what’s blooming and swap ideas (and maybe some more plants, too).”

Front island, summer

I love this story, Becky. This is what a garden should be. ***More and even better photos at Becky’s blog, HERE!!***

Gooseneck loosestrife

**** Share your garden story…. Email me with photos and words at [email protected]. ****

Side patio garden in May
Side patio garden in June
Side patio garden in July
Gentian in bloom
Garden spider

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  1. flowerladydi 04/18/2014

    Becky,,, your garden is charming!,,,, and I too love the family gardening history,, and now you are making it with your kids,, they will undoubtedly grow to carry on what you have instilled in them too!
    I love the first picture of your winding front walk,,, so welcoming, and the colors of the Gaillardia, lambs ear , penstemon and others just make the blue of your house ' pop ' !
    It it so much fun seeing the different months and how things evolve over a summer,,, you have shown that well! Your garden is a mass of lovely color and texture!,, and of course,, the ' garden spider ' is a must! He looks HUGE in that photo!, wasn't quite sure if it was real at first. And while they are harmless,,,( and beautiful ) I still do not like running across them! -:)
    I'll bet you have many bulbs in spring too! ,, With all your property,, it is probably amazing!
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. NC_Yarden 04/18/2014

    Your garden looks like a wonderful stroll, worth looping over and over again. And I love the loosestrife - such a fascinating bloom. My wife is from Harrisburg, PA where I first encountered it and felt I had to have it. Unfortunately, I had to remove mine from the garden proper because it was so invasive here, but actually just transferred it to the streetside guerilla garden - I couldn't bring myself to destroy it. I guess it stays in check a little better up there.
    Thank you for sharing, and enjoy the new flush of your perennials as Spring finally begins to show signs of actually being here.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/18/2014

    Hi, Becky, I love envisioning you and your mom taking those garden strolls and then sitting on that lovely porch (ha, move over Mr. Spider) and talking plants, kids, and life with a cool glass of iced tea. Sounds like you run the gamut in sun/shade conditions and can indulge in quite a diversity of plant selections...although you are wisely choosing those that fend for themselves more easily at this point in your life.
    Your children are blessed to be included in your forays to garden centers and I'll bet you let them make some selections of their own to add to the color and fun of what's growing at home.

  4. greengenes 04/18/2014

    Totally awesome, Becky! I so enjoy it all! Yes, the story of it all is wonderful, too!That is what my mom and I do as well. I sure liked seeing the gooseneck loosestrife. I have wanted to purchase some of that and so its great to see how it looks. And the helenium in the first pic is great! I got a pot of that last year at a little library sale and I so loved it for the color and how it grows. I have sinced divided it up this spring to put in other areas. This has been a wonderful garden to see this morning. Thankyou for sending these pics in for us to enjoy! May you have many happy days in the gardens this year!

  5. GreenGrammy 04/18/2014

    I agree that your garden is just what a garden should be--and it's lovely as well. The "chirping and buzzing" visitors are not only fun to watch, but are what gives a garden its life. I too love your family gardening history, and know your children will always have the good, healthy memories you've made together. Well done.

  6. cwheat000 04/18/2014

    Your front walk is cottage garden heaven. I am envious of your gallardia. I have tried it once, but it did not survive the winter. I must try again in a light soil area. Any secrets to success? I also think the gooseneck loosestrife is the coolest looking plant, but I am afraid of its bad ways. Has anyone had success containing it? If you containerize it ,does it also spread by seed?I also love sharing my garden with my mom and little girl. It really makes the hobby so much more fun to share it with someone you love, who also shares the passion. I hope you encourage your mom to send in a few photos. I think I will encourage my mom too.

  7. sheila_schultz 04/18/2014

    Becky, the story of your garden is blooming with such wonderful memories and time spent with those you love... you are the poster child of what gardening is all about. Thank you!
    Oh, and by the way, I'm in serious Gaillardia envy! I keep trying and trying and trying with so little success. Sigh.

  8. GrannyMay 04/18/2014

    Thank you Becky! I totally echo all the previous commentators and love your garden story as much as your beautiful garden. There is nothing nicer than being able to share a hobby you love with the people you love!

  9. User avater
    HelloFromMD 04/18/2014

    Hi Becky,

    I'm with Sheila on Gaillardia envy. I've tried multiple times as well and only got a couple of seasons at best. Do you know the cultivar name of the one is photo 1? We will follow your lead and try again. Wish my kids took more of an interest. Have a lovely summer!

  10. wildthyme 04/18/2014

    Becky, I thoroughly enjoyed your garden photos, but your garden story was the star of today's post for me. My visits with Mom always seemed to end up with a discussion of the garden, and when she was no longer able to stroll with me through her garden or mine, I would take her on impromptu neighborhood garden tours in the golf cart. Mom passed away last month just a week after her 91st birthday, and as spring approaches I realize just how much I will miss those garden visits with her. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today.

  11. GrannyCC 04/18/2014

    Becky thanks for sharing your lovely story and garden. Looks like a beautiful place to relax and enjoy all your hard work.

  12. tractor1 04/18/2014

    What an enchanting garden with narrative to match. Your garden is well planted without looking fussy. I love your blackeyed susans, one of my favorites. And I'll bet you captured that spider from indoors on a window and superimposed it on your rocker in the distance to make it look huge... if you had 10 inch spiders you'd never venture outdoors. LOL A great garden to end the week, thank you, Becky.

  13. kcans2000 04/18/2014

    bahçede çok bitki var biraz daha ferah, dingin olabilirdi.genel anlamda yeşil bir bahçe çok güzel. bu büyüklükte bahçe bakımı biraz zor olabilir.

  14. cwheat000 04/18/2014

    Wildthyme- I am so sorry to hear about your mom. Your story touched me and is a good reminder to cherish those moments.

  15. beckyspa 04/19/2014

    Thank you all for your kind comments.
    I'm not sure about the gaillardia variety, but my best guess is 'Goblin'. It thrives for me in full sun and dry conditions. I'm never sure if the same plant comes back each year as I have so many new volunteers each spring (I don't deadhead very often).
    The loosestrife spreads like crazy by runner, so if you don't want it to take over try planting it in a container. I've also heard that it's easier to control in dry part-shade.
    The spider is real. We usually have at least one around the gardens during late-summer/fall. The perspective in the photo makes it look gigantic, but it's "only" a little bigger than a quarter. Thankfully, once we find its web it generally stays in that area unless disturbed.
    Wildthyme, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you continue your garden visits -- maybe you will find some comfort as you remember the times in the gardens with your mom.

  16. delancey 04/23/2014

    I once saw a lovely photo of gooseneck loosestrife planted in a small circular bed, with a white brick edging, surrounded by green grass. Dont know how it'd look while not blooming, or if the edging would really contain it. Could end up being a front lawn nightmare!

  17. katherine_8 09/29/2020

    Absolutely breath-taking!!!! It's like being in the woods or the woodland of my dreams. I love your selection of plants, and all the varying heights, colours, and shapes. Job well done. I also visited your lovely blog.

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