Garden Photo of the Day

Betsy’s Townhouse Garden

Abundant gardening in a small space

succulents in a small container

Today’s photos are from Betsy Thompson in East Greenbush, New York, in Zone 5. We’ve visited Betsy’s garden before (Betsy’s Garden in New York).

Betsy lives in a townhouse and so has a narrow space for gardening. As you’ll see, however, she makes the absolute most of her small space!

plantings along garden stepsAn impressive Brugmansia (Zones 9–12) blooms by the back steps. Loaded with flowers, it fills the air with a lovely scent.

succulents in a small containerContainers are a great way to fill a small garden with beauty. Here an assortment of tender succulents makes a great centerpiece on the table.

container with chartreuse and dark foliage and pink flowersA dark-leaved dahlia (Dahlia × variabilis, Zones 8–10 or as a tender bulb) adds beauty from flowers and foliage to this container.

container with yellow flowers and dark foliageDramatic dark leaves from a canna (Canna hybrid, Zones 7–10 or as a tender bulb) set off the pale yellow blooms of a Calibrachoa (Zones 8–10 or as an annual).

container with small blue flowers and variegated foliageA blue pot and lavender bacopa (Sutera cordata, Zones 9–10 or as an annual) set off a beautiful, large-leaved coleus (Coleus scutellarioides, Zones 9–11 or as an annual).

container with with flowers and colorful foliageAnother beautiful coleus is the variety ‘Golden Dreams’, with its contrasting dark veins. A backdrop of all white flowers allows it to shine.

container with dark foliage and yellow and peach flowersAnother dark-leaved dahlia takes center stage in this container.

container with yellow white and blue flowersLobelia (Lobelia erinus, annual) brings delicate sky blue to this container planting, echoing the colors of the garden plantings around it.

blue container surrounded by blue plantsBlue Corydalis elata (Zones 5–8) in the garden seemed to call for a tall blue pot.

container with yellow and blue flowersAnother yellow-blue arrangement for the garden room features the same colors.

container display around a garage door

An arrangement of pots with plants that mirror each other flanks the garage door and echoes the new door color. The garage has become a combination office and garden tool shed, so cars are banned.


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View Comments


  1. Maggieat11 03/08/2022

    Great use of small space! Your containers are lovely.🍃

  2. pplat 03/08/2022

    I just love your containers! I am sure that they are also appreciated by everyone passing by your house. They are a visual day brightener for all! Do you grow the plants yourself or do you buy them? Do you make up these planters with your own creativity? I want to be like you, Betsy! Thanks for sharing.

  3. annek 03/08/2022

    Love your color combinations. You have an eye for the dramatic. They are beautiful!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/08/2022

    Wonderful use of containers.

  5. btucker9675 03/08/2022

    Wonderful, creative use of your small space - this garden is a much a feast for the senses as any larger ones.

  6. User avater
    simplesue 03/08/2022

    That's also my idea of a good use for a garage- garden shed LOL!
    You've created a pretty garden, I just love the scene of those stone steps and the Brugmansia....all off your pot arrangements.
    Oh please tell me how you overwinter your Brugmansia in zone 5?!?!
    I will check back to see if you respond to comments...thanks!

  7. maryannborcherding 03/08/2022

    Betsy I'm so glad that your garden was featured again in Fine Gardening. I'm a member of the AHS and have followed your story thru the years. You have a beautiful garden and I admire your tenacity at making your garden work. I can't imagine wheeling all those wheelbarrows thru the garage to the back.

  8. [email protected] 03/08/2022

    I just bought a new yellow dahlia, without realizing it was a short variety(dwarf?), but now I can see how I can use it to great effect! Thanks for the idea, and for sharing all your pretty plants and ideas!

  9. user-5117752 03/10/2022

    Every photo is a delight for the eyes! Simply charming pots and garden! I'll just ditto what "Simple Sue" said!

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