Garden Photo of the Day

Bill’s 2-in-1 garden in Pennsylvania

My perennial border in early June is filled with cool colors. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bill Goff

We’re headed back to Pennsylvania again today, to visit Bill Goff’s garden in Pittsburgh. Bill says, “I really have two different perennial gardens, both occupying the same space. The late May/June garden is full of pastels and cool colors, like pink and white peonies, deep blue Siberian iris, and purple Allium ‘Globemaster’. The July garden has more hot colors. With all the rain and warmth, my perennial border is bursting into bloom.

Bottom left: Allium ‘Globemaster’, Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’.Top left: ‘High Standards’ Siberian iris, ‘Gay Paree’ peony (top center), ‘Bowl of Beauty’ peony (far right), ‘Cora Stubbs’ peony, ‘Toro No Maki’ peony (white bloom below). All peonies here are Japanese forms. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bill Goff

“I am a retired from a Presbyterian Church where I worked as Organist and Director of Music for many years. I love being a Master Gardener and I enjoy my two French speaking groups here in Pittsburgh”

What a lush, beautiful garden, Bill. I love the concept of having two different gardens in one space. It certainly does change personalities from one month to the next. Well done!

‘Bowl of Beauty’ Japanese peony. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bill Goff

This is prime time to take some photos in your garden. So get out there with your cameras and send some in! Email them to [email protected].

These are the bright colors of the July bed. ‘Lucifer’ crocosmia, orienpet lilies, Coreopsis verticillata, Verbena bonariensis, ‘Chicago Petticoats’ daylily, and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ all contribute to the show. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bill Goff
Coreopsis verticillata, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, and tall orienpet lilies in back. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bill Goff
The July garden. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bill Goff

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  1. mainer59 07/12/2013

    I love your borders, lush and bursting with color. Your combinations are superb. Question on crocosmia. I grew it for a few years, but last summer the leaves turned brown prematurely and it disappeared this spring. I assume it was not a wintering issue as the plant showed signs of distress in August. Any idea what the problem could have been? I want it back, and seeing it in your garden whets my appetite.

  2. cwg 07/12/2013

    Hi, and thanks for your kind comments. I have not had a problem with over wintering crocosmia. I know it is "iffy" in some zones though. Last summer I had to get really serious with it and get in there and divide the corms. Perhaps it is a problem with drainage. Most bulbs and perennials in general, need excellent drainage to survive a winter.

    I have had the browning you mention on the leaves, particularly at the end of the summer. The variety in my garden is 'Lucifer'.

    Thanks again for checking out my garden photos.


  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/12/2013

    lush and beautiful. great plant combinations and i love the different personalities of the different seasons!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/12/2013

    What perfect color combinations for each of the two seasons. In the spring, the soft pastel colors gently awaken our own senses from our winter rest (ha, "rest"? well, in theory)and the bolder colors show up so well in the strong summer sun.
    Thanks so much for giving the names of your peonies...I recognize 'Bowl of Beauty' as one of my favorites that was already here on our property when we bought it. Now I finally have a name for it!

  5. briandowns 07/12/2013

    It's all about combinations, and the Peony/Allium is choice, as is the Coreopsis/Crocosmia ( and it's alliterative!). I just might steal those two ideas!

  6. psumastergrdner 07/12/2013

    Bill, your garden is spectacular! So happy your were able to share it with everyone through Fine Gardening! What an inspiration! Keep on digging! Karel

  7. Tea_garden_lover 07/12/2013

    I was interested in the fact that you are involved both in plants and nature and as an organist and director of music. I definitely see a relationship in the style of your garden which highlights natural seasonal changes. For me some music carries the spirit of nature very clearly. For example, this selection from Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil:

  8. Wife_Mother_Gardener 07/12/2013

    Beautiful succession planting! I love it! I do the very same thing all around my house just north of Pittsburgh. I would love to visit!

  9. GrannyMay 07/12/2013

    Beautiful Bill! My favourite photo would have to be number 2 with Allium 'Globemaster' in the left foreground.

  10. cwheat000 07/12/2013

    It is amazing how many spectacular gardens we have across the USA. Bill your garden is definitely one of them. I have some similar plants in my spring garden, but I like yours better. I inherited some very pretty peonies from the previous homeowner, but if I were picking them myself, I think I would be partial to those Japanese forms. Do they flop any less? I think I will be adding some globemaster allium. I just love them. I have some Allium christophii and some purple sensation allium, but you can't beat the giant form of yours. Do you know of any good companion plants to hide the dying foliage? Your summer garden is so different, but equally great.

  11. perennialpal 07/12/2013

    Bill, I am having a problem keeping my crocosmia upright. It continues to fall over. Is it not deep enough or is this one of those plants that needs something around it to hold it upright?
    Just love your garden. Wish we could grow peonies here in north Texas.

  12. cwg 07/12/2013

    Hi everyone. You are all too kind with your comments about my garden. To answer some questions. Concerning the Allium 'Globemaster', the foliage, at least in my garden, stays at the bottom of the plant. It does get a bit ratty looking, but I plant my garden fairly full, so it is not too noticeable. I cut down the plant after bloom is finished. Many people save them for fall drying. I don't.

    The Crocosmia doesn't need support in my garden. Again, I do plant rather close together, and the plants help support themselves. You'll notice in the photos that the crocosmia is leaning to and fro. I just let it lean as it wishes. Pennsylvania soil is very clayey and so that might help support the plant. Perhaps in N. Texas you have a more sandy soil, and they might need extra support there.

    The Japanese and Single peonies generally don't need as much support as the full doubles. They definitely stand up to the storms better than the doubles. I do have metal support rings on all of my peonies, however.

    Glad you like the photos everyone.

  13. tractor1 07/12/2013

    I love Siberian iris, they flower early and are very deer resistant, I have lots. And I really like your 'Gay Paree' peony

  14. bee1nine 07/12/2013

    How wondrous and fun it must be to be a butterfly or bee to
    sample and mingle through all those lovely, enticing flowers!
    Love all your color combination, as well, Bill!!
    Also appreciate you sharing your experience with growing

  15. Meelianthus 07/12/2013

    Your gardens are lush and radiate your joy of gardening. I love the Allium and Peonies together. I think I could almost smell the lilies ^_^

  16. boards 07/12/2013

    Bill, thank you so much for identifying your plants. Would that that were a requirement for submitting garden photos.

  17. cwheat000 07/12/2013

    Bill, thank you so much for the info on your Japanese peonies and your allium. It helps so much to hear what real gardeners do.

  18. janeeliz 07/13/2013

    What fun! Your garden ] so different in spring and summer...both gorgeous! I love the color combinations and plants you chose. I've haven't seen Gay Paris Peony before...very special. I think Crocosmia 'Lucifer', is very striking, too, but it hasn't come back for me. I'll keep trying to find the right spot.

  19. dirtgirl1949 07/13/2013

    Bill, thank you for sharing your photos of your truly stunning garden. Whilst I live on the opposite side of the globe to you, as well as opposite seasons, it is lovely to share the beauty and joy of the creations of others. Plus always good to pick up ideas from like minded gardeners. Hope to see more of your photos in the near future.

  20. puhdistus1 07/13/2013

    Very Nice Flowers Good Work
    Thanks For Sharing

  21. user-1020932 07/14/2013

    Je suis en retard pour les photos, mais il ya un beau jardin! J'aime particulièrement le Crocosmia avec lis derrière et pivoines sont toujours belle. i'm SURE my french is terrible after all these years but your garden is lyrical!

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