Garden Photo of the Day

Bloom where you are planted

This is Syringa Reticulata, Japanese Tree Lilac, nicely arrayed in blooms after 10 years from planting.

Sometimes you have to let the right plants find you, right where you are. That's what happened to Pat Thompson in her garden just outside Madison, WIisconsin. Well done, Pat!

"We live in a wooded area outside of Madison, WI. We moved to the Midwest in 2000 and into this house in 2003.  Our 2 adult children are disabled so we’ve transferred our travel lust to a passion for gardening. They  love having groups of their friends over for parties.  At first I wanted to plant the azaleas, rhododendrons, hollies and dogwoods I loved on the east coast, but they all struggled, I finally figured out what loves the Midwest!"

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What a difference a few inches of composted cow manure can make!

This combo was purely serendipitous,  The bush in the back left is a Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus 'Chicago Fire'), In the middle is a Diablo Ninebark, I’m sorry, I can’t find the name of the Hosta but it’s our favorite. Does anyone know? 

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  1. perenniallycrazy 06/17/2015

    Beautiful Pat!

  2. NCYarden 06/17/2015

    Wow!! What was the property like before? Did you put all those wonderful plants in yourself? The elevated topography is great. I really like the Lilac Tree. They have recently come into bloom here and always catch my eye when I drive around, but don't have one myself. Gotta look into finding a space in my garden for one of these. Thanks for sharing.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/17/2015

    Pat, your Japanese Tree Lilac is pure enchantment...I love multi-stemmed flowering trees and yours is a beauty. Do the blooms have a traditional lilac fragrance? Your tumble of ground cover (sedum?) is delightful and looks to be at the point where it has pretty much won the battle against weeds. Seems like you have adapted wonderfully as an upper midwestern gardener and have created a very special backdrop for the get togethers of family and friends.

    1. user-7007660 06/17/2015

      The Japanese Tree Lilac doesn't smell like traditional Lilacs but it does smell absolutely heavenly. An old neighbor of mine had one and I was haunted by the fragrance and had to find out what it was and where it came from. I made a new friend and have since aspired to have that tree in my life. Also, yes, they are just gorgeously formed trees, all year around.

  4. Jay_Sifford 06/17/2015

    This is my kind of garden! I love the interwoven tapestry that your plants create, with the texture and layering. I'm not a big fan of large mulched areas. Plants are so much more interesting. I tell people that if they want to see mulch, go to Home Depot, don't come to my garden. Yours is the same. Great job; thanks for sharing.

  5. Cenepk10 06/17/2015

    My goodness, that's gorgeous....

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/17/2015

    Crazy beautiful. What a perfect setting for gathering groups of friends, for both you and your adult kids. It makes me smile. Does your house look out at the hill or is it above it? The stone work and planting are amazing. Did you inherit the stonework on the hill or install it? Ninebark has certainly come into its own in the past few years: new cultivars, colors, sizes and it is ultra-hardy. Love your Diablo. Thanks for sharing and do send in more photos.

  7. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/17/2015

    Plants that give texture depth and color,then you add elevation and you have a garden that definetly grabs my attention. Pat you have put your creative stamp on your property and understanding what will grow in the Midwest has given you spectacular results that are breathtaking. I love the pop of color from the wind chime it was the perfect touch.

  8. User avater
    HelloFromMD 06/17/2015

    Hi Pat, the hosta looks like Teaspoon. You could post a closeup. Your hillside garden is spectacular. Do you have clay soil?

  9. GrannyMay 06/17/2015

    Pat. your garden beds are stunning! Did you bring in the rocks to create the terraced rock-garden, or were they already in place? Love the effect with the plants you have chosen! It all blends in beautifully with the forest. Do you have a photo with the Burning Bush when it is flaming red in the fall? What is the bright green groundcover in the first photo?

  10. NWAgardener 06/17/2015

    Pat - your garden (plants and rock work) are stunning and I hope you will share more photos with us soon. If you are referring to the hosta to the left of the burning bush, I belive it may be hosta 'Liberty'. Its margins are deep yellow in the spring and fade to creamy white as summer approaches. It was Hosta of the Year in 2012.

  11. NWAgardener 06/17/2015

    Pat - your garden (plants and stone work) are stunning and I hope you share additional photos with us soon. If you are referring to the hosta to the left of the burning bush, I believe it is hosta 'Liberty'. It has deep yellow margins in the spring which fade to creamy white as summer approaches. It was the 2012 Hosta of the Year.

    1. wadeinthewater 06/17/2015

      Oh I think you're right, it's Liberty!! thanks NWA. I'd hardily recommend it!

  12. User avater
    gringopeligroso 06/17/2015

    OMG!!!! The STONEWORK!!!! Not sure if'n natural and assuming they're collected/ assembled, but either way: WOW!255555555/;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;.sorry...kitten "helping" me to type!!
    Besides the hardscaping, I LOVE the way y'all have assembled the individual green spirits into a cohesive melody!! Nicely, in fact: VERY nicely woven!
    LOVE the Artemsia (?) in the wind chime pic! Is that hardy for y'all? I, too, have several wind chimes about to enjoy the whispers of the zephyrs, altho here in Tornado Alley, sometimes they Shout!

  13. user-7007327 06/17/2015

    Your garden is a wonderland of greens and purples. Were the large stones already there? Love this look.

  14. greengenes 06/18/2015

    Oh Pat! I love this picture of the Japanese lilac tree. Iam trying to find one but they aren't very common. Your gardens are very beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us!

  15. user-4691082 06/18/2015

    What a beautiful garden! Thanks for sharing!

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