Garden Photo of the Day

Bob’s Garden in Kentucky

A mostly shaded garden full of color

many different size and color hostas

Today we’re off to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to visit with Bob Hines. We’ve visited this garden before, so check earlier posts (start with Revisiting Bob and Mary Ann’s Garden in Kentucky).

The pictures today are from our 2020 garden, with ideas and plans for 2021 always in mind. We have an urban backyard garden that was started in a yard with only grass in 2009. We have a challenge, since every area of the garden is on a slope with access and drainage as a major part of our plans. Most of the garden is in moderate shade, so creating texture and color from spring to fall is also a challenge. We live in Zone 6a and have used annuals to enhance the basic plants of the garden.

shade garden with tender caladiumRich texture and color from shade-loving perennials gets amped up by the use of tender caladium (Caladium hybrid, tender bulb or an annual) with a red-and-white patterned leaf.

fence with gate leading to a gardenA beautiful and inviting entryway into the garden, with blooming hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata, Zones 3–8) to the left.

many different size and color hostasThe genus Hosta is home to so many beautiful species, hybrids, and selections that you can make a whole planting just using their different shapes, sizes, and colors.

large garden gate surrounded by flowersAnother gateway in the garden, with blooming purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–8) showing off, to the pleasure of humans and pollinators alike.

stepping stones through a dense gardenStepping stones lead you through the dense plantings.

fence with garden bed in frontAnother gateway, flanked by tall containers of annuals overflowing with blooms.

Redhot pokersRedhot pokers (Kniphofia, Zones 5–9) give dramatic spikes of hot-colored blooms.

A clump of cannas (Canna hybrids, Zones 7–10 or as annuals or tender bulbs) give a tropical feel with their broad leaves and colorful flowers.

If you want to see even more of this beautiful garden, check out the YouTube video Bob and Mary Ann created: Best of Bob and MaryAnn’s Garden 2020.


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View Comments


  1. gardendevas 04/14/2021

    What a beautiful garden! Love your splendid gates, and great container accents. There is such nice flow and continuity.
    I also am working on a steep slope - transforming it from dangerous-to-mow lawn to naturalistic garden area, so I particularly like to see how others are solving for this.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/14/2021

    Out of this world as always!

  3. garden1953 04/14/2021

    Wow! Love, love, your gardens. Thanks for sharing!

  4. User avater
    cynthia2020 04/14/2021

    A great full garden with lots of healthy plants and no obvious pest or weed problems! I noticed lots of orange flowers.
    I seriously considered some orange canna this year for a change - but decided on some Hedychium coronarium - white ginger lily - for the first time this year for something with height...

  5. btucker9675 04/14/2021

    Love your garden - especially that beautiful hosta area. So peaceful. Thank you for sharing the great work you've put into this wonderful garden.

  6. Cenepk10 04/14/2021

    Hey !!!! You’re making me jealous!!!!

  7. User avater
    user-7007816 04/14/2021

    What a beautiful space you have created.

  8. coastalgardener 04/15/2021

    What a stunning garden! I love how you've combined the caladiums with your hostas. I just might steal that idea...

  9. User avater
    bdowen 04/16/2021

    How to you manage watering your sloping garden space?

  10. carolineyoungwilliams 04/19/2021

    Bob and Ann your shade garden is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I especially love the Hosta areas. You have inspired me to beautify my shady area. Thank you.

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