Garden Photo of the Day

Bright Touches Abound

By Kim Charles

Japanese maple

Jim Hoose of Pennsylvania focuses on bright focal points and texture in his garden.

"The majority of my garden is an early spring one. Many of the plants need to be shade tolerant since by mid May there is a high shade cover from the deciduous trees that line the garden area. I'm always looking for texture in my plantings as well as the welcome little burst of brightness.
The garden is in Easton, PA."

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Tree peony

The patio garden: daffs, pulmonaris, alchemilla mollis, blood root, uvularia, later hemerocallis, astilbe, monkshood.

Arbor garden: hellebores, heucheras, myosotis, hostas, dicentras, later delphiniums, hydrangeas, Japanese iris, oriental lilies. 

Bush clematis


Daffs, 'Rembrandt' tulips, dicentra

Daffs, dicentra, hosta 'Fire Island', 'Rembrandt' tulips. 

View Comments


  1. pattieswinfordclifford 05/25/2017

    Very pretty. I like the "hair". Thank you for sharing.

  2. User avater
    user-7007816 05/25/2017

    Jim, I really appreciate the work you have done to provide punches of color early on. As my trees have matured, I have been faced with the challenge of creating an interesting space in the shade. Well done.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      I used to curse the longer. The nice thing about the deciduous trees that rim the garden is that in the early spring there is a lot of sunshine to start things, then with the leaf cover many things last so much longer.

  3. Maggieat11 05/25/2017

    Lovely Spring gardens, Jim! And I also like the ornamentation, and, of course, the rocks! The Japanese Maple is gorgeous and the tree peony as well. Mine have not bloomed yet. Thanks for sharing your gardens with us! Beautiful!

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      As I get older, I am only slightly more patient, but enjoy your tree peony when it blooms. This one was covered to protect from frost four nights running.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/25/2017

    Hmm, what a super yummy tree those layers of casually ruffled an old fashioned southern bell going to a ball. And what playfully delightful placement of your head statuette... so that the Japanese maple leaves become an enviably full cascade of hair. Is that some kind of euphorbia filling the frame of the 2nd picture down? If not, please do share what it. Wonderful pictures throughout.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      Thanks. Yes, the second shot is a euphorbia, but I'm embarrassed to admit that the name won't come to me. It's quite common and great in full or part sun TOLERATES drought quite well. Nice color which is stronger with more sun.

  5. Jay_Sifford 05/25/2017

    Beautiful, and yes, it sure says spring in a refreshing and happy way. Thanks for sharing.

  6. pam_clemmons 05/25/2017

    What a delight to see the vivid color . . . . Especially your daffs and bush clematis! Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden.

  7. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/25/2017

    Everything is gorgeous! Especially love that bush clematis.

  8. sheila_schultz 05/25/2017

    Your shade gardens are filled with so many gorgeous spring blooms, talk about lush! You must be in awe of your gardens this time of year! They are wonderful.

  9. sheila_schultz 05/25/2017

    Funny you should mention the trollius, Diane, I was thinking the same thing although I couldn't remember their name! I used to grow them in my gardens in IL and I had totally forgotten about their charm!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/25/2017

      These Trolius look like mini lotus buds! I've never grown them because I think I've only seen the schoolbus-orange ones. Not my favorite color! This I could see growing.

      1. sheila_schultz 05/25/2017

        Haha, orange has been my very favorite color in my sunny CO gardens! I never had the possibility of a sun garden with our former tree filled yards, so bright colors have been a delight!

  10. NCYarden 05/25/2017

    Never a complaint with the Spring garden, and yours just gives emphasis to that notion. Great collection of plants. That tree peony is something else - very striking. But I also enjoy the more subtle nature of the Achillea mollis over the mossy rocks. I thought that second photo was going to scroll forever...and I would have not have complained a bit. Very beautiful garden you have created. Thank you for sharing.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      Thanks for the kind comments!

  11. frankgreenhalgh 05/25/2017

    Hello there Jim - Congratulations on your classy garden and excellent photography. The peony rose is also my favourite, and Michaele's analogy (layers of petals like a southern bell's ball dress) 'takes the cake'. Cheers from Oz

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 05/25/2017

      Just watched a little of Gone With the Wind the other night on TV so flounces of gown material were fresh in my mind! Vivien Leigh was certainly a bright eyed beauty. Hmm, I don't see any plant in the pictures where I can evoke a comparison to the oh, so handsome and manly Clark Gable.

      1. tennisluv 05/25/2017

        As to a plant for handsome Clark Gable, it would need to be dark and smoky - perhaps a Diablo Ninebark or Purple Smoke Tree.

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 05/25/2017

          I like your thinking, Sonya, with the need for something romantically dark and smoky but now that you've got me thinking along that line, how about a tall and handsome purple leaved beech tree?

          1. frankgreenhalgh 05/25/2017

            You gals are such romantics!

          2. tennisluv 05/25/2017

            Ooh, you threw a new tree to me. I've never seen this growing in my Georgia or Alabama areas (B'ham & Mobile AL; Atlanta & S. GA). Tall, stately, 'strong', dark and smoky. Absolutely Clark Gabel.

    2. tennisluv 05/25/2017

      I always enjoy Michaele's commentary; she has such a way with words - both erudite and whimsical. Perhaps an author in a previous life???

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 05/25/2017

        Thank you, Sonya. I like the safe friendly world of gpod in which to unleash my flights of fancy. No professional writing background for this gal!

  12. thevioletfern 05/25/2017

    Absolutely taken with your "maplized" buddha. Wonderful arrangements in your garden. Must. Have. Bush. Clematis!

  13. Coveside 05/25/2017

    You clearly have an artist's eye for the magical play of light on a wonderful combination of color and texture.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      Thanks for your kind comments.

  14. Doxnmomx2 05/25/2017

    I want to be a cherub in your garden. Dreamy and delightful. A feast for the eyes! Absolutely beautiful. Looks like nothing has the nerve to chew on your leaves.

    1. Meelianthus 05/25/2017

      Peggy Jo, is the little dog you are holding a Griffon. He looks a lot like my sons dog. He looks so cute.

      1. Doxnmomx2 05/25/2017

        No, he's a Yorkie and that's a photo of a dear friend of mine who passed last month. Barney is still with us.

        1. Meelianthus 05/25/2017

          Thank you for your response Peggy Jo and very sorry for the loss of your dear friend.

          1. Doxnmomx2 05/25/2017

            Thank you. She was a wonderful person.

        2. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/25/2017

          My deepest condolences. Lovely photo, even tiny.

          1. Doxnmomx2 05/25/2017

            Isn't it? I love this photo of the two of them.

    2. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      Thanks so much for the comments! Actually I DO have very little trouble with leaf eating bugs....knock on wood.

  15. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/25/2017

    Stopped me in my tracks. Sharp, crisp photos of textural goodness with pops of color. If you know the name of the Trollius cultivar, please do share. It's fascinating. Love your Clematis integrifolia. Mine is small and they seem slow to bulk up, but those fabulous leaf enclosures that protect the flower bud until it is ready to burst forth are a daily delight. Beautiful garden.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      Thanks so much for your comments. I love the clematis. It's its third year in that spot after two years of drought, the rains and cool weather here have finally allowed it to flourish. It's beginning to "beef up".

  16. mjensen 05/25/2017


  17. Sunshine111 05/25/2017

    Gorgeous! Is that Quan Yin amongst the Japanese Maple? Loving all the pops of color. A beautiful way to start the day in cold , gray NH.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      I believe you're correct about Quan Yin. She went through a fire, but her "scars" give her character.

  18. VikkiVA 05/25/2017

    I would gladly take one of each of the beauties you have in your garden. I especially love the bush clematis and that Fire Island hosta! Those Rembrandt tulips are stunning. Vikki in VA.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      The Fire Island hosta is great, I think, for a bit of non flowering bling. I looks great with both the greens and blues of the foliage and flower around them.

  19. user-4691082 05/25/2017

    I had to look up trollius. Common name globe flower. They don't like it really hot and they don't mind wet feet. Not sure about a place for that, but Jim, you are doing a great job with it! Kevin, Easton is only an hour and a half from me-road trip!!!! Jim, your gardens are lovely, and if I had to choose, it's a shade garden all the way!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 05/25/2017

      Hey Rhonda - plenty of mushroom activity down here. All you have to do is keep them in the dark and feed them bs. Cheers, Frank

      1. user-4691082 05/26/2017

        Ha! That's a joke that goes around frequently in our neck of the woods!

  20. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 05/25/2017

    Good morning, Jim. It's taken me a long time to absorb all of your beautiful photos. I like the St. John's Wort ground cover, that tree peony is beautiful ( love Michaele's description) and the head peeking out of the J. maple is perfect. Do you know the name of your bush clematis? After 3 years, and a few moves about the garden, mine is finally looking good but it is called' First Love' and has a very different leaf form. I'd like to add one like yours. Thanks for sharing.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      Thanks so much for the comments. I don't know the variety of clematis. Mine too is three years old and finally after 2 years of drought is starting to respond. It's a toss up for me as to which is better...the buds or the bloom. I guess that's a good thing!

  21. tennisluv 05/25/2017

    Jim, I absolutely enjoyed slowly working my way down thru all your flora photos. Great colors and color combinations. The Itoh is so pretty, but so are all the rest of your plants. I would be hard pressed to pick one as a favorite. Thanks for sharing your bright touches.

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      Thanks for your kind remarks.

  22. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 05/25/2017

    Wonderful collection of color and texture! I purchased a tree peony this year to add to our garden. Sure hope it's as lovely as yours! Thanks for sharing

  23. user-3565112 05/25/2017

    Jim , Your plant combinations are creative & terrific. You have a lot of plants I've never seen or heard about before. In several of the combinations with lists it appears beauty will carry into fall. Is the plant in the 2nd. photo a sedum ? I like that one a lot & have spots where that would look great.
    Good luck, Joe

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/25/2017

      The plant in the second photo looks like Euphorbia polychroma to me, Joe. Or perhaps something similar. :)

      1. user-3565112 05/25/2017

        Tim , I believe you've nailed it. After i read your response, I checked the white flower farm on line & they have one Euphorbia Polychroma" Bonfire" that looks like it to me.
        Thank you for your help, Joe

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/25/2017

          Yep. James just confirmed. I think Bonfire is a more colorful cultivar. Check to see it's habits. I only have two Euphorbia: Chameleon and E. myrsinites. Both are prolific self-seeders. James can probably give you more info on it's behavior.
          All the best.

      2. jameshoose 05/25/2017

        Tim, you're right! It IS euphorbia unsung hero of a plant.

    2. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      The second photo is a euphorbia....quite common and good in all but the most shady situations. Thanks for the comments.

      1. user-3565112 05/25/2017

        Thank you for the information & posting your photos. I learn something every time I go on this site.
        Good luck, Joe

        1. jameshoose 05/26/2017

          Thanks, Joe.

          Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
          -------- Original message --------From: Disqus Date: 5/25/17 7:37 PM (GMT-05:00) To: [email protected] Subject: Re: Comment on Bright Touches Abound
          "Thank you for the information & posting your photos. I learn something every time I go on this site. Good luck, Joe"


          A new comment was posted on Fine Gardening


          Thank you for the information & posting your photos. I learn something every time I go on this site. Good luck, Joe

          7:37 p.m., Thursday May 25


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          James Hoose:

          The second photo is a euphorbia....quite common and good in all but the most shady situations. Thanks for the comments. Read more

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  24. inesmalardino 05/25/2017

    Stunning! Fabulous photography as well...

    1. jameshoose 05/25/2017

      Thanks so much. The "camera" is just my Samsung Galaxy 6S cellphone!

  25. Meelianthus 05/25/2017

    Wonderful photos Jim, and the J. Maple and statue are an amazing pairing. Beautiful colors throughout your Spring gardens, such a wonderful time of year. Thank you

  26. user-6536305 05/25/2017

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden Jim! It is so vibrant and so well maintained. Oh that tree peony is so breathtakingly beautiful!

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