Garden Photo of the Day

Carla’s Garden Tour

Early summer beauty

red lilies amongst various green foliage plants

Today’s photos are from Carla Z. Mudry in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

I was part of my very first garden tour on June 24, The Hardy Plant Society Mid Atlantic Member Garden Tour.

Even when it was raining, they came. And they liked my garden! And they loved all of the birds we share the garden and woods with. During the early part of the tour we also had a doe drop off a fawn in the woods, but the fawn was not left alone for long given all of the humans wandering about.

Gardening is a very personal thing when you do it yourself, and although my husband thinks I am nutty, I just wasn’t sure how people would receive my garden—how they would see it, versus how I see and have created it.

I am very appreciative of the people who came through, and I even got some helpful suggestions on things I wasn’t sure about and an identification of the five-dollar mystery hydrangea from years ago at a grocery store. Her name is ‘Blue Billow’.

It was so very special to have Jenny Rose Carey make room in her day to come see my garden after a long day and teaching a class at Longwood Gardens. She is one of my favorite people and garden influencers because of her books, lectures, and own spectacular Northview Gardens. Jenny’s book Glorious Shade, much like David Culp’s The Layered Garden, can be felt throughout my gardens, along with other influences.

Since the garden tour we have had crazy thunderstorms, so when it all dries out, I will be cleaning up the garden and continuing on!

close up of two hydrangeas, one blue and one whiteHydrangeas—‘Blue Billow’ (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blue Billow’, Zones 5–9) to the left and smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens, Zones 3–9) to the right

close up of cream colored smooth hydrangea flowersCloser look at the hydrangea flowers

close up of bee on blue hydrangea bloomA pollinator visitor enjoys the hydrangea flowers.

close up of bright pink rosesA magical highlight of the June garden is roses.

close up of bright red lilies and bee balm flowersLilies (Lilium hybrids, Zones 4–9) and bee balm (Monarda didyma, Zones 3–8) bloom together in a study in red.

red lilies amongst various green foliage plantsLilies provide a pop of color against a tapestry of greens.

colorful foliage plants around a small birdbathA beautiful birdbath fronts some wonderful foliage. A dark, cut-leaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) contrasts beautifully with the ‘Sun King’ aralia (Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’, Zones 4–9)

shade with green foliage in various shades, shapes and texturesIn this shade garden, mixing foliage of different colors, sizes, and textures makes this space dynamic and beautiful.

two visitors walking through the gardenVisitors tour the garden.


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View Comments


  1. user-7392754 07/13/2023

    I wish I was close enough to tour your garden! It looks amazing!!!!

  2. Oxdriftgardener 07/13/2023

    Love all the colors and textures

  3. user-7821942 07/13/2023

    What a lovely, inviting garden! I, too garden in the shade and always enjoy seeing how others create gardens in such settings. How nice of you to share your garden during the tour and now with other Fine Gardening readers. Very inspiring.

  4. btucker9675 07/13/2023

    Wonderful, peaceful garden - it is no surprise that the garden tour visitors loved it!

  5. User avater
    simplesue 07/13/2023

    Wow! Jam packed with excitement just the way I like a garden!
    Garden tours are so much fun- to go to and to be in one, I will forever remember the one me and my neighbor participated in- it was a blast!
    love love Love your white iron garden furniture with the giant hosta!
    Gorgeous Hydrandeas! You really know what you're doing!

  6. nicki_s 07/13/2023

    Of course your visitors liked your garden, Carla - it's stunning! I understand what you mean, though - part of why we garden is to please ourselves, and we don't always get outside affirmation. Anyway, it's perfectly lush and lovely, and I wish I lived near you to see it myself. And the Blue Billow hydrangea - what a color! Do you need to amend your soil to keep it so blue?

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