Garden Photo of the Day

Carla’s Woodland Garden

Garden art and plants working together

Today we’re back in Carla Zambelli Mudry’s garden in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

My shade and woodland gardens are looking magnificent because we’ve had so much rain. I now hope I get a break in the weather pattern so I can just enjoy it.

Throughout my garden you’ll see a little bit of garden art, vintage garden ornaments, old bird baths, and seating. My gardens continue to be inspired by English and Irish gardens—specifically country, cottage, and woodland gardens.

Alchemilla molis (lady’s mantle, Zones 3–8) has velvety leaves and does well in partial shade. Clouds of yellow-green flowers will open soon, but this is a plant most people grow for the foliage.

A scene in a shaded part of the garden, with a variety of textures coming from diverse foliage, accented by garden art.

Weigela (Weigela florida sp., Zones 4–8) in beautiful bloom. Newer selections of weigela have colorful foliage and are usually very small, compact plants, but the old-fashioned selections make larger, more vigorous, graceful shrubs.

A large birdbath wrapped in an impressive stand of cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea, Zones 3–9). This beautiful fern is native to most of the eastern half of North America and loves moist, shady conditions. Usually the fronds reach 2 to 3 feet tall, but in constantly wet soil they can reach up to 5 feet!

A lion watches over the garden.

Small sculptures and stones complement a line of shade perennials.

An owl sculpture rises up out of the flowers to keep an eye on the garden.

The woodland garden has a bench that invites visitors to sit and enjoy the green, peaceful space.

Azaleas in full bloom, a classic flower of spring.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/30/2019

    Flowers, shrubs, etc are all beautiful but I really love how you have placed your garden art.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/30/2019

    Sigh...a nicely done woodland garden never fails to stir the soul and yours is lovely, Carla. Dappled shade seems to give the gift of relaxation to the garden visitor and allows plants and art to be enjoyed to the fullest. I love the stone lined pathway and how some of the small sculptures are so perfectly subtle.

  3. btucker9675 05/30/2019

    Your garden is my idea of perfection... Half of my back yard is wooded and I am in the process of planting back there. Your garden is an inspiration!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 05/30/2019

    Really a pretty garden. It makes me want to walk around there and sit for a while and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. How nice to have a natural woodland to blend into the garden!

  5. carolineyoungwilliams 05/30/2019

    Carla, I really enjoyed your woodland garden. It will be an inspiration to me as I finish cleaning off our property line. I especially love your garden's a beautiful choice of sculptures that are perfectly placed to enhance the garden.

  6. Joycelaubach 06/07/2019

    Carla - Just lovely. Viewing this inspires fond memories of my woodland garden in Wayne, PA, where I gardened prior to moving to SW Florida in late 2017. Also reminds me of Jenkins Arboretum, another wonderful garden that you probably take inspiration from as well. Peace, tranquility, harmony.....I am virtually floating. :)

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