Garden Photo of the Day

Carol Ann’s South Carolina Garden

A paradise 30 years in the making

sun dial in the garden surrounded by plants

Today we’re visiting the garden of Carol Ann Bell in Greenville, South Carolina, with photos sent in by her friend Ellen Kirby:

My garden has been a respite during the 30  years we have lived here in Greenville, South Carolina.  As my three children grew up,  I had more time for gardening, although I have worked hard to accommodate children and grandchildren in the garden. I caught the gardening bug from my mother in eastern  North Carolina, where she was an avid gardener.  One of the tips she taught me was how to propagate hydrangeas from cuttings. This involves choosing a healthy stem and putting it in a pot until it develops roots, then transplanting into the garden. Because of this lesson I learned as a teenager, I now have many hydrangeas in a multitude of different varieties.

wooden trellis arbor covered in plantsThis trellis was built to my specifications by a local carpenter for my daughter’s wedding. The roof was designed to remind me of the tobacco barns in Eastern North Carolina. The roses are ‘Zephrin Druin’, one of the only roses without thorns.  My latest love is the hydrangea ‘Shooting Star’ (Zones 5–9), which I discovered as a potted plant in a grocery store in December. I babied it until spring, when I planted it. It has now grown as tall as this trellis and with a multitude of blooms.

hydrangea with light pink flowers‘Shooting Star’ hydrangea

sun dial in the garden surrounded by plantsThis sundial is surrounded by an unusual lacecap hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9).

hydrangea with bright blue flowersHydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9

hydrangea with multicolored flowersMulticolor ‘LA Dreamin’, which grows on new and old wood, prolongs the bloom period through the summer.

pink hydrangea flowers‘LA Dreamin’

garden arch covered in plants leading to stone patioA copper pipe was used to create the arch on which an akebia (Akebia quinata, Zones 5–8) grows. I prune it to keep it from trailing into the woods. In the foreground is Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ (Zones 3–9).

pink tulips in a containerMy grandchildren gave me these tulips, along with a sign they painted.

begonia wreathEvery spring I make this begonia wreath from a wire frame, sphagnum moss, and soil.


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View Comments


  1. blondie3 07/12/2022

    The shooting star hydrangea is beautiful, and so is the wreath. Very nice garden.

  2. gardendevas 07/12/2022

    Those hydrangeas - magnificent!!

  3. rosebudal 07/12/2022

    So nice to see a garden from this region. Gardens of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama just don’t have enough internet presence. Yours is beautiful. I think I’ll try the five leaf akebia in my woodland Augusta garden.

  4. User avater
    simplesue 07/12/2022

    Wow the sitting area with the arch of akebia (Akebia quinata) is perfect!!! A statue, benches, stone walls, woodland view, oh I love it.
    And enjoyed your story of being a teen gardener learning how to root hydrangeas!
    Oh I'm saving the vine seating area photo!

  5. gardenconcierge 07/12/2022

    Dear Carol Ann,

    Your garden is absolutely lovely. I am particularly inspired by your begonia wreath. I hope to try making one soon. Thank you for sharing.


  6. sheila_schultz 07/12/2022

    I think you should be crowned the Hydrangea Queen, your's are truly beautiful Carol Ann. I'm also very impressed with your begonia wreath, what a great idea! You have a beautiful garden, you must smile all of the time. Lovely.

  7. btucker9675 07/12/2022

    Your garden is absolutely glorious! It must be a wonderland for your grandchildren. Everything is beautiful and I'm going to get a shooting star hydrangea now.

  8. pplat 07/12/2022

    The beautiful sign that your grandchildren made you must make you so happy! The sign is a priceless gift from the heart and it looks wonderful in the gorgeous tulips.

  9. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/12/2022

    So very very lovely.

  10. madcosta_7 07/24/2022

    Love your garden and love Hydrangeas. That Star Hydrangea I saw at our local grocery store "Wegmans" and I just eyed it and said maybe next time....that was 3 years ago! I should have bought it! Yours is beautiful!!

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