Garden Photo of the Day

Carol Jean’s garden in Wisconsin

The tree in this bed is a Meteor Cherry. I let the birds (not those cranes) eat the cherries. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky

Today’s photos are from Carol Jean Kadonsky. She says, “I garden on a 60′ X 150′ city lot in central Wisconsin (zone 4.) I started raising gardens when I finished raising my children. My first perennial bed was a 3′ X 24′ raised bed in 2001. I have added new beds every year since.

This is an ‘Elsa Spath’ clematis. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky

“Most of the yard is part shade … until recently. In May 2011 two large pines blew over in my backyard and in April 2012 my new neighbor chose to cut all eleven tall pines in her yard; she had safety concerns.

The view from the “wicker” patio (taken July 2010.) In the lower right corner is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Quick Fire’ that I like very much; it begins to bloom in June. In the middle of the photo is orienpet lily ‘Lavon’. The wooden structure to the right is my vegetable garden pergola. And behind that are the trees that blew over. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky

“Gardening in 2012 brought several more challenges; too many chipmunks and bunnies (the previous neighbors had a cat great at hunting), tree removal abused my west side yard, and a very hot, dry, sunny summer for my shade loving plants. I started moving plants in the fall and have many more to move this spring. So I’m sharing photos of my “old” garden beds when they were part shade.”

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Quick Fire’. Blooms open in June and are all white, then in July they begin to turn pink. This mottled stage is my favorite. By September they are all pink; October more mauve. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky

Wow, Carol Jean, your garden is (was?) beautiful! Be sure to send us photo after you switch things around. It’s alwasy interesting to see how gardens evolve in response to major changes. Thanks so much for sharing!

**You guys are sending me some INCREDIBLE garden photos! I think my begging last week did the trick. Keep sending them in! I love having too much to choose from….feast and famine, and all that…

Orienpet lily ‘Lavon’ – they bloom mid to late July. This is my favorite lily because of its fragrance; it’s heavenly (lighter than & not as spicy as oriental lilies.) It has grown even taller, making it a design challenge. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky

ONE MORE THING–Remember back in August, when the GPOD featured the garden in ANTARCTICA? Refresh your memory HERE. Well our podcaster, Andrew Keys, took it even further, and interviewed the person in charge! Check it out on the podcast, Garden Confidential, HERE.

This is the view to the north in the backyard (taken July 2009.) I’m continually changing the back border bed; too much plain green, needs more color in June, I want more daylilies – where can they go?, etc. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky
The view to the south from the back of the yard (taken May 2008.) The spring growth allows a better view of the pergola over my “wicker” patio, the arbor, & the dining patio. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky
The view toward the NW corner of the yard (taken July 2008.) Sigh… I miss the afternoon shade. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky
This is Hosta ‘Sum & Substance’ – without planning on my part, I planted it where it became a beautiful focal point. The photo was taken in June 2012 before the sun & heat burned the leaves. (You can see a toasted fern behind it.) I plan to move it this spring to a more shaded location. Beyond the chain-link fence you can see the neighbor’s yard with all the trees gone. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky
This is a ‘Roguchi’ clematis. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky
Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’. It is my most impressive clematis so I wasn’t surprised to find it got a 4 star rating in the August 2012 issue of Fine Gardening magazine. I don’t know the name of the pink Asiatic lily I planted long ago when I didn’t know enough to record the name in a gardening journal because tags break and disappear. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky
To keep deer out of the backyard I constructed this fence from 4 trellises purchased at end of season clearance. I plan to make the 8′ X 13′ area in front of it my “Heuchera Haven” bed. I really like heucheras. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Carol Jean Kadonsky

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  1. MmeBez 02/05/2013

    I like what you raised in your city yard Carol Jean! Now, I too am really looking forward to what you will do in your new sunny yard! It seems you now have a lot more possibilities for daylilies :)
    Your trellis fence is a resourcefully good idea! Is that 'Heuchera Haven' still shady? I love Heucheras too, they bring such reliable brightness and texture to shade gardens.
    Thank you for sharing your former garden!

  2. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/05/2013

    Wonderful plant selection and so sad about the trees! Roguchi and Lavon are now on my must-have list.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/05/2013

    Your gardening style is delightful, Carol Jean and I'm sure you will have very satisfying results as you make the changeover in plants that will thrive in your new, sunnier conditions. I empathize because I have an area that we have always referred to as "the pine grove" where I created a hosta heaven and, as the pines have come down (grrr, Mother Nature shows no mercy), I have had to adjust to the less shady reality. But, boy, your Sum and Substance was glorious in that spot. I enjoyed a warm smile at your first picture when I saw your birds since I have one like that that is more all blue. They are a fun ornament. Your clematis are stunning...hopefully, they will only get even more floriferous with the increased sun.

  4. tractor1 02/05/2013

    Your shady garden was lovely but now with a sunny garden it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity for a big vegetable garden.

  5. bee1nine 02/05/2013

    It's all so lovely Carol Jean! So good to see how you placed
    your different bird feeders in among your garden and I bet
    the hummingbirds must delight over all your Heucheras!
    I too, look forward to seeing your new creations as you now
    have more sun!:)

  6. Wife_Mother_Gardener 02/05/2013

    Great work, Carol! This is a great example of what can be done in a smaller town garden to add interest. Some beautiful clematis for sure!!!

  7. user-7006902 02/05/2013

    I rely on some key trees that belong to my neighbors. I try to imagine what my garden would be like if they were gone. I have planted some young trees on my property just in case. I love trees and would be so saddened to lose even one. But it is the nature of gardening to adapt and evolve to change. Now you have so many sunny possibilities! I just planted a Quickfire last fall – so happy to hear how you enjoy yours. You have a beautiful garden and I'm sure it will continue to be so.

  8. wittyone 02/05/2013

    What a smart idea using the arbor sections as fencing. How nice for you that they were exactly the right width and on sale---what a deal! Sometimes things like that work out. I know what you are facing with the new sunny exposure. We had an enormous beech tree taken down this fall and now there is all this new sun to work/deal with. At least my sun is coming from the east and so not so drastic a change as your western sun would be.

    You are so lucky to have a yard that is easily fenceable to keep the deer out. I'm on a corner lot with the driveway on one side and the front of the house on the other so fencing is somewhat problematic. The deer problem becomes worse each year with no relief in sight from the city so fencing is really the only real solution ----- if you can do it.

  9. cwheat000 02/05/2013

    I am so sorry to hear about those big trees. They are very hard to replace in our lifetime. I am confident, however with your great gardening skills, that you will make some mighty tasty lemonade out of your lemons. Thank you for including lots of info and plant names. I don't know anyone with a 'Rogouchi' clematis. I have considered buying one from a catalog photo. It's even more charming ' in person'. I love your heucheras. I am hooked on buying them, also. I've yet to find the perfect sun/shade sweet spot in my yard, but I keep working on it. Happy gardening!

  10. wwross 02/05/2013

    Great lessons for growing a new sunny garden where one was once shadier.

    I love the way you provide interest by creating unexpected curvilinear perennial beds within your lawn.

  11. ANewLeaf 02/05/2013

    I like the fence made out of trellis sections. Very creative and attractive soulution. Will keep in mind for making a gate.

  12. janetsfolly 02/05/2013

    Thank you, Carol Jean for sharing your beautiful gardens and for resolving my burning question of what will be the next hydrangea to add to my collection! I will also be looking for a spot for Roguchi, hmmm. I sooo appreciate your inclusion of plant names; fellow gardeners' experience and recommendations are what I love about this site!

  13. CJgardens 02/05/2013

    Thank you to Michelle for choosing my photos and thanks for all your nice comments. It makes this cold Feb. day feel much warmer.
    MmeBez - I started planting more daylilies last fall! And I'm concerned about enough shade for "Heuchera Haven." The garage wall will shade it until mid-day and I plan to plant shrubs along the chainlink fence to help with the setting sun. Time will tell if it's enough.
    meander1 - Thanks for always finding something nice to say everyday. Moving the Sum & Substance hosta is the hardest change but I plan to grow a clematis against the tree trunk like I saw in terieLR photos. Yeah! I get to buy another clematis (I have more than 10 varieties now.)

  14. CJgardens 02/05/2013

    tractor! - I put in my small raised bed vegetable in 1987. But with the trees gone I've been able to plant more containers with vegetables in the area behind the garden. I tried my first "deep mulch" garden bed last summer. I also have rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (chipmunk favorites), & 2 columnar apple trees.

  15. sheila_schultz 02/05/2013

    Your shade gardens are/were beautiful Carol Jean, but I think you will have fun finding sun loving plants to enjoy in your sunnier spots now. There are so many wonderful opportunities out there, it will be a new gardening adventure come Spring. You also might be surprised that some of your Heuchera's and Hosta's will adapt to their sunny location. Have fun... and we definitely need more pics this summer.

  16. CJgardens 02/05/2013

    thevioletfern - My flower beds are only possible because I had a huge short needle pine and a row of 50 year old cedars at the back property line cut down in 2000. But I never anticipated being so "treeless." My maintenance chores would follow the shady places in the yard. So one of the fun parts of adapting is I was able to plant the flowering crabapple tree I had been wanting. I would like to plant at least one more tree but the right spot hasn't been discovered yet.

  17. CJgardens 02/05/2013

    wittyone - I can sympathize with the deer problem - there are many in our neighborhood also. The back fence is shared with the neighbor (I paid for materials & he kindly put it up.) My east & west neighbors put up the other fences so I've only had to close off corners. Still there was one summer they would come in through the 5 ft space between the house and garage but not for years now. Good luck with finding a fencing solution.

  18. CJgardens 02/05/2013

    cwheat000 - You shared info on Golden Fullmoon maple with me on Jan 30 and I also considered Acer Japonicum Aconitifolium but have decided I can't take the $$ gamble that either would survive. So I've been looking at Black Lace elderberry. I love the look & three season interest but am concerned that it will be too large & wild (like the native.) Does anyone have experience with it?

  19. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/05/2013

    I've had Sambucus Black Lace for several years here in zone 6. It's been a reliable performer and hasn't suckered or become multi-trunk. It responds well to cutting back, and you can stick the cuttings in the ground to root to make new plants. In full sun, mine have stayed relatively small with some pruning. I have one on the east side of my house that took off to become quite huge, but it is a good neighbor and great mixer. Michele's friend posted pictures on the blog a while back of her beautiful sambucus, too.

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  21. CJgardens 02/05/2013

    Thank you Vojt for info on Black Lace; hearing it from another garden is more reliable than from the grower who is hoping to sell many specimens. I looked back at some of your photos this morning; your front yard is spectacular but the heucheras are still my favorite.

  22. darylsavage 02/05/2013

    I agree that Meander is the nicest person on this blog. Now if my neighbor had gone out and cut down all those trees with no notice I probably would have gone all N.J. on them knowing that they were changing my garden irrevocably. I, too love clematis and planted my first integrefolia this year. Yours looks attractive, mine just looked kind of strange. I also saved that copy of FG with the best cultivars. I don't want to get anymore that get wilt which I have had repeatedly on my "General Sikora." Good luck re-doing your garden. I think your neighbor owes you a beer.

  23. tractor1 02/06/2013

    darylsavage: I don't understand being all bent out of shape if a neighbor removes some trees, they're the neighbor's trees so they have a perfect right to do as they please with them, and there must have been a good reason. Maybe they were too over grown, could be diseased and weak... probably doing their neighbor a big favor removing them before they fall on their house in a wind storm... and big old trees don't belong on a city lot anyway. And if you want shade make your own, why steal your neighbor's shade... it's not that difficult to anticipate that a neighbor might remove big old trees some time in the near future, plant your own way in advance... there are many very nice shade trees that are suitable for a city lot that grow quickly, and buy trees of a decent size, it's silly to plant seedlings if it's shade one wants in a relatively short time. And while the new trees are growing one can have shade by planting corn and sunflowers for a few years.

  24. pattyspencer 02/06/2013

    really really like what you did with the trellises - totally loved it! Really like the rest of your garden as well - that Hydrangea is gorgeous (note to self - buy one)

  25. MmeBez 02/06/2013

    CJ, I have 2 Sambucus Black Lace and love them. I'm in zone 5 and one is full sun, the other part, and both are very well behaved mid sized (6' or so) lacy shrubs. I treat them as perennials and cut them back every year. Their colour is stricking.
    I have mock-orange shrubs that flower beautifully in June, but are not too dense.
    I also use climbing roses along the chain link fence as shrubs/backdrop. John Cabot Explorer Rose will take zone 4. I had to shovel prune mine because he was too exhuberant - I have a much smaller yard than you :/ But he was disease free, gorgeous and reblooming!
    Have fun with your sunshine plans!

  26. CJgardens 02/06/2013

    MmeBez, thanks for the additional info on Black Lace. I'm definitely planning to plant one this spring. I like the idea about a climbing rose but the chain link fence is not mine; I don't want to grow anything permanent on it. I've tried morning glories but the bunnies think they are their snack. Since I have full sun now I'm going to plant more ornamental grasses that will be backlit by the setting sun.
    Tractor, I'm not upset at my neighbor for cutting the trees because they could have easily come down on my buildings. But it was difficult to imagine any new tree would've done well in the shade. My cherry tree only grew to the east in the beginning.

  27. greatdanes 02/06/2013

    Thank you Carol Jean for sharing. I especially love the heucheras too. The black of the fencing just adds something special. You're pictures show such a wonderland. I'm trying
    to garden on two acres of land in SE Nebraska for the last 20yrs. and haven't come to a finish of planting yet. At some point I hope to be satisfied so when too old, don't have to
    keep digging and transplanting.

  28. NevadaSue 02/06/2013

    Carol, I love your garden! The trellis fencing is a great idea. I can see your creative mind at work in many areas and the results are wonderful. Thanks for writing descriptions under each picture, it makes it more interesting as I view each one. Your clamatis are so beautiful and full of blooms. I like the way you put them on the fence with the trellises. I want a fence now :) As for the Black Lace Elderberry I bought one last fall and looked up info on line, the recomendation was to clip back the new buds for the first 2-3 years and not let it bloom so it gets bushy and thick. They can be pruned to the size you want and it will not harm them at all. I saw one in the yard of a nursery I go to and it was beautiful! Not too big yet at all. When I look at the pictures on line I can hardly wait for mine to get past the pruning stage and be blooming. Just google the plant name and then click on images and I click on some of the pictures as it brings up other info as well.

  29. MmeBez 02/07/2013

    CJ, that John Cabot Explorer Rose does not have to be grown as a climber and will happily sprawl as a shrub, with arching branches loaded with roses. It was about 6' all around at my house, where I had thought to be able to keep it smaller/more manageable - so much for those great intentions. Since you have the sun and the space, it could work very well for you :D

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