Garden Photo of the Day

Ellie’s Favorite Plants and Garden Views

Views of a much-loved garden

Today’s photos are from Ellie Gilbert.

This is my fifth submission to Fine Gardening’s Garden Photo of the Day. (See previous posts Seasonal Views of a Special Garden in MA and Making a Garden That Takes the Drought.) I’m located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and have been gardening on our property for about 18 years, although gardening has been part of my life for over 75 years! The gardens I’ve highlighted here consist mainly of the perennials and shrubs that surround our patio and the ones I’ve planted over the years on a steep and featureless hill behind our house.

As a way to keep busy and entertained during the pandemic and these cold winter months, I’ve been going through hundreds of old photos of my garden. The ones I have chosen have not appeared in my earlier submissions but still show some of my favorite garden views and the plants I especially love.

June and early July are among my favorite times to be in my Zone 6b garden. Shrubs and perennials are bursting with blossoms, exposing an early palette of pinks and purples. As the summer progresses, these give way to more blues, yellows, and deep wine colors. Here are some examples of what my garden has to offer.

looking down at a grassy path between flower gardensThe patio garden as seen from the top of the hill.

Pink azalea blooming on a hillsideThe hill garden in early spring includes a ‘Rosebud’ azalea (Rhododendron ‘Rosebud’, Zone 5–9).

Azalea flowers with multiple petalsThis close-up shows how the blossoms on ‘Rosebud’ got their name.

green lawn between beds of purple and pink flowersThe patio and hill gardens in June highlight ‘Karmina’ geranium (Geranium × cantabrigiense ‘Karmina’, Zones 4–8) and ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint (Nepeta × faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’, Zones 3–8).

pink peonies blooming next to a wall.The garden at the rear of the garage includes ‘Dancing Butterflies’ peonies (Paeonia ‘Dancing Butterflies’, Zones 3–8), lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis, Zones 3–8), and ‘Serontina’ honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum ‘Serotina’, Zones 5–9) on the trellis.

Garden around a birdbathThis corner of the patio garden includes ‘Humei’ peony (Paeonia ‘Humei’, Zones 3–8), catmint, dwarf barberry (Berberis thunbergii, Zones 4–8), lady’s mantle, and Heuchera.

Looking down at a house and patio surrounded by gardensIn this June photo, the hill garden in the foreground shows ‘Goldflame’ spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Goldflame’, Zones 3–8), with ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony and ‘Blue Hill’ salvia (Salvia sylvestris ‘Blue Hill’, Zones 4–9) highlighting the patio garden.

Comtesse de Bouchaud clematis‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’ clematis (Clematis ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’, Zones 4–9) climbs up the birdhouse.

a shady garden with a bench in the backgroundOn a misty day, here is the hill garden showing ‘Summer Wine’ daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Summer Wine’, Zones 4–11), ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’, Zones 5–9), and ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’ clematis.

White hydrangea bloomingLooking from the southwest, the hill garden shows ‘Lanarth White’ lacecap hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lanarth White’, Zones 5–9) and AstilbeDeutschland’ (Zones 4–9).

stone steps up a hill surrounded by perennialsStone steps leading up the hill garden are edged with Spirea ‘Goldflame’, hostas, ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’, Zones 3–9), and boxwood (Buxus sp., Zones 5–9).


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

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View Comments


  1. garden1953 02/02/2021

    Just gorgeous!

  2. blondie3 02/02/2021

    WOW, love it, very Lush. love the hill steps, the grassy path, the bench with the bird house, THE Peony is beautiful, your whole place is lovely, thanks for sharing.

  3. PattyLouise 02/02/2021

    You have created your own paradise! Beautiful flower beds!

  4. User avater
    user-7007816 02/02/2021

    What a beautiful setting. Thank you for sharing.

  5. daisy8 02/02/2021

    Love your misty day photo with the blue hydrangea. I’m always trying to make my hydrangeas blue. The steps leading up the hill are lovely. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Rebeccazone7 02/02/2021

    In my younger days, I would have loved to have a slope to tackle. Now that I'm older it's ok to enjoy vicariously. You've done such a beautiful job, but I can't imagine creating this neatness on my own. I love the color of the day lilies.

  7. alicefleurkens 02/02/2021

    Beauticul job. You must be working a lot to keep everything so neatly edged. Lovely gardens. Alice

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    cynthia2020 02/02/2021

    Ellie - your garden design is absolutely gorgeous!

  9. corado 02/02/2021

    Your garden is beautiful! How do you keep such a neat edge to the beds? That is always one of my challenges.

    1. coastalgardener 02/02/2021

      I edge all of the gardens early in spring and then apply a layer of mulch. It's really just a matter of keeping an eye out for any grass encroachment and then digging it out.

  10. User avater
    bdowen 02/02/2021

    Welcome inspiration for a snowy day. What a lush, exuberant garden! Thank you for letting us visit via your photos.

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    treasuresmom 02/02/2021

    Ellie, this is all just totally astounding. I had to go back & look at your other submissions. Lovely!!

  12. User avater
    simplesue 02/02/2021

    Morning coffee and a nice virtual walk through a great garden!
    Love those step going up the hill and that pink clematis vine located on the birdhouse post!
    I've never seen grass look so pretty as going through your perennial beds near the patio and on the hills side...graceful and relaxing to see.
    I'd like to be on your patio right now LOL!

  13. btucker9675 02/02/2021

    Your garden is stunningly beautiful. Just what I needed on the 4th dreary cold day of rain here! Thank you for sharing!

  14. user-7020748 02/02/2021

    Echo the comments above. Truly a living work of art. Loved seeing all the garden views. It also appears your neighbours are gardeners too and that your gardens flow into one wonderful!

  15. User avater
    johninsancarlos 02/02/2021

    Your garden is just dazzling - lush and ever so perfectly tended. It's very inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Maggieat11 02/02/2021

    So lovely. Have you done any garden tours? Looks like a wonderful place to host a wedding, too. Thanks for sharing. I love it.

  17. [email protected] 02/02/2021

    I really enjoyed seeing your garden. I am on the opposite coast from you, but have many of the same plants! My beds are not nearly as well-maintained as yours, though. Looking forward to nicer weather, so I can get out and emulate you!

  18. user-5117752 02/03/2021

    That's what I call spirit lifting on this cold winter's day!!! Simply stunning!!!

  19. sumhillgardener 02/04/2021

    Fabulous garden ! A gardener after my own heart. Gracious curves and lovely repetition of blues and many of my favorite plants. Your color choices are mine also : blues, pinks, shades of green. Great texture and combinations. Well done !!!!

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