Garden Photo of the Day

Enjoying a Stellar Spring in Jeff’s Garden

Revisiting an old GPOD friend

It has been a while since Jeff Calton has shared his Kingsport, Tennessee, garden with us (see some of his previous GPOD posts here and here), but he’s been enjoying a stellar spring in the garden and sent in some photos for us all to enjoy.

Prunus serrulata ‘Kanzan’New leaves just beginning to unfold on the trees create a green haze, with the popular double-flowered cherry Prunus serrulata ‘Kanzan’ (Zones 5–9) putting on its over-the-top pink show in the middle.

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ (Zones 4–9) makes a carpet of dark brownish-green foliage throughout the year, but in spring it tops it all off with abundant blue flowers. Beyond it you can see the garden just beginning to wake up.

Absolutely spectacular heucheras (coral bells, Zones 4–9) show off between masses of hens and chicks (Sempervivium, Zones 4–9).

Wide view of the garden, with spring in all its magical shades of fresh green.

giant YuccaAn enormous Yucca makes a dramatic statement in the garden. Jeff has cut back the fading lower leaves, the better to display the dramatic trunk this specimen has formed.

bearded irisesThere is nothing like good old-fashioned bearded irises (Iris germanica, Zones 3–9). Newer iris hybrids boast elaborately ruffled petals and colors, but older varieties like this have a simple elegance and always seem to be the most vigorous; they are often fragrant as well.

Japanese maplesTwo Japanese maples (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) frame a beautiful ceramic urn.


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View Comments


  1. nwphillygardener 04/23/2020

    Great photos of a mature garden, Jeff. Do you happen to recall which Heuchera cultivar you have? Is it 'Georgia Peach'? It sure is performing wonderfully. I wish all the cultivars rebounded from winter so vibrantly.

    1. user-1020932 04/23/2020

      This is one of the Carnival series,,,,,,,,,,,,,Watermelon

  2. karen49 04/23/2020

    Beautiful spring garden! Thanks for sharing. Nothing like this in MN yet.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/23/2020

    All so very, very lovely. I wish I had as much luck with irises as you seem to.

    1. User avater
      treasuresmom 04/23/2020

      I need to add -- wonderful to see you back.

    2. user-1020932 04/23/2020

      I don't do anything to the iris, they are along an asphalt driveway

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/23/2020

    All I need to see is "Jeff's Garden" and I start smiling...I know I'm in for a treat. I'm quite captivated by your combo of the hens and chicks being bookended by those amazing cinnamon colored heucheras. I, too, would love to know which variety the coral bells are since my success with them can be hit or miss. And that yucca is sooo has quite a commanding presence.

    1. user-1020932 04/23/2020

      The Carnival series of Heuchera perform better for me than any others and don't seem to "play out" as quickly. I haven't had to chop these up and start over and this is probably 4 years in ground

  5. fromvirginia 04/23/2020

    Great to see your garden again Jeff! Also took the opportunity to go back and look at the previous photos. Wonderful memories. I am envious that so many things are so full already. Here in zone 7, my heucheras that didn’t give up the ghost or heave are slowly emerging. Do you take special measures to protect that magnificent yucca over the winter?

    1. user-1020932 04/23/2020

      no, i don't do anything to protect it. it had a lot of old, dying ratty leaves and i trimmed them off so now I'm rocking the pineapple look

  6. User avater
    simplesue 04/23/2020

    Love the pruning on the Yucca, I had no idea how amazing they could look- such a focal point, like living sculpture.
    Love the iris photo, and the good reminder to enjoy old varieties, tried and true with fragrance!

  7. Chris_N 04/23/2020

    Kind of a gloomy day here in Wisconsin. Saw your name and I knew it would brighten up. In your overall shot, I thought that was a giant squirrel statue part hidden by a bush! Looking closer, I think it's an Assyrian winged lion. Thank goodness. Guess I'm seeing squirrels everywhere since they ate almost all of the 1300 tulips I put in last fall! Aside from that scare, your photos have made my day.

  8. btucker9675 04/23/2020

    What a beautiful garden and the pots are lovely additions - like jewelry on an already pretty lady!

  9. sheila_schultz 04/23/2020

    Good morning, Jeff! What a delightful treat to see your gardens in their Spring glory. You have always been a leader when it comes to creating interesting combos, I think you are going to hold on to your crown. You've got some very cool pots, too! Don't work too hard today!!!

  10. NWAgardener 04/23/2020

    Michaele - I have quite a few varieties of heuchera in my gardens and I believe this one is 'Georgia Peach'. It's lovely and has performed well for me.

    1. user-1020932 04/23/2020

      this one is Carnival Watermelon

  11. Cenepk10 04/23/2020

    Oh Jeff !!!!! I can never get enough of your garden. It’s the Louvre of Gardens - your collection & curation is masterful. Thank you so much for sharing these long views, which for me, gives perspective. I also enjoy your instagram posts as well. Fabulous Spring there !!!!

  12. Maggieat11 04/23/2020

    Ah! Delighted to see your gardens again, Jeff! I haven't tried the Watermelon Heuchera, I do have several Georgia
    Peach that have done very well here in NY Z5. Love your photos and combos. And those 2 Japanese Maples are so lovely....and the neighboring pot is a great accent! Hope to see more of your garden throughout the season. Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. janeeliz 04/23/2020

    Great to see your gardens again, Jeff! Lush and lovely.... interesting and fun! The color and light on the heuchera are intensely beautiful. Love what you did to your yucca. It is always exciting to see your garden.

  14. CarolynBH 04/24/2020

    I'm a new user of the Fine Gardening site here, and I have loved looking with envy at all these photos! I am in southern Indiana (almost south of the border--with Kentucky), and we have had a wonderful spring, with gradual warming, no late killing freezes, and good rain. I live in a subdivision called Willow Creek, for the large number of willow trees, but we also have many, many colorful spring-flowering trees. They have been very beautiful. I'm looking forward to the wisdom of all you gardeners, although I'm 69 and have been gardening on some scale since I was in my 20s. We have a lot of shade, so I'm looking for ideas of how best to use that. Thank you for allowing us to see your beautiful gardens.

  15. redytowear 04/28/2020

    Your gardens are so beautiful! Love the large pots mixed in...

  16. Meelianthus 04/28/2020

    Hi Jeff ~ guess I missed the party here as I don't check GPOD every day. I always love your park-like grounds and all of your innovative gardening ideas. Everything looks beautiful and healthy and the wider view of your gardens are certainly inviting a 'stroll' thru a wonderland. You have been hard at work and it's just georgeous. Thanks again ;)

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