Garden Photo of the Day

Fall in a Boston Garden

Today we’re visiting Barbara Cain’s beautiful garden on the South Shore of Boston. We’ve visited her garden before, so you can see how it looks in the spring and high summer.

Here are photos of the garden as it slips into its autumn colors.

harlequin glorybowerSomewhere between a large shrub and a small tree, the harlequin glorybower (Clerodendrum trichotomum, Zones 7–10) produces fragrant white flowers in summer that are followed by these stunningly colored fruits. The leaves, if crushed, have an unusual smell that gives this plant the other common name of “peanut butter tree.”

frog in waterFrogs, toads, and other amphibians are notoriously sensitive to chemical pollution, so not only are they welcome garden visitors for their habit of gobbling up slugs and other pests, but they are also a sign that the garden is a welcome habitat for wildlife.

Chocolate eupatoriumChocolate eupatorium (Ageratinua altissima ‘Chocolate’, Zones 4–8) has dark purplish foliage all summer and then explodes into fluffy white flowers at the end of the season.

salvia Wendy’s WishThe spectacular hybrid salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ (Zones 9–11 or as annual) is loaded down with blooms beloved by hummingbirds.

pink dahliasDahlias (Dahlia variabilis, Zones 8–10 or as tender bulbs) can bloom most of the summer but always seem to peak right at the end.

tall verbenaThe tiny flowers of tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis, Zones 7–11 or as an annual) are produced in big masses all summer long, and even where they can’t survive the winter, they tend to self-seed to come back year after year.

Staghorn sumacStaghorn sumac (Rhus typhina, Zones 3–8) shifts into autumn colors.

LantanaLantana (Lantana camara, Zones 8–11, but hardiness varies by cultivar; often grown as an annual), loaded down with flowers, is always a hit with butterflies and other pollinators.


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!

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View Comments


  1. Rebeccazone7 10/28/2020

    Don't know how I've missed this particular verbena, but I love it and it will definitely be part of next years additions. I also love the has also been added to my list. Thank you for giving me beauty to focus on amid the newest drama of my convoluted family. You have earned gold stars in abundance.

    1. User avater
      cynthia2020 10/28/2020

      Rebecca - take good care of yourself. Totally agree that gardening is so absorbing and immerses one in the task at hand...

      I tried the verbena and it was sturdy and airy for me - so an all around good 'un.

  2. Maggieat11 10/28/2020

    Great photo of the frog!
    That glorybower is interesting, I'd not seen that before. And I too, must add the tall verbena next year! Thanks for sharing!

    1. User avater
      cynthia2020 10/28/2020

      Loved the photo of the frog and was intrigued by the glorybower, too!

  3. alicefleurkens 10/28/2020

    hi Barbara. How interesting, pretty sure we cant have this Gloryflower. It is beautiful. I have also never seen this tall Verbena before and hope to find some. Alice

  4. User avater
    simplesue 10/28/2020

    Beautiful garden photography! So nice to see the seasons change in your garden, and learn how the Verbena reseeds it's self. All the frogs in my garden are only cement statues- how lucky you are to have a real frog living in your garden.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. cheryl_c 10/28/2020

    My goodness - chocolate and peanut butter in the same garden - sounds like a favorite Halloween candy treat! Congrats on having a live frog - I love my leopard frogs. For those wanting to try the verbena - my brother has really good luck with it seeding into his gravel paths, so it apparently loves good drainage.

  6. User avater
    cynthia2020 10/28/2020

    Barbara - thank you sharing your lovely garden. Seeing the sumac reminded me of seeing it while hiking with my dad and siblings in downstate NY in the '70s. That will be a conversation starter with him (over the phone). I like your Wendy salvia - have bookmarked a source for that for next year.

  7. fromvirginia 10/28/2020

    Incredible picture of the glory flower. I have not had much luck having verbena bonariensis overwinter for me in zone 7 (Northern Virginia). I have resorted to treating it as an annual. Is there anything special I could do over the winter?

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