Garden Photo of the Day

Fall in North Carolina

Blooms at the end of the season

Today we’re visiting with Robin Sams, who has been gardening on this property in northeastern North Carolina for 10 years.

CleomeI planted these cleomes (Cleome hassleriana, annual) and zinnias (Zinnia elegans, annual) from seed after my many daffodils finished dying back. I hope they reseed next year. (Note: To encourage annuals to self-sow, limit the amount of mulch you use in areas where you’d like them to seed until the seedlings are up and growing.)

Swamp sunflowerA friend gave me this swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius, Zones 5–9), a native perennial.

water gardenNative water lilies (Nymphaea odorata, Zones 4–11) and Siberian iris (Iris sibirica hybrid, Zones 3–8). I planted the water lilies myself.

Encore azaleasEncore azaleas (Rhododendron hybrid, Encore group, Zones 7–10) blooming again in the fall.

garden under pine treesOld pines, nandina (Nandina domestica, Zones 6–9), hydrangeas, azaleas, and more.

WinterberryWinterberry (Ilex verticillata, Zones 3–9) loaded with red berries. (Note: This native holly is deciduous, so the leaves drop off to showcase the berries even more dramatically through the winter.)

garden by waterSwamp sunflower, Mexican heather (Salvia leucantha, Zones 7–10), gaura (Gaura lindheimeri, Zones 5–9), and pansies (Viola × wittrockiana, cool-season annual).

Mexican heatherMexican heather contrasts nicely with tall swamp sunflowers.

tea rose Full SailThe white hybrid tea rose ‘Full Sail’ and others in shades of pink.


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View Comments


  1. bsavage 11/12/2020

    Very beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  2. sandyprowse 11/12/2020

    What a splendid garden you have to be so proud of. It must be breathtaking in person. I am trying Cleome seeds for the first time and fingers crossed mine will bloom. The plants are hard to find in the nurseries here in Canada. A wonderful combination you have put together, Zinnias and Cleome. Well done!

  3. sohappygardening 11/12/2020

    The must keep you very busy. It is apparent that you love to garden. Kudos. Keep up the good work it shows in your gardens.

  4. garden1953 11/12/2020

    Gorgeous gardens and setting!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/12/2020

    Wow, amazing!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 11/12/2020

    I love the way your house sits so nicely on your property and in the surrounding garden, shown in the photo with pretty white arbor!
    Beautiful flower beds, Lilly Pad pond and views!
    I've enjoyed your post!

  7. btucker9675 11/12/2020

    Stunning garden!

  8. colleenak 11/12/2020

    Hi Robin!
    Do you live on Lake Norman? We have dear friends there and we love to visit them - it's a beautiful setting.
    I don't "do" roses anymore (even though I live in the City of Roses - Portland, OR!) but if I did, I would definitely grow a Full Sail. Beautiful rose and a lovely scent.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely garden on the lake!

  9. Maggieat11 11/12/2020

    Beautiful gardens and views! Would love to visit in person.
    More photos, please!😁😉

  10. carolineyoungwilliams 11/16/2020

    Robin, your garden is beautiful. I especially enjoyed your trellis area, the water area and your color combinations. Thank you so much for sharing.

  11. user-5117752 11/16/2020

    Love your gardens and photos! And, I too, love cleomes. Bought some years ago and have never had to buy them again. Just let those seed pods open and you'll have cleomes forever! I must admit, though, I'm having a harder time with the white ones rather than the pink or lavender. Such is gardening!

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