Garden Photo of the Day

Feeding Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and the Soul, Part 2

Paradise for gardener and pollinator alike

We’re back for another day in Lila Johnson’s garden north of Seattle.

I’ve been a gardener for 52 years, but I just plant, prune, deadhead flowers, fertilize and water, and accept whatever happens, learning a bit as I go.

I grew up loving flowers, mostly annuals, alongside my mom: sweet peas, geraniums, tuberous begonias, fuchsias, petunias, impatiens, and a wonderful Jasmine officinale that wasn’t supposed to grow here in our climate. My mom was given a hosta from a new neighbor who brought it with her from Minnesota, so I had an early exposure to hostas even though they are not an annual. However, it took me a while to like their spiky flowers. My mom would be amazed at all the hosta varieties available today.

So truthfully I am a lover of flowers, having planted for summer color most of those 52 years. Since joining my local garden club almost 10 years ago, I have learned to embrace perennials—hence the butterfly/bee garden with no use of chemicals.

This is heaven for any butterfly or bee in the neighborhood! Yellow yarrow (Achillea sp., Zones 4–8) is backed by purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9) and other favorite perennials for pollinators.

And the butterflies are happy to visit! Here a swallowtail takes a sip from an agastache (probably Agastache foeniculum, Zones 4–11).

Of common jasmine (Jasmine officinale, Zones 7–10), Lila says, “It reminds me of summer evenings, and as a young girl I would tuck a sprig of jasmine in my hair. Now on a warm summer evening in our backyard, the intoxicating fragrance of our jasmine is quite delightful.”

Close-up of the jasmine flowers. You can almost smell them through the screen.

Speaking of fragrance—Oriental lilies (Lilium ‘Stargazer’, Zones 3–8)!

And one last view of this beautiful garden. Thanks for letting us visit, Lila!


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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.


View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/02/2019

    Good morning, Lila. What a soul soothing cyber walk about through some of the butterfly friendly parts of your garden. I can well imagine that the word travels fast among the delicate winged visitors in your neighborhood that the best meal is being offered up at Lila's...fine dining with a beautiful ambiance...5 stars! Your jasmine vine is amazing and, just curious, what is growing on the other side of the trellis?

    1. JohnsonofMillCreek 01/02/2019

      It's a purple Clematis, not certain of the variety however. I have several clematis throughout our garden--all purple with large blossoms. In my shady garden, I try to keep all blossoms white and purple. I love the white in particular as it creates a calm, serene area in our yard--next to the sound of the water feature. And lots of color elsewhere as I am very fond of hot PINK! :) Thanks for asking.

  2. cheryl_c 01/02/2019

    The colors in your garden are so bright and beautiful. Your butterfly garden must look like a nutritional smorgasbord to all your feathered and winged friends. Your perennials would make your mama proud. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Chris_N 01/02/2019

    What a wonderful garden to start the new year with. I loved the photos both yesterday and today. Today's top photo with the yarrow, coneflower, monarda and liatris could have been taken in Wisconsin. The palm tree yesterday and jasmine today - definitely not Wisconsin. Thanks for sharing!

  4. carolineyoungwilliams 01/03/2019

    Hello Lila, I just want to thank you for sharing such a beautiful garden. I am in awe of your color combinations. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a garden full of bold bright colors. I know the birds, butterflies and all of the other pollinators look forward to spending time in your yard. Thank you for lifting my spirit :-)...Our southern days have had an abundance of rain so I look forward to others sharing their gardens. Thank you.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest