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Garden Photo of the Day

Filling an Arid Garden With Color

Gardening high and dry doesn't mean you can't have beautiful plants

Suzanne M. Stewart shared photos today from her garden:

I am submitting some photos from Glenwood Springs, which is on the western slope (best slope) of Colorado. My husband, Dave Winsor, and I live in Zone 6 at an elevation of 6000 feet in a south-facing home. Our climate is very arid, and what I finally figured out after being here for 15 years is that we needed to create pocket gardens within our yard. Like all gardens, it has been a process—trial and error, moving plants and removing plants that haven’t worked in their space.

Facing south with over 225 days of sunshine at 6000 feet means you choose perennials carefully. A variety of coneflowers (Echinacea spp., Zones 3–9), roses (Rosa hybrids), pincushion flowers (Scabiosa, Zones 3–8), penstemon, Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum × superbum, Zones 5–8), black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia spp.), and barberries (Berberis thunbergii, Zones 5–8) are staples in our front garden.




When it came time to divide some of the perennials, Dave chose to plant them on our rocky untended front and back hillsides. I thought he was crazy, but look at them now! Some of the daisies are almost my height (5 feet, 10 inches). He threw some tickweed (Coreopsis) seeds in, and they are happy year after year, too.


Black-eyed Susans


With a 3-foot overhang across the front of the house, I can have potted coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides, Zone 11 or annual) and wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina, Zone 11) on one side of the front door, with succulents and cactus on the other side.


I also have a passion for all things succulent and cacti. For the most part they are in pots that I move inside in the cold months.


And I found a place for a quiet spot on the back hillside as well. It makes me happy.



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 GPOD@finegardening.com 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. Vezpasia 08/03/2018

    Just stunning, what a beautiful garden you have created. Thank you for taking pictures of the garden itself rather than just the plants and flowers out of context, love it!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/03/2018

    I really enjoyed your photos and commentary today, Suzanne. Your flower covered hillsides are glorious and it must be downright amazing to stand in front of those humongous clumps of Shasta daisies. Congrats on finding the right formula of plants to make your gardens beautiful.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/03/2018

    I just don't know what to say. Amazingly beautiful! But those words sure seem inadequate - you have nature all around you with what you have planted. Wowzer!!!!!!

  4. Denisey 08/03/2018

    I live in zone 6 in Michigan, and I've found that the lovely new varieties of rudbeckia don't do well for me, and die off within a year. They seem to need the drier thinner soil of Colorado! Congratulations on a lovely garden in a challenging environment!

  5. BTucker9675 08/03/2018

    What a wonderful garden in a magnificent setting - thanks for sharing!

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