Garden Photo of the Day

Finding Solace in Kit’s Garden

A garden helping through a difficult time

Today we’re visiting Kit Jensen’s garden, looking back at some views from the past year.

While I’ve owned this small suburban home in northeast Ohio (South Euclid) for over 30 years, the garden has changed so much. These are views of the past year when flowers became a solace and a daily pastime.

Winter aconite in bloom in a gardenWinter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis, Zones 3–7) is always the first to bloom. It is spreading wonderfully. (Editor’s note: This is sometimes difficult to establish because the bulbs may have dried out too much. Soak the bulbs before planting, and expect that some of them won’t survive. But once winter aconite settles in, it will cheerfully spread and give incredible early color every spring.)

helleborus plant and spring bulbs in bloomA mix of hellebore (Helleborus orientalis hybrid—I think ‘Pink Fizz’ or ‘Amber Gem’, Zones 4–9) and ephemeral bulbs.

Orange oriental poppiesThese Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale, Zones 3–8) are eagerly awaited. Oriental poppies are long-lived perennials, but they go dormant each summer after flowering.

Clematis montana OdorataClematis montana ‘Odorata’(Zones 5–9) makes a wonderful display out of a chainlink fence.

Red honeysuckle flowers growing on a white fenceLonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’ (Zones 4–8), with bugleweed (Ajuga reptans, Zones 3–10) beneath. Putting in this long-blooming vine was the start of adding more verticals.

Red peonies in bloomPeonies are such a durable, long-lived perennial they can be passed down from generation to generation. These are my grandmother’s peonies (Paeonia hybrid, Zones 3–8).

red roses growing against a white garage wallThis rose helps disguise a neighboring garage.

pink mandevilla flowers in evening lightA donated mandevilla (Mandevilla hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as annual) glows in the evening sunset.

yellow clematis flowersThis Clematis tangutica (Zones 5–9) with bright yellow flowers was new this year. The seed heads stayed equally attractive through December.

view of gardens around a small lawnThe alyssum (Lobularia maritima, annual) self-seeds each year, as does the dusty miller (Jacobaea maritima, Zones 7–10 or as an annual) under the tree hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata, Zones 3–8).


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View Comments


  1. garden1953 02/01/2021

    Your gardens are just beautiful! Thank you for sharing .

  2. user-7631946 02/01/2021

    Your flowers are so lovely! They obviously are happy where they are planted. Your oriental poppies are beautiful—my mother grew them in PA when I was growing up. The flower always fascinated me as a child—the color, the feel of the petals. Thank you for sharing your garden!

  3. PattyLouise 02/01/2021

    As I am looking out at our snow it's so nice to see your beautiful flowers! Love the clematis...will have to check that out! Thanks for sharing!

  4. coastalgardener 02/01/2021

    Such a lovely garden. It's easy to see how much pleasure it brought to you during these difficult times. I especially liked that magnificent tree hydrangea and your poppies.

  5. cynthia2020 02/01/2021

    Hi, Kit. I enjoyed looking at all of your photos. Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful and careful work! I was intrigued by how you got the clematis to grow horizontally and vertically. I haven't grown it, but usually see it narrow and tall... Have never grown Ajuga reptans - I like the full mass you have! I have a few cuttings of it that I dusted with rooting hormone last month and plunked in some soil outside.

  6. blondie3 02/01/2021

    LOVE, the poppies, Love the vines, adding vines to my garden as well, Beautiful, thank you for sharing, Wonderful

  7. User avater
    simplesue 02/01/2021

    All your photos were pretty, but I just loved the last one with the sun dappled lawn, the big matureHydrangea paniculata, and I can see in the distance a bench and wind chimes...and around the boarder in the front of the photo... those pretty low growing lavender and white just gave me such a feeling of peace and summer. Such a nice garden I really like it.

  8. user-5117752 02/01/2021

    Who's counting? Spring will officially begin in 47 days! Kit, you've given us a lovely taste of what we can all look forward to in, now, the very near future. Just love those poppies and also the combination of the lonicera and ajuga. Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us hungry gardeners!

  9. btucker9675 02/01/2021

    Oh those beautiful poppies!! I haven't had any luck here in our heavy clay soil, even after amending it with garden soil and sand/gravel. I've put some in a large pot and hoping for success this year. Love your garden!

  10. carolineyoungwilliams 02/01/2021

    Kit, your garden is beautiful. I love your choice of plants, especially your Peonies and Poppies. Thank you so much for sharing.

  11. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 02/02/2021

    Thanks for posting. We have several varieties of Lonicera. After reading up on pruning them, and seeing pictures, I realized a couple of ours had massed up into what looked like a giant nest. Not the intended spread out vines we had hoped.
    Seeing your photo reminds me of what we had before we pruned them back. Better care has been taken now to train the vines and achieve more coverage & blooms. Better than the concentrated mass/nest look. You can rest assured that it will grow back - Lonicera are pretty thuggish!

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