Garden Photo of the Day

Florida Garden Heritage in New England

Gardening with all the colors of the rainbow

Welcome to Nancy Henry’s garden!

I’m excited to share my garden with you. I live in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and have owned this home for only three years. My largest garden bed is where an aboveground pool used to be. I come from a family of passionate gardeners; my Florida grandmother developed new varieties of camellias and daylilies. She had two acres of camellias, and my siblings, cousins, and I remember what we jokingly call “family fertilizing parties,” during which we wandered her jungly garden shaking fertilizer out of old coffee cans.

My mother was the “Queen of Free” and could start anything from a cutting. She was never without her scissors and could clip very discreetly!

When I moved to New England 35 years ago, I had the pleasure of encountering four distinct seasons, many new plants, and a different gardening environment from my native Florida. As you can see, I have embraced it! My gardens are a little bit chaotic, but I love them like that. At times I will blend similar colors, like the blue fescue (Festuca glauca, Zones 4–9), blue perennial geranium, and lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina, Zones 4–8); in other spaces, it’s a “box of crayons,” with mixed poppy seeds tossed around for midsummer surprises.

I seed my deck planters with mixed varieties of nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus, annual). In my shade border, I have tried to create a dense tapestry of foxglove (Digitalis purpurea, Zones 4–8), columbine (Aquilegia sp.), sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum, Zones 3–8), painter’s palette (Persicaria virginiana, Zones 4–8), ferns, and oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5–9).

Similar-colored plants work together in shades of silver and blue.

Lime green ‘Gatsby Moon’ oakleaf hydrangea flowers are set in a collection of shade-loving perennials.

Cheery mixed nasturtiums line the deck railing.

Foxgloves stand tall over a rich tapestry of shade-loving perennials.

A mixture of leaf sizes, textures, and shades of green creates a lot of interest in the shade garden.

A variegated yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’, Zones 4–10) in full flower dominates this flower bed.

Using all the colors in the crayon box creates a joyous and bountiful garden display.


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View Comments


  1. mainer59 08/01/2019

    Nice garden, but where are your grandmother's daylilies!! I expect she was the hybridizer of Siloam Ury Winniford and Siloam Little Girl, two nice small ones that I grow. I'll bet your nasturtiums dangle down and create a riot of color as the season progresses.

  2. Musette1 08/01/2019

    this is utterly charming! I love the nasturtiums on the deck rail - I hope you get scores of hummingbirds molesting them!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/01/2019

    Love those nasturtiums. And what a sweet memory you have of your grandmother.

  4. btucker9675 08/01/2019

    What a lovely story and a lovely box of crayons garden!

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/01/2019

    Hi, Nancy, I enjoyed your delightful and entertaining commentary and your photos certainly brought your 'box of crayons' comparison to life. You must be an enviably energetic person to keep up with watering all your deck planters. Everything looks great.

  6. Cenepk10 08/01/2019

    Love it !!!! Very pretty & a great heritage... Fla to Mass ? Snow ? Ugh.....

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