Garden Photo of the Day

Foundation plantings and beyond

Lyle Johnson's garden is beautiful, and a good reminder that sun and shade can come and go.

"I am enclosing some photos of my garden in Galesburg, IL.  I began with a foundation planting in 1987 and as the years went by I worked my way around the house and into the back yard.  The front yard has always been full sun, but the rear was mostly shade when I started.  My neighbor to the west had a gigantic Elm that gave me lots of afternoon shade and I had a large Walnut and a Silver Maple.  But over the years I had to adjust from shade to sun because the Elm and Silver Maple have had to be removed.  I still have quite a bit of shade from the Walnut and a Cockspur Hawthorn near my patio and a Honey Locust on the south side of the house."

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  1. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/07/2015

    Your nice beds and lawn shapes really compliment your house. I love your hosta collection by the nice brick patio. I sympathize with the loss of the trees and the need to adjust and rearrange! It is both frustrating and a great opportunity!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/07/2015

    It's always so initially traumatic to lose a large shade giving tree but it looks like you have helped your garden recover successfully, Lyle. So nice that you have been able to keep your handsome hosta and fern groupings. What is the fine leafed chartreusy colored plant that shows up so visibly in the last picture?

    1. pegmccann 08/07/2015

      I have the same question -- one of the little spireas, maybe, or an amsonia if it's late fall? But the hosta are blooming so probably not that late yet. I love the curved beds and the use of grasses as specimen plants.

    2. NCYarden 08/07/2015

      My guess would be spirea thunbergii 'ogon'.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 08/07/2015

        David, doing a google search on your suggestion of that particular spirea certainly leads me to think that you are right in your identification. Do you have it in your garden? Looks like it has great orangy fall color.

        1. Clarkpark 08/07/2015

          I have several 'Ogon' Spireas and they stay chartreuse all year with no fall color. They like sun but now have burned tips due to the extreme heat we have been having in the PNW. ?

        2. NCYarden 08/07/2015

          I do not have this. But would love one in my garden. But I have yet to see this particular cultivar at any of the local nurseries. It could still happen though.

      2. user-7007755 08/09/2015

        Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon' is right. I mulch it completely with shredded leaves during the winter. You don't see many of them survive in this area.

  3. User avater
    HelloFromMD 08/07/2015

    Hi Lyle, you have a beautiful stump in pic #2. Gardening opportunity for your gorgeous and beautifully maintained gardens!!!. If you haven't planted a vine at the base already consider the silver flushed vine below (also a white one)
    Schizophragma Roseum

  4. greengenes 08/07/2015

    Good morning Lyle and all of us fellow gardeners! These are great pictures of your gardens. Its always hard when you lose or have to remove any trees that has provided shade. But change is good. There are so many plant choices out there and its all a part of gardening. You have done a great job and it all looks wonderful! I really like you bit of brick work too! Thanks for sharing with us, Lyle!

  5. digginWA 08/07/2015

    What a great mix of textures and the many shades of green ... and also a very nice scale to things. I spent a lot of time in the 'burg when my daughter was at Knox College. It's an interesting place full of history.

  6. NCYarden 08/07/2015

    I am loving those hostas (I'm envious) along with the ferns. Am I the only one who suffers with out of control voles? You have a great mix of trees shrubs and perennials...all working so well together. Way to recover too with the loss of such big trees. Did you lose many under plantings because of it, or did have to move them, or did some just persevere and adjust to the new conditions? Thanks for sharing.

  7. sheila_schultz 08/07/2015

    Gardening does keep us flexible in so many ways, doesn't it? From your photos, you have faced going from shade to sun in a stellar fashion... The sweeping movement of your garden beds is very pleasing to the eye. You were definitely up to the challenge of change!

  8. GrannyCC 08/07/2015

    Wonderful foundation plantings. It is hard in a garden just when you think the exposure is right a tree has to come down. Oh well that is what keeps us going, the ever changing landscape.

  9. tinaschnakebrunk 08/07/2015

    Your garden is beautiful, I love the clean lines and organization.

  10. foxglove12 08/07/2015

    Beautiful with a perfect eye for design.

  11. user-7007076 08/08/2015

    Great job designing your garden beds and composition of your entire yard. I appreciate its informal and inviting design that's well matched to your home.

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