Garden Photo of the Day

Gardening in Pennsylvania

A beautiful space that was years in the making

stone front steps with lots of plants on both sides

Today Bob and Linda Vivian are sharing their Pennsylvania garden with us.

There’s plenty of garden here to keep Linda and me busy. We don’t mind it at all. It’s a labor of love. I think it keeps us young even in our “golden” years. It gets us up each morning.

small patio seating area in the gardenA morning’s coffee pause before heading out to the garden beyond. That small triangle at the “Y” of the paths is the site of my new Japanese-style garden, completed last fall. Pictures of that garden will soon follow.

large deep pink peony flowersThis is PaeoniaMorning Lilac’ (Zones 3–9), one of the Itoh hybrid peonies. Itohs give you the beauty of herbaceous peonies and the strong stems and bloom size of tree peonies. Just cut them to the ground in fall and they’ll be back late next May.

garden bench in a shady spot in the gardenThis is the coolest spot in the garden, even on a hot August afternoon. Would that I could have more time to pause here.

large hosta with lime green variegationThis hosta is electric even after sundown. It made me cringe to dig it up and divide it, but it is doing fine in its new locations.

stone path through the garden surrounded by shrubs and perennialsHere is a short passage between the front entry walk and the perennial garden in back. Itoh peonies and roses, not yet in bloom, reside there.

grass path with garden beds on both sides full of trees and shrubsThis is the scene that made me first realize, years ago, that I actually had a garden. Along with the boxwoods (Buxus, Zones 5–9), there is my very favorite tree on the immediate right, the fringe tree (Chionanathus virginicus, Zones 3–9). To the back is a kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa, Zones 5–8), and a variegated Viburnum to the left.

stone front steps with lots of plants on both sidesThe front walk was years in the making. The stepping stones were a major task. The plantings on either side are a jungle.


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View Comments


  1. garden1953 04/04/2022

    Awesome garden! Very beautiful.

  2. starvnmarvn 04/04/2022

    Beautiful gardens Bob & Linda! Love the plant material & fabulous stonework. A beautiful & just society exists only in a garden. The delicate are nourished, the strong given space, the deadwood pruned away, & the weeds tilled under. Maybe that's why God created a garden before anything else. Yours is a terrific example.

  3. User avater
    user-7007816 04/04/2022

    Congratulations on the beautiful set of gardens you have created. The colors and textures all work.

  4. gardendevas 04/04/2022

    Gorgeous garden! Love the lush layering, enticing paths, artful stonework and beautiful plants.

  5. fromvirginia 04/04/2022

    Lovely! Thanks for sharing. I love the lush, layered plantings and the varied stonework. What is the electric lime shrub on the right in the sixth picture?

    1. GrammyGranddad 04/04/2022

      Thank you, all, for your kind comments. It warms my heart to share the garden with you.
      Joycelaubach, I have 10,000 lf of deer fence around the cultivated part of the yard. Without it, the garden would not exist.
      fromvirginia, that shrub is a deutzia of some kind. Sorry I can't be more specific. I've had it a long time.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/04/2022

    Stupendous! I would love to take a cup of coffee & sit on the bench in the shade of the tree. Love it all!

  7. shegardens 04/04/2022


  8. Joycelaubach 04/04/2022

    Awesome, stupendous, lovely, gorgeous - yes, all those words, plus magnificent, eye-popping, etc., etc.!! I now garden in SW Florida, but this takes me back to my Wayne, PA garden outside Philadelphia. Judging by the Hosta, I guess you don't have the deer scourge I faced. And yes, the Fringe Tree, what a wonderful tree, not used nearly enough. I will gaze at these pictures as I meditate today. Thanks for sharing.

  9. wadeck82 04/04/2022

    Such a beautiful peaceful garden. Well done!!

  10. annek 04/04/2022

    Truly, a beautiful design, beautiful plantings and wonderful photos. I want to walk down each path to see what glories lie beyond

  11. User avater
    simplesue 04/04/2022

    I totally understand what you mean when you wrote: "the scene that made me first realize, years ago, that I actually had a garden", that feeling when you see your garden vision has happened slowly over time!
    I just love what you've created here in your's a masterpiece of work.

  12. wildthyme 04/04/2022

    Beautiful garden, in the truest meaning of the word.

  13. sheila_schultz 04/04/2022

    Every single view of your gardens equals perfection. Wow!

  14. ashntulasgarden 04/04/2022

    Absolutely terrific garden! Any recollection of the hosta’s name?

    1. madcosta_7 05/24/2022

      I was hoping to find out from these gardeners also. It looks like "Autumn Frost".

  15. bdowen 04/04/2022

    I also would love to know more about that hosta. Such beautiful paths and sitting areas- so welcoming.

  16. btucker9675 04/04/2022

    Marvelous... every single square foot is perfection. Kudos to you both for every minute of hard work I know from experience went into this Eden. Thank you for sharing!

  17. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 04/05/2022

    Thank you for sharing your garden spaces! Lovely photos of years of hard work - enjoy!

  18. User avater
    musabasjoosue 04/05/2022

    What a fabulous use of plant textures and colors accenting by stonework and meandering paths!

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