Garden Photo of the Day

Gardening With Controlled Chaos

This gardener describes her creation as “wild and free”

Lisa Stone shared today’s photos with us. Here’s what she had to say:

I’ve been gardening at Penner-Ash Winery in Newberg, Oregon, for about 10 years. I am a gardener and garden designer. I grow many of the plants as well as seeding areas with shirley poppies (Papaver rhoeas, annual), sunflowers (Helianthus annuus, annual), etc. There is a vegetable garden I tend for the employees and visiting chefs. I think you can see some of the raised beds in the photos.

My approach to the gardens is wild and free and hopefully a delight to the eyes! Large groupings of sunflowers are planted in every bed. The bees love the drifts of lavender (Lavandula spp., Zones 5–8), echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 4–9), and sunflowers. I call this garden controlled chaos. It is my joy.

Flowery borders overflowing with color. The vines of the vineyard are visible in the background.


Blue spires of delphinum (Delphinium elatum, Zones 2–7) and lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus, Zones 3–8) in the foreground, with the vegetable garden beyond.


Delphiniums with a view! Beautiful flowers up close, and a dramatic landscape beyond.


Not just the flowers get a great view. How wonderful would it be to relax in these wooden chairs, surrounded by great gardens with sweeping views in front of you?


A close-up of Lisa’s “controlled chaos.” Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia hirta, Zones 3–7), echinacea, sunflowers, and delphinium all mingle in wild abandon.


The loose, wild appearance of this planting is kept from looking messy by its narrow color scheme. Yellow flowers and foliage mingle with masses of soft purple flowers of lavender. This planting shows that when it comes to color in the garden, a limited palette can be the most effective.


An even closer look at the yellow-and-lavender color scheme. Yellow comes from rudbeckia and the variegated leaves of variegated yucca (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’, Zones 5–10), which contrast with the fragrant spikes of lavender.



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View Comments


  1. Maggieat11 08/09/2018

    Sounds like a "dream job"! And what a view to go with it!

  2. user-7017435 08/09/2018

    Good morning Ms. Stone, I believe your gardens are terrific & blend in with the surroundings beautifully. To quote Christopher Lloyd your gardens are "Pleasantly informal" I've tried Delphinium & Lupine in my garden but they don't like it here in central Md. Thank you & good luck, Joe

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/09/2018

    Wow, that final picture (same as the teaser opening photo) is like a mini master course in plant combo perfection. I love the way the rudbeckia's round shape contrasts so appealing with the yucca and lavender spikes and yet they all intermingle like the best of friends. And, of course, the farther away views are stunning.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/09/2018

    Love that yellow & lavender combination. Well, love it all!

  5. cheryl_c 08/09/2018

    Hi, Lisa, both the gardens and your photos of them are beautiful - I especially love the last three. Thanks for sharing, and we'd love to see more as the fall approaches.

  6. btucker9675 08/09/2018

    Love, love, love this garden!

  7. Musette1 08/16/2018

    this is stunningly beautiful! I always think I don't like the yellow/lavender color scheme, yet time and again I find my eye drawn to it! And omgosh, the view!

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