Garden Photo of the Day

Gardens on Steps and Stairs, Part 2

More stairway views from around the world

Today we’re returning for more of Patty Clark’s photos of stairs and steps she’s photographed in gardens around Europe. There is something so inviting about a set of stairs; they beckon and invite us to climb up and discover something new. They’re also a great place to display plants, as the different levels allow shorter plants to still be visible even if placed behind other plants. I think we can all get ideas from these pictures we can use in our own gardens, because whether you garden on acres and acres or just have a small townhouse, you probably have a few steps you can put some pots on to create a little garden.

An abundance of succulent plants flank stairs in Minack Gardens in Cornwall, England. Succulents can be a great choice for containers on steps because, unlike a pot of petunias, they will keep looking great even if you don’t have time to water them regularly.

Here is another stairway in Minack Gardens, with succulent plants growing above, below, and tumbling down the wall. Just because a garden uses waterwise plants such as succulents doesn’t mean it can’t be lush, full, and beautiful.

A few simple steps lead to a front door in Antibes, France, framed by blooming bougainvillea. For those of us in cold climates where bougainvillea can’t be grown, clematis, roses, or even an annual vine like morning glory could create the same look.

Steps in Roussillon, France. OK, so most of us can’t recreate this look at home, but how incredibly beautiful is that?

Two steps in Kent, England, are decorated with beautiful tile work and framed by hedges and a climbing rose. This scene is perhaps not as dramatic as that last picture of steps in Roussillon, France, but what a warm welcome this would be to come home to every day.

Movable steps in Kent, England, help a gardener get the pruning done. Given how much time we spend working in the garden, it might be worth getting a beautiful ladder and wheelbarrow like these to accent the garden when in use.

Some steps with a view in Crail, Scotland

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View Comments


  1. nwphillygardener 01/16/2019

    Patty, Are those first two images both part of the same stair sequence? The exuberance of those succulent plantings conveys such joy that I can only imagine feel uplifted even if descending. Could anyone get from down low to on high without being impacted by that party or color and texture?

    1. Clarkpark 01/16/2019

      Sorry...I can’t remember if my first two photos are from the same stair sequence. Yes, it was a spectacular experience descending and ascending the stairs!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/16/2019

    Such magical scenes.

  3. cheryl_c 01/16/2019

    Thank you again for transporting us to far away places to see the artistry of gardeners in the British Isle and Europe. What a fabulous way to start the day!

  4. Maggieat11 01/16/2019

    I have enjoyed these photos very much! Thanks so much for sharing. I wish I had enough property... and hardscape! to apply some of these ideas to enjoy in my own gardens.....

  5. btucker9675 01/16/2019

    Wonderful photos - thank you so much for sharing. I remember so clearly the beautiful gardens, especially the "secret" courtyard gardens in Florence, Siena, and San Gimignano in Italy. Oh, and Athens, Greece and the island of Hydra where we spent what I call a "perfect day!"

  6. Clarkpark 01/16/2019

    I want to thank Joseph, as well as the other Fine Gardening editors for their inspiring and informative commentary. The GPOD community appreciates you! Thanks, Patty

  7. Cenepk10 01/16/2019

    This was an enjoyable 2 day post. The movable stairs & wheelbarrow pic was intriguing! You know - after my 1992 - 2001 garden I swore off boxwoods. I wasn’t rich & thought a fancy pants garden full of those relentless suckers would fill the bill. Had I been bright enough to engineer smart ways to keep them trimmed to perfection..... hmmm might not have replaced all boxwood with mondo grass in my current garden ... HAH ! True story.

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    BenjaminShaw 01/17/2019

    It's wonderful!

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