Garden Photo of the Day

Georgia Perennials Reward in Many Ways

By Kim Charles

Cone flower with a welcomed friend

Katie Usher from Milton, Georgia has taken on an established garden with much success!

"My husband and I moved into our house a little over a year ago and were blessed with some beautiful perennials that were planted by the former owners. We really did not have the greenest of thumbs so we have relied on Fine Gardening and other online resources to learn the proper care for our new plant friends. 

Our favorites are the bearded irises and the cone flowers.  The irises are one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring and are tall and showy.  My husband put the outdoor lighting around them this spring and they almost look unreal at night with the beautiful light shining on them. We get the cone flowers in late spring and throughout the summer.  Butterflies, huge bumblebees, and hummingbirds enjoy these all summer long; it looks like a swarm of beautiful flying creatures."

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Azaela in bloom

A colorful collection

Bearded iris

Roses abound!

View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/06/2016

    How nice that the existing perennials in your new (to you and your husband) home have continued to have an owner that appreciates their beauty and will add to their numbers. Have you been Georgia residents all along or are you new to the state? There are some awesome public gardens within fairly easy driving distance that you could visit and get further infected with the love of gardening. I'm an especially big fan of the fall reblooming iris that seemingly overnight throw up tall stalks of Oct! It's quite a tickle to see those majestic flowers in 2 different times a year.

  2. user-7007498 10/06/2016

    Katie, it is great that the garden you inherited has sparked your interest in finding out more. This blog is also a wonderful resource to see photos of some wonderful gardeners. Beautiful colors in your landscape. I love echinacea as well (as the bees).

  3. user-7007498 10/06/2016

    Hey, fellow GPOD posters. Happy and sad here in Harrisburg.

    Happy: My garden just won the Blue Ribbon award from PA Horticultural Society Gardening and Greening Contest just held the summer. This is a statewide contest with judging occurring throughout the summer. There were over 300 gardens that were judged.

    Sad: See attached photo from someone in my development. This is all too common as part of "fall cleanup" ?

    1. frankgreenhalgh 10/06/2016

      Congratulations Kev. on your award. Very much deserved. Keep up the good work. Cheers, Frank

      1. user-7007498 10/06/2016

        Frank, where have you been? You have been so missed. Glad to see you have been reading the blog, even if you have "ghosting". Thanks for the compliment.

        1. frankgreenhalgh 10/06/2016

          Hi Kev. - Been lurking in the background. Also trying to jazz up the entrance to our property and establish Gondwana land rainforest plants (i.e. ancient plants which evolved when Australia was joined to Africa and Antarctica).

          1. user-7007498 10/06/2016

            Hopefully putting out statues of pretty women won't cause accidents as people pull up to you garden.

            The rainforest plants look pretty cool. Do you know the names?

          2. frankgreenhalgh 10/06/2016

            Kev - the two small plants are Bolwarras (Eupomatia laurina - evolved more than 100 million years ago; flowers fertilised by beetles); the one in the foreground is a Wollemi pine (fossils of it are 200 million years old; discovered in 1994 in remote area near Sydney); and other one is a Cabbage tree palm (Livistonia australis).

          3. schatzi 10/06/2016

            Wow Frank. I'm impressed! Way to go.

          4. user-7007498 10/07/2016

            Frank, I looked up all 3 plants as I love to learn new things. The Eupomatia laurina has spectacular flowers and seed pots. Very cool. Love the leaves (which look a lot like our cherry laurels).
            The Wollemi Pine is amazing. I saw that it is critically endangered, and there are programs to propagate and expand the number of specimens.
            Good luck with your new plantings.

          5. frankgreenhalgh 10/07/2016

            Hi Kev. - It is fantastic that you are interested in our flora. Yes the Eupomatia has very interesting flowers and leaves. The flowers (December/Jan) have a very strong fragrance - presumably to attract the beetles for pollination. I grew my plants from cuttings of the plant below.

            And yes there is a world-wide conservation program for the Wollemi pine (which is not really a pine). It can be grown in a wide temperature range. It has white polar caps which protect the growing tips/meristems during cold weather. These are thought to have enabled this 'living fossil' to survive many ice ages. Some of the money I paid for my Wollemi pine goes towards conservation of this remarkable plant

          6. wGardens 10/09/2016

            Best wishes on your endeavor! A wonderful, and I'm sure, challenging, project. Be sure to let us know of your progress.

          7. frankgreenhalgh 10/09/2016

            Thanks Margaret - I certainly will report on progress.

      2. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 10/06/2016

        Nice to have you join us today, Frank. You've been missed.

    2. User avater
      meander_michaele 10/06/2016

      Wow, double Wow, Kevin...that is quite an honor! I know you garden for the love of it but official kudos and recognition for your exceptional results are always nice. Sincerest congratulations.

      1. user-7007498 10/06/2016

        Thanks Michaele. I had entered this contest once before, about 4years ago, and received the "Garden of Distinction" award, which is for the next 5 gardens who did not win. I wanted to try one more time.

    3. NCYarden 10/06/2016

      Congratulations, Kevin. I'm sure awarded without a doubt.

      1. user-7007498 10/06/2016

        Thanks, David. It is always fun to get recognized.

    4. User avater
      LindaonWhidbey 10/06/2016

      Yay for you Kevin. I only know of your garden from what I've seen here but your passion and love for plants shines through. A well deserved award.

      1. user-7007498 10/09/2016

        Thanks, Linda. It is so nice to share successes with so many other passionate and talented gardeners on GPOD.

    5. User avater
      HelloFromMD 10/07/2016

      Congratulations! So awesome to have the PA Hort Society in your state. A prestigious and productive organization. And to win an award on a statewide basis. Major kudos. Love to see lots of photos around the date of the contest.

      1. user-7007498 10/09/2016

        Thanks, Nancy. The judges were out here in July. That had a great time and loved the attention I gave to texture and layering. (Of course, it is always fun to have people praising your hard work).

    6. wGardens 10/09/2016

      A huge Congratulations to you, Kevin! WELL Deserved!

      I do hope I have the pleasure and honor of visiting your garden next year....??

      1. user-7007498 10/09/2016

        Margaret, thanks for the kind words. I recall you live in New York, but I don't recall where. Would love to have you stop by if you get into the area.

  4. user-4691082 10/06/2016

    Hi Katie! Welcome to GPOD! You were blessed to have inherited a nice garden. I'll just tell you from experience not to fill up your beds with anything invasive. Do your research! A landscaping guy told me to plant creeping Jenny and nepeta. They are both invasive and I'm in the process of getting rid of them or at least contained. After touring Kevin's award winning garden last Saturday, I want to rip everything out and start over! Congrats, Kevin, it is truly spectacular!

    1. user-7007498 10/06/2016

      Thanks, Rhonda. Good to see you and John last weekend, even though the weather was less than pretty.

  5. NCYarden 10/06/2016

    Hi Katie, Nice to observe a brown thumb turn green. It can take some trial and error, but you seem to be sporting a verdant tone now. Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Chris_N 10/06/2016

    A beautiful garden, Katie! In many cases it's best for gardeners not to return to see their old home as the new owners have often destroyed the garden. You and your husband are definitely the exception. Glad you have found such a wonderful place and that it's inspiring you to find the green thumb you didn't know you had!

  7. sheila_schultz 10/06/2016

    Congratulations Katie... you have officially been bitten by the gardening bug! Luckily, it's not life threatening, just highly addictive! As Chris N said, your home's former owners must be so relieved to see their gardens lovingly cared for... often that is not the case.

  8. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 10/06/2016

    How lucky you are, Katie, to score a ready made garden, however, I'm sure that you and your husband will be adding your own touch. Once bitten by the gardening bug, there's no going back. Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Cenepk10 10/06/2016

    Milton is so beautiful... I used to live there...Prettiest part of metro Atlanta... enjoy your new home & garden!!!! Pretty pics !!!

  10. Christina726 10/06/2016

    That bearded iris is the most beautiful I think I've ever seen! Any idea what the name is? Thanks for sharing!

  11. schatzi 10/06/2016

    How fortunate that garden is to have the new owners appreciate it. Beautiful flowers - love 'em all. Kevin - congratulations on a well-deserved award.

  12. wGardens 10/09/2016

    Lovely! Glad you will continue with, and I'm sure enhance, your gardens. Enjoy! And do post again. Thank you.

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