Today we’re visiting with Heather Kelman.
I have been gardening in northern Vermont since 2007. When my husband and I were looking to purchase a house here, mature gardens were at the top of my list! I’m happy to say that I got what I wished for. Since then, I have made various edits, but the previous owner took such care in creating so many wonderful flower beds and also many raised veggie beds. I have added four more garden beds, with more to come. I tend to the flower gardens, while my husband takes care of the veggie beds.
This is a garden I created over ten years ago. The grass was challenged because of the pine roots, and so putting in another garden was the perfect solution! This photo was taken in May.
Disposum flavens (yellow fairy bells, Zones 5–8) blooming in May
The front garden in June. In the foreground are lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis, Zones 2–7), creeping thyme (Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus’, Zones 4–9), and vinca (Vinca minor, Zones 4–8). To the left are raised-bed vegetable gardens.
To the left of the path is a lilac (Syringa vulgaris, Zones 3–7), with vinca and creeping thyme making a ground cover under it. To the right is a dappled willow (Salix integra ‘Hakura Nishiki’, Zones 5–7) with showy white-and-pink variegated new growth.
From right: Silvermound artemisia (Artemisia schmidtiana, Zones 3–7); Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Zones 3–8); Chrysanthemum ‘Emperor of China’ (Zones 4–9); snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus, annual); Dracocephalum ruyschianum ‘Blue Dragon’ (Zones 3–7); Gentiana ‘True Blue’ (Zones 4–7); foxglove (Digitalis purpurea, Zones 4–8), with the Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ (Zones 4–10) in back ready to take over center stage; and butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa, Zones 3–9).
An Actinidia kolomikta (Zones 3–8) vine forms the background for this bed. This variety needs to have a male pollinator, but a few varieties, such as ‘Issai’, are self-fertile and do not require a separate pollinator. I pruned it heavily this year, but it doesn’t take long for it to fill back in. It produces wonderful grape-sized, smooth-skinned kiwi fruit that tastes exactly like store-bought kiwi, only sweeter!
Here’s another new garden, planted four years ago. It still needs to fill in, but I’m very pleased with the progress so far. Some plants are there as placeholders while I wait for the trailing blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Procumbens’, Zones 2–8). In the front are more veggie gardens.
Gentiana ‘True Blue’—and blue it is! I just planted these last year, so I will wait and see how they like their new home.
The scarlet berries of Schisandra chinensis (Chinese magnolia vine, Zones 3–8) are known as five-flavor fruit (sweet, salty, bitter, pungent, and sour). They are used in traditional Chinese and Russian medicine but are definitely not for eating!
Astilbe chinensis (Zones 4–8) blooms later in the season and is a wonderful plant for the front of the border in the front entryway garden in August.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.
Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!
You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!
Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.
I want to live in your garden!
Beautiful garden beds! I love the closeup of the deep blue gentians & I can imagine sitting in the grass area of the last picture surrounded by your gardens. I will have to check out Issai kiwi vine (I didn’t realize it was self pollinating) & add it to my kiwi arbor. Thanks for sharing.
Hi, Heather. I enjoyed reading your gardening story and seeing all the photos. I had not heard of Disporum flavens. I think Gentian is a terrific plant, but don't think I have ever seen it in a home garden - I hope it does well for you!
Dear Heather. I am. Going to find out about that kiwi fine.and the Gentiana because I love that colour. Beautiful gardens
This beautiful garden must be a full time job! How do you manage the deer and rabbits? I would love to try the kiwi vine but I'm guessing our many chipmunks would eat the fruit before I got to it.
WOW, so lush and beautiful,
What a beautiful playground, I would love all that green foliage in the background, I live on a regular village lot, and I love gardens that have paths and trees, and green shrubs, glad you got what you wished for....thank you for sharing.
Thank you so very kindly for including names of plantings to your photos. I swoon over the daily gardens we get to visit via Fine Gardening and so wish everyone would include names, as right to left or visa versa. I have two particular ones I now will add to my gardens from your description and gorgeous photos! How lovely your gardens are and refreshing to our souls in this long hard winter now.
Everything is so lovely & especially the fairy bells.
Indeed a beautiful garden & house in a beautiful natural woodland setting!
I spend half my gardening time trying to figure out how to hide the surrounding views of of where my city garden sits.
I just love what you've done here, it's a beautiful little paradise!
Oh my gosh, I just love your gardens. Fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing!🍃🌲✨🌲🍃
I agree with the post about living in your magical garden - it is simply stunning!
Just a beautiful fairyland!!! What a delight to see and learn from!!! Thank you for taking the time to share in such detail.
Great selection of interesting plants. Some I'd never heard of!
What gardening zone are you in?
Thank you Heather for sharing your beautiful garden. While I enjoyed seeing all your variety of plants, I really enjoyed your colorful Butterfly weed and Gentiana, True Blue....these 2, I will be looking out for at the nurseries in zone 8. Thank you.
Absolutely lovely! I loved the close-up of the plants, but also the long view, so we can see how everything sits together in the garden.
Log in or create an account to post a comment.Sign up Log in