Garden Photo of the Day

Highlights from Sue’s 2021 Garden

Looking back at the best of last year

I’m Sue Webel, and I garden in North Canton, Connecticut, Zone 6a. I previously submitted some pictures of my relatively new garden in September 2020 (Making a New Garden in Connecticut).

Since then I’ve continued to develop the garden. In October 2020 we hired an excavating contractor to clear stumps and brush from about an eighth of an acre in the back garden and move some of the rock “inventory” into formation to form the base of an informal stone wall. A good portion of my 2021 garden time was spent developing, planning, and planting that area. A DIY firepit project located smack in the middle took longer than anticipated and forced me to extend the garden portion of the project into 2022 and no doubt beyond. But we all know how that goes.

Here are some highlights of my 2021 garden.

garden bed full of green plantsMay in the front garden features Cornus mas ‘Variegata’ (Zones 4–8), Euphorbia polychroma (Zones 4–8), Phlox glaberrima ‘Triple Play’ (Zones 3–8), and Filipendula aurea (Zones 3–8). With the exception of the Cornus mas, this garden was newly planted in spring 2020 after a walkway replacement.

garden bed with chartreuse foliage and blue flowersHere is another section of the front garden in May. The Spirea ‘Ogon’ (Zones 4–8) is just past bloom and creates the perfect foliage foil with one of my favorite perennials, Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’ (Zones 4–8). By some stroke of luck, I managed to catch the fleeting flowers of Camassia (Zones 4–8) blooming in conjunction with an Amsonia (Zones 5–8).

garden bed with bird bath, various foliage plants, and big yellow flowersPaeonia ‘Bartzella’ (Zones 4–9), Cercis ‘Ruby Falls’ (Zones 5–9), and a variegated Weigela (Zones 4–8) round out this vignette from June. When I started the garden, this area was heavily wooded. Everything was removed except the Weigela, which I now use as a reference point for where the edge of the woods used to be.

garden bed of green and white plantsIn July I happened across this happy jumble of Cephalanthus ‘Sugar Shack’ (Zones 4–10) and Sanguisorba ‘Dali Marble’ (Zones 2–9) with a peek of Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’ (Zones 5–9) in the back. After two drought years in a row, 2021 brought plentiful rain, which made the Cephalanthus very happy.

garden bed full of colorful blooming flowersThe abundance of July in one of my older back gardens

pink daylily flowers with white plants in the backgroundI decided if I’m going to grow daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids, Zones 4–9), I’m going to focus on later-blooming varieties and/or partner them to complement other plants that are not daylilies. ‘Peconic Autumn’ is a lovely cultivar that blooms from late July through August here. The hydrangea is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ (Zones 3–8). The variegated shrub is Hibiscus syriacus ‘Purpureus Variegatus’ (Zones 5–8), which is a bit of an oddball. The dark red flower buds swell but never fully open.

back patio full of tropical plants in containersIn September, tropical abundance peaks on the patio. I grow lots of tender plants in containers and in the ground. Many come inside before frost and get stored dormant in the basement or are grown as houseplants until they can escape back to the garden in May. The Tetrapanax (Zones 7–10) seen in back of Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’ (Zones 8–10) has been hardy in the ground in this protected spot.

view of the garden from the patio on a foggy morningI captured this shot of one of my cats enjoying the garden on a foggy morning in mid-October. May fall always be this kind to my garden.

fire pit area of the garden in late fallBy November, hard frosts have usually reduced the garden, especially the tender annuals, to mush, yet here we get this peek at our new firepit area through a large Salvia elegans ‘Golden Delicious’ (Zones 8–10 or as an annual) on November 2.


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  1. sandyprowse 04/06/2022

    Paradise personified. Gorgeous. What a spot and you have done wonders. Congratulations. I loved going over those photos - and particle the yellow peony.

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you Sandy. The ITOH peonies are a cross between tree peonies and herbaceous peonies and are well worth growing.

      1. sandyprowse 04/06/2022

        Well worth knowing. Thanks for the tip. I had no idea.

  2. PattyLouise 04/06/2022

    Beautiful gardens!

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you Patty.

  3. gardendevas 04/06/2022

    WOW - lush and lovely! Your delight in your beautiful garden is so apparent. Love the textures, colors, shapes and variety.

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you. I'm a plant collector but like to try and design plant combinations using my "drifts of one" in ways that show off their texture and color characteristics.

  4. User avater
    PKKing 04/06/2022

    Lovely! A beautiful feast for the eyes!

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you! I'm so happy to be able to share.

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 04/06/2022

    Can't believe how mature and lovely your garden is already. Unusual and Lovely combinations.

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you. Some of the plants are maturing quite nicely. It's a real work in progress right now but that's what gardens are, right?

  6. wadeck82 04/06/2022

    Beautiful. Well done!!

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you!

  7. PG20 04/06/2022

    Appreciate the labor of love in hauling tropicals and tenders in and out. The bigger and heavier they get, the harder it is to let them go. Beautiful.

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      You know it! I've let go a few in my day. We have a small tractor now which makes moving some of the larger plants much easier.

  8. Annek 04/06/2022

    What a magnificent garden. Truly spectacular

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you Kielian! Your garden is one of my inspirations!

  9. Maggieat11 04/06/2022

    So very beautiful ❤️. I love how you have incorporated the rocks into your gardens....and I admire your mature trees as backdrops. Wonderful combinations, truly a gorgeous property. Thank you for sharing!🌱

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you Maggie. Both the rocks and mature trees were here when I arrived. We've been removing trees to gain more garden space but plenty remain. Every time I put a shovel into the ground, I dig up another pile of rocks so it just made sense to start incorporating them into the garden.

  10. BTucker9675 04/06/2022

    This is a magnificent garden - what a great job you've done! I wanted to step into the photos and take a long walk through the property!

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you. Garden walkers are welcome any time!

  11. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/06/2022

    Absolutely amazing!

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you!

  12. User avater
    SimpleSue 04/06/2022

    I do love your garden style- it's really super nice.
    That foggy morning!
    I was the photo that is captioned "In September,...." is that a Caryopteris "White Surprise" (Bluebeard) in the lower right of the photo?
    It really caught my eye what ever it is, and would love to know it's name.

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      I lucked out being home the morning of that fog and got a bunch of nice garden shots. Yes, that is Caryopteris White Surprise. It's a much better performer than any of the chartreuse cultivars which fade away here after a season. Another nice variegated Caryopteris, if you can find it, is Summer Sorbet. It's been consistently vigorous for me.

  13. User avater
    Dee21 04/06/2022

    Beautiful garden, I love the textures, unique plants, tropicals....and links to learn more information about the plants. Your landscape is lovely, and home color looks great with garden. Thanks for sharing!

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you for your kind words, Dee.

  14. cheryl_c 04/06/2022

    Amazing gardens, and amazing photos! I especially loved the amsonia and wild hyacinths blooming together! Your use of color echos is quite masterful, and the combinations of textures exquisite! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      Thank you Cheryl.

  15. wildthyme 04/06/2022

    Embarking on my second year in my new garden I can only hope it looks as lush and put-together as yours! It's really spectacular with all the different textures. Lovely job!

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/06/2022

      I left a 20 year garden in the making to move to virtually a blank slate here. The first few years were tough as I was comparing them to what I had. Now that some of my gardens are almost five years old, I can remind myself that patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to the garden.

  16. alicefleurkens 04/06/2022

    My compliments on your beautiful gardens. I especially love the elephant ears. Alice

    1. User avater
      MusaBasjooSue 04/07/2022

      Thank you Alice.

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