Garden Photo of the Day

Hydrangeas, Daylilies, and More in Virginia

A garden evolves as a family's needs change

Today we’re visiting Teresa Maxey’s garden in Chester, Virginia.

I’ve been an avid gardener for more than 40 years. I started this garden from scratch 21 years ago. I first marked off the outer edge beds and left the middle open for my son to play baseball and lacrosse. As he got older I added the island beds. I have many varieties of perennials, but my hydrangeas are my absolute favorite. My husband loves to give garden tours!

Wide view of the garden, showing the island beds that Teresa created as the lawn was no longer needed as a play area for her son.

blue hydrangeasIncredible rich, deep blue hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9). The bluest hydrangeas result from the combination of the right varieties and an acidic soil. Clearly these are very happy!

dayliliesWarm daylily (Hemerocallis hybrids, Zones 4–9) blooms dominate this section of the garden.

Looking across the garden to a huge rhododendron in full, spectacular bloom.

A cute little garden resident made out of pots rests next to a rose bush in full bloom, with blooming amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids) at its feet. Though amaryllis are usually sold to grow and bloom indoors, there are quite a few varieties that are actually hardy outside in Zones 7 and warmer.

It is easy to see why Teresa’s husband loves giving tours of this beautiful garden!

white Bigleaf hydrangeasBigleaf hydrangeas don’t just come in shades of pink or blue. These are flowering in crisp white.

Daylilies in the foreground, with the blue of the hydrangeas in the distance.

PaeoniaPeonies showing off as only peonies can! (Paeonia hybrid, Zones 3–8)


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View Comments


  1. blondie3 09/23/2020

    I want a tour! Beautiful, love the white Hydrangeas. A wonderful garden to wonder through..

    1. blondie3 09/23/2020

      I also love the green lush trees in the background, you have done well.

      1. User avater
        GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

        Thank you so much!!

  2. reginamelo 09/23/2020

    Teresa, your garden is absolutely gorgeous!!!

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Thank you Regina!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/23/2020

    You've done so many things right, Teresa, is creating such a visually appealing garden. One of the things that struck me is how unifying and soothing to the eye the swaths of lawn a generously wide green ribbon that beckons the eye to follow it one treasured bed after another. Everything is beautifully maintained and definitely looks garden tour ready. Great job.

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Awww thank you so much for your kind words. It’s definitely where I spend most of my time so it just I just had to make it beautiful to look at.

  4. nwphillygardener 09/23/2020

    Michelle is one step ahead of me in noting how critical the immaculate lawn, consistently well-maintained edging and mulched beds are part of the richness of Teresa and her husbands expansive gardens. Especially with so many day lilies, we know there's such a commitment to everyday care, with deadheading and yellow leaf pulling. This garden is truly a labor of love. Congratulations.

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Wow, it’s so nice to hear from fellow gardeners who understand the attention a garden needs every day! I’ve had people ask me to help them with their yards but you just know who will and who won’t give it the time it deserves. Thank you for your kind words!!

  5. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 09/23/2020

    Lovely garden. Thanks for posting!

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Thank you so much!

  6. wittyone 09/23/2020

    I greatly admire your beautiful green grass since my "grass" consists primarily of creeping charley and clover with a few blades of grass thrown in! Yours however is totally gorgeous and works like a beautiful frame around a lovely painting.

    Those blue hydrangeas aren't bad either.

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Thank you Wittyone! That lawn is my husbands work. I love the flowers and he loves the grass. The grass does show off my beds so we work well together. Thank you so much!

  7. user-783091 09/23/2020

    Just gorgeous!

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Thank you!

  8. user-5117752 09/23/2020

    Now that's a garden to stroll through! I can picture the garden parties or maybe an intimate cocktail party with a guitar or string trio playing. Simply beautiful!

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Thank you! We have hosted quite a few get togethers, family reunions, even photos shoots! My favorites are the neighbors who like to stroll through.

  9. User avater
    bdowen 09/23/2020

    Oh, the pot person! I can just imagine the laughs of your garden visitors as they encounter this "gardener" resting on the chair. As others have said, the flow of the grass rivers around the islands makes it a very inviting garden. Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Yes, she does get quite a bit of attention and I love her still today as much as I did when I made her a few years ago. It’s fun decorating around her for holidays, birthdays and even a mask this year!

  10. User avater
    simplesue 09/23/2020

    Everything is so healthy, thriving and established!
    So many interesting perennials too...I noticed a big Foxglove in one of the beds.
    Those Hydrangeas are fabulous!
    You and your husband really did a wonderful job on the garden!

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Thank you so much! The foxgloves reseed themselves every year and I’m always happy to see them. Thank you again for your kind words!

  11. carolineyoungwilliams 09/23/2020

    Teresa, your garden is spectacular. I love the calm, peaceful, well organized structure of each bed; yet, there's enough rich bold colors to peek your interest and make you want to see more. Kudos on a job well done. I absolutely love it. Thank you for sharing this beauty.

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Awww thank you so much! Calm and peaceful was exactly what I wanted when I started this garden. It’s definitely brought me many happy, calm days with a book and a glass of tea.

  12. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/23/2020

    Love those hydrangeas!

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Thank you so much!

  13. cheryl_c 09/23/2020

    Everything is so gracious and tidy, but I especially have to comment on your 'pot person' and her hat of many flowers. She looks as though she is resting while plotting her next strategy and means of attack! Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      GardenGnomeTess 09/24/2020

      Thank you, Cheryl. She has been the topic of many conversations in my gardens. Seems everyone loves her. Her mask has gotten a few laughs this year.

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