Today we’re off to Raleigh, North Carolina, to visit with Cynthia Strickland.
In the past year I have captured some uncommon or outstanding plants and combinations with my camera while visiting public gardens or playing in my gardening space. I hope you may get some inspiration or enjoyment from these photographs too.
The most vibrant and unforgettable combination of plants includes this Lycoris radiata (Zones 6–10), or red spider lily. This grouping was at a historic home in Zones 7b and 8a.
A striking pastel pairing of the cypress (Cupressus arizonica var. arizonica, Zones 7–9) with pink ‘Mahogany Snow’ hellebore (Helleborus ‘Mahogany Snow’, Zones 5–8) was in an outdoor container in January at the Botanical Gardens in Asheville, North Carolina.
At another historic home, I was surprised and delighted to see a healthy Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera, tropical) growing indoors beside a vigorous fern in a classic and substantial urn in a dimly lit room.
I was drawn to the contemplative bonsai and the reflection of the sky at this home during the winter in Zone 6b.
As a gardener, sometimes I enjoy seeing an airy mass of a single species. This energetic orange cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus, annual) at the base of an outbuilding looks good even toward the end of summer.
At home, I got creative in several ways. My windowsill-grown spinach “microgreens” were tender and delicious, just not very filling.
Using large shell fragments as a soil topper over sedum buds is a nice reminder of trips to the beach.
Gold pine cones and a metallic-and-teal ceramic pot dress up a Juniperus conferta ‘Blue Pacific’ (Zones 6–9) for a festive vignette.
It was fun to use this gnome as a focal point in this grouping of mainly shade-loving plants. It was a very good year for begonias, and with frequent watering, generous shade, and some top dressing with well-rotted manure, this pink begonia variety (unknown) flourished during the hot and humid summer and well into fall in Zone 7b. New sedum cuttings are growing in a saucer. I used a little potting mix and a lot of sand.
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!
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