Garden Photo of the Day

Jay’s Garden in the Mountains

A meadow full of flowers

meadow garden surrounded by trees

I’m always happy when garden designer Jay Sifford sends in photos. We’ve visited his beautiful garden in Charlotte, North Carolina, a few times (Jay’s Garden in North Carolina, Revisited), and today we’re checking in on his second garden up in the mountains of western North Carolina.

This is year 3 of my Zone 6 North Carolina mountain garden. It has exceeded my expectations, and I had high hopes. I set out to create an immersive, pollinator-friendly, stylized meadow set atop my septic drain field. Artistically, I wanted to craft something that resembled a three-dimensional Monet painting. I’m both proud and humbled to say that I think I’ve accomplished my goals. Happy bird songs create a surround-sound experience, and visually, my painting has come to life.

meadow garden full of purple and yellow flowersClouds of purple geraniums (Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Zones 5–8) back up and contrast perfectly with the yellow blooms of threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata, Zones 3–9) in the foreground, while clouds of other blooming plants extend beyond.

various plants with colorful foliage and purple flowersPinky-purple blooms of Stachys officinalis (Zones 4–8) take center stage here. The air clouds of flowers are anchored by sturdy shrubs and the bold foliage of irises.

wide view of the large meadow gardenIt is easy to see the inspiration of a Monet painting here in this beautiful garden, with clouds of small flowers painting the view.

small gravel garden patio surrounded by plantsThe richly planted garden slopes down to a circle of inviting chairs.

view of the house from the garden aboveThe dark color and simple form of the house are a perfect contrast to the airy, delicate feel of the garden.

meadow garden surrounded by treesOne last view of this incredible garden shows how the surrounding trees wrap around this romantic meadow planting.


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View Comments


  1. gardendevas 07/05/2022

    Absolutely gorgeous!! Am imagining walking through this beautiful space, smelling the flowers, hearing the birds, feeling the breeze. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. User avater
    user-7007816 07/05/2022

    Beautiful. I like how you have integrated your new plantings and not lost the native feel.

    1. Jay_Sifford 07/05/2022

      Thanks. That's a great compliment.

  3. islandlover 07/05/2022

    Absolutely amazing! You certainly reached your goal. Wish I could visit in person.

  4. annek 07/05/2022

    As usual, a virtual visit of your garden is like being in a dream. You are a master!

  5. margotnavarre 07/05/2022

    Beautiful succession and I imagine it is hard to leave the grounds because you wouldn’t want to miss anything.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/05/2022

    Absolutely lovely!

  7. fromvirginia 07/05/2022

    Simply dreamy. Do you cut it down in the Fall or just let it die down? I’m interested in the fact that it is over your septic drain field. I have a similar situation and was trying to figure out what could be grown. I guess nothing with large or deep roots.

    1. Jay_Sifford 07/05/2022

      Hi. I leave the grasses up until the first part of March, along with any of the perennials that I want to go to seed, such as echinacea and verbena. The rest I cut down when they look sufficiently ugly.

  8. User avater
    simplesue 07/05/2022

    Your garden is huge, what an project!
    You've really managed to create such a beautiful, natural looking "not-man-made garden" just looks like nature did all of those beautiful arrangements of plants/flowers!
    You really did accomplish a Monet painting garden- without lily pads!

  9. btucker9675 07/05/2022

    Be still my heart! This is absolutely stunning - perfection!

  10. sheila_schultz 07/05/2022

    You have created a visual dreamland for your mountain home, Jay. Your plant knowledge, skills and artistic vision have definitely come to life with the soft beauty of this property. The birdsongs must be deafening on a quiet day! It's exquisite.

  11. rosebudal 07/05/2022

    What??? A whole OTHER garden? You are unstoppable. BTW, looks like so many of your old articles have been taken down; they were so helpful to me. PLEASE write a book or something.

    1. Jay_Sifford 07/05/2022

      Thanks. I plan to write a book one day when I slow down enough!

  12. blondie3 07/05/2022

    I have seen this garden before, so beautiful, I always remember Siffordwhat a lovely place to live, so fortunate

  13. user-7020748 07/05/2022

    Maginifcent "painting with flowers", a joy to view. Can only imagine how wonderful it is to view in person.

  14. beatricevill 07/07/2022

    I'm very inspired by beautiful gardens. It's especially impressive if a person makes a beautiful place for themselves to relax in the garden. My dream was to buy a sod installation Calgary right here . And you know what? Thanks to a special service it worked out. They really helped me make not only a beautiful landscape design but also a functional one. I think that you will benefit from this service too, and that is why I offer it to you.

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