Garden Photo of the Day

Kate’s garden in New Jersey, Day 1: The Shrub Garden

Shrub Garden: The heart of the shrub garden coming to life in the spring. Japanese holly, red leaf weigelia, ‘Stella D’Oro’ daylily, golden barberry, Salix purpurea ‘Nana’, Abelia ‘Edward Goucher’, iris and mint in the urn. The cottage garden is inside the picket fence.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you’re all up early, putting the turkey into the oven.

BirdBath: Birdbath in foreground with coreopsis. In the background is my faux pond with a “boardwalk” that connects the paths around the garden. The pond is bordered by blue fescue with red hot pokers in bloom on the left.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

Today’s photos are from Kate Humes. Kate says, “I live in Mays Landing, New Jersey, and my property is about three acres in a heavily wooded area not far from Atlantic City. My husband and I moved into our new house about 20 years ago. My husband passed away shortly after and I have been going it alone since.

Chamedaphne: Chamedaphne is native to the Jersey Pine Barrens. It blooms in early spring and this year is was better than ever. Behind it, an Abelia ‘Edward Goucher’ on the left and mugo pine on the right.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

“The house was surrounded by bare dirt, making an open canvas for planting. The downside is that the topsoil was removed, leaving me with about an open acre of gross clay. I’m a stubborn Irish woman and a little bit of clay was not going to stop me from having my own Garden of Eden.

Cricket Lane: Cricket Lane is a pathway that travels the perimeter of the shrub garden. The hemlock hedge is along the right side.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

“I have lots of wildlife, especially deer and voles. A 100-foot-long hedge of Canadian hemlocks that I grew from seedlings separates my side yard from the driveway. I have a shrub garden, a serenity garden, adeck garden, and a cottage garden enclosed by a white picket fence.”

Mixed Border: The border gives Cricket Lane its seasonal color. Coreopsis, Asclepias tuberosa, sage and ‘Shirobana’ spirea.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

Wow, Kate! You did this all yourself? Amazing and beautiful! *******Today’s photos show Kate’s shrub garden. Tomorrow we’ll see her cottage garden. Stay tuned!*******

Kolkwitzia: This kolkwitzia (beauty bush) died a few years ago but an offset that I gave to my neighbor is thriving in her yard.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Mixed Border: Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’, Achillea ‘Moonshine’ and self-seeding Lychnis coronaria (rose campion).
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Dogwood: An anchor in the shrub garden, my dogwood blooming in the spring is always a happy sight. Hemlock hedge in foreground. The woods in the background give my yard a lot of privacy.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes
Serenity Garden: This garden is on the perimeter of my yard. White rhododendron flanks the arbor with native mountain laurel behind the bench.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kate Humes

I’ll choose randomly from everyone who sends me photos for the GPOD by Monday morning, November 26th (email to [email protected] or [email protected]–Click HERE for details) to receive a free copy of 1 of the 4 books shown in the last photo–your choice!

Here they are:
Zen Gardens by Mira Locher
50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants by Ruth Rogers Clausen
Front Yard Idea Book by Jeni Webber
The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour

As I’ve been saying for the last week or so, GPOD submissions get a bit sparse in winter. We don’t want me having a panic attack every afternoon as I frantically search for something to post, do we? Help a girl out… In the meantime, have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving, you Americans, and for everyone else, have a wonderful…3rd week of November!

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View Comments


  1. cwheat000 11/22/2012

    I like your can do spirit. You created some beautiful results. In all my years gardening ,I don't know if I have ever seen a Chamedaphne. It is stunning in bloom. Smart move, using a lot of shrubs in your borders. I should do more of the same. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

  2. cwheat000 11/22/2012

    Where is everyone? Am I the only fool up early to start the cooking marathon? Maybe you are already working and not playing on the computer like me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  3. joycedaffodilhill 11/22/2012

    I can really understand a bare slate, and you have made some wonderful choices. The loss of your mate hasn't slowed you down and it is a wonderful tribute to him that you made it so well. I think it is appropriate that on this day we celebrate peace and plenty and celebrate with you as well. I further suspect that May's landing is not the easiest place to garden, something you have overcome. Bless the Irish.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/22/2012

    Kate, what you have accomplished over the past 20 years is amazing. You give those of us who also share some Irish blood coursing through our veins a good name! Your perseverance and creativity has resulted in transforming your 3 acres into beautiful garden spaces. I have enjoyed today's pictures immensely and am very much looking forward to tomorrow's.
    I am very familiar with your part of NJ as my mom lived in one of the early condo developments off of the Black Horse Pike. I would drive through the very charming town of Mays Landing on my way to visit her.

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/22/2012

    Impressive and admirable! i've never heard of chamaedaphne either. Very cool. Looking forward,to tomorrow's photos. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. bethnbijoux 11/22/2012

    WOW! What an inspiration! I have always been hesitant to include shrubs in my landscaping. I guess I just don't know where to begin or how best to incorporate them. But your beautiful garden has given me some great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  7. kmhumes 11/22/2012

    Thanks everyone for all your compliments on my garden. Even though there is still a lot to do, I'm proud of what I have accomplished so far. The Chamedaphne is native to the Pine Barrens, which is a unique forest growth found only in New Jersey. I got mine at a nursery that sells to the public only on Open House days they have a few times a year. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and don't forget to feed your compost pile with your veggie and salad leftovers!

  8. pattyspencer 11/22/2012

    Beautiful garden - the pic with the lone tree is my favorite! You did a wonderful job creating this little bit of heaven.

    @cwheat000 - I've been up since 7. Got my eggs boiled for deviled eggs - baked beans put together - pumpkin pie baked. After posting here I will start putting together the turkey and ham. After posting here I'll be doing the stuffing for the turkey (and another batch for outside stuffing) and start that in the oven while I put the brown sugar/cloves on the ham.

    Happy Thanksgiving all!!

    PS - log in issues again - 3rd time this week I've had to log in

  9. tractor1 11/22/2012

    Kate, you've accomplished a magnificent feat and all on your own... I'm sorry about your husband. Three acres is a lot of ground to park out as you've done, kudos! I too like your dogwood, and Canadian hemlock makes a fine privacy hedge, I had a 100' row two houses ago.

    I was up and about early too and just now was able to take a break from the kitchen. Here's my bird all seasoned and is already in the oven... the cats are novering, I wonder why.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. wittyone 11/22/2012

    Kate, you have done a magnificent job---especially while working against clay soil. It's the pits!

    I think it's especially difficult to start out pretty much from scratch with such a large amount of area to work with. Small areas and mostly just sun or shade makes for limitations but also give a person less room for waffling about trying to figure out how to break it up into discrete areas and what to put where.

    Patty Spencer: Your menu sounds delicious. I'm coming to your house for Thanksgiving next year!! I've got turkey, cornbread dressing, roasted potatoes, spinach souffle, cauliflower casserole, pumpkin pie and chocolate pudding . Maybe we could trade off every other year. This is too much cooking for such a small crowd here. Sounds like you must have a houseful to feed.

  11. tractor1 11/22/2012

    pattyspencer: I know what you mean about log in issues, rarely remembers me... sometimes I feel foolish checking that remember me box... hey, maybe it's set backwards adn will remember if I don't click it, I will try that next time but haven't much hope.

    Here's my turkey all rready to eat:

  12. pattyspencer 11/22/2012

    @Wittyone - You food sounds equally delishous! Maybe a trade wouldn't be out of the question - lol

    Yes I'm feeding a bunch - me and my son. There are just the 2 of us and this is the only time I really go all out cooking. I got a 12 lb turkey and a 1/2 ham. And I forgot we also made mashed potatoes and gravy. We've already eaten - my son is sleeping off the turkey - lol and you all know where I am (here on the computer) Pie is on hold - lol I must pat myself on the back today as everything turned out really well and tasty - nothing dried out or overcooked - yea me!

    I logged in again - that's twice in 1 day - grrrrr

    Hope everyone who celebrated has had a great day.

    Tractor1 - your turkey looks beautiful!

  13. tractor1 11/22/2012

    pattyspencer: Thank you. Thanksgiving is the only time I prepare a turkey. This one turned out perfect, and the cats ate until they couldn't eat anymore, even Newt got his fill, he's a great eater. He's still in that back bedroom but I go in many times each day to check on him and pet him some, also I put him in my lap for his ear drops, he doesn't struggle at all, he's very docile. I also noticed that the Vet repaired his ear, previously one was flopped over but now it stands up like the other. Jilly, Peachie, and Blackie already peeked in but I don't let them get close, not yet. He still needs to rest and heal, I noticed his scar is a lot larger than I had thought. This will take time but will be well worth it, Newt is a very good boy, and he's so cute.

  14. tractor1 11/22/2012

    Hmm, I logged on a few minutes ago but didn't check the keep me logged on box, then after my last posted I left the site. a few minuts passed and I came back to the site and I was still logged on. Of course no telling how long that will last... but it should not have remembered me.

  15. pattyspencer 11/23/2012

    To leave this comment I had to log in AGAIN! 4th time today.

    Seems when there are those pesty popups (some black friday special for FG mag stuff) there are issues

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