Garden Photo of the Day

Kathy’s Iowa Garden

A garden of cool colors and fun pots

backyard garden with birdbath and purple flowers

I just scrolled again through Keith’s Zone 3 photos (Return to Keith’s Zone 3 Garden) of his garden full of hot-colored annuals and perennials. So vibrant! Hmmm . . . For a moment I dreamed about taking on a new color palette in the upcoming growing season, but realistically, I know I’ll revert to the mostly blue, lavender, and green that I love. Even my garden accents are blue. My name is Kathy Schreurs, and I garden with my husband around our 130-year-old house in Sheldon, a Zone 4b corner of Iowa.

large blue foot-shaped container surrounded by hostasMy family members were a little surprised when I brought Blue Foot home a few years ago. (So was I, honestly.) It’s very heavy and doesn’t move around much. This past summer it hung out in our front border, surprising guests and piquing the curiosity of the kids next door.

garden border along path to front entryThe (mostly) hosta front border was one of the first flower beds I planted on the property, a few years after we bought it 25 years ago. The area in front of the picket fence was added later. The wedge of white to the left of the sidewalk in front of the house is a small bed of ‘Diamond Frost’ euphorbias (Euphorbia hybrid, annual). I like to spread those around the borders and buy them by the flat. Recently I’ve been experimenting with the other Diamonds in the PW series (‘Mountain’ and ‘Snow’, but my heart belongs to the first, ‘Frost’.

garden along path with white, blue, and purple flowersIn the spring this area erupts with tulips and alliums. Tulipa ‘Spring Green’ (Zones 3–8) is my favorite tulip variety, and I’m happy that it returns year after year.

close up of small blue flowers with variegated foliage plantsAn especially harsh late winter in 2022 took its toll; our ‘Jack Frost’ brunneras (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, Zones 3–8) and sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum, Zones 4–8) didn’t survive. Gardeners are optimists, right? I replaced them this past summer.

small blue bird bath in a sea of foliageWe enjoy many varieties of songbirds that either migrate through or nest in our backyard. They appreciate the multiple birdbaths we maintain. This small one lords it over an ever-growing patch of lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis, Zones 3–8). I look the other way—both of my grandmothers contributed to my first pips—and now that they are gone, the little bells in June are sweet reminders of them.

backyard garden with birdbath and purple flowersAnother birdbath stands at the corner of a small bed outside our back door.

close up of purple flowers planted in the shadeBrowallia ‘Endless Illumination’ (Zones 9–11 or as an annual) in the shade

close up of white lilies‘Eyeliner’ Asiatic lilies (Lilium ‘Eyeliner’, Zones 5–8) in early July

close up of blue and purple flowersI planted evolvulus (Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) in a cracked birdbath this past season. It ‘Blue My Mind’ all summer! (My husband drilled additional holes for drainage.)

close up of light yellow dayliliesThis blue pot is kept company by daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrid, Zones 3–9) in July near our garden shed. The lemon-scented daylily has been with us for about 20 years, and I don’t remember its name. It has been divided several times. Its original home was where our garden shed now stands.

Kathy sent so many great photos that we’re going to do two days in her garden, so come back tomorrow for more!


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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 04/06/2023

    Kathy, just a dream garden and surroundings. The colours of the flowers together are delightful. I just loved it all.

    1. Bobatka 05/25/2023

      That's right. There is nothing more wonderful than such a garden. I really admire the owner Tunnel Rush of the garden.

  2. jeremywalsh 04/06/2023

    Beautiful gardens. I am a hosta collector, so I appreciate your front path ;)

    1. User avater
      cynthia2020 04/06/2023

      We'll be wanting to see some of your garden, too : - D

    2. shegardens 04/06/2023

      Thank you! (Do you have a favorite weapon against—ugh—slugs?)

  3. MohawkValley 04/06/2023

    Very nice and very "comfortable" - looking . Yeah , most of us "lose" something here and there and from that comes a reaction and response of making sure that there's not a void there for long ..... Ha . Peace from the Mohawk Valley in New York .

  4. Oxdriftgardener 04/06/2023

    Beautiful Kathy, no need to change your colors. So many accents that blend so well with your current scheme, even the blue foot! Absolutely love all the hostas. Hostas are a big part of our yard too, I just haven't focused on those in the posts I have made so far. I'll get to that once we get into summer 2023 and do a closeup of the Japanese Garden. Looking forward to tomorrow's post!

    1. Oxdriftgardener 04/06/2023

      Sorry Kathy, I meant to sign the above as I'm not sure if you would recognize me as Oxdriftgardener

      1. shegardens 04/06/2023

        Thanks for identifying yourself, Keith. I did wonder—and for the encouragement regarding my color choices!
        Actually, I do have an area of tango lilies, day lilies , and coleus that lean heavily into the golds, bronzes, and rusty oranges. They’re hidden behind a stand of ‘Firecracker’ burgundy lysimachia and not visible on any of the photos I sent in.
        And I’m always happy to see the garden of another cold climate contributor. I look forward to seeing your Japanese garden.

  5. janetsydoruk 04/06/2023

    Just a glorious garden. Not enough adjectives to describe. Love your colour palette ! Perfect.

    1. shegardens 04/06/2023

      Thank you!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 04/06/2023

    Oh my! Your garden is my favorite style ever! The quintessential white wooden victorian country house, the white picket fence and all planted with lavenders, blues and green foliage plants1 I just can't tell you how much this garden speaks to me! I used to live in nice to see your gorgeous perfect!

  7. sheila_schultz 04/06/2023

    Kathy, the multitude of shapes and textures make your various gardens incredibly interesting and quite lovely for your setting. The lush feel of the plantings make me me smile!

  8. paiya 04/06/2023

    “Magnificent” says it all

  9. User avater
    cynthia2020 04/06/2023

    Kathy - I adore your beautiful, neat, and lush garden. I also like your sense of humor and how you referenced another GPOD contributor.

  10. user-7821942 04/06/2023


    Beautiful, serene garden. I, too, prefer a blue color palette and add pops of chartreuse and burgundy as accents for my mostly shade, zone 8a garden. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden and offering inspiration.

    1. shegardens 04/06/2023

      “Serene.” The mood I work for. Iowa summers are so hot and often humid (those August days when the cornfields are pollinating!) that I truly relish—what feels like— my blue oasis.

  11. btucker9675 04/06/2023

    Your garden "blue" my mind, too! That evolvulus in the blue pot is just stunning and the border with the allums and the white tulips... Loved it all!!

  12. jos29803 04/06/2023

    Captivating, serene and colorful!

  13. Expont38 05/15/2023

    I also wish I had a beautiful garden like this in the future! bitlife

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