Garden Photo of the Day

Kevin’s garden in Washington, D.C.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze

Today’s photos are from Kevin Schultze. He says, “I live on a very busy street in the heart of Washington D.C. I wanted to create a peaceful sanctuary on the edge of our very busy east-west thoroughfare in DC – Military Road, NW, so this is my front yard at the height of spring.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze

“The repeating ‘Becky’ Shasta daisies are what some motorists have told me draw their eyes into the yard. The light green small “tree” is ‘Tiger Eyes’ sumac. Red hot poker is just beyond the lower level daisies and ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass is peeking up in the rear.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze

The first five photos are last year’s photos at about the end of May, but my garden will look like this again in just a couple of weeks. The last few photos were taken last year at this exact time… They are in my back yard.”

That front yard is big-impact and beautiful, Kevin! I love the pop of color the red chair provides, too. Thanks for sharing!

‘Tiger Eyes’ sumac next to fountain and Shasta daisies. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze

***OK, everyone, I’m still running low on photos. Dig out your cameras, take a big long walk around your garden, and SEND ME PHOTOS! I love having more than I could possibly process to choose from!***

***One more thing…..have you always wondered what your fellow GPODers are like in person? Never thought you’d get a chance to meet them? Check this out…. While the GPOD isn’t officially a taunton forum, it’s close enough, and I wanted to extend the invite. Anybody at all interested? I’d be willing to search for some gardens to tour…

‘Moonbeam’ coreopsis. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze
Red tulips. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze
My golden retriever, Gracie, loves to relax out back amidst the flowers hoping a wayward squirrel scuttles down the two 100-year-old white oak trees. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kevin Schultze

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  1. user-1020932 05/13/2013

    the shastas might draw the eyes first but then one is drawn in to examine/enjoy all the other stuff. i especially like that peony. a welcome sight in the middle of the city.
    ok, everyone take to heart Michelle's invitation concerning the august confab. set aside some time and head to CT, you KNOW you want to!

  2. appaloosa 05/13/2013

    What are the big spikes of blue in the first picture?

  3. user-1020932 05/13/2013

    what are the 3 staked items between the pokers and street on that lower level?

  4. pattyspencer 05/13/2013

    Nice pictures - I too would like to know what those beautiful big spikes of blue are. I also like those red hot poker flower - really bright as are your tulips. Beautiful!

    No email yet - had to come through Friday's email. Hope this isn't the beginning of another hiccup.

  5. bee1nine 05/13/2013

    Hi Kevin- I'm loving those eye-popping pink peony blooms on
    top right photo!! Lovely specimen!!!
    appalossa and pattyspencer- Those spikes of blue I'm going to
    say are some kind of blue salvia.

  6. pattyspencer 05/13/2013

    @Bee1nine - thanks! I don't think I've seen it like that - I'll have to check it out further with an online search and also look back through my catalogs. Don't think I've see one that stands so high - I love it.

  7. Jay_Sifford 05/13/2013

    Very nice city garden.

    I too would like to know what the blue spikes are. They don't look like a salvia to me. Also, on the tigerseye sumac... theoretically I should be able to grow it but I've killed it and everyone I know who's tried it has killed it. What's the secret? I'd love to know. I'm zone 8a now, gave it 1/2 to 2/3rds day of sun, slighly moist soil.

  8. user-1020932 05/13/2013

    it's a blue salvia, i use them A LOT in containers as well as in the earth, i use Victoria Blue usually. i have killed the sumac as well ,,,,,,,,,,,,,more than once

  9. Jay_Sifford 05/13/2013

    Very cool salvia then. I'll look for it.
    RE the sumac, the only place I've seen it thriving was in front of an awesome nursery called Terrain near Philadelphia. I know a man there who bought five. Four died and one is hanging on. Anyone having great luck with it?

  10. user-1020932 05/13/2013

    another plant i have murdered several times is Euphorbia 'Bonfire' and i'm embarking on a mission of probable death for Gunnera

  11. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/13/2013

    Well, Kevin, your pictures say "Mission accomplished" when it comes to creating a welcoming sanctuary. Picture #1 seems to indicate that your house is fairly elevated above the road. That, along with all your delightful flowers,has to help in giving you that oasis feeling.
    The vibrantly blue spikes definitely look like salvia 'Victoria Blue' to me except on a heavy dose of steroids...they are awesome...maybe it's tricky camera angle.
    Count me among those who have had the death touch when it comes to a salivated over sumac. This 'Tiger Eye" has a beautiful luminescence...wish it were mine!

  12. mainer59 05/13/2013

    If it weren't for the photo showing the street below it would be hard to believe that this is an in town garden on a busy street. You have created a sanctuary. I marvel at the salvia. In Maine we grow it as an annual (although it really is a tender perennial). Not every garden center has it so it is something I seek out, but for fall color. Does it bloom for you all season long?

  13. wGardens 05/13/2013

    Your yard must be the envy of the neighborhood! I too, love that peony- do you know which variety it is? So far... I have had success with my "Tiger Eye" sumac. (Zone 5A). Neither gets full sun- the one that looks the best gets morning sun only. Average soil.

  14. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/13/2013

    I've wondered how one could integrate the acid-yellow leaves and clasihing pink blossums of that bleeding heart cultivar into a garden. Now I see! Nice job.

  15. briandowns 05/13/2013

    Gotta love it when the HOSE matches the chair! Now that's serendipity, or let's pretend it's all part of a master plan!

  16. briandowns 05/13/2013

    Regarding comments on the Tiger Eyes Sumac- drainage drainage drainage! Think about where sumac grows in the wild so to speak. Having said that, my Tiger Eyes is somewhere in the compost pile...

  17. tractor1 05/13/2013

    I notice that adirondack chair is reserved for me, and what a nice view of the street action. In my experience sumac thrives in well drained poor soil, here they grow along roadways, on steep slopes and in rocky hedgerows... the one in the first picture seems to be in an ideal spot on the edge of that steep slope. I'd like to have seen a picture of the entire front yard from the street. More pictures please, Kevin.

  18. cwheat000 05/13/2013

    Absolutely beautiful garden, but the first thing that struck me is that awesome undulating hill. The kid in me wants to put a slip n' slide on that. One would have to do a dramatic crash and roll at the bottom to avoid the parked cars, but that would be a total rush. Being a mom now, seeing my kid do that would give me a heart attack, but it is something I would definitely have done to my mother. A happy belated mother's day to my mom and all the moms out there. Tntreeman, I think the three vertical things are Karl Forester reed grass, if that is what you meant by staked things. Regarding August, I am already in CT, so I am definitely in. Also, I planted 3 euphorbias last year and I only have 1 and one half this spring. I feel your pain. I say if you don't kill a few things, you never learn how to grow stuff. I will pray for your Gunnera.

  19. SweetPeaGardens 05/13/2013

    Very nice Kevin! Perhaps you are the reason your street is so busy, it makes for a pleasant drive by! I hope your garden has inspired your neighbours to do the same. I have success with my Tiger Eyes sumac planted in front of a cedar hedge. Pittisporums like this spot too. Perhaps it is because the cedar roots take up the moisture? I'm Zone 7 in a temperate rain forest.

  20. cwheat000 05/13/2013

    Also, Gracie is adorable, give her a scratch behind the ears for me.

  21. dizzykayak 05/13/2013

    I'm surprised to hear everyone having problems with Tiger Eyes. I think it's because you are all too warm. I'm up here in Ontario, I had two in my urns for a summer, then plunked them into the garden and they have done great for a few years now. I also moved some with me from my previous house, and they were not treated very well during the move, they are also doing fantastic. My friend had her's stomped on by a hydro person, broke the main stem right off, and now she has 4 stems coming up.

    Kevin your garden is lovely. I also like the matching chair and hose. Maybe I will use yours as inspiration and buy myself a lime green hose. That will help the Lime green bleeding heart fit in too!

  22. Jay_Sifford 05/13/2013

    Not sure, dizzykayak. Before I posted my Tiger Eye dilemma I checked the Fine Gardening site. It says Tiger Eye is hardy to zone 9. Oh well, at least I'm not alone. Someone told me a long time ago, with regard to my orchid collection, that the reason I wasn't an expert orchid grower yet is that I hadn't thrown away enough plants. Perhaps the same applies to the sumac.

  23. briandowns 05/13/2013

    At the risk of being a party-pooper, the Tiger Eyes sumac is doing well NOW, as mine had at one point, but let's keep our branches crossed that the plant is around to see the next presidential innaguration!

  24. DCNative 05/13/2013

    Thanks for so many questions.
    The purple spikes in the foreground of the one shot are the annual Salvia - "Victoria Blue" is the color.
    The staked plans on the tier below the "Red Hot Poker" is "Lavender Mist Meadow Rue".
    Thanks again! Kevin Schultze

  25. DCNative 05/13/2013

    Mainer, Yes, the annual salvia blooms here from April to October. You're right, everyone, it's the angle of the shot. The salvia is in a tall pot on my front porch, so it looks like it's tall, but it's only about a foot tall.
    Someone asked about the Peony. I'm pretty sure it's "Miss Mary". I have two that are close to one another and one of them is "Miss Mary."

  26. DCNative 05/13/2013

    As for the Tiger Eyes Sumac. It does great for me. It even reseeds itself in several spots. I think it is due to the drainage... one of the benefits of being on a big hill.
    What I can't seem to grow well is Astilbe. I'm not sure why.

  27. Christopher3111 05/13/2013

    I wish everyone in the city could envision their yard this way! It seems there is no reason that cities cannot be lush green spaces. On the other hand, I am wondering if being so close to the streets and buildings might give city-dwellers the chance to zone up? Do I see some eucalyptus in there?

  28. wittyone 05/13/2013

    Kevin, How do you mow that lawn? It looks quite steep!

    I think the peony is either Bowl of Beauty or Gay Paree (they may be one and the same)---you know how catalogs like to rename plants to make them sound more interesting.

  29. DCNative 05/13/2013

    Christopher, oh wise one, you do see Eucalyptus. Someone taught me that growing zones are for the timid and that microclimates are the wave of the global warming future :)

  30. janeeliz 05/14/2013

    What an exciting front garden you've created, Kevin! Really vibrant! Now you've got me thinking I might try a Tiger's Eye on my back hill-facing east. I might join the list of plant killers but then , again, maybe it will work.

  31. ncgardener 05/14/2013


  32. DCNative 05/14/2013

    Go for it JaneEliz, and be sure to send us a picture when your Tiger Eyes is growing up a storm!

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