Garden Photo of the Day

Late Spring Garden

Joe Koller shares his garden in the Baltimore Highlands.

"These photos were taken in June and include several areas that were started this spring. The annuals in the  long border garden were added to provide color for my son's wedding party held on June 25.  This expanded border also includes newly planted switch grass, heliopsis, huechera, heucherella, Sedum Angelina, ferns, Solomon's Seal, herbs etc.  I am currently looking for taller background plants for a 20 foot section of this area.  The container was overwintered just as it is with the exception of the Pineapple Sage. I hope you enjoy this spring's efforts."

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 07/07/2016

    G'day Joe - What a scene for a ripper wedding party! The flower beds are lovely, and the lawn is spectacular - obviously well fertilised and manicured. What do you have placed at the base of the tree in the pic. with the flag? Cheers

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Frank, A ripper wedding party , I like that phrase. The wedding party & 40 of the guests arrived in a convoy on motorcycles. The pinwheel at the base of the crape myrtle are alternating patches of Scotch & Irish Moss & was started from plugs the spring 2015. The 25 Harley Davidsons parked out front stopped traffic & stole the show. Have a ripper of a day Frank, Joe

      1. frankgreenhalgh 07/07/2016

        Greetings Joe - The wedding party sounds like it was better than a ripper. It was a humdinger (look that one up)!

        1. user-7007498 07/07/2016

          I don't know, Frank. It seems like a ripper of a party sounds like more fun than a humdinger. ?

          1. frankgreenhalgh 07/07/2016

            Hi Kevin - I'm loving this. Enough Aussie slang for now. It's been a hoot!

        2. user-3565112 07/07/2016

          I looked it up Frank & your whole country is a humdinger. I know 2 people who were there. The 1st was a marine who was one of many nursed back to health by an Australian family after Guadalcanal & the 2nd was is my brother in law on r&r from Vietnam. He did not want to come home after his stay there. Good luck , Joe

          1. frankgreenhalgh 07/07/2016

            Joe - Make it 3 by also coming down here. We will look after you!

  2. user-7007498 07/07/2016

    Joe - what a lovely setting for a wedding. I, too, had been wondering about what was planted under the crape myrtle until I saw your post to Frank. Cool idea with the moss. Providing us with a picture from an elevation was a great idea. It helped to see an overview of the garden from a different perspective. Nice mix of "greens" with intermittent "pops" of color. Great garden.

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you Kevin, After 35 plus years I am starting to pick up on the texture & foliage aspect of gardening thanks to the gardens you & other GPOD'ers post. Good luck, Joe

  3. NCYarden 07/07/2016

    Perfect setting for a wedding party. Great beds that form the borders. And how exciting to be considering more plants to add. Love the moss layout. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you NC , That day was the 1st really nice day weather wise we had this season. The day before we had heavy rain & I sprayed with an organic insect repellant that worked like a charm.
      Thank you & good luck, Joe

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/07/2016

    Your backyard looks like it provided a beautiful backdrop for the very special occasion of a family wedding. I'll bet it garnered its fair share of "oohs" and "ahhhs" as people arrived and settled in...of course, once the bride and groom appeared, all eyes were all them! I love the pinwheel effect around the crape myrtle...very cool effect and you have to be delighted to see it all filled in so perfectly.
    You mentioned wanting some taller background plants for a 20 ft you have any of the paniculata type hydrangeas like 'Limelight', 'Firelight' or 'Pinky Winky' (silly name but great blooms)? They'd certainly give some height and the dried flower heads add texture throughout the winter.
    Anyway, congrats on hosting the wedding.

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you Meander. Some of the ladies who arrived on motorcycles asked a bunch of questions & I gave away some back issues of Fine Gardening magazine. The guests had a great time , the weather was terrific.
      I have a Limelight in the Hospice garden but this past week I bought 3 Ilex x Rutzan Red Beauty (my 1st use of Latin) another gardening milestone. The moss looks best in spring & fall but suffers a little in summer due to shade
      Thank you & good luck , Joe

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 07/07/2016

        I'm smiling as I type this but Tim and Jeff will be proud of you for your use of the Latin name. In spite of my 3 years of high school latin...the correct botanical names just don't stick.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/07/2016

          I'm swelling with pride! Latin names: hooray! :)

        2. user-3565112 07/07/2016

          I feel like that character in the Steve Martin movie when he saw his name in the phone book for the 1st. time.

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 07/07/2016


          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/07/2016

            You are 'somebody'!

        3. NCYarden 07/07/2016

          All right Michaele! A little Latin hero. I took 6 years myself, and it drives Christine crazy when I use it because she doesn't care near as much and often is lost as to which plant I am referring. And I also tend to be a strict Latin guy with correct pronunciation, not the English influenced Latin, and with that said, and not to be dirty, but 'pinus' always gives me a snicker every time (can't suppress the boy in a grown man), and I suppose sometimes raises some eyebrows among others in conversation. I have, however, backed away from exclusive Latin and used more common names as I have gotten older.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/07/2016

            Too funny. You'll have to promise to not snicker when you hear my americanized latin pronunciation, having never studied Latin. Plus, I have a hard time changing pronunciation when I've become accustomed to saying it one way. I still say "Hoocheruh", even after being told it is 'Hookeruh', although I read it is named after a gentleman named (phonetic) "Hoyker' and should be pronounced 'Hoykeruh'. Dead languages......

          2. NCYarden 07/07/2016

            Haha Tim. Even after being corrected myself, I too love to say a nice drawn out "Hooochairrraaah", even rolling the "r" quite a bit. It's just too fun. I swear we must be related
            As for the letter "i" in Latin, it is pronounced like a long "e". Now go have fun with your new word in the garden. Snicker!!

          3. frankgreenhalgh 07/07/2016

            As long as that is all it raises NCYarden!!!!!!!!!!

          4. NCYarden 07/07/2016

            Hahahahahahahahaha, good one Frank...too good.

          5. User avater
            meander_michaele 07/07/2016

            Well, you guys are having a downright jolly old time here. I don't remember my ancient Latin teacher (I thought, at the time, she seemed so old that it might have been the language she was born speaking) telling us the rule about an "i" being pronounced with the long e sound. She probably didn't trust us with that info as it could have opened the door for some sly snickering with certain words.

  5. barbarapatchettbonnett 07/07/2016


    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you Barbara. Good luck, Joe

  6. diane_lasauce 07/07/2016

    So neat and tidy Joe. Which photo is of your wife's memorial garden?

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Diane, The Hospice garden is the circular one in the overhead photo. The memorial garden is not shown in these photos & I can email you a few photos.
      Thank you & good luck at the farmers market , Joe

  7. user-4691082 07/07/2016

    Dear Joe,
    What a beautiful setting for a wedding! I loved today's comments...Frank, we are so blessed to have an Aussie among us. I love learning the slang. I also loved hearing about the convoy of motorcycles, Joe. I know your son appreciated having a beautiful place for his wedding party. He's lucky to have you for a dad! Best wishes,

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you Rhonda, It was a great day. My son married his high school sweetheart from 20 yrs. ago. They were not expecting the tent & a catered affair & he & his bride were totally surprised. The convoy went thru the neighborhood on the route to here & created a lot of interest. Thank you for your kind remarks & good luck, Joe

    2. user-3565112 07/08/2016

      Rhonda , from another post I saw you are in S.E. Pa. My grandparents & extended family hale from New Freedom Pa. I often ride my bike with my grandson on the rail trail from Monkton Md. to a few miles above New Freedom. The 1st. community above the Mason Dixon line on the trail is Koller Pointe but I don't know what that's all about. It's a small world & good luck to you, Joe

  8. bonnielemoine 07/07/2016

    A really beautiful garden! Thanks for sharing such wonderful pictures for ideas. So motivational to us other gardeners. :).

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you Bonnie. This is a great site for gardening ideas as opposed to books. The books I,ve had ( and given to libraries ) seem to make the gardens appear professional & un-doable. With this site you get ideas in small manageable bits ( the heuchera & heucherella ) came from Tim's post. Thank you & good luck, Joe

      1. bonnielemoine 07/08/2016

        Joe, Someone mentioned a memorial garden in the comments. Do you happen to have pictures by chance? Would love to see them. Appreciate it!

        1. user-3565112 07/08/2016

          Bonnie, If you type my name in the SEARCH block on the top of this page Fine Gardening will show a list of my posts. The ist one A Front Yard Garden in one year also features my Wife's memorial garden. My other posts also show the garden. Thank you for your interest and kind comments, Joe

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/07/2016

    Hey Joe (or am I Joe?). So great to see more views of your wonderful garden. I'm so impressed. So much color and texture, and to throw in some British slang (not that I am British), it is tickety-boo. I'm glad that our good friend down-under (whose comments are always down-under in the comments section!) pointed out the scotch moss. Brilliant. Your blooming Deutizia is so beautiful that I might have to put it on my want-list. The big red coleus in the first pic is one of my favorites. Coleus are one of those plants that has come a long way since the 60's when there were maybe two available that my family grew! I have a new one this year called Shiny Shoes that is very un-coleus looking. You might like it. Cheers!

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Tim, I am getting a little confused myself when in the garden because some of the new plant ideas came from yours. The corabells & sambuncus ( not shown ) were direct steals from you recent posts. I was able to overwinter the deutzia container using your suggestion last fall. I have since moved the deutzia to a berm in the Memorial Garden. That berm idea came from Kevin's post. Finding out what tickety-boo means will take some work. I guess I'm a garden plagiarist , good luck , Joe

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/07/2016

        We all inspire each other, Joe. No plagiarism involved. That really is the fun thing about the online gardening community. I think there are going to be a lot of experiments going on with scotch moss patterns now!!
        I hope the coral bells do great for you in your climate and hope you love the Sambucus as much as I do.

        1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

          I am glad you like the moss. I bought 2 of the Sambucus Black Lace & one is planted to hopefully provide some shade for a goldspot that gets scorched & the 2nd is in a large container ( set in the ground ) that I plan to move to the memorial to replace a rug juniper removed because it was going bananas. It is a beautiful plant & looks like a small dark maple at this time.
          Thanks for the tips, Joe

          1. eddireid 07/07/2016

            I am getting very jealous! My sambucus died after a very hard winter, and I loved that plant. Tim's garden is very sheltered which is a great advantage, and your own garden seems well protected, so very good luck with it.
            I may be brave and try another sambucus in a more protected area. I promise to brag if it survives!

          2. user-3565112 07/07/2016

            Eddi,Thank you for the tip. I will put winter protection around the one I plant in the memorial garden. The other is next to the house & protected by shrubbery. Thank you & good luck, Joe

          3. user-7007498 07/08/2016

            Joe: You will love Sambucus "Black Lace". It has awesome bark as well. I like to prune it into a vase shape to show off the bark.

      2. frankgreenhalgh 07/07/2016

        Yes it's not plagiarism Joe - it's R&D i.e. rob and duplicate - only joking of course!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/07/2016

          Best laugh of my day, Frank! Thanks.

  10. User avater
    HelloFromMD 07/07/2016

    Congratulations on your son getting married. I have two 20 somethings yet to get engaged. Nice of you to add color for the wedding. Would that lead to adding annuals in the future? I am a big fan of annuals since I love color so much. A coleus fan as well. Just went to Green Springs Garden over the weekend and saw coleus Campfire. Deep rich orangey color. Will add that one to my list. I like the view in picture 3. Your gardens are lovely and set off perfectly by your lawn and neat edges. Do you edge every year?

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/07/2016

      Coleus Campfire: now on my list.

      1. NCYarden 07/07/2016

        Christine picked it up this year. Not been disappointed. Has made to the list to do again next season.

    2. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you, I hope to expand that border this fall & winter & combine annuals & perennials.My children said I need to slow down a little but I might have 1 or 2 good few good years left. The annuals mixed with perennials idea came from you & your post featuring your garden & the white flower farm border you featured. Heretofore I thought that was a no-no & gauche. I do edge every year ( several times ) but this year I had a landscaping contractor do the mulching. That was a mixed blessing because a lot of plants in the front yard gardens are no shows now.
      Thank you & good luck, Joe

      1. frankgreenhalgh 07/07/2016

        Come on Joe - never mind this 'a few good years left' stuff (code for crap - Oops can I say that?), your garden and the GPOD community need you to be kicking long and strong!

    3. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Pleasoe excuse the typos in my previous response a few good years left & insert considered in front of gauche. Sorry about that, Joe

  11. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/07/2016

    I bet it was amazingly beautiful for the wedding. Love your use of annuals.

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you for your kind comments. The timing for this party was perfect & fortuitous because 2 days later the water supply line burst under my front yard gardens. It was a real mess.
      good Luck, Joe

      1. eddireid 07/07/2016

        Such is gardening! On The Day, it was perfect.

  12. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 07/07/2016

    Just very pretty, Joe, and now we'll all be plagiarizing you:) Love the moss. Does it grow as well there as out here in the PNW? That wedding sounds perfect and so much better than an indoor affair. You have a lucky son. Those pops of color with the coleus add so much. Coleus, like others said has sure improved along with many types of begonias. Hybridizers sure make our lives more interesting, eh.? Hope you're out enjoying your garden every day. Linda

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Linda, During the summer I water the moss once or twice a week and add fish fertilizer once a mo. & it has done. The coleus ids Redhead 7 I get it from a friend who sells this & lots of herbs at a local farmers market.
      Thank you for your kind comments, Joe

      1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

        Linda, 2 more typos, I need to proof read before I send replies. Sorry about that, Joe

  13. eddireid 07/07/2016

    I love garden weddings. Your garden must have thrilled everyone, Joe, it is so beautifully designed and kept, a wonderful wedding gift.
    The sweeping lawn and sense of seclusion without feelin cut off from others, is very cleverly done. The bright pops of color, the little statues and bird baths, the flag - all feel celebratory. Great job, Joe.

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Eddi, I am glad you like what we've done It was a beautiful day & fun for everyone. I had a lot of help from my daughter's & we supplemented the catered food with Maryland Crab soup ,coddies etc.
      Thank you for your kind remarks, & good luck, Joe

  14. Cenepk10 07/07/2016

    Just gorgeous... Looks like you've had sufficient rain. So lush !!! Nice nice garden, Joe !!! Appreciate you sharing

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      We've had a very wet May & June & the established plants thrived. I
      I am glad to hear you like it & I hope you & your gardens are doing well.
      Good luck, Joe

  15. jeraleemornhinweg 07/07/2016

    Beautiful! Gives me hope for my barren fence line.

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you Jeralee. My guess in 3 years you won't know the fence is there. The crape myrtle Tonto with the moss base came from Pikes nursery that was in your vicinity near Stone Mountain. Next to her church that was my mother in laws favorite place on this planet. I hope it is still open because it was worth visiting.
      Good luck, Joe

  16. greengenes 07/07/2016

    Nice designs of the beds, Joe! Wonderful place for a wedding! Love your deutzia and all the colors of the annuals! Have a great summer!

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you Jeanne, I hope your summer is a great one also.
      Good luck, Joe

  17. anitaberlanga 07/07/2016

    what a lovely garden, Joe! I rarely plant annuals in the ground (usually pots only) but your post has me rethinking that! I'll bet that wedding was gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your garden.

    1. user-3565112 07/07/2016

      Thank you , Anita We are in zone 7 & impations, Vinca Pacifica & seed geraniums do really well in the ground in this area. We never mixed them with perennials until this spring. I have had zero luck with petunias but that's my fault because my friend grows mountains of them 3 blocks away.
      Thank you & good luck, Joe

  18. wGardens 07/07/2016

    Very nice, Joe! Love your curved beds~ love that overhead shot! What is the tree featured in that photo? How special to have your sons' wedding there! Best wishes for a wonderful summer!

    1. user-3565112 07/08/2016

      Margaret, Thank you for your kind remarks. The tree with the moss at the base is a crape myrtle Tonto . The tree with the white blooms is a Viburnum.
      I hope you have a great summer also & good luck, Joe

      1. wGardens 07/08/2016

        Thanks for letting me know, Joe. Those Myrtles are wonderful trees! Wish I could grow one in my zone. Looking forward to more photos!

  19. Chris_N 07/07/2016

    Great garden, Joe. What a wonderful place for a wedding. I also noticed your Irish/Scotch moss pinwheel and said wow, what is that? Keep sending in photos!

    1. user-3565112 07/08/2016

      Chris, Thank you for the compliments. I am going to send in photos of the Hospice garden this fall when the Hydrangea tree is in full bloom ( I hope).
      Thank you & good luck Chris, Joe

  20. VikkiVA 07/08/2016

    I love your garden Joe! I especially like your well defined beds and the fullness of color you have achieved with the variety of plants you use. Is the flowering shrub in your 2nd photo Deutzia? Vikki in VA

    1. user-3565112 07/08/2016

      Vikki, Thank you, The plant is Deutzia Yuki Cherry blossom & is in a container that was overwintered next a south facing wall of my house. I have since planted it in my Wife's memorial garden. Thank you for your kind remarks & good luck, Joe

  21. schatzi 07/11/2016

    Sorry to be so late to the discussion. Your garden is gorgeous, Joe. The wedding must have been beautiful. So glad the water problem held off until after. Coleus Campfire is now on my list - it glows.
    2 things, Joe: you only slow down when and as much as your body forces you to and never stop! I know I have had to slow down, but it hasn't affected my plant acquisitiveness at all!

    And the second thing is, if you borrow from one source it's plagiarism, but if you borrow from many, it's research! We all do a lot of research! I also like Frank's definition of R&D.
    Happy days!!

    1. user-3565112 07/11/2016

      Shirley, Thank you for your comments. Your right about your body telling you when to take a break & how hard to push. Use it or lose it is the way to go. I like your plagiarism explanation.
      Thank you & good luck this summer, Joe

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