Garden Photo of the Day

Late Summer in Kevin’s Garden

Layers of garden beauty

My name is Kevin Kelly, and I garden in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b). My property is on 1/3 acre in a suburban neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 years. My garden is my place to relax and connect with nature. I have learned the importance of layering, texture, and repetition to create what I think is a pleasing design. Here are some photos of the garden as we are about to enter into autumn. The garden fared well over the summer, as we had abundant rainfall. Enjoy the images.

Garden layout in the front of a houseHere is an image of the front garden. This is on the north side of the house and gets the most sun. The grass serves mostly as a path. I have planted out most of the strip between the sidewalk and the curb.

Hydrangea paniculata White Diamonds in full bloomHydrangea paniculata White Diamonds® (Zones 3–9) looking awesome into September. The blooms were white in early July.

Combination of ageratum, mangave, and cryptomeriaCombination of ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum, annual), mangave (Agave hybrid, Zones 8–10), and cryptomeria (Cryptomeria japonica, Zones 5–9)

Combination of Rudbeckia 'American Gold Rush', Liriope muscari 'Variegata', and Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons’I planted this combination of Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’ (Zones 3–9), Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’ (Zones 5–10), and Panicum virgatum ‘Ruby Ribbons’ (Zones 3–9) along the sidewalk to be enjoyed by those passing by.

Pennisetum setaceum glowing in the sunPennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ (Zones 9–10 or as an annual) glowing in the setting sun

showing off how layering plants can bring out so much more in your gardenI think this image of Eutrochium purpureum ‘Little Red’ (Zones 4–9) and Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ (Zones 4–7) shows the importance of layering as part of a design.

Hyelotelephium and Melampodium divaricatumHylotelephium ‘Purple Emperor’ (Zones 3–9) and Melampodium divaricatum (Zones 2–11)

beautiful vibrant colors coming the gardenNasella tenuissima (Zones 6–10), Gaillardia (annual or short-lived perennial), Lemon Coral® sedum (Sedum mexicanum ‘Lemon Coral’, Zones 7–11 or as an annual), and New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri, Zones 10–11 or as an annual)

pollinator gardenThis was a full-shade garden until three years ago when I took down two Callery pears (Pyrus calleryana, Zones 5–9) due to their invasive nature. I have been reworking this area into a pollinator garden.

Solidago and Dinosaur KaleSolidago and dinosaur kale (Brassica oleracea, annual) create a captivating combination of texture and color contrast.

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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 10/06/2021

    Just splendid, you have it mastered, the garden shows so very well. Must be a delight to passers-by. Very well done. Thank you for posting and sharing.

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks so much. I love talking with people as they pass by. I have many plants that are fun for kids as well, either fun to touch or smell, so I take every chance I get to teach them about nature.

  2. garden1953 10/06/2021

    Your gardens are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks so much.

  3. Jay_Sifford 10/06/2021

    Beautiful as always, Kevin. Hope you are doing well.

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks, Jay. Now that I work only 12 hours a week, I have so much more time for gardening, biking, and educating via the Master Gardener program.

  4. nwphilagardener 10/06/2021

    Great photos! Some uncommon plants! Plant juxtapositions showcasing great composition! .....and careful maintenance!

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks so much. I have realized that getting textural contrast is what makes the garden really look great.

  5. milanesemum 10/06/2021

    Your garden literally sings! Do you have the mangave planted in the ground? Curious how it does over the winter.

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      The Mangave is in the ground from early spring until late fall. It can handle temps down to about 35 degrees. I will put it in a pot and bring it inside for the winter. I have about 30 succulents, some getting pretty big, that have to go indoors. Needless to say, I get stuck a lot twice a year.

  6. Maggieat11 10/06/2021

    Always such a pleasure to see one of my favorite gardens. I look forward to the next time...... Thank you so much.🌿

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks. I am glad you enjoy some of my compositions.

  7. User avater
    simplesue 10/06/2021

    Such a beautiful house and garden!
    You must have some fabulous soil- everything is thriving and picture perfect!.
    I love your curb plantings too!
    You've really made a suburban house look well established with your garden around it- as if it has a history of being there much longer...I like that look!

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks. The soil was typical clay stripped of most topsoil when the development was built. Years of adding compost and gathering up as many leaves as I could have improved the soil so well. I have areas now that I can just use my hands to put n new plants or bulbs. Has been worth the effort.

  8. annek 10/06/2021

    The lush plantings, beautiful pairings and color combos are delightful. You have created a cohesive garden that bursts with charm.

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks so much.

  9. sheila_schultz 10/06/2021

    Your combinations are always so thoughtful, Kevin. The fall colors and blends are perfection and I'm loving the addition of the Dinosaur Kale. So fun!

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks, Sheila. This is the first year with the Dinosaur Kale. I got some seeds and gave it a go. First, I love the taste. Second, it has brought incredible texture to the garden. I will be using it often in the future.

  10. alicefleurkens 10/06/2021

    Hi Kevin. What a beautiful garden you have. I love the dinosaur kale. You have every plant I love and it is so nice to see the different combinations that you have. I also love blue and purple anything in the garden like Blue Salvia annual that are at their nicest right now. Wish I could visit.

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks so much. I have found a love affair with the Dinosaur kale. Works great with so many other plants, and tastes good as well.

  11. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/06/2021

    Beautiful as always, Kevin.

    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021

      Thanks so much

  12. btucker9675 10/06/2021


    1. imajayhawk 10/06/2021


  13. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 10/10/2021

    Kevin, your fall garden has so many interesting plants that still shine. I especially like your grasses. It’s also photographed beautifully. Cheers.

    1. imajayhawk 10/11/2021

      Thanks, Linda. Good to hear from you. Hope things are going well in your garden.

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