Garden Photo of the Day

Late Summer Memories

A diverse garden

Agave americana (century plant, zones 8 - 10) steals the show.

Jeff Calton sent these views of his incredible garden in late summer, showing how his rich patchwork of diverse plants create a beautiful, complex garden.

Orostachys iwarenge (duncecaps, Zones 5 – 8)
A view of a mixed bed, looking to south lawn.
Oreganum ‘Lizzie’ (hybrid oregano, Zones 6 – 8) and Sempervivum (hens and chicks, Zones 3 – 8)
Muhlengergia capillaris (pink muhlygrass, Zones 6 – 9 ) putting on her show.
Mixed planting looking to west lawn featuring Hydrangea arborescens (smooth hydrangea, Zones 3 – 9) in the foreground backed by the yellow daylily ‘Hyperion’ (Hemerocallis ‘Hyperion’, Zones 3 – 8).

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  1. User avater
    Kevin_PaGardener 02/12/2018

    Good morning, Jeff. It is great to see photos of your garden again. I love mixed, informal borders and yours are stunning. The rocks add so much texture and weight to the garden. I always drool over Muhly grass since it is not reliably hardy in Harrisburg, and I have only gotten it overwinter once, before finally killing it.

    The Joe Eye weed (now Eutrochium, instead of Eupatorium), looks great flaming the path to the south lawn.

    Obviously, the caption on the last photo got mixed up, but what a great combo of lilies, phlox and Lagerstroemia.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      Thanks, Kevin, i'm starving to death here for spring. Rain the past 3 days and in the 60's so I have birds singing and frogs peeping. That last photo is not mine but it is my caption. Easy to get things shuffled when one is inundated by pics from everywhere. Michaele converted me to the Muhlenbergia cult, she is a devout missionary! The Joe Pye is Baby Joe but it got larger than I had intended. I used to get one that stayed smaller and very dense but never planted any at home and now I can't find it again!

      1. User avater
        Kevin_PaGardener 02/12/2018

        We are still in the 30s and 40s with snow on the ground, even with 1 inch of rain yesterday. I am also starting to get garden crazy.

        ‘Little Joe’ sure got big! Must like the spot. I have also grown the variegated Joe Pye ‘Pink Frost’, which tops out about 3 feet.

        1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

          I am not a fan of February warm spells it always spells damage or disaster later in the season

      2. User avater
        CAlexander 02/12/2018

        Hi Jeff,

        So sorry for the mistake in the images! I have updated to the right picture of your hydrangea and day lily - much better. Your garden is lovely! Thank you for your understanding!


        Christine (FG Web Producer)

        1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

          Not a problem for me at all! I was momentarily confused this morning but after my coffee IV drip I could see it was a small slip up. no biggie but thanks!

  2. flowerladydi 02/12/2018

    Fabulous Jeff,,, as always! I love the oregano!,,,, so great with the hens and chicks! Looks kind of like a shock of hair with 2 eyes ,,,, maybe your intent, as you are so creative and fun! The pink Muhlenbergia is specatcular too! It is amazing to me how just one zone away can have such an affect,,,but I keep trying,, every once in a while I find the right little micro climate. Always a treat to see your pics!

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      That Oregano is a keeper! It performs much better than Kent Beauty for me in ground. READY for spring here

      1. User avater
        HelloFromMD 02/12/2018

        That's exciting to hear. Kent Beauty didn't perform for me. Have to try this one!

        1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

          I have good luck with Kent Beauty in containers but in ground not so much

  3. garden1953 02/12/2018

    There is a Muhlenbergia reverchonii grass that is Plant Select zone 5-10 that I've been growing in my Colorado gardens for about 3 years. I consider my site a mostly zone 4 but it does well here at 7,600'.

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      Nice one! I am not familiar with that grass at all

  4. Maggieat11 02/12/2018

    Wonderful , Jeff! I always look forward to seeing your photos! That Muhly Grass planting is a stunner! What is the tree on the left in the south lawn photo? Thanks for sharing!

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      not sure which tree you are asking about the small one with 3 branches from the trunk is a Yoshino cherry

  5. User avater
    DawnMT 02/12/2018

    Very nice. Love the oregano spilling over the rocks. Rocks add so much to a husband and I are always collecting rocks and even buying boulders. Thank you for sharing!

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/12/2018

    Hi, Jeff, I love it when you send in pictures because I always end up learning something. How is it that I'm unfamiliar with that adorable Orostachys iwarenge? Of course, I would only refer to it by its English name because it would give me a smile to say "duncecaps. I'm also quite besotted with that fun looking variety of certainly adds pizzaz to its rocky "neighborhood". And, yes, yes, yes to the continues to hold a key to my heart!
    I share your antsiness for spring to really settle in. I've been hearing the peepers for the past two rainy nights so that's always a harbinger.

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      Peepers here too and I always think of you when I hear them. That oregano is a good one to have. The duncecaps are hit and miss for me and I always wonder if they will reappear each spring,,,,,,,,so far so good. Still raining here and the earth is soup, creeks and river are to the brim and the sky is "panza de burro"

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 02/12/2018

        Ha, I might not know the exact translation of "panza de burro" but I think I get the drift...since we are in the same weather belt as you.

        1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

          gray, sort of fluffy like the belly of a burro ,,,,,,,much more fun than saying cloudy

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 02/12/2018

            Oh, yes, I really like that imagery and much more playful than just saying cloudy. I was happy to see the last photo swapped out to the one you submitted. Love the camera angle where you really captured the great texture on the hydrangea blooms and have the yellow of the daylilies bouncing so effectively off the blue of the echinops(?).

    2. User avater
      PKKing 02/12/2018

      Hi Michaele,
      Could you tell me again the name of the FB group that started recently from the GPOD group? Thanks! Priscilla....

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 02/12/2018

        Hi, Pricilla, it's called Shared Garden Visions. Please let me know if using that name on FB doesn't show up for I can figure out if I passed along an incorrect name.

  7. Chris_N 02/12/2018

    Hi Jeff. Your agave certainly does steal the show. Caught my eye right away. Also, I think the Joe-Pye weed works even if it did get taller than intended. It acts like gate posts to frame the end of the garden path and the beginning of the lawn beyond. I thought when I saw it that it was a clever idea to put something so bold where most people (that is, me) would have put something smaller. Just claim you planned it that way.

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      I have a lot of happy accidents around here along with some not so happy ones! That Agave will have to go at the end of the upcoming season it's just getting too big to over winter

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/12/2018

    Exceptional as always. That is a great Oregano. I squinted for quite a while at the fish art trying to figure out what in the world kind of flower that was. I grew a big clump of muhly from seed and have it in a big container with good drainage. Haven't had success in the garden, so fingers crossed!

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      the muhly does great here on that little slope but this winter killed off ALL of the rosemary I fear. we will see in april what I have left. those fish are so much fun and are maddening for the cat that roams around here searching for voles and chipmunks

  9. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 02/12/2018

    Good morning, Jeff. It’s always fun to see your garden since it’s so diverse and full of playfulness. Your muhly grass is beautiful. How long have you been growing that particular patch? I’ve had a small clump for 3 yrs that finally showed a little pink this year so I’m hopeful. Love the oregano, too. Tim sent me on a search for fish...finally found them:)

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      this will be muhly's 4th season here in the valley.

  10. sheila_schultz 02/12/2018

    What a fun way to start off the week, Mornin' Jeff! As always, your designs are a delight. 'Lizzie' is definitely a keeper, she's one of the best looking oregano's I've seen, and of course she's perfectly paired with the hens and chicks. I'm also quite envious of your Orostachys iwarenge, it's so tight. I love it! Mine were always a disappointment. Funny thing about the last photo... it's a lovely shot, but at first glance it just didn't look like your style. Then I read the caption and I knew something was amiss.
    Fingers crossed one of your friends will lay claim to your agave at the end of the coming season. I know from experience that the big boys are hard to re-home because of the space required. Good luck!

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      Those duncecaps,,,,,,,sometimes nice and sometimes struggling. That last photo kind of threw me for a loop this morning,,,,,,,,pre coffee. just a mix up and I was glad to see the lilies

  11. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/12/2018

    Nancy Bellaire (HelloFromMD)
    Somewhat puzzled by the login. I was on DISCUS before. Is that gone now?

    Anyway, Hi Jeff! Wonderful pictures, as always. Your silver foliage plants just sparkle. Jealous of the pink grass. My garden club is trying to get it to grow and be showy in our native garden, but is is pitiful so far. I spot a pretty yellow lily. Do you recommend it?

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      It took a season or two for my muhly to take hold and grow. I am hoping this past winter didn't knock it for a loop. I have very few daylilies but I do like that one a lot, it's the old standby Hyperion, fragrant and with huge sturdy flowers. The grandsons love to smell them as the flowers are as large as their face and they get their nose dusted to a bright yellow with the pollen.

  12. btucker9675 02/12/2018

    Jeff - your last name is so appropriate given the beauty of your garden! I planted 4 muhly grasses last September and can't wait to see how they do this year - never had them in NJ so am trying them here in the Charlotte area.

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      Thanks! but not my real name, it's the name of my business and everybody locally calls me Jeff Goodearth. It was also a good moniker for hiding out on FB ! i'm maybe 3 hours from Charlotte and will be driving to the airport yet again, next month.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 02/12/2018

        Hope you will be heading off on a trip that includes wonderful plants at the destination.

        1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

          Mike, i'm going to the Succulent Celebration in San Diego. I will go crazy

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 02/12/2018

            Hate to sound like a once upon a time valley girl but...OMG...that sounds so awesome! It is almost scary what a good time you will having. Did you just buy a one way airline ticket so you can rent a U Haul filled with plants for the return trip?

  13. user-1020932 02/12/2018

    Not sure I will want to return!

  14. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 02/12/2018

    I always enjoy seeing photos of your garden, Jeff. And, as always, these are stunning. Counting the days until I can dig in the dirt once more.

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      Thanks and I am itching to get in the dirt but at this point it's soup! Rain for days

  15. Meelianthus 02/12/2018

    Goodmorning Jeff ~ Your mixed beds looking onto your south lawn are always so lush and inviting for a stroll. And the 'Lizzie' oregano is such a happy little succulent, always makes me smile. Maybe your photos will herald the arrival of an early Spring, or maybe just more wishful dreams! Thanks Jeff
    P.S. 'Goodearth' IS a great name for YOU.

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      I wish for an early spring but not a late frost! It has been a trying winter with the brutal extended cold, I am ready to sweat and complain about the heat and humidity

  16. perenniallycrazy 02/12/2018

    Good morning Jeff. Just what the doctor ordered: garden therapy and it's free! It's great to see you garden again. It's just like the Agave Americana, it steals the show. Have a great week everyone.

  17. bsavage 02/12/2018

    So, so beautiful!!! It must be just stunning in person!

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      Thanks! if you're in the area stop by and help pull weeds :)

  18. cheryl_c 02/12/2018

    Jeff, thanks for a great week-starter~ Our ice is melting off this afternoon, so I got out to do a little pruning. Your pictures truly do inspire, from first to last! Thanks, Joseph, for swapping out the last photo midstream - the 'new' last one is quite special. I like it that you shot it over the hydrangea, so that I had to really look to make sure the blooms weren't some beautifully rounded green shrubs! Sorry to hear your agave will be looking for a new home - perhaps a permanent indoor at a local business or nursing home? Thanks for stimulating our thought processes with all your great combinations!

    1. user-1020932 02/12/2018

      Thanks, Cheryl, it has been strangely warm here with frogs peeping and birds singing but cooler today and rain for DAYS. I will rehome the Agave somewhere, when things outgrow my space I can usually find them a new growing ground

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