Garden Photo of the Day

Like Fine Wine, This Garden Gets Better All the Time

Forty years of gardening fill this space with cottage-garden blooms

Today we’re visiting the garden of Steven W.

We are located in western Washington, Zone 8b. We grow an eclectic garden of mostly flowers and shrubs. The garden is 40 years old and has evolved over the years. The original shrubs are mostly still here, surrounded by new ones we have added. Over the years we have experimented with many plant combinations. Patience is mostly what we learned.

Purple garden phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–8) is always beautiful with its abundant, fragrant flowers beloved by butterflies. Here it is backed by the huge white bloom spikes of yucca (Yucca sp.).

Burning scarlet goblets of oriental poppies (Papaver orientalis, Zones 3–7) mingling with spires of delphinium (Delphinium elatum, Zones 2–7) and lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus, Zones 4–8).

More delphinium and lupines dancing with corn poppies (Papaver rhoeas, annual).

A magical path around and under enormous, blossom-laden mature rhododendrons. Rhododendrons are always beautiful, but there is something magical that happens when they get big enough that you can walk under them.

A mix of bright, loose, informal annuals. Red corn poppies, orange California poppies (Eschscholzia californica, annual), and blue bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus, Zones 3–8 or as annual).

A beautiful pink duo: lilies and wand flower (Gaura lindheimeri, Zones 6–9).

A soft pink oriental poppy paired perfectly with a blue delphinium.


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View Comments


  1. mjensen 11/27/2018

    love it, Lupins and Gaura are my favorites

  2. paiya 11/27/2018

    Steven, it was so joyful to wake up this grey morning in the East and see the profusion of beautiful colors and shapes. My favorite is the soft apricot-pink poppies and blue delphiniums

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/27/2018

    My, my, how beautiful!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/27/2018

    You certainly have some wonderful flower combinations, Steven...from soft and subtle to bold and vibrant. Your photos look like living bouquets that would delight anyone.

  5. btucker9675 11/27/2018

    This garden is magical - the deep blues with the warm reds, pinks, yellows and corals are simply stunning. From the gardens I've seen on this site, I believe that Washington and Oregon must be gardening heavens!

  6. cheryl_c 11/27/2018

    Steven, there is a reason that garden classics, such as lilies and phlox and poppies, have become classics - it is because they are consistent and reliable. We often (speaking for myself) get attracted to the newest and most unusual, but your garden shows us that the classics can be combined in new ways to make them unique and contemporary, and beautiful. I especially love the picture of the lily with the gaura - a combo I would never have thought of, but truly striking. Thanks so much!

  7. User avater
    johninsancarlos 11/27/2018

    Wonderful! I love the abundance of flowers and colors. It's my favorite type of garden.

  8. Steven11 11/27/2018

    Thank you all for such wonderful comments and happy gardening to all.

  9. user-7007940 11/27/2018

    Nice garden. I also live in western Washington. :)

  10. sheila_schultz 11/27/2018

    Patience over the years while creating eye candy of sweet combinations... you both have created a whole lot of exquisite beauty. You must smile when viewing your gardens at the end of the long days.

  11. carolineyoungwilliams 11/28/2018

    Steven, I absolutely love your garden. Your choice of flowers, colors and garden style (cottage) really captured my attention. It is everything that inspire me to keep creating in my garden. I started with seeds but moved away from them; Looking at your garden have encouraged me to go back to seeds this Spring :-) Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful creation. I look forward to seeing more.

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