Garden Photo of the Day

Listen to Your Garden

A gardener finds music in her plants

Today’s photos come from Marilyn Brackney. She has a wonderful garden and a beautiful, musical way of describing her plants. She’s been gardening about 20 years. Her Indiana garden has heavy clay soil, and she’s learned over the years to grow plants that will thrive easily in her conditions. In the descriptions of her pictures below, she describes each plant and scene in terms of sound and music. It is such a lovely way to think about a garden! Do you hear music in the colors of your flowers?

In this picture, echinacea (coneflower, Zones 3–9) adds some singing to the other flower voices. Nothing sings out of tune here.

This picture is from the shade garden with astilbe and hostas. It barely hums.

The wild children of rudbeckia (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9) and echinacea growing where they please, but still in harmony.

I love how this bright red Monarda (bee balm, Zones 4–10) stretches its neck to be heard over the other plants. The bees and humming birds love it too.

This picture has two loud chairs mainly surrounded by the low hum of the shade garden, a nice place to sit for some quiet.

This last picture shows my water pond, behind a hosta. No garden should be without the sounds of gurgling water—and yes, it has fish. I bought four goldfish about 10 years ago; now I have 22 goldfish and several frogs.



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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/30/2018

    I have coneflowers & rudbeckia planted together in clay soil & they absolutely thrive as it looks like yours do as well. Everything is so pretty!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/30/2018

    Double dose of enjoyment from your sharing today, Marilyn. Your prose and your pictures harmonized beautifully!

  3. wittyone 07/30/2018

    Those coneflowers just have to be the sopranos in the choir.

    With all those multiplying goldfish you must surely be short of raccoons in the area.

    That Indiana clay soil is hard to deal with. It's all around here in Bloomington and the smartest thing to do is what you have done------just plant mostly things that can grow well in it or plant in raised beds where you really have control over the makeup of the soil.

  4. cheryl_c 07/30/2018

    Marilyn, you have a symphony of colors in your gardens! From the basso profundo's of the dark reds and maroons, to the light lyric sopranos of the silvers and pinks, you have a full range of bright voices singing! Your groupings sing well together, and as a conductor, you've prepared your choir well! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful garden. I'd love to see more of your water feature, and hear how you've kept your goldfish through the winters.

  5. btucker9675 07/30/2018

    You are an excellent "choir director" for you lovely garden!

  6. user-7017435 07/30/2018

    Good evening Ms. Brackney, Your gardens are terrific & good illustration of what can be done in tough conditions using plants that are readily available in most garden centers. Cheryl_C To answer your question to overwinter goldfish all you need to do is use a small bubbler or tube pond heater to keep a small opening in the ice (to vent gasses ) & the goldfish will do fine. Good luck, Joe

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