Garden Photo of the Day

Maine Garden Style

Beauties in a northern garden

Today we’re visiting York, Maine, to see some photos from Martha Fenn King’s garden.

lupinesSo much of gardening is about embracing and enjoying what loves to grow in your local climate. In Maine, lupines (Lupinus polyphyllus, Zones 3–8) grow so happily that they are practically weeds, but for much of the rest of North America, they collapse at the thought of summer heat. Wherever you garden, there are beautiful plants that will thrive for you, and great gardeners find those plants and grow lots of them.

The tall spires of lupines really are lovely. If you love these plants but have hot summers, you can often have success by treating them as annuals. Plant them in the fall, enjoy their flowers in the spring, and then let them fade away.

PeoniesPeonies (Paeonia hybrids, Zones 3–8) are another classic plant of northern gardens. In warmer climates, they tend to be weaker and fail to thrive. If you have the conditions for them, plant peonies like crazy! (See our article with an expert picking some of the best varieties here.)

A beautiful bouquet of flowers with a backdrop of the vegetable garden in spring.

Red-stemmed Swiss chardRed-stemmed Swiss chard is as beautiful as it is delicious.

BlueberriesYum! Blueberries!

HelianthusA sunflower (Helianthus annuus, annual) just beginning to open.

The only thing better than one sunflower is lots of sunflowers! Easy to grow nearly everywhere, beautiful in the garden, great cut flowers, abundant food for pollinators, and nutritious seeds for birds—what’s not to love?

dahliasAnd some wonderful dahlias, perfect in the garden or the vase.


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View Comments


  1. nwphillygardener 03/03/2020

    Rich, robust flowers!
    What a delight to contemplate.
    In that second photo of sunflowers, does anyone know which cultivar is shown (with orange center, and relatively short?

    1. user-7645917 03/03/2020

      I am not sure but I think those sunflowers are Incredibles. They only grow to about 20 inches! They are so fun and great in pots along with the dwarf Teddy Bears.

      1. Marthafenn 03/03/2020

        The suns are tall, thick stemmed and only one flower - but what a flower it is! Procut Gold is what I think this is.

    2. Marthafenn 03/03/2020

      I will get back to you with the name. The seed was from Johnny's or Fedco seed companies in Maine.

    3. Marthafenn 03/03/2020

      Procut Gold. Either from Johnny's or Fedco seed companies.

  2. garden1953 03/03/2020

    First I must say you are not only a wonderful gardener but also a great photographer! I love your gardens and the photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/03/2020

    Stunning photos...hard to imagine that Swiss chard could compete with the statuesque beauty of a swath of blue lupines but, oh, those radiant red stems are sure attention getters as well. Good thing I have some fresh blueberries in the fridge for my morning oatmeal, otherwise, my spoon would be clanging against my laptop screen.

    1. Marthafenn 03/03/2020

      Love the Swiss Chard when the light shines through!

  4. user-7645917 03/03/2020

    The lupines are just beautiful! I don't know why but here in my gardens in Massachusetts I don't have much luck with growing lupines! I keep trying though. I keep trying different spots hoping they will eventually find an area they will flourish. What is your secret?

    1. Marthafenn 03/03/2020

      I usually don't do well with lupines. I started these from seed and transplanted the seedlings into the garden. I actually find them to be a tad tricky!

  5. User avater
    simplesue 03/03/2020

    Your garden plants are amazing! So healthy! I was happy to see your Lupines, because I'm going to try growing Wild Lupine this year (and with any luck years after that!)
    Seriously- I'm so inspired by your photos!

    1. Marthafenn 03/03/2020

      Thank you!

  6. btucker9675 03/03/2020

    Wowza! What a garden you have! The color of that dahlia!

    1. Marthafenn 03/03/2020

      Thank you!

  7. mjensen 03/03/2020

    gorgeous, Lupins and Peony are my 2 favorites

  8. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/03/2020

    Those lupines are out of this world!

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