Garden Photo of the Day

Making a Garden in Columbus

Creating something from a blank slate

front yard garden bed with a small tree

Today we’re looking at photos of Alana’s garden.

I bought my house in Columbus, Ohio, a little less than five years ago. Before that, I gardened as a teenager at the house I grew up in and later in rental properties. The photos show my yard, which is now starting to come into its own. There was a berm of fountain grass, a chain-link fence, an arborvitae hedge, a small vegetable plot, and a couple of small trees when I bought the house; everything else was grass. It’s been so much fun to have a blank slate and get to form “rooms” and different seating areas. Having this house and garden has been a huge boon in the long, dark past year and four months.

back yard patio looking out to garden and lawnView from the back patio to the end of the backyard, where there is a firepit area.

garden bed next to backyard patioKnock Out rose (Rosa ‘Radrazz’, Zonse 5–9), ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Zones 3–9), ‘Fashionably Early Flamingo’ phlox (Phlox ‘Fashionably Early Flamingo’, Zones 4–8), ‘Angel’ shasta daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Angel’, Zones 5–9), variegated redtwig dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’, Zones 2–8), and ‘Dazzleberry’ sedum (Sedum ‘Dazzleberry’, Zones 4–9) are some of my favorite plants in this bed. The chartreuse plants are oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’, Zones 5–9) and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis, Zones 4–8). They are both very tough and easy to propagate, and they are useful perennial herbs.

backyard with lots of garden beds and tan fenceBehind the spruce on the left is a bench where I like to sit. The butterfly bushes (Buddleia hybrids, Zones 5–9) are Buzz Magenta and Funky Fuchsia. The Funky Fuchsia on the right should get much larger, but the Buzz Magenta is at its full size.

stepping stones buried in grass through garden bedsI buried the stepping stones to take away the tripping hazard and to make it easier to mow.

garden bed with pink flowersSweet William (Dianthus barbatus, Zones 3–9), showy evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa, Zones 4–9), ‘Rockin’ Red’ dianthus (Dianthus ‘Rockin’ Red’, Zones 5–8), ‘Orange Rocket’ barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’, Zones 4–8), and purple sand cherry are some of my favorites in this bed. I recently bought the sand cherry, so I’m looking forward to the impact it will make when it’s bigger. There’s also an amazing red rose (‘Grace n’ Grit’) that should put on a big show later. It really wowed me last year soon after I planted it.

back yard garden beds with black trellisThis view is looking back toward the house from the firepit. I set up the arch early this spring and planted a climbing rose and honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.) that will hopefully take it over in future years.

front yard garden in front of small homeIn the front yard an older purple sand cherry (Prunus × cistena, Zones 2–8) and moss phlox (Phlox subulata, Zones 3–9) provide color. Putting in the walkway out to the front sidewalk gave me an excuse to turn half my front yard into flowerbeds. One day I’ll probably take over the left half and the sidewalk strip.

front yard garden bed with a small tree‘Rose Marvel’ salvia (Salvia nemorosa ‘Rose Marvel’, Zones 4–9), variegated sweet iris (Iris pallida ‘Variegata’, Zones 4–9), ‘Caradonna’ salvia (Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, Zones 4–9), lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina, Zones 4–10), and ‘Wine & Roses’ weigela (Weigela florida ‘Wine & Roses’, Zones 5–8) add color to the front yard.

garden beds leading to front doorA little later, Sweet Drift rose starts up and won’t stop until frost. The yarrow is ‘Pomegranate’ (Achillea millifolium ‘Pomegranate’, Zones 3–9).


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 06/30/2021

    Adorable! Such curb appeal. Great work.

  2. atpeacewithnature 06/30/2021

    I love all the work put into the yards. Such a warm feeling and an adorable house.

  3. bdowen 06/30/2021

    Your grass pathway between the colorful flowerbeds creates a welcoming invitation to walk back to relax on the bench or by the fire pit. Front yard garden- a nice gift to your neighbors and anyone walking by. Lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  4. gardendevas 06/30/2021

    Nice work! Looking forward to seeing this lovely garden as it matures.

  5. User avater
    user-7007816 06/30/2021

    What an amazing job you have done so far. It will be a treat to see your gardens as they mature.

  6. wittyone 06/30/2021

    My goodness, what a lot you have accomplished in just five years. I love all that color and how you have arranged everything. I can see that the other half of your front yard is greatly endangered by the onslaught of future flower beds!

    I bet your neighbors love all the improvements you have made and the beautification of the neighborhood.

  7. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/30/2021

    Amazing! Love all that you have planted there.

  8. User avater
    simplesue 06/30/2021

    You have such a darling cottage and garden and great curb appeal with your landscaping!
    You've done a super job of making over the garden- just beautiful!

  9. sheila_schultz 06/30/2021

    Alana, you must smile when gazing at your lovely gardens. They definitely show your creativity with garden design.

  10. btucker9675 06/30/2021

    Thanks for sharing your absolutely charming house and gardens! Everyone who passes must have to smile...

  11. Rebeccazone7 06/30/2021

    Everything is lovely and it makes me wish I had started gardening much earlier than did. Your combinations are outstanding.

  12. nwphilagardener 06/30/2021

    I appreciate seeing a garden where the shape of the lawned areas are carefully thought out, and not just what's leftover after garden beds are shaped. And inserting stepping stones into the lawn is yet another way that lawn itself becomes more of feature botanical element. Great start!

  13. bsavage 06/30/2021

    It is very lovely! Well done to you!

  14. RealMe 07/08/2021

    Wow! This is what I want to my backyard. I believe front yard garden- a nice gift to your neighbors and anyone walking by. Impressive! Thank you for sharing. --- Moving Company

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