Garden Photo of the Day

Margaret’s North Carolina Garden

Tropicals, shrubs, and perennials mingle in this lovely garden

My name is Margaret McDuffie. I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is in Zone 8. This is my first time sending pictures. I love the outdoors and beautiful landscaping. To me, it is therapeutic communing with nature. There is always something blooming in my yard. I have sasanquas (Camellia sasanqua, Zones 7–11), azaleas, camellias (Camellia japonica, Zones 7–11), gardenias, roses, hydrangeas, and an assortment of flowering perennials. In the summer, I particularly enjoy tropical flowers like hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Zones 9–11) and plumerias (Plumeria hybrids, Zones 10–11). I have a greenhouse where I keep them in the colder months. Today’s pics were taken over several years.

azaleaSpring color from the classic shrub of the American South, an azalea.

Bright blue bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–11). Acidic soils ensure that hydrangeas produce the bluest possible blooms.

An archway welcomes you into the garden, with a furry garden resident ready to give a tour—or possibly just chase some squirrels.

PlumeriaPlumeria blooms in the hottest of tropical colors and produces a wonderful fragrance as well.

double-flowered hibiscusA double-flowered tropical hibiscus

Margaret’s greenhouse allows her to overwinter her tropical plants.

asiatic liliesBright Asiatic lilies (Lilium, Asiatic group, Zones 5–9). Asiatic lilies boast some of the brightest colors and most diverse patterns of the various groups of hybrid lilies, though they lack the fragrance of some of their relatives.

passionflowerMaypop, our native passionflower (Passiflora incarnata, Zones 5–10). While most passionflowers are strictly tropical, this species can survive as far north as Zone 5. Just be warned: If it is happy, this beautiful native vine can spread very aggressively.

pond with waterliliesA view of the garden, complete with a small pond full of waterlilies.

garden greenhouseThe walk up to the greenhouse.

A magnificent angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia suaveolens, or hybrid, Zones 8–10). Margaret is lucky to live where this fragrant, beautiful shrub can winter outside, but gardeners in colder climates can enjoy it year-after-year by growing in a container and bringing it inside for the winter.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/22/2020

    All so very lovely. I especially like that hydrangea. How long have you had it?

  2. PattyLouise 05/22/2020

    Lovely garden! OK I want that greenhouse! Beautiful!

    1. madcosta_7 05/26/2020

      You can't have it, I want it! What a beautiful garden. What is that tree behind the greenhouse?

  3. Patchworkgardener 05/22/2020

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your pictures. That angel trumpet really is magnificent! That’s the biggest one I’ve seen. What are you feeding it. Are there fish in that pond? Everything is so colorful. You must spend a lot of time tending your garden. Great job. Hope to see more pics soon.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/22/2020

    Sigh....oh, my...there are greenhouses and then there are GREENHOUSES....yours is the lovely and picturesque. That plumeria flower is a stunner...definitely puts one in the mood for resting in that hammock I spied in one of the photos and sipping on a tropics inspired beverage.

  5. User avater
    simplesue 05/22/2020

    Beautiful garden and the most darling greenhouse ever! I emailed your Angel's Trumpet photo to my sister-in-law who loves them and grows them in zone 6b...what a gorgeous plant.
    You sure have created a pretty paradise on your land!

  6. btucker9675 05/22/2020

    Greenhouse Envy!!! And those lilies... what a wonderful garden you've created.

  7. user-5117752 05/22/2020

    Just beautiful!!! Your shrubs, your combinations and, of course, your greenhouse (I'd love to see inside), everything works so well! Simply a lovely way to start off the day. Thank you!

  8. sheila_schultz 05/22/2020

    Margaret, thank you for giving us a peek of your lovely gardens! And, my oh my... I too would love to see inside your gorgeous greenhouse! Do post more, please.

  9. Mashabear21 12/02/2021

    This is so beautiful.

  10. joxer 07/02/2023

    Your shrubs, your combinations and, of course, your greenhouse everything works so well!

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