Garden Photo of the Day

Meadowy Magic

UK gardener creates romantic art with plants

About a year ago, Istvan Dudas sent us pictures of the private garden in the UK where he has worked to create a dreamy space full of a rich tapestry of colors. You can see that post here.

I’m thrilled that Istvan has sent us another batch of pictures of this incredible garden! It is beautiful and inspiring, and it makes clear that, as Istvan says, “gardening is not just a simple job, but also a passion and an art.”

This flower-filled border may look wild and untamed, but careful design also makes it work very effectively. By repeating the same plants throughout the border, Istvan draws the design together and makes it look whole and complete, while retaining that loose, meadowlike feeling.

Careful color choices pull this planting together, creating masses of pinks and blues, run through with a ribbon of contrasting soft yellow. This image also shows the careful breaking of the usual rule that insists on putting short plants in the front and taller ones in the back. Here, open, airy, taller plants are mixed throughout the border, giving it a wilder, loose look.

The dark purple of perennial sage (Salvia nemorosaZones 5–9) in the front and a delphinium (Delphinium elatum, Zones 2–7) in the back look all the darker and more dramatic for being paired with light, mostly white flowers.

Is it possible to imagine a better setting for the huge, bright orange flowers of an oriental poppy (Papaver orientale, Zones 3–7) than this? Absolutely magical.

This mass of blooms looks easy and effortless, as if they just sprang up that way, but creating a garden like this requires careful planning and enormous amounts of work.

The green globes of artichokes add a beautiful, unexpected contrast to this planting.

Pillars of yellow verbascum (Verbascum sp., Zones 5–9) and dark foliage from various plants make a perfect frame for this burning mass of orange sneezeweed (Helenium sp., Zones 4–8).


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/23/2018

    Oh, my. Packed with beautiful things! Love it!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/23/2018

    Istvan puts a capital M in the title Master gardener. He uses plants the way Van Gogh and Monet used paint. Whoever his employer is better hope that the Queen doesn't steal him away. These pictures are such an inspiration and fill me with awe and appreciation.

  3. User avater
    user-7007816 07/23/2018

    Istvan, The garden opened my eyes to new possibilities of mixing plants into a wild, natural looking border. I can some major relocations in my garden next spring.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Maggieat11 07/23/2018

    Absolutely beautiful! You certainly have a gift of placing/combining plants in a captivating way! Very impressive. Thanks for sharing!

  5. btucker9675 07/23/2018

    Unbelievably beautiful - I agree, reminds me of an Impressionist painting. This garden radiates joy!

  6. CollieB 07/23/2018

    What are the maroon flowers in the first photo with the orange poppies? Stunning mix.

  7. Cenepk10 07/23/2018

    Ahhhhh... the UK has the perfect conditions for my kind of gardening, apparently....sigh... Utterly magnificent ! Thanks for sharing

  8. mjensen 07/23/2018


  9. perenniallycrazy 07/23/2018

    Happiest meadow ever!

  10. [email protected] 07/25/2018

    I would also like to know about the Maroon flowers. Perhaps there is a reply somewhere? In the ether? Beautiful gardens.

  11. User avater
    simplesue 05/16/2019

    A wonderful composition of plants! I like that you broke the rules and mingled tall and shorter plants in various areas!

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