Garden Photo of the Day

Melina’s Seattle Area Garden

A growing collector's garden

Front window box with lots of different foliage plants

My name is Melina. Welcome to my Zone 8a garden in the Seattle area. It has been a few years since I have shared photos of my garden with you all (A Love/Hate Relationship With the End of the Season), so it’s nice to have you back to have a peek around. Much has changed over the past couple of years, and slowly my grass is disappearing as my annual “edging” project turns into another foot (or two) of garden border. (The shovel just slipped, LOL.) Next year I have plans to take out some larger sections for dahlias and berry beds, but here is where it sits right now. I have a collector’s garden, which means I love plants but don’t have enough space to plant three or five of many things. So instead you will find a lot of one-offs jammed together in the borders. Like many, I found my way to the garden through the need for peace and healing. What started as a “hobby” has quickly turned into an obsession that I hope to parlay into a career one day. For now, though, I will keep experimenting in this lovely space—learning and growing through dirty hands, piles of garden magazines, and those of you on social media willing to share your spaces and lessons learned. The gardening community is a wonderful one, and I am glad to be a part of it.

close up of front yard garden bed with pink and white flowersFront bed with sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum, Zones 4–8), hellebores (Helleborus hybrids Zones 4–9), hostas (Hosta hybrids, Zones 3–9), and heucheras (Heuchera hybrids, Zones 5–9), with an azalea (Rhododendron hybrid, Zones 5–9) in the background

close up of multi-colored Quartet Rainbow Stock flowers‘Quartet Rainbow’ stock (Matthiola incana, annual) is a favorite flower I grew from seed this year.

close up of another front yard garden bed with lots of flowersAnother front bed with snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus, Zones 7–10 or as an annual) that overwintered from last year, foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea, Zones 3–8), ferns, Rozanne geranium (Geranium ‘Gerwat’, Zones 5–8), feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium, Zones 5–8), Canterbury bells (Campanula medium, Zones 4–8), and ‘Karl Foerster’ grass (Calamagrostis × acutiflora, Zones 3–9)

wide view of backyard with garden beds on left and patio on rightThis long view of the backyard garden features ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’, Zones 5–9), spirea (Spiraea japonica, Zones 5–9), ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum, Zones 10–11 or as an annual), and a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumu’, Zones 5–9). The photo was taken at the beginning of July 2023.

close up of hydrangea with bright blue flowersThis back garden bed includes ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea, a nandina (Nandina domestica; I believe it’s ‘Gulf Stream’, Zones 6–9), ground-cover plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Zones 5–9), and a unique stone pot with annuals in the background.

Front window box with lots of different foliage plantsThis front window box includes dusty miller (Jacovaea maritima, Zones 7–10), hostas, dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’, Zones 3–6), begonias in pots, creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia, Zones 3–9), ‘Lime Marmalade’ heucheras (Zones 4–9), Torenia (Zones 10–11 or as an annual), and a Sedum in the concrete pot.

close up of foliage plants around a garden pondThe pond area has hostas, ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius, Zones 2–8), euonymus (Euonymus fortunei, Zones 5–8), and other perennials. ‘Prince Tut’ grass (Cyperus papyrus ‘Prince Tut’, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) is in the foreground.

garden bed under a tree featuring a pot planted with pink flowersHere is a full-on view of my front garden bed. Many plants are here, but you can see brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla, Zones 3–8) and a pot full of impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, Zones 10–11 or as an annual).

view of back garden through arborThis is an alternate view of my back garden, looking back at my greenhouse. In the foreground is my hanging basket (the primary flower seen is ‘Persimmon’ petunia from Proven Winners), heather, sedum, ‘Ukigumu’ Japanese maple, and ‘Pink Pyramid’ magnolia in the very back corner. Other plants are listed in photo 4.

back yard garden in springThis is the same view of my back garden as in photo 4, but it was taken in May 2023. Some tulips are visible, as well as a few pansies scattered throughout.

If you want to see more, check out Melina’s instagram: @gardenwithmelinalynne


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View Comments


  1. pplat 08/21/2023

    Wow! Your gardens are amazing! It is evident that you put in much love, time and care into creating these masterpieces. Thank you for sharing in such detail. You have inspired and motivated me to get outside, enjoy nature and try to employ some of your ideas. Thanks so much!

    1. melinalynne 08/22/2023

      Aww, thank you!! :)

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/21/2023


    1. melinalynne 08/22/2023

      Thank you!! It’s hard work, but super rewarding.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 08/21/2023

    oh so many beautiful garden plants to enjoy- oh please comment back on your secret for having such an amazing ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea!!!!!!

    1. melinalynne 08/22/2023

      Thank you! For my hydrangeas, I prune them back in late winter and fertilize them with Rose Tone from Espoma. I also have them set-up on drip irrigation for regular watering. I hope that helps!!

      1. User avater
        simplesue 08/29/2023

        Yes it does help! Thanks so much for your reply/info on your gorgeous Endless Summers! I never would have guessed Rose Tone- Epsoma I would have guessed Holly Tone- Epsoma. I'm willing to try anything to get Endless Summer like you have!

  4. User avater
    cynthia2020 08/21/2023

    Melina - I enjoyed looking at the lovely photos of your garden and adored your text in both this and your previous GPOD spread. Your garden got me thinking of using Galium odoratum in shaded areas. Best wishes for all your future endeavors.

    1. melinalynne 08/22/2023

      Thank you so much Cynthia! :)

  5. btucker9675 08/21/2023

    Absolutely charming!!!

    1. melinalynne 08/22/2023

      Thank you so much!!

  6. [email protected] 08/21/2023

    Great ideas for someone who shares the same zone and general area as you! Wonder why I haven't planted Galium odorata in our current landscape- have grown it before, but forgot how charming it can be! Thanks for sharing your lovely gardens!

    1. melinalynne 08/22/2023

      Hi neighbor! Thank you!! Yes, I do really love the sweet woodruff when it’s in bloom. And it acts as a lovely mulch in the summer. :)

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