Garden Photo of the Day

Missing an Old Garden

Breaking up can be hard to do

Nancy Hoffman shared these photos of her old garden in in Louisville, Kentucky. She’s since moved and is starting a new garden in her new home, but she misses the old one very much! Garden historian Mac Griswold once said, “Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts,” and it can be very sad to walk away and see a garden performance have to end. Luckily, photographs can help us remember garden performances that we’ve loved, and it is always fun to be starting on a new garden performance in a new space!

I asked Nancy how she designed her garden, and she said she keeps it simple:

There really weren’t any designs or plans. I just pick plants I like and try to put tall in the back and shorter up front. The only problem was weeds!

Masses of black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9) bring brilliant color to this cheerful garden.

The garden is packed with color, from perennials as well as annuals like Cosmos (Cosmos sp.)

Another view of the garden. Wouldn’t you like to sit out and eat dinner at that little table almost being swallowed up by the bright flowers?

The tall red spires of cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis, Zones 2–8) make a statement throughout the garden. Cardinal flowers are beautiful and attract hummingbirds. They prefer wet soils, and individual plants tend to not be very long lived. Regular division or allowing them to self-sow will ensure they are always bringing their scarlet spires to the garden.

Ahh … I want to sit back in these chairs and just drink in all of this color! What a beautiful garden. I can’t wait to see what garden performance Nancy creates in her new space.

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  1. garden1953 05/11/2018

    Lovely gardens. I know how you feel about leaving your gardens behind when you move. But soon you will fall in love with your new gardens and they will also be beautiful. Mine are shaping up quite nicely after moving from NY to CO 4 years ago.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/11/2018

    Love black-eyed Susan. It is a good doer here in zone 8b. Wish I could grow cardinal flower but I don't have the right conditions but it grows very well down close to our lake. Love it all!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/11/2018

    Hi, Nancy, these are pictures of a garden that could lift anybody's spirits and I'm sure that is true of your new garden as well. You obviously love exuberant and ebullient colors flowers and those chartreusy adirondacks. I'm wondering if you took seeds and starter clumps of some of your favorites to your new place?

  4. cheryl_c 05/11/2018

    Hi, Nancy, what a bright and happy garden you created in Kentucky! I love the heights of your floral displays and the warm and rich colors you have used. The chartreuse chairs are the perfect accent against all those reds and oranges. I know it is tough to have to start over, having recently had to do that here in Missouri, but know that you will enjoy the putting together of plants, the discovering which ones work best in your new setting, and the happy discoveries you have as the plants settle in together. Please send pictures of your new garden as you can.

  5. sheila_schultz 05/11/2018

    I completely understand the quote Mac Griswold once said that “Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts.” It is very true. I think that our gardens reflect our soul and that is why each one is different and each one has a place in our heart. I often said that I found my artist soul when I started painting with flowers in my Denver gardens. Nancy, you obviously found yours in your Kentucky garden. It was very joyous with it's riot of glorious color. I have no doubt that your new gardens will be equally as happy... on a different canvas but filled with an abundance of love!

  6. Musette1 05/11/2018

    I can relate - this is probably going to be my last year with this garden and it's heartbreaking - but it's also a chance to create new beauty elsewhere! Hoping your new gardens bring you as much joy as this one did!

  7. teresazone5ont 05/11/2018

    Dear Nancy, your old garden was gorgeous. It is so very hard to leave our gardens behind. I left mine two years ago and have had moments of utter despair. You would think it was a person I left behind! I have been encouraged by the progress in my new garden and this year I am very excited to watch it come up. As time goes by I do miss my garden less and love my new one more. It helps that e also love our new town. Good luck and I hope to see your new garden pics in future.

  8. btucker9675 05/11/2018

    It's been over 3 years now and I'm still mourning my Franklin Lakes, NJ garden (almost 20 years in the making). Since my husband and I are both having trouble finding work for the first time in our lives, I haven't been able to do as much gardening as I'd like in our NC home.
    Thanks for these cheery pics from your Louisville garden - look forward to seeing your new artistry!

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