Garden Photo of the Day

Mixing Art and Plants to Perfection

This gardener uses lights in her basement to bring tender annuals back to the garden year after year

Today’s photos come from Arlene Lopas.

I garden in Zones 3–4 and have a variety of interesting Zone 5 hardy perennials plus annuals. I overwinter many plants in my indoor greenhouse, which is located in my basement under lights. My jade plants are 50 years old, and many of my houseplants and annuals in pots are from five to more than 25 years. I have developed multiple flower beds over the years I have lived here. A previous Garden Photo of the Day contributor stated that her garden was “controlled chaos,” and I think that describes mine, too.

Simple, elegant plantings complement these beautiful planters hanging from a wall. Including a mirror in the garden is always charming, and it can serve to create the illusion that a small space is actually much larger than it really is.

Bright annual planters bring color all summer long. Arlene overwinters many of her annuals under lights in her basement. If you have a space like that, it can be a terrific way to save money over having to buy annual plants every single year.

Annabell hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Zones 3–9) is an old-fashioned selection that has stood the test of time. The big, white flower heads aging to a subtle green look good with everything, or just in a mass all by themselves.


The flowers of a hyacinth bean vine (Lablab purpureus) that has climbed up a pole complement this blue ornament. Hyacinth bean is a fast-growing annual vine that produces these beautiful, strongly fragrant flowers all summer long.


Could this pairing of plants and art be any more perfect? I love that the garden phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–8) are all slightly different shades of pink. View some tips on how to make your garden more welcoming, including using sculptures to draw attention.


This beautiful passionflower (Passiflora sp.) overwinters indoors, then comes outside to grace the summer garden with these elaborate flowers.


This massive white-flowered tree is actually an incredible specimen of hydrangea ‘Limelight’ (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’, Zones 4–8 ). Many of the newer selections of hydrangeas are much smaller plants. The small forms can be nice in a limited space, but there is a lot to be said for the sheer impact a truly enormous hydrangea in full bloom can have.


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View Comments


  1. Maggieat11 08/22/2018

    Beautiful! I love the way you have incorporated garden art in your gardens which compliments and enhances your lovely plant selections. I enjoyed these photos very much and hope you send in more!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/22/2018

    Hi, Arlene, I always admire gardeners such as yourself who have the self discipline and organization to do a large scale indoor overwintering of favored plants. And, it's not like once you bring them in, the job is done. Nope, you have to be a conscientious plant mom and keep checking on them that all is well. Your particular 'Limelight' hydrangea should have the nickname of Bloomtastic...I have never seen one so smothered in flowers! Congrats on nurturing such a stellar beauty.

  3. Sunshine111 08/22/2018

    Your Garden is gorgeous and your photography is brilliant! What an awesome creation!

  4. user-7061048 08/22/2018

    I love Limelight too! It's one of the few hydrangeas that blooms reliably in my zone 4 garden. Mine are brilliant right now also with summer phlox. I like bordering them with hostas and New Guinea impatiens.

  5. btucker9675 08/22/2018

    Love, love, love your garden - you truly have an artist's eye! The photo of the passion flower especially is spectacular.

  6. cooke 08/22/2018

    I'd love to see a photo of your basement greenhouse in winter.

  7. [email protected] 08/22/2018

    Thanks for treating us to a look at your garden. Very lovely!

  8. davidjohn2121 08/31/2018

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