Garden Photo of the Day

Mountain Top Magic

A garden with a view

My name is Myrna Mahon. I live on a mountain top at approximately 4700 feet elevation in Cullowhee, North Carolina. I have been gardening for about 20 years but only one year full-time at this location. This year I had four goals: (1) Make the garden feel enclosed; (2) create a formal entry; (3) have a balance between tall, medium, and short plants; and (4) add interest through garden art.

An overview of the garden up the hill with a shady seating area at the top.

A cast-iron gate is the formal entry to the garden. View our guide to creating an engaging entryway to your garden.

Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens, Zones 6–9) climbing the stair railing to the front porch.


On the right side of the garden, shasta daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum, Zones 5–8), tickseed (Coreopsis sp.), yarrow (Achillea sp.), oriental lilies (Lilium, oriental group) and native Turk’s cap lilies (Lilium sp.) put on a show.


These annual impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, annual) were planted between two logs left when the land was cleared. “Plate flowers” enhance the back.


A stone path leads the way to a new potting shed. ‘Endless Summer’ blue hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’, Zones 5–9) grow in front.


Garden art rabbits among the foxgloves (Digitalis sp.).


Since this area is God’s country, we created a prayer garden with Jesus the Good Shepherd watching over shade-loving perennials.

Decorative metal chickens add whimsy among the native ferns and lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis, Zones 3–8).


Nature’s garden, the mountain view from the porch.



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View Comments


  1. user-7003263 07/27/2018

    Myrna, you do indeed live in God's country. Your view across the tree tops out in to the Nantahala National Forest is a gift indeed. You have done an amazing amount of gardening in just a year. I especially love your garden shed and how you have planted hostas creating a bed around the trees to the left of it. Next year when those hostas explode out to two to three times their current size, that is going to be breathtaking. Thank you for sharing.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/27/2018

    Congratulations, Myrna, or not only setting goals, but of achieving them! Your choice of garden gate checked off 2 boxes of creating an entry and being a lovely piece of garden ornamentation. Your new shed is beyond adorable and I'll bet you can't resist finding reasons to be in its vicinity to just gaze upon it and smile with delight. Your property situation is soul touchingly beautiful.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/27/2018

    Oh, my. Just breathtaking! Love NC & love all you have done. BTW, that little shed is so cute!

  4. user-783091 07/27/2018

    Wow! A paradise!

  5. cheryl_c 07/27/2018

    Myrna, as soon as I saw the first picture, I thought "Great Smokey Mountains", then, "this will be wonderful", and I was not disappointed. Love your repetition of red throughout your garden - and such a rich red! - and your additions of art. I was especially taken with your chickens - delightful! Thanks so much for sharing - and, thank you, Fine Gardening, for posting such a great array of pictures today - enough to get us through the weekend!

  6. Sunshine111 07/27/2018

    It was great to see your garden Myrna! I love garden art too?. Thanks for sharing your bit of paradise.

  7. btucker9675 07/27/2018

    Your garden is simply lovely - so peaceful and the garden "shed" is adorable. The chickens are especially charming - and that variety doesn't have to worry about hawks!

  8. [email protected] 07/27/2018

    Done, done, done, and done. Love how you set and achieved these lovely results. Great job!

  9. mjensen 07/28/2018

    wow beautiful, lucky you. awesome garden

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