Garden Photo of the Day

My visit to Bill’s garden in Pennsylvania

Whenever I travel for Fine Gardening, I do a little research to see if any of you live near where I’m going, and a stop in Pittsburgh in late June meant a visit with Bill Goff!

Bill and his wife Diane were nice enough to invite me into their garden where they fed me tea and scones (yum!!) and gave me a tour!

Bill has an impressive collection of hostas that he keeps nestled up to the patio, and a wonderful mixed border in the back yard that I fell in love with. So many great vignettes and combinations.

It was a wonderful visit, and Bill was a great garden host, as well one of the nicest guys I’ve met on my travels. Thanks, Bill & Diane!

Help me keep kicking out posts all winter long–send me photos of your gardens NOW! Email me at [email protected]. Thanks! –Michelle

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  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/15/2014

    Bill and Diane I love your collection of Hostas. Do you have a problem with slugs attacking them? Here in the Pacific Northwest we are always battling slugs(native and otherwise seems snails have been added to the mix the past two years also) Yours all look perfect. Have you been collecting Hostas a long time? I love the tiny Hostas and will be collecting more as I find new ones. I did notice a low wire fence is that a rabbit barrier? I love the fountain behind the table,I have been looking for another one that will make the perfect sound I'll bet that one sounds beautiful with how far the water drops into the basin. It looks like it was a perfect day for Michelle to visit and I really enjoyed all of Michelle's photos of your garden,thank you so much for letting us see your wonderful collection.

  2. cwg 10/15/2014

    Hi nurserynotnordstrom! Glad you liked Michelle's photos of our garden. This hosta garden is about 5 years old. I installed it when we had the patio poured and thought it would be a good place for them. We don't have a problem with slugs…knock on wood. Much of the border gets some sun, so perhaps that discourages them. The large hosta is "Komodo Dragon". It has taken 4 years to get this large, but it is well worth the wait. The fence is to keep the dogs from romping in there. Lol….. The fountain is nice and provides a nice gurgling background sound while sitting on the patio. Thanks for your kind comments!

    1. Nurserynotnordstroms 10/16/2014

      Thank you for taking the time to reply Bill. Ummm no slugs,that would be so nice not to go on a slug hunt every day.

  3. perenniallycrazy 10/15/2014

    I love the balance of foliage, flowers, garden art and outdoor seating in your gardens Bill. Like nurserynotnordstrom, I am also suffering from hosta envy... and what's that you said? You don't have a problem with slugs? How lucky! I hope that you will be sending more photos of your yard again soon. I would love to see how it looks through the seasons.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/16/2014

    What a special treat to see this lovely garden as framed by Michelle's talented eye behind the lens. Oh, my goodness, Bill, you sure picked a winner with that 'Komodo Dragon'...I'll bet some (if not all) of us make a mental note to look for one to buy for our own garden next spring. It's positively magnificent and 4 years doesn't seem long as all to wait for such a beauty to mature. Do you happen to know the particular variety of catamint that is in the picture with the maiden grass? It's such a compact size and yet so dense with those airy blue flowers. And I love how that deep red daylily looks positively velvety. Since I'm a daylily nut, I'd be happy to know its name also.

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/16/2014

    Really super, Bill (not Jeff), and great photos, Michelle. Call me nuts, but I really, really love crocosmia foliage (and gladiolas). The clump in the first photo is such a great accent and promises hummingbird feeding grounds to come!

    1. user-1020932 10/16/2014

      Tim, what in the world is in that coffee?!?!?!? this is Bill's feature :)

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/16/2014

        I said, call me nuts! There is an edit feature. I am going to edit that right now. If I can remember my own name!

  6. user-1020932 10/16/2014

    i always love everyone's hostas and especially that Komodo dragon, with my vole population i can only enjoy hostas in others gardens. i like crocosmia foliage too but that one pic had me confused before i "figgered" that it wasn't a varietaged leaf but bright sunlight. it all looks great and i'm glad to see that you got to sit down and relax a bit!

    1. NCYarden 10/16/2014

      Hi Jeff, I too suffer from voles - ugh. I have been transplanting hostas into larger black plastic planter pots with PermaTill in the bottom and planting the entire pot into the ground with an inch or two of the lip above ground, and then sprinkle a little more PermaTill across the top of the pot. I am seeing some success over a couple of seasons now. Maybe you could try this and see if it helps and allows you to return hostas to your garden.

  7. NCYarden 10/16/2014

    Very delightful, Bill. I see you are in western PA, but my wife is from Harrisburg, so she had a moment of nostalgia for "home" - I think she is just jealous of your gorgeous hostas. We have a tough time with them here because of voles and deer. But I am making headway with some success with some modified planting. I really like silver-blue foliage combination of the catmint and lamb's ear. Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

  8. greengenes 10/16/2014

    Yeah for foliage! I so enjoyed seeing all the different textures and colors of green, my favorite color! Bill, your garden benches are wonderful as well. I really like the big leafed, low growing, on the edge, lambs quarters? Or it looks like some kind of sage? That's great that you don't have trouble with slugs or snails. Iam sure that when your crocosmia is in bloome you have quite a show! Thanks for sharing with us!

  9. cwg 10/16/2014

    thanks everyone for your kind comments. We did have a wonderful visit with Michelle! The lambs ears, lining the front of the garden is Stachys 'Helen Von Stein'. The catmint is Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant'. We don't have deer, but the people on either side of us do. They are on the front lines of deer coming out of the woods.

  10. sheila_schultz 10/16/2014

    I think I just got a glimpse of what Hosta Heaven must look like! Like everyone else, I'm stunned you aren't plagued with slugs... my hosta looked like Swiss cheese as I was cutting them down yesterday! You definitely have the magic touch ;) Your gardens are so cheerful, every photo made me smile.

  11. jeannetrimble 10/16/2014

    Thanks for the lovely garden pics Bill! I also live in Pittsburgh but have only a tiny city courtyard. So I appreciate seeing what a yard and large gardens look like. My Hostas were not bothered by slugs this year but have had issues other years. Your Lambs Ears make me want to grow some this next year. They look so soft and lovely. Thanks for sharing!

    1. maddog23 03/11/2017

      Jeanne, How much success did you have with those Blueberry plants from 3 years ago?

  12. cwg 10/16/2014

    Meander 1, The dark red daylily is 'Thunder Dan'. It is an early bloomer here in Pittsburgh for me.

  13. wittyone 10/16/2014

    Wonderful photos and a gorgeous border to photograph. The nepeta and lambs ears make a wonderful combination. How nice to have a face to go with a name. Usually the person behind all the hard work is taking the picture and so never gets their chance to shine so the flowers walk off with all the credit!

  14. GrannyMay 10/16/2014

    So nice to see you and your garden again Bill. I too admit to hosta envy. Now that I have protected mine from the deer (I hope), the slugs have used the opportunity to feast and multiply! Love your Catmint and Lambs Ears combination with the tall grass on the left. What is behind them? Cannas ? Callas? and Phlox? Would love to see later photos when those were blooming too.

  15. thevioletfern 10/16/2014

    I think every garden should have scones ha ha! Love the Nepeta and Lamb combo! I have Walkers Low and the same Lamb Ears but they are now mixed with the traditional Lambs Ears. Lambs Ears are wonderful and don't get enough credit - except in your garden where they star! Also love, love your tapestry of Hosta! An inspiration for a part of my garden I have dubbed "Hosta Row." That's right you're an inspiration. Now I have to research vegan scone recipes, too.

  16. GrannyCC 10/16/2014

    Love all the soft colours with the pops of brighter colours in between. Bill your Hostas are amazing.

  17. user-7007140 10/18/2014

    Very beautiful, Bill and Diane. I am also very fond of blue and silver, so am in love with the border. Can you tell me whether the crocosmia is deer resistant? The effect of the tall green spears behind the border is very effective.
    Re the slugs. Has anyone tried Diatomaceous earth? I killed off an infestation of gypsy moth caterpilla this year very successfully. Am going to try it with the hosta pests,too.

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