Garden Photo of the Day

Nancy’s garden in Maryland

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nancy Bellaire

Today’s photos are from Nancy Bellaire in Maryland. She says, “It gets hot in mid-spring in Maryland. So for spring 2012 I focused on planting Emperor tulips in my formal beds in my front yard. I created four rectangles with a fountain in the center as the focal point. Emperor tulips precede the Darwin types so they last a lot longer since it is still cool in early spring. I enjoyed these tulips for 3 weeks and my later tulips last about a week.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nancy Bellaire

“Each rectangle has its own color scheme. I named my beds for fruits. There are peach, apple, plum, and berry beds. So there are four color schemes. Each bed has 40 tulips, pansies, and ‘Thalia’ daffodils. Peach bed has ‘Apricot Emperor’, ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘White Emperor’ tulips. Apple bed has ‘Red Emperor’, ‘Yellow Purissima’, and ‘Monsella’. Berry bed has ‘Analita’, ‘Red Emperor’, and ‘Yellow Purissima’. Plum bed has ‘Albert Heijn’, ‘Flaming Purissima’, and ‘Negrita’.”

Beautiful, Nancy! Now I want to see what you did THIS year! Thanks for sharing.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nancy Bellaire
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nancy Bellaire
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nancy Bellaire
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nancy Bellaire
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nancy Bellaire
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Nancy Bellaire

***OK, everyone, I’m starting to run low on photos (not OUT, just low…), which is ridiculous, since spring is JAMMING out there! PLEASE send me photos of your garden. I love having more than I could possibly process to choose from!***

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 05/08/2013

    snazzy tulip display! what do you plant in summer after tulip season, just curious (ok, i'm nosy)
    email arrived at 5:03 the universe is re aligned

  2. mauritian_host 05/08/2013

    beautiful, fascinating, well designed.... ok am out of words.. Nancy I envy your garden.. never seen so beautiful tulips Maybe I should consider planting some thank you Michelle for this wonderful post Excellent color combination now I am ready to attack my day

  3. mauritian_host 05/08/2013

    beautiful, fascinating, well designed.... ok am out of words.. Nancy I envy your garden.. never seen so beautiful tulips Maybe I should consider planting some thank you Michelle for this wonderful post Excellent colour combination now I am ready to attack my day

  4. bee1nine 05/08/2013

    A fruit theme for tulip's..hmm...What a fun and festive idea!
    Lovely color combo's, Nancy!
    Thanks for sharing!! :)

  5. wGardens 05/08/2013

    Good Morning, all! Delighted to have the email back early in the day!
    Lovely tulip display- so cheery and bright! Love the background in the first photo too!

  6. User avater
    HelloFromMD 05/08/2013

    The 4 rectangles continue with their color schemes with annuals and perennials. I added a lot of lilies for a big impact and for sublety I sowed nigella and larkspur. To always have bloom I rely on zinnia, begonia, and nicotiana. Thank you all for your compliments.

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/08/2013

    Yay for the fix-its at Fine Gardening getting us back on schedule. Nancy, your fountain urn is gorgeous...absolutely my favorite tone of blue for the garden. It's a very worthy focal point for all seasons so it would be interesting to know what your beds contain through the summer and fall.
    There looks to be a magnificent red leafed Japanese maple in the background of your second picture and a lovely winding brick path...hmmm, lots more material for additional photo sharing!

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/08/2013

    Ha, looks like I was such a pokey typist, Nancy already came in and answered my question.

  9. tractor1 05/08/2013

    A lovely tulip display, all's missing are the windmills! The yard seems well fenced from tulip munchers. I like the smattering of grape hiacynths too, matches the gorgeous lapiz lazuli urn. I'd like to see what looks to be a huge Japanese maple by the house. Thank you, Nancy.

  10. ncgardener 05/08/2013

    I love the blue vase and how it is repeated in the flowers! Beautiful!

  11. cwheat000 05/08/2013

    Your tulips are wonderful! My favorite is the orange, yellow ,white combo. I almost didn't plant any last fall, because I have to spray them with deer repellent, every other day, as they are emerging. I am so glad I did. Now your display makes me wish I planted more. They are so worth the effort. Your blue pot is fabulous ,too. The fine gardening website has a project to make a fountain out of one like that. Is yours a fountain? It is wonderful either way.Thank you for all the inspiration.

  12. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/08/2013

    great tulips and urn. love that you named your beds!

  13. User avater
    HelloFromMD 05/08/2013

    yes, I have a deer fence, a must have in my rural area. On the other side of the fence is a lovely borrowed view of a peach orchard. The whole field turns pink.

  14. tractor1 05/08/2013

    Purrfect garden explorers:

    Cali brought her kittens down from the barn rafters, they're not quite a month old. I hated to take them from their mother but on the ground they'd be very suseceptible to preditors so they are now in the house. They are eating very well. I already have a very good home for all three... the grands wanted two but who could possibly choose which to leave behind?




  15. MichelleGervais 05/08/2013

    Nancy--sounds like we need to see SUMMER pics!
    Tractor1--swooning over those adorable kittens!!!!!

  16. MichelleGervais 05/08/2013

    And YAY for the fixed email! Special thanks to the tech guys for making it happen.

  17. User avater
    HelloFromMD 05/08/2013

    the Emperor tulips did return this spring except one bed had very few red Emperor tulips while the other one had lots. I did add 10 tulips to each bed to boost the display this spring.

  18. hummergirl 05/08/2013

    Yay!!!! Email is fixed!!! Thank you!!! Now, back to reading today's!

  19. TeriCA 05/08/2013

    Hey Nancy,
    Beautiful tulips! I see you addressed the deer issue with a fence, and I'm also wondering if you have gophers, moles, etc. and if you do you deal with them?

  20. User avater
    HelloFromMD 05/08/2013

    Hi TeriCA,

    I use a product called VoleBloc by PermaTill or similar products to block the voles. I just checked their website and I only add a handful of vole bloc on top of the bulb until the bulb is completely covered. They recommend using a huge amount, which could be necessary for some. I also use this product to plant all my hostas after they disappeared one year and there were shallow tunnels around. I do put a light dressing of vole bloc on top of the hosta planting site, but not enough to discourage the slugs. This year I am trying pine straw to outfox the slugs. I stuffed all around the hostas with pine straw. Hope it works.

  21. User avater
    HelloFromMD 05/08/2013

    Hi cwheat000,

    Yes, the urn is a disappearing fountain, that my husband and I built. I was inspired by the article on pot fountains in Fine Gardening magazine. Can't find the issue but I did find that FG has a video on how to built it online. The issue may be 131. We used a 3X3 basin underneath to reduce how often it needs filling. I love it, it sounds great too. The urn is winter proof but I put it in the shed over winter anyway. So look for the ceramic urns that are specially fired to remain outside.

  22. user-1020932 05/08/2013

    nancy, i read about volebloc and it is described as expanded slate particles. do you think that chicken grit would work as well? it is sharp granite grit that is fed to chickens and it is MUCH less expensive than vole bloc and can be gotten at any farm supply store. i'm thinking that any hard sharp particles would work the same . with your experience with vole bloc do you think chicken grit would be as effective since they are both just sharp rocks?

  23. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/08/2013

    tntreeman, have you ever used the chicken grit product as a drainage enhancer for succulent plantings...esp. in pots? All this rain here in east TN has me wondering if I should make the effort to increase drainage. What do you think?

  24. user-1020932 05/08/2013

    meander1 yes, i have used it for drainage and for that "gritty mix" for alpines and in trough gardens. i always mix extra perlite in the potting mix for tuberous begonias and other on the dry side things but never thought of it for voles,,,i'm gonna try it . it's cheap and i do love cheap

  25. sheila_schultz 05/08/2013

    Ahhh... tulip heaven! Thank you Nancy, I have been missing my Spring Dreams this year. Your photos made me smile!

    Yay! GPOD is once again bringing gardeners together for their morning floral/friend/caffeine shot! I'm a tiche late and will continue to be so on most days for the next few weeks, but... dang, I'm glad our family is happily back on line!

    Thanks Michelle, and all of the techs that brought us gardener's back into sync!

  26. User avater
    HelloFromMD 05/09/2013

    Hi tntreeman,

    I have used chicken grit in my rock garden to improve drainage. I don't recall if it has a rough texture. If it is really 'gritty' then yes it should work and it is certainly cheaper! I agree whatever would be really sharp would work as a deterrent.

  27. User avater
    HelloFromMD 05/09/2013

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments. This has been so fun. Gardening is hard work but so rewarding and the people who love it are so fun, kind, and artistic.

  28. janeeliz 05/09/2013

    It must have been fun selecting tulips for your 4 different beds. Delightful color combinations and perfect with your lovely blue fountain/urn!

  29. pattyspencer 05/09/2013

    Beautiful tulips! I really like the variety of colors you have and really really like that blue fountain.

  30. pattyspencer 05/09/2013

    To Michelle & Tech guys - thank you - thank you - thank you.

    Hopefully today is the beginning of morning emails again!!!

  31. pattyspencer 05/09/2013

    Tractor1 - kitties are cute cute cute!!!!! I'd take them all if I lived closer

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