Garden Photo of the Day

Naturalistic Garden in New Jersey

A flowery paradise

Today we’re in Hopewell, New Jersey, visiting with Courtney and Denys Turner.

We have worked very hard to create hardy but beautiful perennial borders in our back and front gardens, à la Piet Oudolf—the naturalistic style or “new perennial movement.”

The back border is against a fence and gets a lot of sun most of the day. The soil is dry and sandy on the mound and heavy clay everywhere else.

perennialsLots of perennials, many of them native, create an informal, naturalistic look.

Black-eyed Susans and purple asterBlack-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 5–9) and a purple aster (Symphyotrichum species)

View down through the garden with neatly edged grass pathsNeatly edged grass paths provide a tidy contrast to the informal plantings in the beds.

ConeflowersConeflowers (Echinacea hybrids, Zones 5–9) take center stage with their bright pink flowers.

ornamental grassesOrnamental grasses are key to the new perennial movement, providing a unifying texture to the design.

coneflowers and RudbeckiaAll of these coneflowers and Rudbeckia are beautiful and very popular with pollinators. Along the fence are sunflowers (Helianthus annuus, annual), which will provide a snack for the local birds once their seeds have matured.

perennialsDifferent perennials growing together create a tapestry of color.

View Comments


  1. runfortheroses 12/16/2021

    Amazing job! Such great choices for the birds! Thanks for sharing

  2. garden1953 12/16/2021


  3. User avater
    user-7007816 12/16/2021

    What a beautiful "natural" setting you have created. Great job.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/16/2021

    So very pretty!

  5. carolineyoungwilliams 12/16/2021

    Thank you for sharing your naturalistic garden. I love Coneflowers and Rudbeckia, but I always gave each of them their own stage...thanks to you, I see that they work nicely together.

  6. wittyone 12/16/2021

    Oh, this looks so inviting. It looks full and happy and not contrived. I know a good bit of planning is necessary so that it doesn't become a hodgepodge and you have done a really good job of that. You probably have to do an annual editing to keep the spreaders in hand but taking care of things in the garden is half the fun. Not only that, you have those edited to put somewhere else or give away, what a problem to have! We should all have such problems to deal with.

  7. sheila_schultz 12/16/2021

    Courtney and Denys, you have lovingly created a treasure trove of smile inducing blooms in your backyard! How wonderful! Your gardens must be aflutter with winged creatures, what a gift!

  8. User avater
    simplesue 12/16/2021

    I'm so excited for my own pathetic Purple Cone Flowers to one day grow up to look like yours!
    And your purple aster (Symphyotrichum species are so natural looking in the loose shapes they make, something you've inspired me to try to grow.
    A beautiful garden, and so tidy and neat, a wonderful job you've done!

  9. btucker9675 12/16/2021

    What a very pretty garden you've made - so colorful and textural. Great work!

  10. user-5117752 12/17/2021

    Just the kind of garden I love and strive for! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us all!

  11. florenegordon 12/19/2021

    Good share. thanks

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