Garden Photo of the Day

Ornamental Beauty

By Kim Charles

Despite a few common gardening problems, John Markowski's garden flourishes!

"I garden in zone 6B in New Jersey with my garden dominated by perennials and ornamental grasses. I struggle with poor draining soil and endless deer and rabbits.

I am the author of the gardening blog, The Obsessive Neurotic Gardener and just released my first book, "Perennials Through the Seasons"."

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  1. Maggieat11 06/21/2017

    Well, I must say, despite the issues you face, your garden looks great!!! Best Wishes on the success of your new book!

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    user-7007816 06/21/2017

    Beautiful. I really like your combination of colors and textures.

  3. Sunshine111 06/21/2017

    Lush, vibrant and dynamic!!!???

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    treasuresmom 06/21/2017

    Love your garden & blog as well.

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    meander_michaele 06/21/2017

    Those gorgeous healthy looking mounds of dark leafed heuchera in picture #7 show that you've obviously found a way to thwart the challenges of clay, John. For me, they are the proverbial canary in coal mine when it comes to good drainage and ideal conditions. Your glowing swath of Lady's Mantle is perfection and certainly sets off the taller Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ ( ? being brave about guessing the id on that). In short, (and long, tall, and wide) everything looks great!

  6. user-6841468 06/21/2017

    Do you have a secret to get the Lady's Mantle to look so lovely? Mine always flop. For those who don't know this, deer tend to stay away from plants that are fuzzy (lamb's ears), prickly (blackberries), and fragrant (viburnum carlesii and calycanthus).

  7. user-6861263 06/21/2017

    Beautiful garden-
    my in-laws live in East Millstone and they have herds of 20 deer on their 13 acre farm daily. They have just about given up gardening at this point. Do you have a deer fence? Is that Dark Towers penstemon? The improved Lady's Mantle that stays upright? Or are you just more talented than the rest of us? :) I'll check out your blog now! Great job!

  8. VikkiVA 06/21/2017

    Hi John, I feel your pain when it comes to dealing with hungry rabbits. I've caught 2 this season using a Have-a-Heart Trap. I relocate them to an open field several miles from my garden where they can be with their brothers and sisters. I see we share the love of several of the same plants...Astilbee, Huechura & Catmint. All of your plants look healthy and lush. Is that a variegated Caryopteris between the Beebalm and behind the red Huechura in your next to the last picture? I'm off to check out your blog. Vikki in VA.

  9. NCYarden 06/21/2017

    Uuuum, what issues? Haha, we all have them and find our way to deal with them. Your garden looks fantastic, despite those setbacks. Love the Alchemilla - I transferred mine this past season in hopes of getting it to look more like what you have here.
    Nurture that's working! Thank you for sharing.

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    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/21/2017

    Gorgeous, John. Always great to see your photos of your wonderful garden on this blog. I love the spots of purple and dark foliage, and the Physocarpus photo is outstanding!
    I think my obsessive-neurotic brain would blow a fuse is I had to face your pests!

  11. gardencook 06/21/2017

    Your garden looks wonderful and so lush!! In spite of the problems that you have faced, your garden does not indicate that it has suffered in any way! I love the combination of colours with the blues, red and burgundies! I have mostly a perennial garden and so I can relate to your garden choices very much! I wish you all the best with your book! I love the title and it would be one that I would pick up and enjoy!!!

  12. Doxnmomx2 06/21/2017

    What is the photo editing trick to fill in holes in leaves? Your garden looks absolutely picture perfect. What beautiful combinations. Where do we find your book? Silly me, on Amazon. I just ordered it for my armchair gardening.

  13. sheila_schultz 06/21/2017

    No wonder the 4-footed creatures in your neighborhood like to come for brunch... your gardens are a 5 star buffet! It's a delight to view the beauty of your combinations once again, the fresh spring blooms and leaves are lush and seemingly perfect despite the uninvited guests!
    The best of luck on the sales of your new book... you must be wonderfully relieved to be at this end of the writing process! Already thinking about a topic for #2? It can be as addictive as creating beautiful gardens I've heard!

  14. annek 06/21/2017

    Your gardens are so lush and picture perfect. I love the pops of deep burgandy and have to join the chorus on the lady's mantle. It is gorgeous. Mine has flopped over but hope that planting some structural plants in a surround will help bolster the floppiness. Now I have to go looks for your book on amazon!

  15. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 06/21/2017

    Good morning John. Nice to see your garden on here again and it's looking beautiful, as usual. Don't you just love baptisia? I just added a new one called 'Purple Smoke' that proves to be a winner. All of the blues, greens and burgundies in your garden are so lush so you must be figuring out what to plant to thwart the critters. Good luck with your book and thanks for sharing.

  16. tennisluv 06/21/2017

    John, your perennials are beautiful and your blog a hoot (funny, very human, insightful, a wee bit obsessive & neurotic, and delightfully irreverent). Too busy this year planting the bones in my new landscape (shrubs, conifers and a lawn), but your book will be on my Christmas list for reference next year when I begin to fill in gaps with perennials that I can move around when the shrubs reach maturity (aka overgrow they allotted space). Thanks for sharing.

  17. Jay_Sifford 06/21/2017

    Hi John. Really nice photos and really nice garden. The foliage textures, shapes and colors are outstanding. Your garden looks happy!

  18. user-3565112 06/21/2017

    Good afternoon John, Blue is my favorite garden color & you've done a great job of combining shades of blue with a wide variety of others. Regarding you Blog title you are in good company. "The trouble with gardening is that it does not remain an advocation. It becomes an obsession" Phyllus McGinley Good luck with your book,Joe

  19. LaurelEm 06/21/2017

    Lovely Garden! I loped over to your blog and I love your entry about Canada Thistle. I'm in that boat and have aobut come to the same conclusion as you. I have one ugly empty bed this year. It was supposed to be my faux tropical attempt. It is an attempt at killing the CT first!
    Your garden is lovely! I love the purple and lime and blue combinations!

  20. user-6536305 06/22/2017

    John, very stunning. Great photos. Will check out your blog and book. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Cenepk10 06/22/2017

    Love your blog & your garden !!! Those pesky deer. Sheep dog. Works on rabbits too. Sometimes only 1/2 the rabbit gets eaten & 1/2 gets left on the porch ! Yuck ! Or cat gets the baby rabbit & sheepdog rescues & chases you screaming thru the yard wanting you to save him. What about blueberry robbing birds - when blackberries are taking over the back 40 ? Crazy wildlife. They don't get it yet over here... but I'm still trying:). Lovely garden !!!!

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