My name is Pam Alvord. In 2019 I submitted photos of our North Carolina garden in Zone 7B (Learning From Gardening in Different Climates). I explained that I have gardened and lived in many states and climates around the country. Two years ago, my husband and I moved to south-central Montana (Zone 4b) to retire and be close to family. We purchased a 27-year-old home on 2½ acres with an abundance of mature trees and a pond in an established neighborhood. The yard and home were in need of some TLC, so we got right to work painting the whole house, expanding existing garden beds and building new ones. My husband built raised beds, and we have planted 100s of plants to bring my love of a cottage garden to life. In the short time we’ve been here, I have planted over 1000 spring bulbs and have added plants, water sources, and food to certify our yard as a Wildlife Habitat and Monarch Waystation. Learning to go with the nature of Montana, with hot, dry summers, cold snowy winters, and wind has been a challenge, but the wide open skies with the most incredible sunrises and sunsets are so worth it. Further plans are for more raised beds, native landscaping, and a greenhouse. Being retired, we are enjoying every step to make it our own.
One of the garden beds, with clouds of airy purple flowers from Russian sage (Salvia yangii, Zones 4–9)
Double-flowered tulips begin the drama in spring.
A swallowtail butterfly comes in to sample nectar from lantana (Lantana camara, Zones 9–11 or as an annual).
A monarch butterfly fuels up at the waystation.
Bright red hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus hybrid, Zones 4–10) light up the summer garden.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
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