Garden Photo of the Day

Peppermint Tulips and More

Some garden favorites

Sharon Linville sent in these photos, which show a variety of different seasons in the garden.

The peppermint stick tulip (Tulipa clusiana, Zones 3–7) showing the red-and-white-striped flower buds that give it its common name. This is one of the many species of tulips that have a more delicate, graceful look in the garden than the typical large, hybrid tulips. Many species will perennialize and come back year after year more reliably than their hybrid cousins, particularly if they have lots of sun and are kept relatively dry during their summer dormancy.

Deep purple Siberian irises (Iris siberica, Zones 3–8). This looks like the classic variety ‘Caesar’s Brother’. There are many new hybrids of Siberian irises with new colors, bigger flowers, and all sorts of other bells and whistles, but this classic form is hard to beat for richness of color and for sheer vigor and performance in the garden.

Now that is a hosta! Bigger than the garden chair in front of it, it looks like the iconic supersize hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ (Zones 3–8). Hostas like this variety reach their maximum size in cooler climates and require some time in the garden to grow to their full size. If you have a new plant that isn’t yet as big as you would like, patience may be all you need.

A warm-hued border filled with easy-to-care-for perennials. A beautiful garden doesn’t have to be a lot of work. Sometimes the best approach is to try a lot of different plants, see which ones really love to grow in your conditions, and then just plant lots and lots of those varieties.

This is more of a warm-colored planting, with a big focus on hybrid coneflowers (Echinacea hybrids, Zones 4–9). When the first hybrid echinacea in shades of red, orange, and yellow came on the market, they had pretty flowers but didn’t last long in the garden. But newer breeding has focused more on making them reliable perennials, so if you tried them before and gave up, it might be time to give them another shot.


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View Comments


  1. garden1953 05/02/2019

    Very pretty gardens. I love all your flowers! Thanks for sharing.

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    treasuresmom 05/02/2019

    Love those irises!

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    meander_michaele 05/02/2019

    You have lots of my favorite plants, Sharon. A mature 'Sum and Substance' hosta is literally's really a treat to see one in all its leafy lush glory. And, I love a generous swath of 'Ceasar's Brother' Siberian iris...their bloom color is practically electrifying.

  4. Musette1 05/02/2019

    that 'Sum and Substance' is gorgeous! I just moved a border of them to a shadier spot - hope they enjoy it more and give me the 'Substance' yours has! Thanks for sharing!

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    simplesue 05/02/2019

    Oh that photo with the white lacy garden chair next to the huge hosta looks like twilight in the pretty and moody.. I can imagine one of those Moon Flower Vines popping open its flower nearby. Nice assortment of flowers, you must have a lot of bees and butterflies and maybe even hummingbirds!

  6. btucker9675 05/02/2019

    Such a pretty, inviting garden you've created. My Siberian irises have just bloomed and I never get tired of their elegant beauty. My bearded irises are also performing well this year - I was concerned about how they would do in the clay soil even though I amended it for them.

  7. carolineyoungwilliams 05/02/2019

    Thank you for sharing Sharon, I really love your choice of colors and your selection of flowers. They are beautiful.

  8. Cenepk10 05/02/2019

    So delighted you shared the Sum & Substance hosta. I have one & have it nestled in a protected, shaded corner ... next to variegated hydrangeas. ( saw you had your paired with what looks to me like a hydrangea). My S & S is 5 years old. It’s pretty huge. Not as tall as yours seems to be. Pretty garden. Glad I saw it & also enjoyed the tulip lesson. You made me realize why I’m not such a fan of tulips. First of all - in the hot south- they never come back. I much MUCH prefer the non hybrid version. Beautiful!

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