Garden Photo of the Day

Plants Make a Little Space a Paradise

How professional gardeners grow at home

Today we’re visiting Ana Pfueger’s garden.

My husband and I own a landscape business in beautiful New Jersey. Here are a few photos of my small courtyard patio. It’s our little paradise.

The courtyard space consists of shade-loving plants: ferns, astilbe, hydrangea, lily (Lilium sp.), bleeding heart (Dicentra sp.), Veronica, Spirea, and Carex. Boxwoods (Buxus sp.) frame the perimeter. I threw an elephant ear (Alocascia escuelenta, Zones 8–10 or as an annual) into the mix for a little drama.

I had a little fun out front with my containers and window boxes. Containers had some rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum, Zones 5–7), Iresine (bloodleaf, Zones 9–11 or as an annual), ivy (Hedera helix, Zones 5–9), caladium, and good-old-fashioned impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, annual). They all played well together.

This courtyard patio garden packs a lot of plants into a small area. The elephant ear brings bold contrast and a tropical flair to the shade-loving perennials.

This window box is so much fun, with impatiens weaving their way through a bold collection of foliage plants, including the white-leaved caladium (Caladium ‘Aaron’, Zones 9–11 or as annual) and the colorful stems of Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris, annual).

The container here echoes the form and colors of the windowbox but uses some different plants. A large hosta takes center stage, backed up by more impatiens, a purple-leaved oxalis (Oxalis regnellii, Zones 7–11 or as annual), and a variegated Mezoo Livingstone daisy (Mesembryanthemum ‘Mezoo’, Zones 10–11 or as annual).

Another view of the courtyard shows how the neatly clipped boxwood hedges contain and give order to the exuberant plantings.

Diverse textures and colors of foliage give this space interest and beauty that will last all season long.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/10/2019

    Love your patio! I suspect there is a lot of pleasure gained sitting out there & drinking in the beauty.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 05/10/2019

    Wow, that's a gorgeous courtyard garden! Love the stone columns with the footed pots and iron gate, and the stone patio and chairs! The clipped boxwoods really do give order to the plantings, a formal yet casual look! Wonderful!

  3. Musette1 05/10/2019

    what a lovely tableau!

  4. nwphillygardener 05/10/2019

    It looks like that boxwood hedge is doing a great job as a backdrop with those part shade plantings, allowing a real crispness in the overall feel of the design. Which variety of boxwood is that, Ana?

  5. cheryl_c 05/10/2019

    I like how the hosta in the planter performs the same function as the chard in the nearby window box! Fun and creative landscaping - thanks for sharing.

  6. btucker9675 05/10/2019

    Oh, how your beautiful space makes me miss New Jersey! Dinner at that outdoor table surrounded by your garden must be magical. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Doxnmomx2 05/10/2019

    Certainly not the shoemaker's children without shoes! You've put your talents where you can enjoy as well. Simply stunning!

  8. paiya 05/10/2019

    The textures, shapes and colors of all the plants are so well-balanced and harmonious -it must be joyful and peaceful to spend time in your courtyard

  9. anapflueger 05/11/2019

    Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed a glimpse of my garden. The boxwoods are Common Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens.

  10. cwalda 05/13/2019

    Wonderful space with so much beautiful color and texture Just joyful ?

  11. cwalda 05/16/2019

    Love it all the patio with duck awesome plant combinations are joyful!

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