My name is Jim Smith from Hartselle, Alabama, and I want to share a few photos of my garden. The garden is about five years old. I had minimal gardening experience except for helping my dad grow vegetables in my youth. I started out just wanting my home to look better, and then it turned into a bit of an obsession. My first investment was the white picket fence, then I began digging by shovel about four feet deep every evening and weekend for the next year, removing the bad soil and bringing in amended soil. I then began investing in shrubs and flowers, learning by trial and error what plants liked my soil. It stays very humid and hot in north Alabama, and the flowers that have worked the best in my garden are the Knock Out roses (Rosa ‘Radrazz’, Zones 4–9), which just keep putting out flowers all season long. I also have a ‘New Dawn’ rose (Rosa ‘New Dawn’, Zones 5–9) climbing along the fence, and multiple Austin roses scattered in the garden. My favorites, and the longest bloomers, are the purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9), daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids, Zones 3–9), Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9), and ‘Rozanne’ geranium (Geranium ‘Rozanne’ Zones 4–8), which all have long blooming seasons. I also keep about 25 containers and hanging baskets full of annuals to add to the cottage-style garden.
I enjoy looking at other people’s gardens and get many ideas that I use for my own garden. My wife and I enjoy spending many mornings and evenings sitting on our porch watching the birds, butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds buzzing throughout the garden.
I simply enjoy gardening!
Jim started with this white picket fence … and then some plants … and then some more plants. Pretty soon he had a beautiful obsession on his hands.
Masses of perennials and colorful annual containers give this garden a rich, cheerful, cottage-garden style.
This front porch is liberally planted with beautiful, full containers. What a perfect, inviting place to sit on a summer’s evening.
Another view of the lush plantings along the front porch.
When you find something that works, plant more of it! These rudbeckia clearly love this garden, and this big mass of them is putting on a pretty incredible show. Click here to see plants that do well in heat.
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 GPOD@finegardening.com 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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