Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Barb’s garden in Wisconsin

'Little Joe' p (Paeonia 'Little Joe', Zones 3-8) color-echoes the Wine & Roses weigela (Weigela florida 'Alexandra', Zones 4-8).  Behind the peony is a mountain laurel that will soon be in bloom, too. 2 WAYS TO ENLARGE! Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid

Today’s photos are from Barb Herreid in Wisconsin. She says, “I live in the center of the state on a lake – definitely a zone 4.  The soil here is sandy, so I do lots of amending every year.  I also have to contend with hungry deer and rabbits.  We moved here in September, 2004, and I’ve been expanding the beds since then.  I’m most proud of my woodland garden as it is mostly natives and spring ephemerals that you’d find in a natural woodland.  We added the waterfall three years ago and I use mostly tropical plants around it.”

Beautiful, Barb! **check out the captions for LOTS more info.

Early spring in the woodland garden. yellow trillium (Trillium luteum, Zones 5-7) amongst Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica, Zones 3-7), false Solomon’s seal (Smilacina racemosa, Zones 4-9), and bulblet fern (Cystopteris bulbifera, Zones 4-8).
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
Again, early spring in the woodland with woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata, Zones 4-8), lamium (Lamium cv., Zones 4-8), bleeding heart (Dicentra spectablilis, Zones 3-9), the light-green fine leaves of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium, Zones 4-9), and the dark-red stems of red banebury (Actaea rubra, Zones 4-8).
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
A calming spot along the flagstone path.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
I like the way the polka dot plants (Hypoestes sp., annual) weave their way through Begonia ‘Gryphen’ (Zone 11).
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
More tropical-looking plants at the top of the 18-foot waterfall including variegated ginger (Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’, Zones 8-11), elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta cvs., Zones 8-11), castor bean plant (Ricinus communis cv., annual), Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’, Zones 4-8), smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria cv., Zones 5-9), and croton (Codiaeum cv., Zone 11).
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
One of the Lilies along the waterfall.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
A banana (Musa ‘Dwarf Cavendish’, Zone 11) and a rubber plant (Ficus elastica cv., Zone 11).  Note my husband’s collection of frogs and cattail art peaking out from the plants.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
The top of the waterfall from the yard side.  Other plants that now show up include flowering maple (Abutilon cv., Zones 8-11), bamboo (Fargesia sp., Zones 5-9), and a rubber plant (Ficus elastica cv., Zone 11).
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
Containers with a tropical flair at the base of our waterfall.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid
Entryway to our front door – I like to make it very welcoming with lots of containers going up the porch steps.  This is a shady area so I usually incorporate browallia (Browallia americana, annual), begonias, coleus, variegated impatiens, and polka dot plant (Hypoestes sp., annual).  To the right of the porch is Fine Line buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula ‘Ron Williams’, Zones 2-7), and ‘Love Pat’ hosta (Hosta ‘Love Pat’, Zones 3-9) in amongst yellow corydalis (Corydalis lutea, Zones 5-8).
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Barb Herreid

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View Comments


  1. hipgardenchick 02/16/2012

    Barbara's gardens are beautiful! This is definitely a wonderful inspiration for mid February! Thanks for sharing them!


  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/16/2012

    Barb does an amazing job of incorporating tropical plants into her landscaping. They add so much vibrant color and interest. Question for Barb if she has time to answer: "Do you overwinter your tropicals or go on a fun shopping spree each year?"
    Her husband and I are on the same page for loving silly frog the one taking a rest on the edge of the waterfall.

  3. floweringtree 02/16/2012

    I love your garden. I am just wondering how you can keep the annuals with the perennials during the winter months? I live in Zone 5A and I cannot grow the elephants ears, and the beautiful begonias.

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/16/2012

    Great garden in a beautiful setting. Love the waterfall. I am most envious of your woodland garden and ephemerals!

  5. Wife_Mother_Gardener 02/16/2012

    I LOVE the planting with the trillium... beautiful!

  6. siesperanza 02/16/2012

    Lovely garden. I've taken lots of notes on specific plants. I'll be looking at these photos again. Thanks!

  7. greengrowler 02/16/2012

    I'm with Meander1; love the use of tropicals intermingled with traditional garden plants; the textures and colors really give your garden punch. LOVE the huge Begonia - how long does it take to reach that size? Do you start the tuber indoors and transplant or put it straight out into the garden? FYI: tropicals can be found at the "big box" stores - very affordable; usually costing less than a gallon-size perennial so there's no huge investment to overwinter...
    P.S. RE: Pinterest - it requires a smart phone or Facebook page; too bad for those of us that don't have either... Maybe someday they will add other means of connectivity.

  8. grdnldy 02/16/2012

    Hi, this is Barb - thanks for all the nice comments! As for the tropicals and annual/perennial combos, I bring them indoors each fall and water sparingly thru the winter. In March, I fertilize them and trim back the dead leaves and get them set for another summer outdoors. The 'Gryphen' begonia was a new plant last spring so that is all one year's growth.

  9. tractor1 02/16/2012

    Barb's garden contains many very nice plants but I'd like to also see distant/wide angle photos included to gain a better perspective of the overall effect of what one sees as if actually there. I feel the microscopic views are fine but too cropped to enjoy a full appreciation for all the labors that went into creating a *garden* (one or three plants does not a garden make), and not just close ups of individual plants and small groupings, for that I can peruse a nursery catalog. Even the effect of the water feature is lost without seeing how it fits into the landscape and I'm certain a lot of thought and effort went into it's location and association with other elements along with its form. All just my opinion of course.
    GreenGrowler: I think 'usenet' might solve the "connectivity" issue for you, I think the unmoderated Newsgroups are best for honest discussion, providing one has thick skin. I think Facebook has no value whatsoever as a venue for discussion unless one appreciates disingenuousness, better off taking it to email. Again just my never humble opinion.

  10. McFarlandgardener 02/16/2012

    I have been privileged to see this garden. It is beautifully planned and has lots of interest seasonally, as well as great texture and colour.

  11. greengrowler 02/16/2012

    Thanks, tractor1; I will check out "usenet" as an alternative to store favorite gardening images/ideas, which is all I really want to do. Appreciate the suggestion!

  12. perennialgrdnr_z4b 02/16/2012

    Hi Barb,

    What a surprise, although I have not had the opportunity to tour your garden, I do know you. I love the plant combinations in the woodland beds and the use of tropicals. I also would like to see more of it. I really think the WHPS should schedule a tour your garden sometime soon! Thanks for sharing pictures of your lovely garden.


  13. fitchburggardener 02/23/2012

    I got to see this garden twice, once in the very first years of development and again a few years ago. Watching a garden develop, especially when done by the gardener herself, is something special to see. Barb has developed a habitat, serene and beautiful for people and a healthy environment for native species. She mixes tropicals with our natives species without making either look out of place. Great job Barb. I hope I'll be able to visit again soon.

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