Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Harriet’s garden in Maine, revisited

This detail shows several peonies ('Okinawa' in foreground) and 1 gas plant spire.  The latter is slow to establish.  The other peonies are old unknown varieties. 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 Harriet Robinson

Remember Harriet Robinson’s garden in Maine that she created after she filled in her swimming pool? (Refresh your memory HERE and HERE) The last time we featured it, she showed us what the garden looked like while in a daylily moment. Harriet wanted to update us again now that the garden is in a peony moment. And oh what a moment it is! This garden is just sublime, don’t you think? Harriet gives detailed descriptions of what we’re looking at in the captions. Enjoy, and have a great weekend, everyone!

The peonies, some named varieties and some old ones dug up from my parent’s house (the peonies were there when they bought the house in the late 40’s), bloom in shades of pink and white. I also love my supporting cast of dianthus (cheddar pinks) and various flowers in shades of blue and purple including Salvia ‘May Night’ and cranesbill geranium (likely ‘Johnson’s Blue’). The scent from the dianthus and peonies is divine. The dianthus is a spready groundcover, but I use clippers to keep it in check and reduce its size after it blooms.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Harriet Robinson
These two peony varieties complement each other.  ‘President Roosevelt’ (foreground) is an older variety. ‘Westerner’ was the belle of the ball on a garden tour here several years ago when her petals danced in the wind.  She has a longer bloom time than some.  Sedum ‘Frosty Morn’ peaking out behind ‘Pres. Roosevelt’ is a favorite of mine and is planted in several places.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Harriet Robinson
This forms the northern boundary of the back yard.  The bluebird house looks like a New England church and is chosen as a nest site every year. My husband built it based on a model from his parents’ house.  This garden has less of a late spring focus, but continues the peony theme.  The blues here are from veronicas and clematis (‘Lord Neville’; ‘Jackmanii’ will bloom in this garden later).  This garden has splashes of yellow from ‘Moonshine’ yarrow and trollius.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Harriet Robinson
This shot shows the flowers (from foreground:  ladies’ mantle, wild daisies, unknown pink peony, Salvia ‘May Night’, Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’,  cheddar pinks, baptisia, and cranesbill geranium) next to the cement walkway (used for seedlings this time of the year), with the vegetable area behind (the structure is for pole beans); another raised bed shows my use of leaf mulch to smother weeds on all vegetable beds (the brussels sprouts are too tiny to show in that photo). There is a rather large vegetable garden in a number of beds in the southern and western sections of the fenced area.  I try to make them pretty with annual flowers around them.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Harriet Robinson

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  1. bethnbijoux 06/22/2012

    Absolutely stunning vistas, and your plantings are the icing on the cake!!

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    meander_michaele 06/22/2012

    There is nothing more alluring than sumptuous clumps of peonies beckoning us forward with their intoxicating and nostalgic fragrance. We all become children again on a visit to grandmother's house as we take a moment and breathe deeply.
    You really have wonderful plant choices, Harriet. It's like the perfect neighborhood where everyone gets along and brings out the best in the ones on either side and across the street.

  3. tractor1 06/22/2012

    I love the setting, the distant vistas are magnificent and showcase Harriet's plantings so spectacularly. I especially like the photo with the neat bird house, if hubby would like to build another to contrast, I have a photo of the 300 year old church around the corner here, I can send a photo to Michelle and I'm sure she wouldn't mind fowarding it to you, just a thought.

  4. pattyspencer 06/22/2012

    Beautiful! Thank you for listing the names of the plants. I had visions of visiting my grandmother when looking at your peony pictures - nice memories

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    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/22/2012

    Beautiful peonies, beautiful garden, beautiful setting, great photos! Thanks for sharing another season in your garden.

  6. Valania 06/22/2012

    I love it that you have included peonies from your parents and that your husband has included a remake of his family's bird house. Just lovely! Thank you!

  7. cwheat000 06/22/2012

    Large rectangular or square beds, that will be seen from more than one side, are trickier to place plants in. I really enjoy looking at your garden, because I am trying to plant similarly shaped beds. You have done a really beautiful job. Thank you for sharing.

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