Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Miyako’s garden in Connecticut

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

Forgive me for the second post in a row from Connecticut, but while visiting one of my best friends, Miyako Kinoshita, last week in New Milford, I was stopped in my tracks by her gorgeous Black Lace elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’, USDA Hardiness Zones 4-7), and I insisted that she had to submit it for the GPOD. Doesn’t hurt that Miyako and her husband Brian just finished rehabbing their patio area, and it’s looking fabulous.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

Miyako says, “I was given this bush about 5 years ago from one of my dear friends, Michelle. Back then, there was no patio, and I just planted it, thinking I may move it when I find a good permanent place. It loved the location at once, and told me there is no way it’s moving. Now it is our focal point in our new patio which our friends helped us build. I love the plant so much, it just is great 3 seasons, and attracts some birds and insects.” Gorgeous. Sometimes the plant knows best, eh?

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Miyako Kinoshita

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  1. jwiegmull 06/13/2012

    I like what I see of the patio. Would love to see more.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/13/2012

    It's beautiful the way it cascades down the a deep mahogany waterfall touched with white froth. Often times, serendipity is a gardener's best friend when it comes to plant placement or combinations (ha, but then again, sometimes not as things clash and crowd with the passage of time).
    Miyako, your patio rehab looks like a huge success and I'm sure it gives you much pleasure.

  3. JuleMG 06/13/2012

    I've seen this combined with Tiger Eyes Sumac, really striking contrast.

  4. cwheat000 06/13/2012

    Love it! I noticed you have a black elderberry too, Michelle. I love yours too.( see my comments from late yesterday) I have the less lacey black variety,' Black Beauty'. I cut mine back to about 2 feet to make it bushier and this is only its third season. I can't wait till mine looks as good; although I think I will always like the texture of the lace variety better. I might have to buy another plant.Thanks guys, lol. I was checking the internet to recall the name of my cultivar, and found on Nature hills nursery's website, a variegated and gold leaf cultivars as well. Hmmm, very interesting.

  5. tractor1 06/13/2012

    Excellent photo capture of that elderberry and rack wall. I love Miyako's elderberry, if I knew the deer wouldn't decimate it I'd plant a bunch, I have many ancient rock walls and hedgerows, and along my creek where it would thrive... I will have to research this. I noticed a small clay pot of succulents that appears to have had an accident, instead of repotting I'd consider finding it a home in a niche in that lovely rock wall... that wall is crying out for succulents, mosses, and lychens... perhaps some sedum at its base. More pictures please, Miyako.

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/13/2012

    A beautiful specimen, great stonework to boot! I, too, would like to see more of the patio and garden! 'black lace' has performed so much better for me than either "black beauty' or 'Sutherland's Gold'. A nice bonus is that when I coppice it in spring, I stick the cut twigs in the ground and about half of them root.

  7. Wife_Mother_Gardener 06/13/2012

    It is just perfect over the rounded stone wall for sympathy in form and color.

  8. annek 06/13/2012

    Incredible. Part of the beauty of gardening is allowing Mother nature to put her emphasis into our garden design (well, she does it whether we plan for it or not) and it looks as though this location is perfect. You have a wonderful back yard and las mentioned in the other posts, I'd love to see more of it.

  9. Miyako 06/13/2012

    Thank you!!!
    I have deers living in our woods, and most plants get eaten. I do not believe they like the elderberry. It has never been bothered.

    The broken pot of succulents, I actually broke the pot in two to plant that way. I saw some beautiful containers at Mac and Twine Garden in Torrington, CT in broken pots, and tried it myself.I have to get better at it, but it actually is on purpose:-)

    Patio building was an adventure, took a lot of time of my friends... I also would like to see other patios to be more inspired, Michelle!

  10. sheilaschultz 06/13/2012

    Isn't it wonderful to have friends with such good taste in plants? Obviously it's getting the right kind of love along-side your patio, it's beautiful. Being a container kind of person, one of the first things I noticed was your succulent pot... fun idea, I may have to copy the idea! Thanks.

  11. perennial_gardener 06/13/2012

    I also love the blacklace elderberry. Does anyone know the proper way to prune it? Mine is kind of rangy looking.

  12. soilgoil 06/13/2012

    Miyako, your elderberry -- your patio -- is beautiful! I have two 'Black Lace' elderberry. The one in front of the house is lovely, the one in back, not as happy. I think it dislikes the afternoon sun it gets there. Tractor1, I, too, live in deer country, and they never touch the 'Black Lace' nor the native Sambucus that abounds here. Meander1, I so enjoy your daily comments. I was a garden writer for six years, and wish I had your talent for poetic description!

  13. soilgoil 06/13/2012

    P.S. Michelle, 'love your new photo!

  14. Cay442 06/15/2012

    Black Lace is beautiful shrub, but not a substitute for the slow growing Japanese maple, as is sometimes recommended. Two that I planted in community gardens here in zone 5a had to be heavily pruned after one year to bring them in scale with other plantings, and that will be an ongoing problem. We will probably move one. I prune them after they flower by first eliminating crossing branches, then reducing height by cutting stems back to an outward facing node. This keeps the plant in check, but tends to increase width. Maybe I'll try coppicing!

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