Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Ruth Ann’s garden in New Jersey

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ruth Ann Mummey

Today’s photos are from Ruth Ann Mummey in New Jersey. she says, “We moved to our farm in 1995. It is a small nursery specializing mostly in holly, which we sell primarily to the trade. My passion is hydrangeas and crepe myrtles. I was told crepe myrtles wouldn’t grow on our windy hill in central New Jersey. However, after an initial struggle, the ones I planted in 1996 are still there with new self-seeded ones filling in.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ruth Ann Mummey

“The deep pink is ‘Tonto’ and the lighter pink is ‘Hopi’. In other parts of the garden I have ‘Pink Velour’ and a few that have self-seeded in lighter pink and a pinky-purple. My husband made the obelisks for me this spring. The perennial beds have undergone constant change as I learn more about what works, what works without too much work, and what I like.”

Wow, those crape myrtles are gorgeous, Ruth Ann! I love how they create a vivid backdrop for your perennial beds.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ruth Ann Mummey
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ruth Ann Mummey
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ruth Ann Mummey
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ruth Ann Mummey
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ruth Ann Mummey
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Ruth Ann Mummey

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  1. duckcovegardening 09/20/2012

    Ruth Ann, your sense of color and style are wonderful. You mention that it took a year to establish your crape myrtles, and I wonder if you could share more photos and some tips. I, too, love them and some varieties will establish in zone 6 - of course I love the zone 7 varieties and am unsure I could really protect them enough. Also, picture 6 shows stonework and plantings - it is very interesting - an old driveway perhaps? Finally, the obelisks add an amazing dimension to your gardens - they really are terrific!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/20/2012

    Oh, my...just simply stunning...what wonderful images to start the day off with. Those glorious crape myrtles circle your garden areas like a beautiful colorful necklace.
    I have some baby crape myrtles that are the result of some reseeding and I have wondered what I should do with them...pull and toss? or dig and relocate? Well, thanks to you, Ruth Ann, I have my answer. I should take advantage of Mother Nature's generosity and replant them to create my own kaleidoscopic piece of jewelry.

  3. davsav 09/20/2012

    Oh how I love the picture of the crape myrtles with all of those beautiful hydrangeas in front!! Really a beautiful garden. Thanks so much for the pictures.

  4. wGardens 09/20/2012

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos- the first photo with the hydrangeas was enough to blow me away! Simply STUNNING! And great obelisks... nice sculputural additions to your beautiful property.

  5. terieLR 09/20/2012

    My grandmother called them 'chicken gizzards'... the annuals planted to compliment your crape myrtles. Their deep pink color and the white obelisks set the stage for a perfectly balanced vista from your back porch area. Wonderful gardens. Great pictures. Thanks Ruth Ann!

  6. annek 09/20/2012

    What a massive and beautifully colorful garden! It's obvious you spend a lot of time caring for and nurturing your creation. Great job!

  7. WinstonSalem 09/20/2012

    Beautiful photos. Love the combinations of colors and plants. I also love crape mytles. When I worked at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (in NYC) I learned that about 20 years ago the National Arboretum got the Brooklyn Boatnic Garden to do a trial with about 20 crape mytriles to see how they would grow in Zone 7. They made a beautiful display of many varieties and colors. We planted one in our church garden and it did extremely well. Brooklyn is in Zone 7. Now that I read your story, I am going to dig up all the seedlings in my yard in NC and plant them at our Food Bank Garden. Thanks for sharing.

  8. pattyspencer 09/20/2012

    Beautiful pictures. Really like the 1st one and the color of the crape myrtles are just eye popping! Since in my area has changed planting zones from a 5/5b to a 6b (or something) I might be able to plant one.

  9. tractor1 09/20/2012

    My kind of garden, where one can sit back to observe a panoramic view from a distance, very relaxing and meditative. I know a lot of labor was invested into creating those obelisks but located as they are I find them highly offensive/intrusive, they look like high tension wire supports. I would place them somewhere else, perhaps closer to the house where they don't pollute that spectacular sweeping panorama with their harsh stark white no less, grrr. I know that if my neighbor erected those obelisks in my view I'd be out there in the middle of the night with my bow saw. Move those eyesores and instead plant a couple of small trees, weeping mulberry would blend in softly. If you must erect some kitch perhaps a small gazebo, off to the side, in earth tones. Sorry.

  10. Steepdrive 09/20/2012

    Beautiful crepe myrtles! Did they bloom early for you this year? Mine did. I have yet to get seedlings from mine. The trees came from Arbor Day Foundation and when the young ones I transplanted behind my stone entry wall get big enough and showy I will send photos in to GPOD to share.

    And you know I think I agree with Tractor1 about those obelisks. Maybe if they weren't white but a soft green.

  11. KiahG 09/20/2012

    The first shot in the early morning? Is breathtaking, I just LOVE hydrangeas, now I must investigate crepe myrtles!!

  12. plant_lady_55 09/20/2012

    Beautiful. I, too, love hydgrangeas and have always wanted crepe myrtles, but was told they wouldn't grow in my Michigan zone 5. I will enjoy the pictures of yours. I like the obelisks. The white goes with the white arbor in the background on picture #4. Variety is good. It is a nice contrast to the deep colors of the crepe myrtles. I'm curious what zone you are in central NJ. I will have to look it up. Thanks for sharing.

  13. sheila_schultz 09/20/2012

    I find it hard to believe that I've never been aware of crape myrtles before the last few weeks, I'm totally a fan now! (Thank you GPOD!) Love the Hydrangea's, too... what beautiful combinations. Thanks, Ruth Ann.

  14. tractor1 09/20/2012

    SteepDrive: At least someone agrees... I wasn't going to mention that arbor but since Plant Lady 55 brought it up I don't like that either, it's huge, it's white, it sticks out like a sore thumb in the middle of nowhere... may be okay were it a muted shade and had lots of something growing on it. But those obelisks gotta go elsewhere. Otherwise it's a gorgeous property... needs no lily gilding.

  15. greengrowler 09/20/2012

    Another day of gorgeous Hydrangeas - stunning! Like wgardens, that first photo, with the foggy background, is spectacular! Yet, I also agree with tractor1 in that the white obelisks do detract from an otherwise serene and well-composed scene. As others noted, it's the jarring whiteness; as someone else suggested, a color that blends in would be more harmonious.

  16. Vespasia 09/20/2012

    Beautiful, I love the massing of colour and of course the hydrangeas are amazing, wonderful job!

  17. cljake 09/20/2012

    I love your garden. I'm working on getting our backyard to look similar with the same plants and colors. You are an inspiration. I can't wait to look out with views like this.

    tractor1 do you remember the saying..."if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all"...? Contructive criticism is one thing but stating "I know that if my neighbor erected those obelisks in my view I'd be out there in the middle of the night with my bow saw." If you were my neighbor and did that you would be slapped with a restraining order and lawsuit. Oh neighbor did do something similar and we now have cameras surrounding our property so we can replay our neighbor violating our property. You are entitled to your opinion but honestly you need to check your internal edit button.

  18. tractor1 09/20/2012

    Yo, Jakeypoo, ain'tcha ever hoid the term "figure of speech"... it won't break yer face to smile once in a while, you'll live longer. I got something to ease the pain while you pull that pointy stick outta yer orifice... check out the crop I harvested today! LOL

  19. bellslady 09/20/2012

    Thank you to all who took their time to comment. In today's busy world caring enough to share is very meaningfull and I do so appreciate your generous comments.
    Luckily I don't live next to tractor1 or the obelisks might be in danger! No fear, no one else but those who live here can see the obelisks as we are set way back from the road in the middle of 100 acres so we are not hurting anyone's view except the birds! I guess that is why they make so many varieties of ice cream...something for everyone. The pergola was built for one of our sons and his wife for their wedding. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful memory as the ceremony as they said their vows there.
    To duckcove and anyone else who wonders if their crepe myrtles will survive in the wind...they will if they are the ones for zone 6. However, they might die back the first few years. I have now learned that protecting new plants and young plants with burlap the first year or two is a great way to get them established until they are stronger. Hope that helps and thanks to all! Ruth Ann

  20. jardineira 09/21/2012

    Ruth Ann, How stunning! Amazing how with ingenuity you can grow Crepe Myrtles, which love a hot sunny exposure, with cool shade loving hydrangeas by sheltering them from the hot sun with the crepe myrtle "ring" you made. I have never before seen Myrtles and Hydrangea together because of their different requirements. You have accomplished spectacular creative genius to be able to grow them together like that! I imagine the white obelisks and arbor must be even more exquisite in the gray winter, bringing light and connecting the bones of the garden, when so few things are growing. Congratulations on such a beautiful landscape!

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