Garden Photo of the Day

Return to Chad and Seyra’s Garden

Revisiting a collector’s garden

dark brown seed heads and light pink flowers in fall garden

Yesterday we visited Chad and Seyra’s garden in Woodbury, Connecticut, and today we’re back to see more of their beautiful plants.

small concrete path winding through gardens of pink flowersLike a lot of other gardeners, we love the birds who come to our garden. Over the years, we have increasingly considered their needs when selecting new plants. But choosing coneflowers was a happy accident. We love Echinacea purpurea (Zones 3–8) because it is easy to grow, seeds itself around, blooms for months, comes in one of my favorite colors (pink), and just so happens to be popular with the birds and insects. It’s a total win-win! I like to mix them with other pink plants that have different shapes, like Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’ (Zones 5–8), and Sanguisorba hakusanensis ‘Lilac Squirrel’ (Zones 4–8).

close up of pink flowers as they fade in fallHere’s one of those birds now. The goldfinches are just one of the many species who adore this plant!

pond with water lilies and small frog sitting on the edgeThe ponds and containers allow us to grow various water plants like lotus and water lilies. This miniature water lily, Nymphaea ‘Helvola’ (Zones 4–10) is perfectly proportional to the little froglet emerging from the small container that served as his nursery. Venture forth into the wide world, brave little one!

close up of giant green and white leavesWe also collect Brugmansia (Zones 8–10) because who could resist a Brug! We pack our basement to the ceiling with these behemoths every fall, knowing it’ll be totally worth it in the summer to have this!

a large Brugmansia with trumpet-shaped flowers growing in a small blue potThis is Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi.’ There’s something about lying on the grass underneath and gazing up into the fragrant trumpets that can erase your worries. These Brugs need lots of water and fertilizer and sturdy supports to stay happy and upright in their pots. Our yard is very windy, and these top-heavy pots often get knocked over unless we brace them with pieces of rebar. In this photo we are using a repurposed rebar plant support. Monty Don taught us that you can buy your own rebar and bend it to make your own sturdy supports. We bend it around the trunks of trees to shape them.

wide view of the garden at sunsetEvery year we worry about the wildfires out west where our loved ones live. The smoke even drifts all the way out to Connecticut, sometimes making it hard to see the hills in the distance. But the smoke has a way of intensifying our sunsets like nothing else I’ve seen. These beautiful sunsets are so bittersweet.

bright yellow and blue flowers in the garden at sunsetIn this photo, Rudbeckia fulgida (Zones 3–9) and Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Glow’ (Zones 4–9) are backed by an intense sunset.

dark brown seed heads and light pink flowers in fall gardenI could never say which season is my favorite, but fall has a special place in my heart. It’s as if fall is the garden’s grand finale thanking us for our hard work and bidding farewell until spring. We purposefully plant for fall colors. The native New England flora give us a head start with that. And we try to echo those colors in the garden.

red and yellow flowers in the gardenWe dug up our entire previous garden and brought it with us when we relocated. That first summer, we frantically planted things anywhere we could shoehorn them in to help the plants make it through their first winter. This photo shows that even in those early chaotic plantings, the plants found a way to find the right partners and shine anyway. I’m going to take that as proof of my theory that the more cool plants you collect, the higher probability that the plants will magically assemble themselves into a beautiful composition requiring no effort on the part of the gardener.

large plantings of bright yellow flowersI am a huge fan of Patrinia scabiosifolia (Zones 5–8). It grows easily from seed, produces tall acid-yellow umbels beloved by pollinators, and has foliage that turns shades of red in the fall. What a workhorse of a plant! I’ll never be without it again. Behind it is Rudbeckia triloba (Zones 4–8). We rely heavily on self-seeding plants like these to fill in our empty spaces. We love the generosity of these plants. They give so much and ask nothing in return.

Check out more of this garden on Instagram: @s2szahme


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 [email protected] 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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. angelaobrienruff 12/16/2022

    What a beautiful setting you live in and I appreciate the hard work you have put into developing your garden. Gardeners are true optimists at heart and nurture the place wherever they land. So true in your case. I enjoyed yesterday’s posting and then got lost in your Instagram photos. In today’s posting I was intrigued by the photo with the Patrinia scabiosifolia which has all the characteristics of Verbena boneriensis, but completely different color profile. Thank you for sharing your garden with us.

    1. Seyra 12/16/2022

      Hi Angela. It's so nice how other gardeners can appreciate all the hard work that goes into a garden. You are so right about the Verbena bonariensis! Now I have to make sure to transplant Verbena seedlings in with the Patrinia next year. Thanks for such a great suggestion!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 12/16/2022

    I've learned from you that a Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi.’ can grow to an amazing size in such a small container, easy to move in non-hardy zones! Great news to learn!
    I love love love your photos, especially the Purple Cone Flowers with the break in the clouds- I just had to save that to Pinterest.
    Also I followed you on Plant Map. You are an inspiration to any gardener!

    1. Seyra 12/16/2022

      Thanks so much Sue. Oh, I forgot I even had a Plant Map account! I'll have to see what's there! If you don't have the space to bring in the whole brugmansia plant, I've heard others overwinter cuttings. They may need more time to bloom the following year because conventional wisdom is that they need to have a "Y" branch to bloom. So I try to overwinter the largest plants that I can so I can get blooms sooner in the growing season. I withhold water in the winter, so all the leaves drop and then I don't have to worry about pests on the foliage either.

  3. sheila_schultz 12/16/2022

    Your love of gardening and nature shines through with every photo and description. Magnificent!!! I am in awe of the natural beauty you have brought together on your amazing property. Wow!!! Thank you for sharing your vision.

    1. Seyra 12/16/2022

      Thanks for your kind words Sheila!

  4. btucker9675 12/16/2022


    1. Seyra 12/16/2022

      Thank you!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Shop the Store

View All Products