Garden Photo of the Day

Revisiting Sheila’s Vermont Garden

A cottage-style garden

garden shed surrounded by gravel path and garden beds

I’m Sheila Abair, and I garden in northern Vermont (Zone 4b/5a). I have sent in pictures before (Sheila’s Vermont Garden).

Gardening runs in my family. I am attracted to cottage-style gardens with lots of winding paths, and I enjoy water features.

close up of hosta, peony and clematisA pleasing combination of Hosta (Zones 3–8), peony (Paeonia hybrid, Zones 3–7), and Clematis (Zones 4–9)

garden gate open to lush garden and patioThis is the view through two overlapping ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ willows (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’, Zones 5–7) toward the patio. You can see hostas and lungwort in the front with a peony and barberry (Berberis thunbergii, Zones 4–8) behind them. Across the patio is a burst of phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–9), my corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’, Zones 4–8), and threadleaf false cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera, Zones 4–8).

garden patio surrounded by green shrubs and treesThe patio is surrounded by a plethora of plantings that create a wonderful serene space to be in. I love the orange Geum (Zones 5–9) next to the hydrangea yet to bloom. Evergreens are in the forefront. The rhododendron I planted between them struggles a bit, but I like its contrasting foliage. The small ornamental tree to the left was one of my first plantings; unfortunately, I don’t know what it is, but it produces yellow flowers in spring.

gravel path through the garden leading to houseMany of the dame’s rockets (Hesperis matronalis, Zones 3–8) in front of my garden shed self-seeded. As they fade, the Canterbury bells (Campanula species) at their feet will begin to flower and look nice drooping over the black fencing. The weigela (Weigela florida, Zones 5–9) has finished blooming but was amazing with its cascading stems and pink flowers. My attempts at hypertufa pots sit on the gravel path. There is a globe cedar (Thuja occidentalis, Zones 2–7) with some bugleweed (Ajuga reptans, Zones 3–10) to the right.

another view of garden patio with colorful foliage plantsThis is another picture of plantings surrounding the patio. You can see the base of the corkscew hazel, with suckers galore, daylily ‘Stella D’Oro’ (Hemerocallis ‘Stella D’Oro’, Zones 3–10) yet to bloom, penstemon (Penstemon digitalis, Zones 3–8), Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum, Zones 4–8), threadleaf false cypress, phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 5–9), and a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9).

garden shed surrounded by gravel path and garden bedsThese plantings fill what used to be an aboveground pool. Some splashes of color are from the peonies, bearded iris (Iris hybrid, Zones 3–8), and other perennials. The corkscrew hazel somewhat dominates but is balanced a little by the Japanese maples and barberry.

garden pond in front of patioEvening view of the pond surrounded by a hosta, bearded irises, and a rododendron

shade garden with lots of green hostas and fernsIn the shade garden, hostas, Solomon’s seal, lungwort (Pulmonaria, Zones 3–9), and ferns get a little late afternoon sun. The clematis is just starting to bloom.

view of house from garden with lots of shrubs and small treesThis view toward the house from the patio is dominated by the Japanese maple. The two pots are seeded with violas. Japanese anenome (Anemone hupehensis, Zones 4–8) will bloom later, but it still provides nice foliage. In the background is the fence I designed and my husband and friend built.


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View Comments


  1. Oxdriftgardener 06/28/2023

    What an absolutely beautiful shangri-la you have there. I would so love to be able to grow a Japanese Maple, but our winters are too cold. The abundance of plantings and their variety of colour and texture make such a pleasing setting!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 06/28/2023

    Oh I do love revisiting your garden here. I really love the way it has a woodsy green presence accented with flowers and paths and oh that seating area with the view of the pond- perfection!

  3. btucker9675 06/28/2023

    Everything about this garden is wonderful - it's exactly the style I love and you've done a terrific job!

  4. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 06/28/2023

    Seems very tranquil. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/29/2023

    So very, very lovely.

  6. herringbur 06/30/2023

    So very, very lovely. doodle jump

  7. madcosta_7 07/13/2023

    Love your beautiful country garden. I'm hoping you weren't affected by the horrible floods over the weekend.

  8. bettyking 11/13/2023

    I'm glad to see that you have a unique way of writing the post. Now it's easy for me to understand the idea and put it into practice io games

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