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