Garden Photo of the Day

Sally’s Garden in Maryland

Redesigning an old garden space

view of shade garden and beds beyond from under Japanese maple tree

Today we’re in Phoenix, Maryland, visiting Sally Barker’s beautiful garden:

While my garden has been featured many times on GPOD (Sally’s Garden in Maryland, Up Front , Sally’s Maryland Garden), it’s been a few years since I sent photos. As any long-time gardener knows there are always changes and additions to be made! One edits continually as certain plants don’t live, or don’t live up to expectations. I finally removed two sections of forsythia and created new and very happy opportunities. Even favorite plants sometimes need to be removed as, for instance, a group of Annabelle hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Zone 3 – 9) which were popular deer food. I can’t wait for spring to redesign this area.

Here are some photos from past seasons.

garden bed with lots of low-growing plants and small shrubs

Imagine that this whole area was full of forsythia! Now azaleas and rhododendrons, a magnolia in the left corner and colorful ground covers are abundant.

close up of shade garden with various foliage plants

Another more shady part of the same area. An oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sikes Dwarf’, Zone 5 – 9) nestled amongst hostas and ferns, a blue hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zone 5 – 9) and Geranium macrorrhizum (Zone 4 – 8), my favorite ground cover.

close up of colorful foliage plants in the shade garden

Same bed with Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ (Zone 4 – 10), Acorus gramineus ‘Minimus’ (Zone 5 – 10), Stachys ‘Hummelo’ (Zone 4 – 8) and Alchemilla (Zone 3 – 8). It’s all about texture.

close up of a fern and other foliage shade plants

More acorus, ferns, and a wonderful Heuchera ‘Raspberry Regal’ (Zone 3 – 9), which will bloom pink for a long while.

wide view of garden beds with lots of pink flowers

Another view of the new garden. Oenothera ‘Siskiyou’ (Zone 5 – 9) blooms pink in the early summer.

small stone statue amongst bright green foliage plants

My patio garden with maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum, Zone 2 – 9), heuchera and lysimachia (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zone 3 – 8).

stone patio with outdoor table and chairs

The patio garden in the rain.

view of shade garden and beds beyond from under Japanese maple tree

A view from the patio under a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zone 5 – 9).

garden bed with various large foliage plants and a shrub with light pink flowers

Ogon spirea (Spirea thunbergii ‘Ogon’, Zone 4 – 8), hakonechloa (Hakonechloa macra, Zone 5 – 9), Geranium macrorrhizum and the star of the backyard, a Natchez crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’, Zone 6 – 9) on the right.

Sally sent in so many great photos we’re going to revisit this garden again tomorrow, so come back then for more!


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 03/18/2024

    Interesting vignettes dotted throughout the garden spaces, delightful.
    Thanks for sharing your garden.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 03/18/2024

    I love your garden and your style! So peaceful and natural looking, great seating area, so many interesting plants to look at! Nice design!

  3. Oxdriftgardener 03/18/2024

    Absolutely love your creativity. So much colour and texture without a lot of flower. Will definitely be tuned back in tomorrow

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/18/2024

    So very lovely!

  5. btucker9675 03/18/2024

    The textures in the patio garden are perfection - what a spectacular garden you've created!

  6. User avater
    musabasjoosue 03/18/2024

    Bravo Sally! Thanks for sharing these inspiring pictures. I'm looking forward to tomorrow...

  7. [email protected] 03/18/2024

    Yes, more please! Seeing how nice your Acorus looks makes me realize how badly mine need dividing, and how much better they might look. Do you keep them pretty moist?

  8. MohawkValley 03/19/2024

    Beautiful .

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