Garden Photo of the Day

September in Carla’s Garden

Blooms and beauties of the end of summer

close up of a cream colored rose

We’ve been in Carla Zambelli’s garden in Malvern, Pennsylvania, before (see High Spring in Carla’s Garden), and today she’s sharing how it looks in September.

September is here. It has been a crazy summer, one full of excessive heat and drought. It has tested both me and my garden, and I believe it’s a portent of the future and climate change. The weather this summer hastened the demise of two enormous trees. One was an ash, and while not one of my favorite trees, it was still a loss. However, and quite sadly, we lost my favorite tree on this property. Her name was Mama Oak, and she was older than the American Revolution. She was a beautiful red oak and so very hard to say goodbye to.

large oak tree being cut and carvedMama Oak is being carved by artist Marty Long.

large tree being carved into a sculptureThe carvings are just starting to emerge from the massive trunk.

close up of black-eyed Susan flowersMeanwhile, as we had rain earlier this week, some flowers, like these black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 4–8) are recovering. However, it was also interesting to note all of the things that were more hardy than you would expect in extreme weather. I am looking forward to the wood carving being completed and the fall planting, which shall begin shortly.

metal mermaid statue sitting on a stone benchA mermaid in the garden manages to stay looking good even through the dry spells.

close up of a large, deep red hibiscus flowerHardy hibiscus (Hibiscus hybrid, Zones 4–10) are coming into their late-summer peak with enormous, rich-red flowers.

light pink and yellow fall flowersFall anemones (Anemone hupehensis, Zones 5–9)

two large cannas with red flowersThese cannas (Canna indica, Zones 7–10 or as tender bulbs) are still looking lush and beautiful.

banana plant in a pot outsidePotted bananas (Musa sp.) bring tropical flair to the garden and can be moved to a warm spot to overwinter.

close up of a cream colored roseRoses respond to the rain by putting out a new flush of flowers.


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. sheila_schultz 09/21/2022

    Good morning Carla. What a heartbreak to lose your magnificent oak tree, but having part of the trunk carved by an artist will be a lasting tribute to its' beauty and resilience throughout the many, many, decades. I applaud your decision and can't wait to see the finished piece of art!

  2. jagardener 09/21/2022

    I live in the Tropical Zone- Jamaica- and love trees especially our colorful flowering trees. I can understand you loss of Mama Oak. Waiting to see the finished art.

  3. btucker9675 09/21/2022

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your beautiful old oak but looking forward to seeing her new life as a work of art by human hands. Your garden is so lovely - I wonder if your mermaid would like to sit on the coping of my pool surrounded by plants? : )

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/21/2022


  5. [email protected] 09/21/2022

    Condolences, Carla . We have a huge big leaf Maple that we worry about, with the changes in weather, etc. What a wonderful consolation prize you will have! Your garden looks beautiful, and I look forward to your next post.

  6. User avater
    simplesue 09/22/2022

    Beautiful! At least Mama Oak had a good long happy life...think of the poor street trees In the city.
    That banana plant is amazing!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest