Today we’re visiting Ed Elliott’s garden. He and his wife have a small yard and live in a cold climate with a very short growing season, but they haven’t let that stop them! They make the most of their gardening time and space, filling the garden with a wonderful array of flowers.
To give you a sense of the climatic challenges we deal with, I have included a photo of the entrance to our home last year, which is typical. In our Zone 4 climate we have 4 to 5 feet of snow each winter, which means our ground is covered with snow for approximately five months each year. Our annuals and perennials have to grow quickly!
We have been living in our home for 45 years, and virtually every plant you see has been put there by my wife and me, with the exception of the large pine trees. I experiment extensively with a variety of perennials, shrubs, and trees with numerous failures and occasional successes. I am successfully growing almost two dozen varieties of maples, including a true Acer palmatum ‘Ozakazuki’.
Although our property is relatively small, we have an incredible variety of soil types and sun exposure. This allows us to enjoy everything from shade-loving plants, sun-loving plants, moisture-loving plants, and even plants that love poor, dry soil. Here’s an explosion of color for annuals and perennials in a sunny spot.
In a shady area, hostas, ferns, and other shade-loving perennials grow to lush perfection.
The flower-filled garden sits on the edge of a lake, with some pretty amazing views.
Annuals bring maximum flower power through the summer growing season. Here, Petunia, Calibrachoa, and geranium (Pelargonium) bloom together, while yellow and orange black-eyed Susan vines (Thunbergia alata, annual) cover pillars in the background.
Looking down at the deck seating area. Repeating the same annuals through the plantings helps draw the space together.
Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale, Zones 3–9) is hard to beat for sheer flower power in late summer and fall.
Our vegetable garden in the middle of our driveway produces the tastiest greens you can imagine.
Color! Annuals and perennials combine for over-the-top impact.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
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