Garden Photo of the Day

Spring in the Baltimore Highlands

By Kim Charles

Joe Keller from Baltimore, MD shares his spring garden highlights with us.

"Attached are a few photos taken at different times this spring. The peony in the 1st photo is Canary Brilliance. The 5th photo is the white Hospice Garden you folks helped me put together last spring. The roses are knockout pink & red layered from 2 plants. There are a total of 10 in this area with the pink on the left. Good luck this season to everyone."

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 05/24/2017

    G'day Joe - Great to see some more photos of your 'ripper' garden. The white, purple and green colour combinations are stunning - and let's not forget those lovely pink and red roses. Nice garden ornaments as well. What is the story behind the one with wings in the last pic? Keep up your wonderful work. Cheers mate from Oz

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good evening Frank, Thank you for your comments. The gargoyle in the last photo was part of a fountain we had in the pond for 20 yrs. or so. I believe my wife bought it at a yard sale & it's been moving from place to place around the yard for several years.
      Good luck this winter,Joe

  2. Maggieat11 05/24/2017

    Wonderful, Joe! Gosh, those rhodies look absolutely fabulous! And those I am sure they gather a lot of attention!

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Margaret , My new neighbor next door really likes seeing the roses in the morning when leaving for work. It's good to hear you also liked them. All the roses are in bloom at this time. (2 weeks early) I noticed the Hospice garden photo is missing & I am going to attach it to this response.
      Thank you & good luck, Joe

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/24/2017

        Thanks for including that. I didn't think that last photo was the hospice garden. I get a little misty everytime I see this garden and think of the fabulous people at our local hospice who cared for my mother-in-law. It's filling in nicely.

        1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

          Good morning Tim, If you can think of something you'd like to see in that garden let me know I will will look for it. Per your suggestion I planted Platycodon last year but only three survived that wet spring. I have my fingers crossed for those 3 this year.
          Thank you for all of your ideas I've used in my gardens & good luck this spring, Joe

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/24/2017

            Here's hoping your Platycodon take off this year. Mine were slow to bulk up and come up a little late, but once established they seem to take adversity well. I'll put on my thinking cap for anything else appropriate since our climates are similar.

          2. user-3565112 05/24/2017

            Thank you Tim, If you think of something & it's out of the ordinary I'd appreciate it if you give me a source if you know it. Joe

  3. NCYarden 05/24/2017

    Very pleasant, Joe. Love the eruptions of color. I'm sure your neighbors are just as delighted. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning NC & thank you for your comments. Most of my neighbors are new & i don't see them often but their children ask to come in to feed the fish.
      Good luck this season, Joe

      1. chelleisdiggin 05/24/2017

        That's a perfect way of sparking an interest that will last a lifetime, Joe. Your comment about the children wanting to see the fish reminded me of my own childhood in the '50s. The two water gardens in my neighborhood were very small, one of them very much an aquarium sunk into the ground. But they were no less fascinating. I was so grateful that the neighbors welcomed us into their gardens.

        1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

          Good morning chelleisdiggen, I hope their interest continues & they spend time outdoors. I repaired several of their bikes for them & they always call me when they see me outside. There were not many gardens in my area when I grew up but my Grandmother did have a small Victory Garden & a lady in the neighborhood did pay me to pull weeds a few summers.
          Thank you & good luck, Joe

  4. user-7007498 05/24/2017

    Good morning, Joe. Your garden is beautiful. The roses are terrific. I love the picture looking down from the balcony. The heucheras really caught my eye.

    Thanks for including the Hospice garden photo in your response to Margaret. Starting to fill in. I forget, was that a pannicle hydrangea in the center, grown as a standard?

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Kevin, I am sorry I missed your comment & am late responding. Yes that is a tree hydrangea "limelight" and blooms on new wood. It along with Bobo limelight are the only ones that bloomed last year & have buds this year.
      I am glad to hear you like the Heuchera & Astilbe arrangement.
      Good luck this spring Joe

  5. user-6945477 05/24/2017

    Beautiful gardens, Joe! I love the rhododendrons, the garden viewed from the balcony and the planter with Heucera and chartreuse sedum.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Carol, It's good to hear you like the photos. The plants in the container were colorful thru the winter & the sedum angelina is a versatile plant that thrives all year in all kinds of conditions.The Heuchera also fits in that category & is in center of the overhead photo.
      Thank you & good luck, Joe

  6. user-3565112 05/24/2017

    Good morning Diane , I am glad to hear you like the photos. This year so far has been a good one for the roses . There are about 30 rose bushes with 12 being knockouts. The rose behind the gargoyle is Maria Shriver.
    Thank you & good luck this season, Joe

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/24/2017

    Yowza, Joe, your garden beds are positively thriving and are so sumptuous with greenery and blooms. I'll bet your peony' Canary Brilliance' is a delight to see in person...I'm guessing it is one of the Itoh types...does it have a fragrance? Love the "wall" of rhodies...they look so healthy and happy. Thanks for including the additional picture of the hospice is coming along beautifully.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Meander, I believe it is an an Itoh & had a very light lemon scent. It does not make a good cut flower though because it drops it's petals a day after cutting. I am looking for a few plants to add to the hospice garden because a bunch did not make show up last summer.
      thank you & good luck this season, Joe

  8. tennisluv 05/24/2017

    What a lovely garden. The large purple and white rhododendrons are so large and lush; the combination perfect. I agree that the view down from the deck is eye catching; especially like the heuchera mosaic at the bottom of the stairs. The large red flowering shrub in the photo - is that another rhodo? All you plants seem to love whatever it is you are doing cause they certainly are happy. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Sonya, Actually they are all Azaleas. In the last few years cottonseed meal
      at a reasonable price has become available in the area & everything seems to thrive on it. The Heuchera are plants I saw in Tim's garden & now I can't resist them. CoraBell is also my paternal Grandmother's name. i could post another view of that red azalea if you,d like. It now covers about 50 s.f. & was 1st planted in my daughter's miniature garden 35 yrs. ago.
      Thank for you comments & good luck, Joe

      1. tennisluv 05/24/2017

        I, too, have fallen in love with heucheras - the leaf color selection is amazing and they can be used to compliment or contrast with a world of other plants. Plus, to my surprise they are sun and heat tolerant in my Georgia gardens if kept watered. Your grandmother's name of Corabell is much prettier than my grandmother's 'Willi Belle', ;-).
        To your question, I would love to see the red azalea from another prospective. To be as large as it is, has it rooted outward from branches that touch the ground? That is one of the great things about azaleas and rhododendrons ..., you can root new plants by pulling a branch down, putting a little dirt on top of an area and weighting it down with a brick. 35 years is a long time for a shrub to live; it must be an old fashioned variety (the kind that you see in older cemeteries in the South).

        1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

          Good afternoon Sonya, My mother in law was from Donallsonville Ga. & they must have a thing for colorful names in the deep south. Hers was Pearly Jewel.
          She gardened in that town after retiring from AT&T in Balto. then moved to Decatur Ga. where the clay was even denser, but that did'nt stop her. My wife was born in Bainbridge Ga.
          I am attaching another view of that azalea & it is all one plant. That's good info about layering azaleas. I have one that came from Pikes Nursery near Stone Mountain30 years ago & i will try that with that plant. My mother in law gave it to me & it's my favorite. The one I am attaching is 35 years old min.
          Thank you for the hint ,Joe My attempt to attach apparently failed & will send attempt to send another in an immediate follow up.

          1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

            Sonyaa , this is the follow up attempt to attach the photo, Joe

          2. tennisluv 05/25/2017

            That azalea is even more gorgeous from this angle. You obviously have a green thumb. Give any rootings @ 6 months to happen. You will know the branch has rooted when your give a gentle tug and it resists. I am from the same area of S. Ga as your wife. Family farm located between Pelham and Moultrie. Live in Monroe now. Thanks again for sharing your garden with us.

  9. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/24/2017

    Joe, everything has turned out so pretty. Love what you have done

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Treasure, I am glad to hear you like our gardens & enjoyed the photos.
      Good luck, Joe

  10. Chris_N 05/24/2017

    Thanks for sharing, Joe. I always enjoy seeing your garden. I, too, am smitten by the shot looking down toward the deck. What a brilliant color combination!

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Chris,All of the plants in the overhead shot, with the exception of the azalea were planted last July. There are also astilbe in that area. The dark plant in the area to the left is a Sambucus "Midnight Lace" and is also an idea from Tim's garden. I keep telling myself to stop buying plants & then I see all these terrific plants & ideas you folks have & plant envy kicks in.
      Thank you & good luck, Joe

  11. sithanthialfred 05/24/2017

    Awesome garden,my favorites were the second and the third pics.The green in your garden is breath taking.Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Ms, Alfred, Thank you for your comments. It's good to hear you like what we've done.
      Good luck to you this season, Joe

  12. user-4691082 05/24/2017

    Wow Joe, your photos are great! The balcony one is my favorite also. Everything looks so happy and healthy. Those azaleas are breathtaking- I just wish they would bloom longer! You are doing a great job keeping it all tidy and weed free. Ugh, I wish mine was! Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Thank you Rhonda, Azaleas have proven to be almost maintenance & pest free for me. I did need to put a soil drench on several a few years ago but that's been the extent of chemical treatment There's an old saying " to live off a garden you practically have to live in it" That's not quite true in my yard but close.
      Good luck this season, thank you, Joe

  13. Sunshine111 05/24/2017

    Gorgeous, vibrant, thriving and delightful !

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Lily , i am happy to hear you like the photos. Everything in these photos is organically fertilized & it to work well.
      Thank you & good luck,Joe

  14. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/24/2017

    Good morning, Joe. I saw that first photo and thought, hey, that's Joe's garden! Looks like you're having a great spring. Those azaleas really put on a show this year and I love the colored tapestry at the bottom of the deck stairs. Here's wishing you and your garden the best!

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Hey Tim, Those Huechera & the Sambucus to the left at the base of the steps were inspired
      by & lifted from your gardens.
      Thank you for your helpful posts, comments, & good luck to you this spring, Joe

  15. foxglove12 05/24/2017

    Colors and lushness are fabulous.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Lori, I am glad to hear you like the photos of our gardens.
      Thankyou & good luck, joe

  16. cynthiamccain 05/24/2017

    Bright and beautiful. Thanks, Joe!

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Cynthia, You are quite welcome & i am glad you liked the photos.
      Good luck this season, Joe

  17. LaurelEm 05/24/2017

    Everything looks so wonderful. Your garden is nearly a picture of my goal. I say nearly because I am in upper Midwest and so my goals for plants are a little bit different. I've never tried Rhodos, but they are on my list. I just recently tore out some Knock-Out roses for being non-performers for me. Yours are fab.!

    1. md4gfp 05/24/2017

      Red Knock-Out roses were great performers for several years, till hit by Rose Rosette Disease. These were at my office. At home a Pink Knock-Out and a Yellow Knock-Out are outstanding performers.

      1. LaurelEm 05/24/2017

        Ahh Thanks for that information. Maybe that's what happened to mine. Mine were Knock Out Rainbow. I loved them at first but after a few years I did not find them to be very trouble free and low maintenance as they were purported to be. I must need to go back to some nice rugosas or something like that

        1. md4gfp 05/24/2017

          The Konck0Outs have been essentially trouble-free at home- very prolific, no Black Spot, and vigorous. My tea roses are generally just Black Spot on a Stick! Just because one of your roses got Rose Roseum (we're assuming) doesn't mean others will also. Roses are so tricky for us gardeners, but oh so beautiful. Good luck.


          1. LaurelEm 05/25/2017

            Thank you Steve. I expected absolutely trouble free of them. They just weren't for me. I am going to try some other type. I have been envying a beautiful, fragrant and large bush here on the campus where I work. Deep red with a little magenta to it, medium sized blooms in clusters, plant is about 6 or 8 feet high and it survives in Wisconsin. It's blooming right now so it is early and the fragrance is heaven. Classic rose fragrance. I wish I knew what it is?

  18. user-6536305 05/24/2017

    So lush, so vibrant and colorful. What a show that the azaleas in bloom put on. Love the white garden and rose garden. Love it all. What is the purple flowering plant in the cover photo on the left side of the bird bath? Thanks for sharing your artistic hard work with us Joe.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good morning Lilian, Thank you for your warm comments. The purple plant is Baptista Australius Midnight Prairie. Sorry about the latin but every once in a while I have a latin flashback It's also known as false indigo. It was planted 3 years ago this summer as was most of the plants in the blue/yellow garden. I am glad you enjoy the photos.
      Thank you & good luck this season, Joe

  19. user-3565112 05/24/2017

    Good morning Laurie, I believe azaleas are easier than rhodos & have had no luck with rhodos myself.
    Most of the azaleas were very inexpensive Girard ( 3 for $10. 00) & the white one is a Delaware Valley also inexpensive. I have 2 dwarf rhodos in pots that I plan to plant in a new shady berm & hope for the best. Knockouts work well in my area but blackspot on other types is a real problem that had me ready to remove them all last year. If you can find cottonseed meal in large bags I think it will work for you on all your acid loving plants. The small brand name bags are super expensive.
    Good luck with your gardens, Joe

    1. user-6536305 05/24/2017

      Give newly planted roses at least two growing seasons for them to get established and perform. My 'Julia Child' and 'Winter Sun' were covered with black spots first spring but second season on, 'Julia Child' had very few 'Winter Sun' has non black spots.

      1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

        Lillian, I have seen Julia Child in garden centers in this area & will give it a try. Also I will look up Winter Sun on the internet & have never seen it.
        Thank you & good luck Joe

  20. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 05/24/2017

    Wow, Joe, your garden is so colorful this early in the year. I guess it's been a bit warmer there. Our Canary Brilliance hasn't opened yet but you're right about it not making a good cut flower. Bartzella is a bit better for that. The photo from your deck is lovely and it looks like the tree above just finished flowering. That must have been spectacular. Have you thought of adding a sambucus 'Lemony Lace' to your Hospice Garden? We planted that with the 'Midnight Lace' last summer and the combo is quite pretty. Thanks for the morning inspiration.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good afternoon, Linda, I thought I responded earlier but I must have messed up.Spring in my area has been terrific & everything is 2 weeks early. The flowering crab in the picture had it's best bloom period ever this year.I started a new garden area this spring & lemony lace was in the original plan bur I saw the purple smoketree in an earlier post. I went with purple leaf smoke bush Winecraft Black. An area opened up in the rose garden adjacent to the Hospice garden & I am going to track down a lemony lace for that spot.
      Thank you for the advice & warm compliments from the PNW gardeners are high praise indeed. Good luck when the temps. warm up in your area, Joe

  21. Meelianthus 05/24/2017

    Goodmorning Joe ~ Nice to see your lovely gardens again. Everything is so strikingly beautiful and healthy looking. Those azaleas are amazing! I am going to try the cottonseed meal on my ailing Rhodys. I sometimes use coffee grounds (from my local Starbucks) which are suppose to be a great source of acidity. It certainly shows how you love your gardens, it's such a wonderful past-time. Looks like you get a great deal of sun on your gardens. After so many years of our fir trees becoming gigantic, I have mostly shade but do enjoy shade gardening too. Thanks for sharing your love of gardening Joe.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good afternoon Melianthus, I am glad to hear you like the photos of our gardens. I was told by a friend about the cottonseed meal being so effective because it's made from ground up seeds that contain a lot of natural mice nutrients. I have camelias that were struggling that are now thriving. I buy it in 40lb. bags for about $!:0 per lb.
      Good luck with your rhodies,Joe

      1. lynnkranc 05/25/2017

        Ah, that autocorrect! Mice nutrients and zero per lb. cottonseed meal. Micro nutrients, yes. Is the meal hard to find? My dad used it when I was a girl, but he bought it at a livestock supply store. I'm a city gal now.

        1. user-3565112 05/25/2017

          Good morning Lynn, It did sound a little diabolical before the correction did,nt it? There are several sources in my area one being Ace Hardware If it's large quantities I would suggest contacting your local Ace & find out if they stock it in the Ace warehouses. If so they can have brought in with their regular deliveries. Also 6-20 lb. bags are available from Amazon for about $2.00 per lb. plus delivery. Tractor supply on line is another option.
          Good luck with your search, Joe

    2. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Hey, did I write" mice" nutrients in my response. I don't know what kind of slip that was & I hope it's not indicative of a deep seated some serious hidden mind set. I meant to write micro nutrients. Sorry about that, Joe

      1. Meelianthus 05/25/2017

        Whew! I wondered if I was hearing of a new plant remedy that didn't sound particularly inviting :) Thanks Joe for the correction.

  22. GrannyCC 05/24/2017

    Beautiful Joe. All your neighbours must enjoy walking by.

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Thank you Catherine,, I hope passerby do enjoy seeing my gardens. I am the old man on the block now & I don't know the neighbors except next door & a lady across the street. All the children are well behaved & super friendly though.
      Iam glad you like the photos & good luck this season, Joe

  23. jeffgoodearth 05/24/2017

    all snazzy but oh my those rhodies!

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good afternoon Jeff, Thank you for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to comment. Our gardens pale in comparison to yours & the others posted in the past weeks .
      School will be shutting down soon & hopefully you will have better luck getting help then.
      Good luck, Joe

  24. pam_clemmons 05/24/2017

    Absolutely stunning Joe! Fairly new to the group, and first time seeing your garden. I like the way you've mixed the greens, textures and colors. So so pretty!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good afternoon Pam, I am glad to hear from you & that you like our gardens. This is a great blog for seeing what others accomplish & also for getting ideas helpful time & labor saving advice from friendly folks who know a lot about gardening.
      Thank you for your compliments & good luck, Joe

  25. inesmalardino 05/24/2017

    Gorgeous! Love it... Stunning!

    1. user-3565112 05/24/2017

      Good afternoon Ines, This spring has been an adventure with a warm spell followed by temps in the teens but the plants are coming thru well. I remember your garden & a terrific Clematis.
      I appreciate your warm response to our garden photos & wish you good luck this spring,

      1. inesmalardino 05/24/2017

        You are the sweetest Joe... and thank you.
        Bummer with temps in the teens, burrr. Love all the greens, and all the pictures are fabulous. What fun to just mosey in your garden with a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening.
        My favorite time of day is when the sun goes down and rays of sunlight peep thru the trees. Your gardens are manicured!
        Just came in from blowing the rose petals and feeding the Koi...
        As plants grow and crowd others, we transplant them. My husband just moved 7 rose plants to the area in front of the pond that gets full sun all day, to make me a rose garden. The landscaper had scattered them and planted too closely together as he was at the end of the job. They do look happy. Good luck to you as well Joe...

  26. MNGardenGirl 05/25/2017


    1. user-3565112 05/25/2017

      Good morning Ms. VonBergen, It's cheering to hear you like our gardens & the kind
      responses from you & all the other folks on GPOD make the effort worthwhile.
      Thank you & good luck, Joe

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