Garden Photo of the Day

Success and Failure 2022

Looking back at the summer of gardening

Today’s photos are from Lee Ann McAlpine, who is looking at her Ohio garden this year and determining what worked and what didn’t.

My husband and I moved to our 90-year-old house two years ago. I’m having lots of fun restoring the garden and learning what works best in my semi-wooded backyard.

brick pathway lined with tropical foliage plantsI thought I’d create some exotic drama along the walkway with tropical cannas (Canna hybrids, Zones 7–10 or as tender bulbs) and elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta, Zones 7–10 or as a tender bulb), but I almost needed a machete to use the path, so after overwintering, these plants will go elsewhere next year.

border garden bed with yellow and pink flowersThis was an already established bed of black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9), with boxwood (Buxus sp., Zones 5–9) and an urn filled with begonias (Begonia hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as an annual). I’ve added, and will continue to add, other perennials so this bed has more year-round interest.

large pumpkin plant growing in front of a boxwood shrubPumpkins volunteered on one side of the gazebo. I thought “How big could they get?” They have climbed over everything in their path and then some, with some smothering my daylily bed and boxwoods. At least there are a lot of pumpkins, so I’m not sure if this is a success or a failure.

sunny garden bed with yellow and pink flowers in front of a gazeboThe daylily bed with Rudbeckia maxima (Zones 5–9) before the “attack of the pumpkins.”

shady garden bed with lots of ferns and a bird houseOn the other side of the gazebo, the garden includes ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 3–7), purple clematis, roses, boxwood, and burning bush (Euonymus alatus, Zones 4–8). A Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) looms in the background.

Have any successes or failures in your garden this year you’d like to share? We’d love to see them! It’s always fun to look back at the spring and summer past and learn from what worked or didn’t work.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    cynthia2020 09/27/2022

    Lee Ann - I enjoyed reading your gardening story. I especially liked the pumpkin and tropicals experiments and I thought the ferns looked very healthy and full.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 09/27/2022

    I love your "attack of the pumpkins" I had some "wild" tomatoes pop up and they sort of climbed up bushes too.
    But wow your amazing pumpkin vine...I had no idea they wanted to climb upward!
    Pretty garden, and cool gazebo!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/27/2022

    Love those black-eyed Susans.

  4. [email protected] 09/27/2022

    Hi Lee Ann. I have had " attack of the gourds" the past 2 seasons, but it was intenional, and over a big livestock panel trellis, but the miniature pumpkins I planted (only 2 vines!), have loved joining my dahlias. The vines are NOT miniature. Your garden is really beautiful, and I look forward to seeing it come along in future posts. Thanks

  5. btucker9675 09/27/2022

    Attack of the Pumpkins!!! Perfect for Halloween... I love your brick path. This is a really nice garden - thanks for sharing!

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