Garden Photo of the Day

Sue’s garden in Pennsylvania

This is a tricolor European beech with one of my favorite friends.

Today’s photos are from Sue Elicker in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She says, “One of the first things I do everyday is check out your latest garden. My sister Janet in Cincinnati was featured a few months ago and has been encouraging me to also submit pictures.

I like the contrast in this picture (sun/shade). To the far right is a new weeping Japanese snowbell (‘Cotillion’).

I have been working on this garden my whole married life (46 years) and always want to improve and change it. My favorite time of the day is morning coffee time on the deck thinking about what I can change that day! I retired 3 years ago (after 31 years with an insurance company) and gardening has taken on a whole new meaning.

Just a colorful pot!

One of the perks is passing my love for gardening on to my 8 grandchildren. They are very interested and I let them pick all the flowers they want (this backfired once as my one granddaughter was visiting a friends house and helped herself in their garden). I also love the birds and they are picking up on that, too. They like to buy me lots of hummingbird presents.

My husband has just recently gone part time (after 51 years with the same company) and I have been trying to include him in the process. He is sometimes too eager, as I tend to be indecisive. I have been reading Fine Gardening since the 90s and have saved them all for reference. It is the only gardening magazine I’ve ever needed!”

My garden goose with dahlias.

Aw, thanks Sue! Can I just say that I am DROOLING over that tricolor beech?? That is beautiful! I love your garden. It’s obviously a labor of love–so personal and packed with charm and flowers. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

These are ‘Electric Flash’ dahlias – very large and colorful.

Have you gone out to your garden with your camera yet? Share it with us! Email me at [email protected].

This picture shows my seven son flower tree (Heptacodium miconiodes) getting ready to bloom. I love this tree – the bark is so interesting and in spring the birds peal it off in strips for their nests. It is covered with white flowers in September (very fragrant) and the bracts turn reddish purple afterward. This picture was taken early morning while my garden lights were still on.
One of my favorite pots (tried to plant it like one at a rented house in Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands).  Lots of crotons, foxtail ferns, bougainvillea.
This hibiscus in very stingy with its flowers, but they are gorgeous.  The square stonework with the round opening is a fountain which has about a dozen openings that drip water.  Very cool (birds sometimes fly through).
This is a picture of a hummingbird on my ‘Black & Blue’ salvia.  No more filling feeders when they are in bloom, as the hummingbirds love them!
This arch is meant to be a rose arbor in the future (new last summer) so I planted a morning glory on it for now.
Fall picture – the falcon is looking for the squirrel who ate the entire feeder of sunflower seeds!
I have many daylilies but this is my favorite – ‘Snicklefritz’ from Perfect Perennials (fabulous grower near York, PA who sells at her home and does mail order).
Another daylily with Rozanne hardy geranium, which is one of the prettiest perennials in my garden.
Nighttime drama.

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  1. perenniallycrazy 06/12/2014

    I'm with Michelle - that tricolor European beech tree is to die for! Sue, your designs are so original and your story so personal making your garden exceed extraordinary. No wonder the birds all come to your sanctuary. I'm also loving the tropical vibe of your favorite container. I bet you're busier now retired than you were when you were working. Thanks for sharing!

  2. GardenGrl1 06/12/2014

    Wow! I don't know where to start. I love it all! The plantings are beautiful and the placement of statues, birdbaths & feeders, all done with determination and care. I enjoy viewing the gardens with my morning coffee, as well. I find so much inspiration on this site. I'm so grateful that you provided the names of the trees, I'm certain I can fit one into my garden somewhere... :-) Thank you for sharing!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/12/2014

    What a delightful series of pictures, Sue. They really show your personality and enthusiasm for the process of gardening. It's interesting how, for many of us, it's the doing that matters as much as the finished product. I definitely identify with your addiction to "tweaking" things and making changes. That 'Electric Flash' dahlia is so aptly named...what a bolt of vibrant color. It looks perfect as a backdrop for your favorite container...I hope they are part of your morning view as you sit on the deck...who needs coffee with those exuberant plants beckoning you to start the day. And, your photo capture of your visiting birds are wonderful.

  4. thevioletfern 06/12/2014

    Beautiful! A garden isn't complete without the birds. I love the birds, too, and often choose my plants just for them but fortunately they do have good taste.

  5. bethnbijoux 06/12/2014

    Hi Sue, I just want to say how wonderful I think it is that you are passing along your love and knowledge of gardening to the grandkids! I so often feel like we are pulling further and further away from the natural world, and the beauty and joy found in nature. Your garden is a fine example to share and a wonderful teaching tool, too!

  6. hontell 06/12/2014

    WOW, just WOW!

  7. Saramamiot 06/12/2014

    Your Garden is so beautiful, looking wild and well lived in. All of it from flowers to birds, your love for it, is clearly there. Color, texture, pottery, and the invitation for Grandchildren. I too have eight grandchildren and we have created little paths through the garden beds on a hill, that also has many large rocks. We live in Hudson Valley, New York so the big rocks come with the territory. I only have been working on this one for 10 years and even though I don't have 40 years, I will continue as long as it is humanly possible. What a gift for all of us.

  8. beckysspring 06/12/2014

    I love all your personal spaces... each area has a "stand out" specimen. Your Beech is beautiful and I will be adding it to my Most Wanted list! Your favorite pot is beautiful. Love that Foxtail Fern. I have one that lives outside for the summer that is about 20 years old... Huge! I will be re-potting it again this fall... Thank you for sharing and creating inspiration.

  9. Taz31904 06/12/2014

    Exceptionally beautiful gardens!!!

  10. schatzi 06/12/2014

    Couldn't have said it better than the others have already. Beautiful. And I love your turquoise pots. Turquoise and cobalt blue are my favorites, especially with wine-colored geraniums.

  11. schatzi 06/12/2014

    P.S. Love the square-round fountain!

  12. bob8778 06/12/2014

    No wonder they call Pennsylvania the Garden State!

  13. OuiserThatsMe 06/13/2014

    Beautiful garden and beautiful photos!!! And all those gorgeous feathered friends - how lucky you are!! If I may suggest - though the pot the hibiscus is in is beautiful I think it might need a larger one to expand its roots to bloom more... Where I l live hibiscus are very thirsty and need lots of space...

  14. GrannyCC 06/13/2014

    Beautiful and mature garden. I love all the variety of plants and colours. It is obviously a perfect place for birds and squirrels!

  15. foxglove12 06/13/2014

    Looks lovely and peaceful! Thanks for sharing.

  16. n2hostas 06/13/2014

    Lovely garden, I especially like the cardinal sitting in the tri color beech tree and love the birdbath.

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