Garden Photo of the Day

Summer in Nancy’s garden in Maryland

This is a close up of the "Plum" bed where I have my pinks and purples with blue and pink larkspur. Thalictrum 'Elin' was 7 feet tall with all the rain we had.
Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Nancy Bellaire

Today’s photos are from Nancy Bellaire in Maryland. She says, “I had sent in photos of my Fun & Formal garden in spring with the tulips (refresh your memory HERE). Here is the same front yard garden in June when the lilies are blooming, the hydrangeas are laden with flowers, and the shade garden is fresh. I added 40 tulips last fall, so I can hardly wait for the season to start. To a happy spring, everyone!”

This shot shows the setting and the 80-foot-tall oaks surrounding the whole property.

Wow, Nancy, that is one awesome mix of colors–beautiful! **more info in the captions**

It’s almost SPRING, people! I know you’re going through your photos from last year, planning what you’ll do differently this year. Send some of those photos in to me! [email protected]

This is the “Peach” bed with coral lilies and a self-sowing of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ two years down the road.
This shot shows the other two rectangles on the far side of the fountain. In my fall post I said red was my favorite color – I have a bed of warm reds and of one cool reds. On the right is the Berry Bed with lily ‘Blackout’ and on the left is the Apple Bed with ‘Flying Wing’. The Apple bed gets my 9 new varieties of lilies.
I’m standing on my front steps to take this shot of the central axis looking at my shade garden.
This photo shows the garden up close and that the path leads to the hydrangea bed and bench. There are two rows of hydrangeas and shade perennials in front. Hydrangeas ‘Ami Pasquir’, ‘Endless Summer’, ‘Tovelit’, and ‘Blue Deckle’ bloom reliably for me every year with only one hour of sun. Two Carex elata ‘Bowles’ Golden’ set off the bench.
This is my fruit bowl focal point with new Hosta ‘Hudson Bay’.
Close ups of the foliage looking lush with all the rain. Large Hosta ‘Northern Exposure’, ‘Mayflower Moon’ hosta, and Heuchera villosa.
Hosta ‘Victory’ on the left with Carex ‘Naga Nishiki’.

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  1. greengenes 02/25/2014

    Well good morning! Absolutely beautiful, Nancy! So fresh and new feeling. All the color makes me want to take up water color painting! How fun it must be to design and plant those beds! You have done a great job. Lots of good relaxation time around those beds! The hydrangeas are so pretty! Its so awesome to have so many varieties to choose from these days! Well this sure does wet the appetite to garden and plan! Darn rabbits and deer thanks for sending these in for us to enjoy!

  2. flowerladydi 02/25/2014

    Lovely Nancy!
    Love all the great mix of color and perennial in your sunny gardens,, that thalictrum is amazing!,,, great lilies too! Also really like your fruit bowl with the hosta,, and your ferns look great!! I also noticed some epimedium and pulmonaria,,, so many great plants,,, love the spring blooms,,, and soothing qualitiy of shade. How fortunate you are too to have all those awesome oaks!!!
    You have a lovely variety of plant material,,,,and I can imagine it is so enjoyable to watch it all come into play,,, and discover things that you may have forgotten you had after winter!,, I know I do sometimes, and it is always a treat!
    Thanks for sending!

  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/25/2014

    This is a nice treat after waking up to more snow this morning! Love the hydrangeas surrounding the bench, all of the colors, and the fountain.

  4. pattyspencer 02/25/2014

    I'm with Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt on this - I think the hydrangeas surrounding the bench are my favorite picture as we;; and I agree with Tim on the snow but at least it was just a dusting and easy to sweep away. Will be so glad when we all can have pretty gardens like this one.

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/25/2014

    Wow, Nancy, Plum, Peach, Apple and Berry...that is one festive and colorful fruit salad you have going on in your front yard...all unified with that gorgeous blue urn.
    And, your hydrangeas are like soft, billowing clouds of pastel perfection...just beautiful. I wasn't familiar with your first named variety 'Amy Pasquir' but I think I'll keep an eye open for's lovely. Your hostas and fern certainly look like they are thriving and I'll bet you can't wait for that stunner 'Hudson Bay' to get a few years older. Did you buy that via a catalog or a local nursery?

  6. wGardens 02/25/2014

    Exuberant colors this morning... How nice to see on this COLD, white morning.I also enjoy your shady garden combos.... GREAT plants; nice combinations. Lovely! And the "Bench Garden" photo... Awesome! Please send in photos of your new tulips this spring!

  7. GardenersWK 02/25/2014

    Wow Nancy! Wow! Love the theme beds! love all the planting material..the blue delphiniums and the yellow accents of marigolds and yellow lilies pulling everything together!
    Your shade border is magnificent! Those hydrangeas look so healthy along with hosts, ferns, heucheras! This garden has it all and a lot of work with all the tulips out and lilies back in!
    Are the delphiniums surviving several seasons or you need to start them over and over every year? From seeds or you start with purchased plants? I am calling that bench for one day! I want to sit down and take it all in on a beautiful day of June or early July!

  8. bee1nine 02/25/2014

    Love the wide array of riveting colors that so light up my
    eyes, this morning! And how beautifully captivating the hues
    of blue of your larkspur, bachelor buttons, salvia and hydrangeas accentuating the fountain.
    Must also agree, the hydrangea bed and bench is indeed quite
    Much enjoyed seeing the transformation that took place in
    these beds!! ...Thank you, Nancy!

  9. celiahoneysuckle 02/25/2014

    Hi Nancy, This seems to be a long winter here, and seeing you're lovely flowers proves that there is spring at the end of this snow. You must have some really nice displays of fresh cut flowers for your home in the season.

  10. tractor1 02/25/2014

    Wonderful vibrant color! I wonder about the fruit names... at first I searched for fruit trees... so why did you choose those names? I love that wall of oaks, I'm sure the squirrels and deer love all the acorns. Very lovely, thank you, Nancy.

  11. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/25/2014

    Hi Everyone,
    GardenserWK The delphinium is a New Millennium Royal Aspirations. It has bloomed for me for 2 years so far. The pink is a larkspur. The other delphinium look alikes are larkspur 'Blue Spire'. This one is a particularly rich dark blue, which is what I like to contrast with the bright colors of the lilies. I resow the larkspur in early spring every couple of years just to be sure. Larkspur self sows quite reliably. I disturbed the soil planting more lilies so I will be resowing larkspur this spring.

  12. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/25/2014

    Meander1, thank you for posting all the time. You are very perceptive and generous with your compliments!
    I shop carefully for hostas since some grow so slowly. My Liberty took 4 years to get showy. I like Hallson's since they are field grown for 3 years before he sells them. I hate to get a 3" pot of a hosta! Mailorder seems the rule, since the selection locally is so boring.
    This year I am going to get Gentle Giant, I'll post a pic about 5 years from now when it is magnificent. Check it out online.

  13. sheila_schultz 02/25/2014

    Now that's a cutting garden...your house must be filled with fragrant blooms all summer long. Nancy, your hydrangeas are beautifully lush, and the hostas don't seem to have a single bite taken out of them. With all the rain you described, I'm stunned the slugs weren't fat and sassy from all the good eatin' in your gardens!

  14. GrannyMay 02/25/2014

    Such a welcome burst of colour to wake up to! Love the contrasts of lilies and delphiniums, stunning combinations in those beds! Yet, my absolute favourite view has to be the hydrangea bed with all the varieties of hydrangea, hosta, fern and other shade-loving plants! Beautiful! Thank you Nancy!

  15. quinquek 02/25/2014

    Very lovely! This is what I want my garden to look like! What lovely bouquets you must have, and I love the colors and plant combinations. Every time I try to combine lots of different plants one turns out to be an undeclared invasive and, well, there you are (or aren't!) A good reminder that hosta take several years to really show. Thanks for all the plant identifications.

  16. janetsfolly 02/25/2014

    Oh thank you Nancy! Those colorful beds are stunning and I REALLY appreciate your inclusion of plant names. I love larkspur, something my mother always grew. Must plant some this Spring. But my total favorite shot/spot is the hydrangea bench. Hope you don't mind that I shared that pic with my sisters and others soooo tired of Winter! My to-do list for the coming season now includes: plant dark blue larkspur, make a blue fountain and plant at least three hydrangeas! Thanks again for the inspiration!

  17. GrannyCC 02/25/2014

    Hi Nancy
    Love the beautiful gardens with their fruit coloured names. Gorgeous colour combinations and such lush shade gardens. Looking forward to this Springs displays.

  18. annek 02/25/2014

    Another colorful respite from winter's whiteness! Beautiful

  19. janeeliz 02/25/2014

    WOW, Nancy! What an awesome colorful garden you've created!! I love it all-your intense lilies, deep blue delphiniums, tall graceful thalictrum, lovely blue urn to compliment everything...and surrounding it all those tall oaks and gorgeous hydrangeas. I am assuming you do not have the Asiatic lily beetle. Is this so? I am getting ready to order a few different lilies but hesitate as we do have the beetle in Maine. It is a constant battle... capturing them by hand in all their awful stages; they are very clever! But I do love lilies SO..... Do you have monkshood blooming? I thought some of the very tall dark blue flowers looked like one of the early flowering monkshood. Whatever it is, it's spectacular! Your shade garden is very lovely too-great placement of some great plants. Waiting to garden is getting harder with the extended light of each day....especially when it is so cold the deep snow refuses to melt..!

  20. John429 02/25/2014

    I just love your garden, Nancy! The mix of colors, sun and shade are just striking! Also, I like blue overflowing fountain - it makes such a nice focal point. Your color mix of Delphiniums and lilies is gorgeous. The bench looks so inviting. Gardens need a place to sit so they can be enjoyed.

  21. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/25/2014

    Hi All,

    My sister helped me when I first started gardening. Her advice was to create color themes. My family are farmers and run Larriland Farm, a pick-your-own operation selling strawberries, blueberries, plums, raspberries, peaches and apples. Lynn doesn't have much time for ornamentals anymore, but she grows a wonderful cutting garden at the farm. So thinking of the fruits the farm raises, I named my beds and although it may be hard to tell I try to keep to the color schemes. Yellow, white, and blue are included in all 4 beds. No fruit trees, I can go next door and pick all I want.

  22. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/25/2014

    Several people have commented on the ferns. So for you fern lovers, the giant ferns behind the plant bench in the hydrangea garden are Dryopteris filix-mas 'Robusta'. This is an easy to grow, vigorous fern. It took 2-3 years for it to get huge. A great source for ferns is The Crownsville Nursery, nice size plants, decent price, good customer service. For those of you who want a hardy maiden hair fern try the 'Himalayan Maidennhair', Adiantum venustum. I had heard of it, but had no source until I found it in Crownsville catalog. A short, delicate, beauty but easy to grow, my current fav. It is peeking out under hosta Victory and if you look closely it is under the golden carex on both sides of the hydrangea bench.

  23. CJgardens 02/25/2014

    Beautiful bright colors on a snowy, cold day. But I enjoy the shade beds and borders just as much. Love your design of the bed around the bench. Shared the photo with my sister who is planting her shady borders. Thanks for all the information on the hydrangeas. I love larkspur but have struggled to get them to grow and reseed - I plan to keep trying. Your photo taken from the front door shows the great placement of the fountain and fruit bowl statue. I planted new tulips last fall too and am anxious for spring. Carol Jean

  24. Meelianthus 02/26/2014

    Hello Nancy ~ Thank you for sharing your wonderful gardens.
    Such a beautiful assortment of colors and plants. I can see why you are excited about your Spring bulbs this year as your tulips last year were just delicious looking! Your Hydrangea bed is a real work of art, I love everything in it. I am a huge fan of ferns and Hostas so it is always fun to see the arrangements in others gardens. Beautiful job.

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