Garden Photo of the Day

The Magical World of Bill and Linda Pinkham’s Garden

A private garden with beauty all year

canna in a late season garden

Today’s post is from Amy Birdsong, who is sharing with us a trip she took to an amazing private garden in Virginia.

Bill and Linda Pinkham are artists, daylily breeders, horticulturists, and landscape design experts who retired from the nursery business over twenty years ago. Since “retirement,” they created and continue to grow and nurture a collector’s garden on the James River in Virginia. Google them and you will see that they and their garden are quite famous, and with good reason. Over several acres are winding paths of trees and plants interspersed with stones, sculptures, and pots. The Pinkhams open their garden to the public several times a year in spring and summer, but my mother-in-law and I were fortunate to get a tour this week. In the spring and summer when leaves are flushing out and flowers are showing off, we all celebrate our gardens, but fall and winter can be just as magical. With leaves starting to turn and flowers flopping over and dying back, unexpected vignettes develop and a garden’s structural plants stand out in ways that we can fully appreciate. The Pinkhams’ garden is a perfect place to witness fall beauty. The curving paths are punctuated throughout by tropicals (like Bill’s favorite—agaves), evergreens, sculptural conifers, acubas, camellias, flowering shrubs, perennial flowers, and annuals. There are literally thousands of plants. Some of the unusual varieties come from specialty nurseries, but the Pinkhams are equal opportunity customers, buying from local big box stores just as easily as obscure and faraway places. My pictures don’t begin to do their garden justice, but enjoy!

trees with several yuccasThe spiky leaves of Yucca rostrata (Zones 6–9) give interest all year.

bromeliads in a gardenBromeliads are tropical plants with dramatic foliage often grown as houseplants. These will need protection once frost threatens.

garden with various shade plantsWho needs flowers when foliage has such a range of colors and textures?

canna in a late season gardenTall cannas (Canna hybrid, Zones 7–10) add late-season color with their flowers.

large light green agaveThe beautiful whale’s tongue agave (Agave ovatifolia, Zones 7–11)

small palm tree next to pink flowersA hardy palm (probably Trachycarpus fortunei, Zones 7–10)

hydrangea in fallAn oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Vaughn’s Lillie’, Zones 5–9)

plants with golden foliageSpotted aucuba (Aucuba japonica, Zones 7–9) has evergreen foliage liberally splashed with gold.

bright pink and orange seed podsThe brilliantly colored fruit of Euonymus americanus (Zones 6–9)

large plant with bright pink flowersThis late-blooming salvia with bright magenta flowers is probably Salvia involucrata or a similar species.


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View Comments


  1. pattyspencer 11/15/2021

    Beautiful garden

  2. Maggieat11 11/15/2021

    Very nice. Would love to visit.
    The Euonymus is fascinating! Thank you
    for sharing.🍃

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/15/2021

    My, oh my. Wonderful!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 11/15/2021

    I was so happy to learn about the Yucca that is hardy to zone 6 because I once saw one in Pittsburgh and wondered what it was for years!
    Also enjoyed seeing the Aucuba Japonica in this garden, another plant I'm growing but not yet as mature as the one here.
    A wonderful garden with so many unusual plants!
    Thanks for sharing this garden!

  5. btucker9675 11/15/2021

    That whale's tongue agave is stunning! Thanks for sharing!

  6. [email protected] 11/15/2021

    Didn't think I particularly liked Aucuba, but after seeing the pretty one in these photos, I think I need one. And I somehow always assumed Agave wasn't suitable for me, but it appears I am wrong! Need one of those, too!

  7. perenniallycrazy 11/15/2021

    Truly a fun and fabulous garden!

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