Garden Photo of the Day

The Never Ending Garden

Linda Skyler reminds us all that we are never ever really done with our gardens!

"Here in the Pacific Northwest I garden nearly daily in my Zone 8 area – with the exception of rainy days, which we have had so few of the past couple of years and the occasional temps that dip into the 20s. I live on an island that is a gardening mecca full of enthusiastic gardeners which makes this passion such a joy. I have been tending (and filling!) my 1/3 acre gardens for over 30 years and it truly is and ENDLESS past time. At the end of this very dry summer most things seem to be holding their own as we now dip into Fall weather and the beauty of a new season."

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  1. greengenes 10/08/2015

    Good morning, Linda! How wonderful to see your garden this morning! These photos are beautiful and the red pot is so nice! Your gardens really have evolved and is never ending. Sounds like you are ready for fall, too. How is that beautiful variegated fatsia doing? I finally found one. Well I hope you get some rest this season into next. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      Hi Jeanne - My Fatsia 'Spiderweb' is doing beautifully and seems to like it's spot which I think will be a bit protected for winter. Did you get 'Spiderweb'? as I see now they finally got Fatsia 'Camouflage' in at Valley Nursery, so beautiful ! I was so tempted but really don't have room unfortunately - or fortunately for my wallet ! I am hopeful now to make it to your garden this next Spring to see all of your new plantings. Happy Fall Jeanne

  2. user-4691082 10/08/2015

    What a beautiful garden. I, too, have red pot envy! My eyes kept circling around the first picture. I was trying to take it all in, but it's not close up enough for me to identify all of the gorgeous specimens. Send more pictures! Thanks for sharing. I really envy your zone!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/08/2015

    Sigh, Linda, I am such a fan of your garden and I see some of my favorite plants and grouping are still going strong. I am figuratively sitting here with bare feet because your tree hydrangea once again knocked my socks sure are doing everything right with that one! I'm so glad you included that interesting closeup of it and all the wonderful things growing at its feet. Your garden has so much texture and delightful's all just so pleasing to the eyes.

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      Glad you enjoyed Meander, I cut back my tree hydrangea every year to almost a pile of sticks and it still bursts into HUGE every Spring and is always covered with so many flowers. It receives one of the small spots of sun in my shady yard. Have been wondering if you will be sending in photos of your gardens again, it has been awhile since seeing your lovely place.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 10/08/2015

        Thanks for thinking of me and my garden, Linda. I really need to send some photos in and esp. of things right now as all my swaths of muhly grass are in their glory. It is almost embarrassing how darned much I love that stuff. Here's a shot I took yesterday.

        1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

          A really BIG WOW! Looks like someone turned the hose on and it is pink water!
          Really lovely.

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 10/08/2015

            Thank you...that's a fun image of the hose spraying pink...I like that!

  4. User avater
    HelloFromMD 10/08/2015

    Hi Linda, no rest for the weary. Those of us with snow, dream and plan during winter and look at photos and succumb to mail ordering plants because we can't wait. How do you plan and design with a year round garden?
    It's not that you have a great collection of plants, it's how you set them off with your edging and lawn or gravel. My garden starts to look like that after a lot of hard work grooming. I'd like to wander down the 'Sagae' path. Also would like to admire your hydrangea standard. The way you combine small shrubs, conifers, and perennials is awesome.

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      Well, my only 'plan' is to fill EVERY square inch of dirt with texture and greenery and my only request of plants is that they must be able to survive into the 20s. I love to plant variety and put things together that just feel good.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/08/2015

        Me, too, except my plan should amend to say -20s! (or thereabouts)

        1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

          Yikes! I don't know how you gardeners in those zones do it. It is a real rarity if we go into the teens or even low 20s and I do a heavy mulching but not sure if things would make it. You must do a lot of mulching Tim.

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/08/2015

            I'm allegedly 6a, which goes to about -10°; I'm sure I've seen temps occasionally lower. No mulching (except maybe this year for new prized-possesions). I just can't grow everything that you can. Sigh.

  5. Farmorsbaking 10/08/2015

    Beautiful pictures Linda. Thank goodness our gardens are never done! That is the beauty of the obsession that gardening is. What kind of hydrangea is that? I just added a quick fire hydrangea and love it.

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      I planted the hydrangea paniculata many years ago and am not sure of the name as there are several that look similar. I cut the branches way back every year and it still takes over it's small space and is so beautiful now in the Fall turning from white to iridescent pink.

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 10/08/2015

    Linda, it is always a pleasure to see you fabulous garden in every season. Love, love, love it. Is that Impatiens omeiana to the right and underneath H. sagae in the pot? It looks so tall! What is the spreading shrub/plant in the container in photo 3, center back, behind the gorgeous yucca and one of my favorite containers ever (with H. Caramel, Geranium Vancouver Sentinel and carex, plant IDs subject to correction!!)?

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      Yes Tim, you are always so right, and it becomes quite tall just because it grows thru the ferns. The shrub/plant (yellowish/gold?) behind the Yucca is a Witch Hazel - I would not dream of correcting your labeling, you have such a 'name brain' ^_^ and I can almost never remember the names!!

  7. Chris_N 10/08/2015

    Wonderful garden. I had to go back and look at your past photos as well. I love your use of color and decoration. The photo that really hit me was the second one with the hostas and ferns and hakonechloa. The varied shades of green, complementary and contrasting forms, juxtaposed just right to make an exciting and appealing scene. And nary a flower in sight! (Ok, maybe that's a flower in the upper right but I can't tell so it doesn't count.) What is the plant with the variegated, star patterned leaves, popping over the fern to the right of the potted hosta?

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      Although I love flowers I don't do many flowers as I don't have much sun. The variegated star-patterned plant is hardy Impatiens (omeiana) which will not tolerate ANY sun but is quite lovely.

      1. Chris_N 10/08/2015

        That's been on my list to check out. Unfortunately, depending on the site I check, it's only hardy to zone 6, 7 or 8. Don't think it will survive in Wisconsin.

  8. GrannyMay 10/08/2015

    Gorgeous, Linda! Your garden has more than held its own throughout the summer drought. Here, a number of plants went into dormancy during the summer and with the rains they were fooled into thinking it was spring, so we have had some of the rhododendrons bloom now.

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      I also had some flowers on a couple of Rhodies - isn't that weird ! The garden is so confused.

  9. GrannyCC 10/08/2015

    Wonderful to see your garden survived the drought Linda. It is lovely how when the rains came we had a new burst of colour and growth. I love how your garden draws one in to meander down the pathways.

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      Yes, your weather, like ours can be so interesting and the rains are now ALWAYS welcome!

  10. sheila_schultz 10/08/2015

    Linda, I would love to wander the different paths of your gardens and just soak in all there is to see. Everything looks so lush, one would never know you had been in drought. Lovely!

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      The only one who knows there was a drought is the Water Company!! I really can't stand seeing a wilting plant unfortunately.

  11. BoxwoodBarbara 10/08/2015

    Wonderful textures and colors, Linda, with one photo displaying reds and pinks, and two focused on blues and soft greens. Right on!

  12. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 10/08/2015

    Linda, I also live on an island in the PNW and know what you did all summer; water, water, water! Your hydrangea fared better than mine did during this drought. Nothing really replaces rain when it comes to those plants. I'm also very impressed that your Hosta are not peppered with slug/snail damage. Thanks for sharing your beautiful gardens.

    1. Meelianthus 10/08/2015

      I wonder if our islands are near? There certainly are many, many islands in the PNW. We live on the island a ways off of Seattle.

      I try to buy the hostas that mostly have the crinkly leaves, not so favorable to the slugs, however now that the weather has cooled down I notice they are out in full force and very hungry!!

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 10/09/2015

        We live on Whidbey and are quite involved with the gardening community here. It's been fun to live in this gardening mecca.

        1. Meelianthus 10/09/2015

          I love Whidbey and we have often gone on their garden tour. I know there are some wonderful gardens there.

  13. user-7007076 10/09/2015

    Wow! Your garden is very lovely. It's so full and private it is hard to believe it's 1/3 an area. I can't wait until my 1/3 has that degree is privacy. What a wonderful place you've created to wander, relax, and garden some more :)

    1. Meelianthus 10/09/2015

      Thank you Sarah, glad you enjoyed.

  14. Cenepk10 10/09/2015

    Yummy yummy layered look. Love it !!!

  15. CJgardens 10/09/2015

    Linda, your gardens are wonderful as always. Everything looks very lush even if you dealt with drought conditions this summer. I went back and looked at previous submissions (still stunning), looked at your full front yard and wondered if I could plant more of mine. Since I'm struggling to keep up with what I have and mine would be full sun, I better think hard before I dig up more lawn! Thanks for sharing. cj

  16. Chris_N 10/09/2015

    Oops! The email for the "Make a Difference" post is linking to Linda's post (which you should check out, if you haven't yet.) The GPoD "Make a Difference" post for 10/9/15 is at:

    You can always find the latest posts at:

  17. user-7007831 10/09/2015

    truly awe inspiring!

  18. Yeddi 10/09/2015

    Linda, many years ago Columbus, Ohio hosted Ameriflora, and at that show there were exhibits from many states. My absolute favorite - read Fell in Love want to Move there - was the PNW . I had never seen such a huge variety of gorgeous plants. Your garden must have been where the planners called to get plants. So beautiful! Love it. Thank you.

  19. user-7007848 10/10/2015

    Absolutely gorgeous! This is what I hope my garden looks like in 30 years. Thank you for the inspiration!

  20. user-7007688 10/10/2015

    Fantastic garden. I need to try harder or quit. I think I'll do the later and you're the inspiration. Thanks
    Steve Hayward

  21. diane_lasauce 10/11/2015

    Linda, simply lovely garden rooms. Your love shows through!

  22. eileenhawk 10/12/2015

    I particularly like how you used blue objects to draw the eye into and around your garden room areas without it being intrusive.

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