Garden Photo of the Day

This could be your garden

You can do some of what Longwood Gardens does, just on a smaller scale

Today’s GPOD comes courtesy of Fine Gardening assistant editor Carol Collins, who stopped by Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania this summer (yes, that counts as work around here). Longwood’s artful displays are breathtaking, but it is important to keep in mind that, on a smaller (much smaller) scale, we can do many of the things they do, too.

Canna ‘Intrigue’ and Caladium ‘Red Flash’

‘Red Butterfly’ butterfly weed (Asclepias curassavica ‘Red Butterfly’) and tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

‘Kiegador’ hummingbird mint (Agastache mexicana ‘Kiegador’), Tassel flower (Emilia coccinea), tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis), and ‘Powis Castle’ artemisia (Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’)

OK, maybe this is beyond our capabilities, but if anyone out there is planning an Italian water garden, this is what you are aiming for.

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  1. user-7007498 12/11/2017

    Thanks, Steve, for reminding us not to get overwhelmed by the scale of large gardens. There are always smaller vignettes which we can easily be inspired by, and reproduce in our own garden. I find it so helpful to take photos of combinations of plants, whether for color or texture, whenever I visit a garden. Later, when I review the pictures, I can focus on the smaller scale.

    I am lucky to live only 90 minutes from Longwood Gardens, and my favorite inspirational garden, Chanticleer. I try to get to each about 5-6 times per year. There is always something beautiful to see.

    What's really cool about the Italian Garden in the last picture, are the 4 basin pools surrounding the middle fountain. The photo is taken from the observation area, where garden is typically viewed. The basin pools all look exactly the same size. Pierre duPont realized the effective of perspective, so the 2 pools farther from view, are actually significantly longer (by 14 feet) than the closer 2, to achieve the visual effect of symmetry.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 12/11/2017

      Very interesting Kev. How does it look when you are down on the lawn area, and can see that the 2 back pools are larger than the front ones? Cheers, Frank

      1. user-7007498 12/11/2017

        Morning, Frank. When you are on the sides it is very obvious. They don’t let you walk around the grassy area, unless part of a tour.

        1. user-7007140 12/11/2017

          Thank you Kevin - if I am ever tempted to design anything requiring math it will be a miracle. I do think this Italian garden is very, very peaceful though and like it a lot.

  2. user-4691082 12/11/2017

    It’s so funny that when you have gone there so many times, it can become ho hum. I always get insight from other people’s perspective. I’m going on Thursday to see the Christmas display. I’ll try to submit those pics early next week. My outdoor containers are not happening because they are covered in snow!

    1. user-7007498 12/11/2017

      Good morning, Rhonda. How much snow did you get? We only got 2 inches. It was pretty though.

      1. user-4691082 12/11/2017

        I think we got about the is very pretty! It’s supposed to get colder so my containers are still filled...

    2. frankgreenhalgh 12/11/2017

      Pity about the snow putting a damper on your container making, Rhonda. I was looking forward to seeing your artistic talents again. I still remember that marvellous way you arranged the settings on your table for family Xmas celebrations last year. Cheers from down under.

      1. user-4691082 12/11/2017

        Good morning, darlin! I promise to send photos soon!

        1. frankgreenhalgh 12/11/2017

          Whacko-the-diddle-o, Rhonda (translation - 'you beauty'; further translation of Aussie slang - 'an exclamation of joy')

    3. alohaland 12/11/2017

      Please do, Rhonda! When I lived in York, PA. I went to Longwood every year. It's beauty and peacefulness never grows old.

    4. user-6536305 12/12/2017

      Please do send your Christmas containers and winter scene of Longwood. Thanks.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/11/2017

    The first photo is such an outstanding example of just how colorful and striking foliage combinations can be all on their own. That twosome is hugely eye catching and packs quite a punch of visual appeal. It's hard to imagine that the flowers that the canna produces would add to the duo's beauty.

  4. cheryl_c 12/11/2017

    In the first photo, the unfurling canna foliage initially struck me as a wood scupture - I agree with Meander that it is hard to imagine the combination looking more beautiful than it does right at the moment the picture was snapped. All that snow 'went south' of us - an unusual phenomenon! Southwest Missouri is really tinder dry right now - we need rain or snow but there is nothing in the long range forecast, so I'll be dragging the garden hose out again! Rhonda, I too am looking forward to seeing your containers this year!

  5. Chris_N 12/11/2017

    Great combinations. The canna 'Intrigue' is intriguing. I looked it up and its leave are naturally very upright and lance shaped. It also gets 6-8 feet tall so it will outgrow the perfect combination in the first photo. On the other hand it will probably still look great as an eight foot specimen with caladiums surrounding its feet.

  6. greengenes 12/11/2017

    This is one garden i sure would like to visit sometime. Foilage does make a statement here in picture one! Love this canna! The fountains in the italian style are beautiful and would be a welcome site on a hot day! I feel there should always be some sort of water in a garden even if it is a couple of bird baths!

  7. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 12/11/2017

    It’s so nice to see photos of Longwood and I hope to see it in person some day. Our garden club has been using cannas in our town flower barrels but this variety is way more ‘Intriguing’. Love the second combo which is one that I have tried in my own garden but the Italian fountains, which are beautiful, might be beyond our expertise:)

  8. user-6536305 12/12/2017

    Longwood is on my to visit garden list. Thanks for sharing!

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