Garden Photo of the Day

Tropical Escape in Virginia, Part 2

More of this creative garden

Today we return to the Virginia tropics, aka Bill Hewitt’s garden in southeastern Virginia, where he grows tropical-looking plants to make a landscape very unlike what is typically seen in his part of the world.

Dramatic hardy palmsDramatic hardy palms (including the Chinese windmill palm, Trachycarpus fortunei, Zones 7–10, in the foreground) are joined in the warm months of the year by cannas (Canna hybrids, Zones 7–10 or as tender bulbs), elephant ears (Colocasia and Alocasia species and hybrids, many hardy to Zones 8–11), and other tropical-looking perennials.

Purple coneflowersPurple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9) bring a huge mass of flamingo pink to the garden.

dark colored elephant earA dark-colored elephant ear (probably Colocasia ‘Illustris’, Zones 8–11), with a four-legged gardening friend to demonstrate the scale.

Oakleaf hydrangeaOakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5–10) is a shrub native to the southeastern United States. Though it is not tropical, its large, bold leaves certainly add to the tropical look of the garden.

daffodils in iceSpring ice storms can do a huge amount of damage to a garden, not to mention making traveling dangerous. But they can also be incredibly beautiful, as with these magical ice-encased daffodils.

tall verbenaA butterfly coming in to a huge mass of purple coneflowers and tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis, Zones 7–10 or as annual). Both of these plants are great sources of nectar for butterflies and other pollinators. The leaves of a banana in the background keep the tropical theme of the garden going.

tall verbena flowersClose-up of the flowers of a tall verbena.

And one last view of Bill’s creative tropically themed garden.

Do you have an unusual approach to your garden? We’d love to see it, so send in some photos!


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  1. User avater
    simplesue 03/26/2020

    What a darling little dog! The mass plantings of coneflowers and verbena are stunning! Oh I hate ice storms, but what a pretty photo it makes on the daffodils!

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/26/2020

    My, my, Bill. It is all so lovely!

  3. btucker9675 03/26/2020

    What a fabulous garden and your Frenchie certainly adds to the charm! The photo of the daffodils encased in ice is wonderful - like they've been dipped in crystal.

  4. darylsavage 03/27/2020

    Fantastic shot of the daffs in ice!

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