Today’s photos come from Deb Skup.
I have submitted photos before of my garden in the woods near Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. When I was starting my gardens 25 years ago, I got carried away and now have trouble taking care of all of them. My long garden that is along the side of our driveway has gone a bit wild with Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum, Zones 2–9), cup plants (Silphium perfoliatum, Zones 4–8), and blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica, Zones 4–8), but the butterflies really love it. Here are a few shots of my “wild garden” and then a few of my more managed beds in front of our house.
Wild it may be, but it looks pretty good! Combining tall, vigorous plants like cup plants and Joe Pye weed works well because they won’t try to dominate each other the way they would smaller plants. And they’ll even outcompete most weeds.
The cup plant and Joe Pye weed complement each other beautifully. Their tall flowers bloom at about the same height, the colors work together, and of course, native pollinators adore both of them.
One last look at the wild garden. Cup plant may not be a good choice for small gardens, but if you have room for it, it is very beautiful and easy to grow.
This shade planting by the house is all about texture and different shades of green, with the Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9) providing a wonderful contrast to the bold leaves of hostas.
A wide view of the beds by the house. Hostas are mostly grown for their leaves, but their flowers are looking pretty good in this shot too.
This is Deb’s husband’s goldfish pond, next to the back patio. I love the shade perennials growing in pockets between the paving stones. They really soften the stone and add a romantic, wild element to the scene.
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