Garden Photo of the Day

Wow the mailman!

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Deanne Fortnam is one of my favorite container gardeners. Her exuberant style and keen sense for color result in some of the most stunning container designs I’ve ever seen. She even wrote an article on one-color combos for containers for the December 2010 issue of Fine Gardening–be sure to check it out. But Deanne does plenty of gardening in the ground, too. Here is one of her amazing mailbox displays. I asked her to tell us about it, and here’s what she said:

“There has been a garden of one form or another surrounding our mailbox for the last thirty years. It has grown from a few petunias and marigolds in the early 1980’s to the mixed planting seen in last summer’s image. The beautiful ‘Morning Light’ miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’, USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9) anchors and provides height and texture to the bed in all seasons.  The ‘Mrs. Bateman’ clematis (Clematis ‘Mrs. Bateman’, Zones 4-11) makes a beautiful splash earlier in the season when the dinnerplate dahlias and assorted annuals are just getting started. The ‘Billy Greene’ fuchsia (Fuchsia ‘Billy Greene’, Zones 9-11) and ‘Black and Blue’ salvia (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’, Zones 7-10), as well as all the dahlias, are dug up and stored indoors for the winter. Last summer I grew the beautiful variegated SunPatiens (Impatiens Sunpatiens series, annual) and I am planning to use them again in the coming season. They performed beautifully all season in this full sun location.”

Welcome to the Fine Gardening GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY blog! Every weekday we post a new photo of a great garden, a spectacular plant, a stunning plant combination, or any number of other subjects. Think of it as your morning jolt of green.

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READER PHOTOS: We love featuring your photos, too. If you think you have a photo that we should share on the Garden Photo of the day, email us. Send hi-res images if possible. We’ll only respond if we plan to use your photo.


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  1. ncgardener 01/24/2011

    Wow, that is gorgeous. It is really nice to see after our 3rd snow storm here on the East coast of North Carolina. I am sure it is the highlight of the mail person's day and joggers too!

  2. Becky1961 01/24/2011

    That's beautiful.....unless your mailman is allergic to bees, that is....

  3. wGardens 01/24/2011

    Lovely! And the background views are just as enticing! I'd love to step right in and enjoy it to its' fullest! Thank you for sharing.

  4. rjgrimes55 01/24/2011

    Absolutely breathtaking!! Eye candy like that can really start Monday and the week off right! I love using Black and Blue Salvia in my gardens. It never, ever fails to disappoint me and I enjoy watching the hummingbirds go up and down the flower stalk enjoying the nectar from each and every little blue bloom!

  5. user-7006885 01/24/2011

    Just gorgeous. Love the sweet alyssum puffing out along the edges. An oldie but goodie with a wonderful fragrance.

  6. Vespasia 01/24/2011

    Just lovely, especially on this very cold Monday (-22 with the wind chill factor) here in Markham ON Canada. Having finished our front addition we are planning, if we ever get spring) to have our now small front garden with no lawn, rocks, ornamental grasses, perennials shrubs etc. There are some great ideas in this photo and what a joy to passers by, thank you for posting it.

  7. soilgoil 01/24/2011

    This lush and lovely bed has inspired me to continue working on my streetside mailbox garden. There is no sidewalk, so a few neighbors think it's okay to allow their leashed dogs to do their business in my garden. I guess a low fence is in order.

  8. soilgoil 01/24/2011

    This lush, lovely bed has inspired me to continue working on my streetside mailbox garden. My work there is made more difficult and sometimes disgusting, as a few thoughtless neighbors allow their dogs to use it as a toilet. I suppose a low fence is in order. Can anyone offer other ideas?

  9. sheilaschultz 01/24/2011

    Deanne...I've always loved your containers but only heard about your beautiful gardens. Michelle, as usual, is spot on in her enjoyment of your plantings. Color, texture and variation of plant materials paint a beautiful picture. Can't wait to see what you do in 2011! With all the snow you are having, what better time to dream of new combos?

  10. catsdogs 01/25/2011

    That is a really nice Picture there for the Mailman, Hope he can get the mail there , when everything grows, Ha....

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