A Garden as Pretty as a Painting

A Garden as Pretty as a Painting

Today’s photos come from Andrea McCollum of Hamilton, Ohio.

We are two senior gardeners who met online about 15 years ago. My romantic partner wanted to create, through gardening, a painted picture that you could walk through. I think he achieved that goal! This is the walkway from both sides. We are both 72 and will continue working the gardens as long as we are able.

“A painted picture you can walk through,” indeed! The abundance of flowers and the informal design scheme give this space a casual, cottage-garden feel.

The same view, but at dusk. I love the glowing stained-glass inserts! I’ve never seen a garden light quite like that, and the effect is really beautiful.

Lots of colors burst forth from annuals everywhere. Putting some plants in containers set in the garden beds is a great way to get height and diversity in a planting.

A relaxed brick path lined with rocks leads you through the bright plantings and invites slow exploration.

The huge flower heads of smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens, Zones 3–9) catch the light. Dawn and dusk are sometimes the best times in the garden, as the low light can be magical.

Using lots of annuals such as marigolds (Tagetes erecta) and petunias (Petunia × hybrida) is a great way to ensure that there is lots of color in the garden all summer long.

This watering can pours crystals instead of water.

Japanese fiber banana (Musa basjoo) can be overwintered successfully as far north as Zone 5, though it appreciates a thick layer of protective mulch during the winter in the coldest gardens. It is a great way to bring an unexpected tropical flair to cold-climate gardens.

And one final view of this lush cottage garden that is, indeed, as beautiful as a painting.


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