Tuesday, July 12, 2016

You Love Joe's Garden!


The problem with garden profiles, that you often see in magazines or on garden blogs like this one, is that they capture a garden at single point in time. But gardens are not static things. They change constantly. So in a series of posts that I'll show you over the course of the summer, I have gone back and revisited some of the gardens I photographed previously in the late spring. The hope is to give you a better sense of a garden's evolution over the course of a growing season.

Of all the gardens I have ever featured on this blog, Joe's garden is by far one of the most popular. Based on page views and pins, you love Joe's garden! 

'John Davis' Explorer Rose in June
Early July

In June, Joe's garden is filled with roses. (To get a more complete picture, you can see Joe's June garden here. You can see the garden in early July here.)

In July, the roses begin to rest through the hot, dry days of mid-summer and a wide assortment of perennials take over where the roses have left off. Here is a island flowerbed from the front of the house in late July:


1. Phlox paniculata 'Pink Flame and 'Peppermint Twist' 2. Heuchera  3. Brunnera 'Jack Frost'  4. Pulmonaria  5. Sedum  6. Variegated Phlox  7. Annual Candytuft  8. Hosta

Early July
Echinacea in Late July.
Late July

As well as the flowers, foliage is key factor in the success of any of Joe's plantings. In the background of this picture, the spiky foliage of a bearded iris looks spectacular long after the flowers have finished. 

The combination of blue-green and cream has an echo in the foliage of the hosta in the foreground.


As sunny as a yellow flower might be, the golden foliage of this hosta looks perfect paired with the silver leaves of a (1.) Brunnera 'Jack Frost' and (2.) the tiny purple flowers of perennial Campanula and (3.) annual Canndytuft.


Annual Candytuft, Iberis Umbellata: Height 30-40 cm. Full sun. Flowers range from white to pink and mauve. Annual Candytuft flowers within a couple of months from seed.  It is taller and less compact than its perennial cousin.

Nestled in next to the Candytuft is another great foliage plant Jacob's Ladder 'Stairway to Heaven'. Here is what it might have looked like blooming in spring:


Jacob's Ladder, Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven' has variegated foliage that is blushed with pink in the cooler days of early spring. The flowers are pale mauve-blue. Afternoon shade and moist conditions suit this plant best. Height: 25-40 cm ( 10-16 inches), Spread: 40-45 cm (16-18 inches). USDA zones: 3-9.

Early July
Phlox paniculata 'Bright Eyes' in late July.

In the backyard, Phlox continue to be a important perennial in Joe's July and August garden. 

Phlox paniculata 'Peppermint Twist': Height: 35-45 cm, Spread: 30-40 cm. Full sun. Does equally well in moist or dry soil. Normal, sandy or clay soils are fine. Attractive to butterflies. USDA Zones 4-9.

Phlox paniculata 'Pink Flame' has fragrant medium pink flowers with a dark rose eye. Height : 30-50 cm ( inches), Spread: 30-40 cm. USDA Zones 4-9.


Echinacea 'Southern Belle': has magenta pompom flowers. Does equally well in moist or dry soil. Normal, sandy or clay soils are fine. Attractive to butterflies. Full sun. Height: 50- 90 cm, Spread: 50- 75 cm. USDA Zones 4-9.


Balloon flower, Platycodon grandiflorus is a great perennial to have in any mid-summer garden. This is a tall, upright perennial that has a carrot-like root. The inflated looking flowers pop open like balloons, hence the common name. Colors range from blue to pale pink to white. Depending on the cultivar you choose, Balloon flowers will grow as tall as 60-75 cm (23-29 inches) and spread as much as 30-40 cm ( 12-16 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.

Early July
Early July
Late July

I hope you have found a few new planting ideas in Joe's mid-summer garden.

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24 comments:

  1. Absolutely stunning :) I think I spy a couple photos with the Japanese Knotweed 'Milk Boy' - I would love to know if Joe spends a lot of time keeping that contained. I hear it's quite invasive!

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    1. Joe is fearless when it comes to aggressive plants and has many plants I would hesitate to put in my own garden. I am pretty sure I know how he'd answer your question. "You have to keep on top of things," he'd council. Joe's retired and he spends most of his spring, summer and fall in the garden. He has the time to keep a close eye on a perennial's spread and reign it in. Most of us don't have the luxury of that much free time. All we can do is admire his garden and his dedication.

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  2. A garden of my heart, just the right mix of formal and informal, and that look of borders filled to the rafters. I had that look in my previous garden and I am working to get the same in my twice-the-size new garden – even though my new garden is much smaller than Joe’s. I love Joe’s garden too!

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  3. This is "my" garden!! I love Joe's!
    Everything here is just so beautiful, and I have never seen coneflowers like "Southern belle."
    Thank you SO much for sharing this garden here, Jennifer. xo.

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  4. Joe has a magnificent garden, love that John Davies Explorer rose, a beauty in full bloom.

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  5. I must go have a stern talk with my garden right now. It's just not measuring up!

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    1. We are always our own toughest critics. I am sure your garden measures up just fine Annie.

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  6. Love the pictures. You must not have japanese beetles there as you can still grow roses.

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    1. Oh yes we do have Japanese Beetles! Don't you just hate them! I haven't had an opportunity to ask Joe if he has many beetles on his roses. I find in my own garden that they don't become a real problem until mid to late July. One rose they love is my pink Explorer climbing rose. Thankfully most of the flowers are finished before they really appear in any number.

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  7. Such a beautiful garden. Thank you for sharing/comparing the garden during different stages. Each has its own personality and shining stars.

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  8. Thank you for showing us this beautiful garden! Also thank you for telling the names of all of these beautiful flowers beneath the photos of them. Now I know what I would like to look for at the garden center. I can dream that one day my garden will be so beautiful. That John Davis Explorer Rose is spectacular.

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  9. Such fabulous plant combinations! Love this pretty garden :)

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  10. It is a feast for the eyes to see this wonderful garden especially while we are in the middle of winter. I love the way Jo has mixed the colours and just seems to have blossoms bursting out everywhere. Lovely!

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  11. Your post is beautiful. I think you could start your own gardenmagazine Jennifer. I am so jealouse about the size of the gardens you are showing.
    Have a wonderful day.

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  12. What a wonderful garden! Many good combinations for me to think about for my garden. I still haven't mastered keeping echinaceas alive for more than a week, but I read the other day not to overwater newly-planted ones. Thanks so much for including variety lists!

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  13. This is such a beautiful garden, just as wonderful in July as it was in June, absolutely stunning!

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  14. Jennifer girl YES ! I do LOVE Joe's garden ! It is beautiful with so many different plants but those roses are such a wow factor .. I wish I could grow them like that.
    I have to say there must be so much love and work poured into this amazing garden .. well done Joe !

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  15. I love the idea of showing us the same garden in the different seasons. It is so important to keep in mind as one plants that you have a whole year of varying looks to organize... thank you so much for doing this!
    I remember the original posting of spring Joe's garden, and I am one of the many pinners of it. It is gorgeous indeed!

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  16. Joe's garden is wonderful, I love all of it!

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  17. I absolutely ADORE Joe's garden!

    It is just a pure delight. I would love to be there in the flesh - but your photo's are just amazing,and I have enjoyed looking at every one of them.
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

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  18. Amazing garden, Jennifer. I'd love to grow many of these plants, especially yellow hostas and Echinacea that do not grow well in Northern climate. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Thanks everyone for your comments. I am sure Joe would be touched by your appreciation.

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  20. This garden is absolutely stunning! Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing. Looking at the beautiful photos, I can't help but wonder what you, Joe and any of your readers do about rabbits? I have some of these beautiful perennials in my garden and this year, the rabbits have eaten things they've never bothered with before. They've even eaten my hostas down to the ground! Killing them is not an option for me. I just couldn't. Every living thing has a place in my backyard eco system, but I just don't know how to protect my perennials anymore. Anyone have any suggestions? Thank you!

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    1. I know how you feel. There is a baby bunny in the backyard, and he is so cute, I haven't the heart to do anything about him. But that's only one rabbit. I can imagine the damage a bunch of rabbits can do.
      I did some poking around and found this recipe: Make a bad-tasting rabbit cocktail by grinding together three hot peppers, three large onions, and one whole bunch of garlic. Add water to cover, and place into a covered container overnight. Strain, and then add enough additional water to make a gallon of the mixture. Spray onto plants, repeating after rainfall. Commercial products using pungent garlic oil are also worth a try. There are more tips on the Almanac website:http://www.almanac.com/pest/rabbits

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