Garden Design

Julie Prince is sharing her Albany, Georgia, garden with us today.

My garden is in southwestern Georgia and is considered a Zone 8. Some years it could be a tropical zone and others a zone or two colder. Always a challenge and never a certainty. The garden is about two years old and was begun on what was a plot of grass and weeds in an area fenced in around a pool.

After we each lost our spouses, my husband and I married on 9-19-19. I sold my home and moved to his farm. We have totally renovated not only the garden but also the house. The last two years have been very busy!

The garden was created using many plants that I moved from my previous garden, including some shrubs, perennials, and seeds collected from some annuals. Grass and weeds were removed, and a heavy mulch of pine straw was laid. After several weeks I began to plant, improving the soil in each hole with good soil and compost. The existing soil is heavy red, rocky clay. You will see huge rocks in the picture of the water feature. These were removed from the area where the pool was built. My husband made the water feature using an old syrup kettle that had been used as a water trough in a cow pasture! In addition to the birds (including many hummingbirds), butterflies, and moths, my dogs enjoy the garden.

There is a wide variety of plants, including several varieties of Salvia, which are a favorite of the hummingbirds. I have a milkweed plant (Asclepias) that attracts the butterflies. The monarch caterpillars dined on my bronze leaf fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’, Zones 4–9) and dill weed (Anethum graveolens, annual). The Rudbeckia are bee magnets. The birds enjoy perching on (what I think to be) ‘Black Stockings’ fountain grass (Pennisetum ‘Black Stockings’, Zones 8–10 or as an annual). It has grown to over 10 feet and towers over the arbor planted with star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides, Zones 7–10).

garden around a in ground poolThe garden has developed over the last two years around the pool.

black dog in the gardenOne of the dogs is posing with the water feature made from huge rocks pulled out of the ground while building the pool.

Wishbone flowerWishbone flower (Torenia, annual), with masses of beautiful purple flowers

garden bed with white flowers in the backWhite Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum × superbum, Zones 5–9) form the backdrop to this planting.

large masses of black-eyed susan in the gardenA truly impressive mass of Rudbeckia nitida (Zones 3–9) dominates the garden here, with tons of flowers for bees and other pollinators.

garden bed with lots of different foliageThe purple foliage of Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (Zones 7–10 or as an annual) adds contrast to the flowers in this bed.

lamb’s ear in the center of a garden bedThe silvery leaves of lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina, Zones 4–10) takes center stage here.

Black stockings fountain grass next to a fenceBlack stockings fountain grass makes a dramatic statement. What an incredible plant! Though only hardy to Zone 8, this can be grown as an annual in colder climates.

foliage plants with more of the garden in the backgroundA container of tender succulents makes a nice accent in the garden.

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