Garden Design

Mary Spencer is sharing her garden with us today.

I have lived in Westminster, Maryland, for 22 years and have been gardening the entire time. My garden has been a lifeline for me this year. I have a lot of shade.

pansies and violasNothing says spring like pansies and violas (Viola × wittrockiana, cool-season annual). With an enormous color range, complex flower patterns, and a cheerful tolerance of cold weather, they are a delight in any garden!

bright yellow-green plant surrounded by darker green leavesA huge ‘Sun King’ aralia (Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’, Zones 3–9) takes center stage with glowing yellow-green foliage. The darker greens of the hostas around it really set off the bright color of the leaves.

Blooming trees and shrubs by the side of a houseA beautiful scene of spring with a dogwood in bloom above azaleas. The dogwood looks to be one of the hybrid varieties, perhaps Cornus ‘Aurora’ (Zones 5–9), that boast excellent disease and pest resistance along with over-the-top flower displays like you see here.

container filled with foliage plants and one white flowerI love the subtle color combination in this pot. Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas, Zones 10–11 or as an annual), coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides, Zone 11 or as an annual), and a heuchera (Heuchera hybrid, Zones 5–9) all bring foliage in subtle shades of copper and brown, making a great backdrop for the white New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri, Zones 10–11 or as an annual).

Pansies in a wide range of colors at the edge of a bed filled with hostas and fernsIn this bed, an edge of colorful pansies glows against a backdrop of variegated foliage.

shrub with white flowers in the foreground with other shrubs behindLooking through the blooming branches of a doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum, Zones 4–8), we can see a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) and more of the woodland garden behind. I love views like this in a garden, where the scenes beyond are partially obscured, giving a sense of surprise and anticipation to the whole view.

Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

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