Lynne from the Midwest is a longtime gardener, but these pictures are all from a new garden (Zone 6) Lynne has been working in for the past three years.
A weigela (Weigela florida, Zones 4–8) shrub is loaded down with pink flowers. Newer breeding on weigela have focused on colorful foliage and compact growth habits, but it is hard to beat the sheer flower display of some of the older, larger-growing varieties of this shrub.
Ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 3–7) are always beautiful, but it is hard to beat them when they are first unfurling their fronds in the spring. Here their fresh green fronds are perfectly complemented by the plants and flowers around them.
Common blue violet (Viola sororia, Zones 3–7) is a wide-ranging plant native to eastern North America. It is so easy to make happy that some people consider it a weed, but how can you be upset about those sweet purple flowers?
Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata, Zones 9–10) is usually grown as an annual in most climates. It produces masses of cheery yellow flowers with black centers all summer long, though there are selections with differently colored flowers.
Zoom out a little and you’ll see that the black-eyed Susan vine is backed up by a pretty impressive mass of threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis vertcillata, Zones 3–9). That spot in the garden is a bit of sunshine in flower form.
The low-angled light of morning and evening can make the most magical moments. Here it filters through ostrich ferns and bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis, Zones 3–9), their leaves glowing as the light shines through them. A moment of pure magic!
There is a certain beauty in a tree branch encrusted with lichen in every shade of green. Many species of lichen are quite sensitive to air pollution, so a healthy population like this can be not just beautiful but a sign of good air quality as well.
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