December 3, 2021

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The Magical World of Bill and Linda Pinkham’s Garden

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Today’s post is from Amy Birdsong, who is sharing with us a trip she took to an amazing private garden in Virginia.

Bill and Linda Pinkham are artists, daylily breeders, horticulturists, and landscape design experts who retired from the nursery business over twenty years ago. Since “retirement,” they created and continue to grow and nurture a collector’s garden on the James River in Virginia. Google them and you will see that they and their garden are quite famous, and with good reason. Over several acres are winding paths of trees and plants interspersed with stones, sculptures, and pots. The Pinkhams open their garden to the public several times a year in spring and summer, but my mother-in-law and I were fortunate to get a tour this week. In the spring and summer when leaves are flushing out and flowers are showing off, we all celebrate our gardens, but fall and winter can be just as magical. With leaves starting to turn and flowers flopping over and dying back, unexpected vignettes develop and a garden’s structural plants stand out in ways that we can fully appreciate. The Pinkhams’ garden is a perfect place to witness fall beauty. The curving paths are punctuated throughout by tropicals (like Bill’s favorite—agaves), evergreens, sculptural conifers, acubas, camellias, flowering shrubs, perennial flowers, and annuals. There are literally thousands of plants. Some of the unusual varieties come from specialty nurseries, but the Pinkhams are equal opportunity customers, buying from local big box stores just as easily as obscure and faraway places. My pictures don’t begin to do their garden justice, but enjoy!

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThe spiky leaves of Yucca rostrata (Zones 6–9) give interest all year.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsBromeliads are tropical plants with dramatic foliage often grown as houseplants. These will need protection once frost threatens.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsWho needs flowers when foliage has such a range of colors and textures?

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsTall cannas (Canna hybrid, Zones 7–10) add late-season color with their flowers.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThe beautiful whale’s tongue agave (Agave ovatifolia, Zones 7–11)

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsA hardy palm (probably Trachycarpus fortunei, Zones 7–10)

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsAn oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Vaughn’s Lillie’, Zones 5–9)

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsSpotted aucuba (Aucuba japonica, Zones 7–9) has evergreen foliage liberally splashed with gold.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThe brilliantly colored fruit of Euonymus americanus (Zones 6–9)

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThis late-blooming salvia with bright magenta flowers is probably Salvia involucrata or a similar species.

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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

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