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Spring in Mary’s Garden – FineGardening


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Today we’re in Maryland, visiting Mary Spencer’s garden.

May is my favorite month of the year and is when my shade garden comes to life. I have lived here for 23 years and have taken out just a single rhododendron and added hundreds of plants. My love of hostas shows no evidence of waning. I don’t know what I enjoy more—the plants or the many different birds that show up in the yard. I lost my husband of 42 years last August, and the garden is what keeps me going.

ground cover with yellow flowers below a shrub with white flowersYellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon, Zones 4–8) with silver-marked foliage and yellow blooms is a beautiful plant, but it spreads rapidly, so it needs to be sited where it won’t smother other plants.

shade garden with lots of foliage plantsThe woodland garden is lush with plants, with huge ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Zones 2–8).

front yard garden full of flowersA flower-covered dogwood (Cornus, Zones 5–9) presides over the garden.

hosta behind a plant with red and yellow flowersSpigelia marilandica (Zones 5–9) is a wonderful native perennial with incredible red-and-yellow blooms, here showing off in front of a hosta.

shade garden in springFrom low ground covers to taller growing perennials to shrubs and trees, every layer of this garden brings different textures and shades of green.

variegated plant behind orange and white flowersBright color for the shade is provided by a variegated hosta and orange and white impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, Zones 10–11 or as an annual).

brightly colored shade plantingsA container planted up with annuals and Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9) adds height to this shade planting.

shrub with flower buds about to openFlower buds from a mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia, Zones 5–9) are in their wonderful balloon stage before popping open.


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.

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