My name is Bill Goff, and I garden in the suburbs of Pittsburgh in zone 6b. I am a retired musician. After retirement, I took the classes required to become a Penn State Master Gardener, where I discovered that I wanted to take good photos of my gardens for PowerPoint presentations. For that, I needed a better camera, and then I needed classes to learn how to use the camera, and then I needed different lenses and more classes. So, in fact, my passion for gardening has given me a newfound passion for photography, which I am truly grateful for!
I took this photo of my perennial border on the morning of May 23rd. I love peoning. (Peonia hybrids, zones 3-8) and May/June garden perennials. There’s so much that unfolds right now, and it’s hard not to include it. I also have a penchant for soft and cool colors, as you can see from this photo. Peonies included here are deep pink ‘Morning Lilac’, tall soft pink ‘Bev’, and ‘Red Charm’ in the foreground. Companions include purple round heads. Elim ‘Globe Master’ (Zones 5-8) has deep blue blooms. Iris siberica ‘High Standards’ (Zones 3-8), and has airy, pale blue blooms. Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ (Zones 4-7). It’s a beautiful time for me to be in the garden.
One end of a sunny perennial border includes the warm colors of ‘Tropicana’ canna lily (Kina ‘Tropicana’, Zones 8-10 or as tender bulbs), yellow Helinthus ‘Lemon Queen’ (Zones 4-9), a favorite of pollinators, blooms profusely in August and September when the garden often has less color.
A hosta bed surrounds a patio in a shaded area of our backyard. Shade is provided by a morning redwood tree. (Metasequoia glyptostroboides, Zones 4–8), which has an interesting history. We love spending time outside here when the evenings are cool. The blues and greens of hostas have a calming effect, and you can’t go wrong with mixed plantings, as they complement each other so well.
Over the years, I’ve added more and more pollinator-friendly plants to my gardens, since basically all pollinators are in deep trouble. Here, a yellow tiger enjoys nectar from a swallow tail. Verbena bonarensis (Zones 7-9 or as an annual) flower, which is a perennial in our zone 6b.
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Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a special collection of your favorite plants, or a wonderful garden you’ve had the chance to see!
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