Today we’re in the Midwest visiting Vanessa Lehnhoff’s beautiful garden.
Hostas (Hosta hybrids, Zones 3–9) are a staple of Midwestern shade gardens, and for good reason: They thrive through cold snowy winters and look great through summer heat. Just protect them from hungry deer and they give great beauty for very little work.
Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis, Zones 3–8) is another stalwart of the shade garden. It is intolerant of dry soil but otherwise easy to please, and it rewards the gardener with masses of frothy blooms in summer when shade gardens are often looking a bit dull.
Looking down at the front garden, shrubs provide a sturdy green backdrop for blooming perennials.
Peonies (Paeonia hybrids, Zones 3–8) are often seen in their big, blowsy, double-flowered forms, but single peonies like this have a simplicity and grace of just a single row of petals around the bright yellow stamens in the center. Single peonies are also less likely to flop over than the heavy, many-petaled forms.
On the left side is a Siberian iris (Iris siberica, Zones 3–8), and on the right is a variegated Dalmatian iris (Iris pallida, Zones 4–9), which has colorful striped foliage in addition to the fragrant lavender blooms.
Close-up of astilbe coming into bloom with a carpet of hostas behind it.
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.
You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!
Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.