Inheriting Grandmother’s Green Thumb – FineGardening


My name is Mark Couture from Chatham, Ontario, Canada, and gardening is something I’ve become passionate about over the years. I can say I inherited my green thumb from my grandmother. Watching her at a young age taking care of her flowers and plants seeded interest in me to garden. Since then what an amazing joy it has been to take part in creating beautiful portraits in the landscape. Gardening is a blessing in my life!

Red asiatic liliesRed Asiatic lilies (Lilium hybrid, Asiatic group, Zones 4–9) glowing against a backdrop of green.

Containers don’t just have to be for little annuals. Here a big purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9) adds height, contrast, and a big attraction for visiting pollinators.

coneflower bloomSpeaking of pollinators, here is one taking a sip from a coneflower bloom.

More container plantings, with dark- and light-leaved sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas, annual) providing foliage color to complement the flowers.

Tall phloxTall phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–8) is another perennial native to North America that is much loved by butterflies.

An unusual water feature, in the form of a rock with water bubbling over it, is the center of this planting.

gold finchThe shallow stream of water attracts birds, like this colorful little male goldfinch.

A shot from Mark’s pollinator garden, where purple coneflowers and black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9) in full bloom attract pollinators like this black swallowtail butterfly.

Male (top left) and female (bottom right) goldfinches feast on the seeds in fading coneflower blooms. This is a good reminder that if you don’t deadhead, your coneflowers will turn into natural bird feeders.


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