A Friday Walk in the Garden

I took a walk in my garden today; it was a gorgeous, hot, sunny day. I would like to share with you three photographs of special spots that captured my eye…and my heart.

The first is Itoh peony ‘Bartzella.’


Itoh peonies are crosses between herbaceous peonies and tree peonies. They have huge blossoms (this one is over 7 inches across), they stand up in wind and rain, and they last longer than their herbaceous sisters. Nothing in my garden elicits more raves than ‘Bartzella.’ They are still expensive but worth every penny. You may want to visit peony@peonysenvy.com to see examples of Itoh peonies that are available.

Next is my very favorite heuchera, ‘Caramel.’

Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’

Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’ is arguably the most popular heuchera in garden centers in our area. This one has been in the ground for over six years. In late winter I remove last years foliage, and the new growth is fresh and beautiful. It will put up stalks of tiny flowers later in the year, but I don’t care; I just love the foliage.

Last, but no means least, is Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother.’

Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother’

I have four clumps of ‘Caesar’s Brother’ in my garden, and when they are in bloom, it is hard to look anywhere else. The four large clumps have all come from divisions over the years from a “parent” clump in my Chapel Hill garden several decades ago. My Arranger helps me deadhead them, and then I cut them back in fall. And that’s it; I don’t have to do anything else but smile and watch them grow.

Plants like these three are what makes gardening such a joy and blessing.



About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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19 Responses to A Friday Walk in the Garden

  1. March Picker says:

    All three of these beautiful plants are winners!


  2. Pauline says:

    They are all beautiful, no wonder you like them so much!


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  4. Christina says:

    Great choices John. The Heuchera is an amazing colour. Would look great in a shady part of my garden, but I haven’t seen it offered here.


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  6. Whoa – that’s some Peony. Love the color. Nice stand of Siberian Iris, also.


  7. bittster says:

    The peonies are fantastic, but I think blue Siberian iris are some of the most beautiful flowers in the world. So elegant!


  8. Suzy Wilson says:

    John, Suzanne here from the painting group that has painted in your beautiful yard. I just wanted to pass on information I just got but couldn’t find you on Facebook so I’ll try to give you the information through pictures of his post. Couldn’t help but think of you! Sent from my iPhone



    • johnvic8 says:

      Glad to hear from you, Suzy.. Whatever you wanted to send didn’t make it, so please try again. I hope you and your fellow painters will be able to return to the garden this spring.


  9. thinkinkadia says:

    What a lovely way to share your garden! It’s all about sharing treasures we have … beautiful memories!


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