The Bright Lights of Shade!

Readers told me they wanted MORE PICTURES when I wrote about Peter and Betty Peck’s Walmart-inspired garden in the Tampa Bay Times  last month. Peter manages Walmart’s No.1 Florida store in Bloomingdale, Fla.; Betty works for a company that supplies Walmart with books and music. Can you say merchandising? These two have the market cornered when it comes to arranging for visual impact.

birdhouses amid green foliage, crinum lily, green pink cream Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar' , march, tampa, florida

The green-cream-red plant in the foreground is Stromanthe sanguinea‘Triostar’, a super plant for adding color to shady situations. The lower growing flowers are impatiens and, on the two trellises, bougainvillea. If you can find at least a half-day of sun in your shady garden, bougainvilleas will reward you with lots of color. (They’re a Peck favorite.)


goose statue next to bench

“Goose,” left, is among the many old statues Peter and Betty inherited from Betty’s parents’ and grandparents’ decades-old gardens in Plant City.

red brick, path, georgia reclaimed










Peter bought the pavers, above right,  from a local stone-supply store and dug up the 120-by-4 feet of paths himself. He paid for the hands-and-knees work — strong work ethic has its limits! … I yearn for the day I can add paths like these.

wooden adirondak chair, confiners. garden art

Peter admits Dumpster-diving (when pressed) for this beautiful old wooden Adirondack chair that someone left in a bin outside his Walmart. Pots of impatiens and other plants create a beautiful vignette beneath a shade tree.

black magic cordylene, hot pink dark green *almost black" leaves, chartreuse, green leavesThe Pecks love cordylines. In the foreground, Black Magic, and behind that, good old red ti.

Peter and Betty Peck not only have loads of color in  a garden shaded by oaks, they have colorful personality. That’s retailer-meets-gardener.