They had me at hello. The garden of Linda and Bill Pinkham

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They had me at hello.  Perhaps an overused cliche, but apropos.  As soon as I pulled onto the gravel path, I knew.  I knew I was entering a private garden that would be like no other.

The garden bordered on a borrowed view.  Typically these views – mountains, oceans, rivers, vistas of sorts, add to a garden’s drama.  In the case of this garden, I had to remind myself there was more beyond the border.  I couldn’t get past the color, the variety, the wildlife.

Sitting on the banks of the James River in Suffolk, Virginia is the garden of Bill and Linda Pinkham.  The color would have been enough, but at every turn, there was excitement from fountains, containers, art, paths, and unusual plants.  From a design perspective, the placement of each was masterful.  One more accent, and it would  be too much.  Take away one, but it would feel like something was missing.

The daylilies were at their peak.  For the Pinkhams, the daylily peak is long lasting with the careful selection of over 500 varieties to give a long and colorful display.

I was not there for a public garden tour or special event where gardeners tidy up for company; I was there with a friend of the Pinkhams.  As I looked around, it occurred to me how immaculate the garden was.  I’m sure the Pinkhams would disagree, but from my perspective, it was ready for the TV crews to come.

The love and care given this garden is truly why it greeted me so…it greeted me with a happy hello.

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The view as you enter the property

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Trough garden

Trough garden

Linda Pinkham working in the garden

Linda Pinkham working in the garden

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Helen Yoest

Gardening With Confidence



  1. Lisa said

    These gardens are absolutely stunning, certainly worthy of garden envy. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Arcadia1 said

    Absolutely breathtaking garden! Thanks you for sharing. So many plants there would be houseplants here! My favorite take away was the lovely flat stones used vertically in such a dramatic way. I may have to steal that idea in a future garden!
    Christina Salwitz
    The Personal Garden Coach

  3. cherry said

    do you think they would mind if I camped out in one of those wonderful chairs ?
    What beautiful gardens all that fabulous stone, bricks and foliage.
    hugs, Cherry

  4. Kerry said

    How beautiful. Great post and wonderful pics. You had me at hello!

  5. Ilona said

    That is really a WOW garden- thank you so much for sharing it with us. I am so inspired now…needed it on this August afternoon.

  6. Get in line Cherry! lol Or I’ll take the seat next to you. It truly is a beautiful garden. H.

  7. You said it Christina! Me too; the way they did the flat stone in the containers – wow! What I don’t show in the photos, are the areas in the beds with stones as big as me laid the same way. Soooo cool. H.

  8. Yes Kerry, I can see how a container gardener would love this garden! And the containers. Inspiration at every turn. H.

  9. Janet said

    OH WOW!!! I love the sweeping vistas inviting you to come and see around the next bend. Just wonderful!

  10. Les said

    This garden looks vaguely familiar to me.

  11. Ya think Les? I was shown this garden by my friend Les Parks of A Tidewater Gardener. What a wonderful day we shared! H.

  12. tina said

    It’s beautiful! I love that Japanese maple and all of the flowers, statuary and textures. Is that Japanese maple curved into an arch? What fun to visit there with Les. Vaguely familiar indeed.

  13. Dave said

    Very, very cool! I love the arrangement of rock. The rest of the garden looks awesome as well. They should be proud of the job they’ve done, I would be if my garden ever came halfway to what they have.

  14. Me too Dave. I would proud to half of this garden as well. In fact I wouldn’t have a problem renaming it from Helen’s Haven to – Halfway to Pinkham! H.

  15. Good question Tina. I don’t recall about the JM. I think it may just be at a transitional point. The Pinkhams were 2 of the 3 horticulturalists who started Smithfield Gardens. As you will recall, I did a posting on the nursery…the nursery where Les works. H.

  16. Randy said

    What a really beautiful garden! Thank you so much for the tour. I wish we could visit more of them but we always seem to be working in our own. LOL

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