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Garden Photo of the Day

Mark’s wonderfully tasteful garden in Connecticut

Today's photos are from Mark Meyer in East Haddam, Connecticut, who says, "I thought I would share some pictures of my garden that I have worked on for nearly 20 years. While the property is less than 1/2 of an acre, I managed to landscape every square foot! It has been the joy of my life but because my health has deteriorated and I am no longer able to take proper care of it we will be moving in about 2 years. At least I will cherish the memories. I had so many pictures that it was difficult to choose. I hope you enjoy them." This is such a wonderful garden, Mark–so relaxed and obviously well-cared-for and loved. I love it!

You guys are starting to send stuff in, and it's FUN! I love opening my inbox each morning. Keep going!! Send in some photos! Email me at GPOD@taunton.com. Thanks!

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  1. PerenniallyCrazy 04/11/2015

    Mark, you have created a classy, beautiful garden with character and whimsy. It is heartbreaking to hear about your health and your plans to move on. I hope you will be sending in many more photos for everyone here to enjoy and perhaps you can tell us your design process and landscaping steps for your garden. I'd love to hear the details, say for example for the first two photos. It is clear to me from these photos that you are a visionary. Looking forward to hearing from you. Please take care.

    1. user-7007505 04/13/2015

      The design process has been rather organic. I call it the "dream method" Ha! Generally I fall asleep picturing one area of the garden and try to visualize the end result. Then comes the parade of plants that flash through my mind that I know will be suitable for the area. Structure comes first and the rest just seems to fall into place.

      Some things just can't be explained. The gate was put in to create a friendly privacy barrier between me and my neighbors. The copper handle has marbles in it so I can detect "intruders". lol. The star was added for fun. Maybe I had a glass of wine in the planning stage.

      I will try to submit some more pictures soon.

      1. fucku34 04/14/2015

        Mark...Your garden is truly beautiful. I can really appreciate all the hard work you have done. I had to leave my beautiful garden in Long Island when we moved to Florida. It broke my heart. Now I can garden year round and I love my tropical paradise garden. Keep submitting photos..you have a real treasure to share. Caryn Rosen

        1. robinmerrittwuchina 04/15/2015

          Ditto on what everyone has shared. Planning on retiring in a year and the garden has been my therapy for years, but never looked as beautiful as this, Love your sense of plants and I understand your dreaming stage of gardening,,I do the same..just need the motivation, muscle, and money to continue..lots of ideas, just need to do it! Your pictures are such an inspiration.

  2. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 04/13/2015

    Sigh, so this is what perfection looks like...it's what many of us aspire to but never quite get there. It's obvious you have a wonderful sense of aesthetics and have given quality attention to the big picture as well as to delightful smaller vignettes. I share Perennially Crazy's request for more pictures at your convenience. I'm so sorry that a health difficulty is taking you away from what has been such a successful relationship between you and your beautiful property.

  3. Jay_Sifford 04/13/2015

    Mark, what a beautifully planned and executed garden. It looks much larger than half an acre. I love your plant selection with regard to form and texture. It's such a privilege to have a close ongoing relationship with a garden. You've been fortunate. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7007505 04/13/2015

      The property is a very odd shape so that may explain why it looks as big as it does. It is your normal rectangular lot but it also has a very long and narrow "L" in the rear. The pictures with the wooden bridge are in this area. I call it the "back 40".

  4. user-7007502 04/13/2015

    You have done an incredible job landscaping your property, I only wish I could step into the pictures to see more! I am very interested in putting in a natural pond on our property and love what you have done. Is it a stream bed connecting to the pond? You have a gift that we all admire and know what joy you have received during these 20 years building your private utopia! Great job.

    1. user-7007505 04/13/2015

      The stream doesn't show up in the pictures but it is about 20' long and is man made. There is a pump in the pond that brings the water to the head of the stream. Good luck with your pond!

  5. NCYarden 04/13/2015

    Mark, this is a very nicely designed garden, and unbelievably tidy. Well done. It certainly has the appeal of a much larger space. The pond is stunning, looks like a great place to sit and unwind. I am pained to hear your health is going to pull you away from such a grand and personal project. Best wishes. And thanks for sharing.

  6. user-4691082 04/13/2015

    Dear Mark, this is a legacy! You have used your time wisely. I have been gardening my property for 25 years but it doesn't look like this! This is a garden of patience and it is a blessing! I thank you for sharing it with us. I will keep you in my prayers.

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/13/2015

    I can't really add much to the wonderful comments that have been posted so far. Timeless and tasteful are definitely choice words to describe your personal haven. My hope and prayer is that your life will continue to be full of things that bring you joy after you have moved!

  8. wittyone 04/13/2015

    This was obviously a labor of love. It is so calm and peaceful looking. Everything in it's own special well-thought-out place. I love the gate with the star---the height and width are so unexpected and who could not love the otters.

  9. lynn_felici_gallant 04/13/2015

    Every square inch -- never mind square foot -- is beautiful! I love your attention to detail and maintenance. Enjoy every moment.

  10. greengenes 04/13/2015

    Well done, Mark! Iam glad you have cherished memories to take with you! Twenty years holds a lot of fun and learning experiences. I do hope you get well and will have a place to dig a little even if it is in pots! You have really blessed us with seeing your life's work, your desires and fulfillments. I am happy for you to have been able to do all of this! Being able to create in a garden is one of the best things we have been given to enjoy! Take care and thanks so much!

  11. Annek 04/13/2015

    Perfection, lovely perfection. One can see all the love and effort you put into your home and gardens. Your photos are spectacular and as I swooned and giggled (got carrots) I was struck by the fascination and warmth a loved garden exudes. I am betting that wherever you move and however downsized, you will continue to care the same way.

    1. user-7007505 04/13/2015

      The rabbits holding the sign came with the property. They are cast iron and have a slot in their feet to slide in a sign. btw- I've only planted carrots once. lol.

      1. Annek 04/13/2015

        Ha! ah well, the stone bunnies don't need to eat too many carrots to keep their strength

  12. user-7007503 04/13/2015

    wow! it's amazing...it looks magical to me!

  13. Sheila_Schultz 04/13/2015

    Mark, you have touched many hearts today. Your wonderful gardens and storybook home quietly whisper to everyone that sees them that they are well loved and cared for. You are a very lucky man to be surrounded by such beauty.

  14. hontell 04/13/2015

    Mark, I love the pond, the stream, the otters, ahh, what's not to love about everything you have shown us. Thank you for the pictures. H

  15. User avater
    HelloFromMD 04/13/2015

    Hi Mark, a glorious garden! I would like to know your top 10 plants. I love your plant choices with the classic Japenese maples and dwarf conifers all so artfully displayed. What a great designer you are with such a strong sense of form. Are you an artist? I hope your health improves and possibly you can get help in the garden so you don't have to move. I am in my sixties and still adding shrubs and roses, but my house is not suitable for being older with steep staircases. So many hard choices down the road. Take care.

    1. user-7007505 04/13/2015

      I honestly find it too difficult to list my top 10 but I will mention one that would definitely be on that list.

      Persicaria affinis 'Dimity' "Fleece Flower".

      It is the ground cover that is in the photo with my feet as well as the photo with the waterfall (blooming in pink). It is very short with thick leathery leaves and blooms sporadically during the summer. I like it most for it's ability to keep the weeds at bay. My dogs used to love it too and would revel in lying on "their" "carpet".

      I bought one small pot of it at a local garden center years ago and never have seen one since.

      I do love my clematis, ligularia, climing hydrangeas, umbrella pine, and the japanese maple near the pond just to name a few.

  16. bsavage 04/13/2015

    Nark, what a beautiful and inspiring garden. I absolutely love your pond, and your Japanese maples, and every tiny detail! Wishing you improved health and more joy in your gardens!

  17. terieLR 04/13/2015

    I love every square inch of your design and it clearly loves you back! It certainly will be difficult to pass on but we trust you will share your garden-love with others. Take care of you, Mark.

  18. GrannyMay 04/13/2015

    Mark, your half-acre is a beautifully designed work of art, from the vistas to the close-up details.... even the well-worn garden clogs belong! That certainly has been a lot of labour but definitely a labour of love! There has to be enormous satisfaction when you look around at what you have created. And yes, painful to leave.

    1. user-7007505 04/13/2015

      Thanks for noticing my clogs. I get affectionately teased at times, but hey, I love them!

      1. GrannyMay 04/13/2015

        Comfortable footwear is vital! I wish I had kept all the clogs and boots that I have worn to bits during all my years of gardening - they would make quite a statement! I might keep the latest ones and use them as succulent containers. They already have enough holes for good drainage.

        1. user-7007395 04/13/2015

          Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  19. arthurb3 04/13/2015


  20. user-7007505 04/13/2015

    I am overwhelmed by all of your kind words! Thank you! And yes, where ever I end up I hope to have at least a small area to dig my fingers into the soil. Thankfully there is no known cure for the gardening bug.

  21. VikkiVA 04/13/2015

    Oh my goodness how stunning your garden is! Thank you, thank you for sharing the beauty of your talent and hard work. When I came to the snow picture I took a deep breath - at first I thought that tree was in full bloom with a bazillion flowers! Vikki in VA

    1. user-7007505 04/13/2015

      Ha! It actually does look kind of like that when it blooms. It is a white Magnolia and was planted in 1967 as a sapling. (I have an old photo)

  22. user-7007506 04/13/2015

    Mark I sold my small block in Adelaide South Australia and have bought 7 acres I love gardens planted lots trees and love the birds I don't need antidepressents

  23. GrannyCC 04/13/2015

    Mark you have created a wonderful garden over the years. What a legacy you are leaving to the next owner and your community. We all have to think of moving but hopefully we can find a smaller plot of land to keep us going because gardening is wonderful therapy.
    I love all your rock work and that pond is amazing such a peaceful spot. You have a good eye for shapes and design using the different evergreens.

  24. Schatzi 04/13/2015

    Beautiful, serene, peaceful...love the sea otters!

  25. user-7007327 04/13/2015

    Mark, you are a supreme master gardener. There is not one single thing I do not love in your gardens. The last picture says it all. Happiness to you, Mark.

  26. Denisey 04/13/2015


  27. Meelianthus 04/13/2015

    Goodmorning Mark ~ A labor of love is always such a joy to see. It makes you want to look at the photos over and over again. Your entire property looks beautiful and so peaceful. The snow pic is exquisite! I hope for you that you will be able to continue with your passion in some manner, if even small, as I'm sure you will miss your wonderful creation. Thanks for sharing your gardens.

  28. dianefalk 04/13/2015

    That is one hell of a 1/2 acre! Gorgeous! I'm from Connecticut, miss it, and live on the West Coast...in Washington. We've lived here for almost 4 years, and even though the bones of the landscaping are in, the flesh is tough to see. I'm very impressed with your efforts....it's beautiful!

  29. user-7007507 04/13/2015

    Absolutely stunning! So sorry you have to give it up!

  30. Jeff Goodearth 04/13/2015

    this is such a beautiful garden you have created, i love every square inch of it and the house as well. it's just perfect and i covet that mossy sea otter! i can only dream of every having everything here at home so well groomed and vibrantly healthy

  31. wGardens 04/13/2015

    NOTHING short of Exquisite! You have created a masterpiece. I am sure that your next endeavor will be lovely as well, even though on a much smaller scale. Thank you for sharing. So enjoyable to admire your garden... and it certainly is inspirational as well.

  32. user-7007508 04/14/2015

    so cozy

  33. mariettasjeffcoat 04/14/2015


  34. maxinemitchell 04/14/2015

    Absolutely stunning, Mark! Even though you're moving to a smaller garden, please consider joining garden clubs or organizations that can benefit from your wonderful knowledge and expertise. There are plenty of budding gardeners who need help and you're just the guy to offer it. You won't regret it and they'll be eternally grateful. Good luck to you and God speed!

  35. nannkoehrsen 04/14/2015

    Wow! I am in love with your gorgeous garden! Wish I could come and play and learn from you. You are my inspiration.

  36. user-7007140 04/14/2015

    Your whole property is like something in a wonderful picture book! Where are the fairies and handy elves? It is all captivating and I shall spend hours and hours dreaming,analyzing and admiring it all.
    Your comment about the gardening bug cheered me up, for I too, have to move on and to know someone with your talent is not giving up on gardening is just great. I told my children that if I had to make do with a window ledge then I would start to learn about and grow orchids! Something out there needs us?
    Please do seriously consider joining a garden club and also giving talks to other gardeners on what you have learned and practiced over the years. You are very valuwble

  37. user-7007140 04/14/2015

    Oops! You are very valuable to a lot of very keen gardeners.

  38. joycedaffodilhill 01/11/2016

    Missed seeing this last year and just glimpsed it today. We are in a similar situation, gardening in one spot for 30 years and suddenly, health does not cooperate. Your selection of plants, shrubs and trees delightful. Your pond and retaining wall around a water spillway is very restful. Wherever you go, hope you have a small plot to plant and dig in periodically. You will leave a wonderful legacy for the future.

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