Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden in Peachtree City, Georgia

A water feature is the focal point of this garden

Today we’re visiting Bonnie Helander’s garden.

Hello! I live in Peachtree City, Georgia, and have been gardening here since 2004. My pond and waterfall form the focal point of the back garden. The view attached of the pond is what my husband and I see from our back deck. My husband, Dan, has saved and repaired vintage chairs and other seating, and we painted the mismatched chairs in salmon, yellow, or purple to add a punch of color in the garden. Dan also built the garden shed in the back. We do all our own gardening, and while this is all-consuming, it is truly a labor of love. As the Chinese proverb says, “Life begins the day you start a garden.”

backyard pondThe pond and waterfall in the spring of 2019. What a magnificent focal point for the garden.

garden arborThe garden arbor is covered with star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides, Zones 8–10), which is both beautiful and wonderfully fragrant.

chameleon plantGarden sculptures in a sea of lush greenery. The white flowers are from chameleon plant (Houttuynia cordata, Zones 4–10). Be warned that this plant can spread very aggressively, so plant with caution.

Japanese mapleA beautiful Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9)

garden chairsVintage, mismatched chairs painted bright colors add a cheerful note to this sitting area.

garden shedThe beautiful shed built by Bonnie’s husband, Dan. “Shed” feels like the wrong word for this beautiful little building! I wish my shed looked this good. Maybe I can borrow Dan.

garden pathwayThe pathway through the upper garden, lined with brightly painted chairs, leads to the shed.


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View Comments


  1. nwphillygardener 02/03/2020

    Thanks you for sharing your garden with it's lovely mature and relaxed feel. In the mid-Atlantic, experienced gardeners are furious that we still see Houttuynia (Chameleon Plant) being sold in garden retailers including big box stores like Home Depot. Pretty as it is, as you can see in Barbara's image, this creeping ground cover (often sold as a pond plant) is truly a menace since it cannot be fully removed once its invasive roots get into the soil. No matter how much effort you expend to eliminate it, root fibers left in the ground will regenerate the plant ….even if it takes a year or two. That said, I've been to an authentic Vietnamese restaurant that served a bit of its pungent smelling leaves (a non variegated form) as an herb to tear into a filled crispy crepe appetizer called Banh Xeo.

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      Yes you are right about the chameleon plant! I pull it up every year by roots and it comes back in this bed but it is contained to this bed. Would not plant it, though it is pretty.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/03/2020

    The flowers are all so lovely but those chairs & that little shed are out of this world.

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      Thank you! My husband will be so pleased.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/03/2020

    Hi, Bonnie, your garden areas are definitely magical from every vantage point and kudos to your husband for his wonderful contributions. The photo with the lush red leafed Japanese maple is quite breathtaking...that tree is what we all hope our newly purchased spindly trunked ones will grow into...what a stunner.

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      Thank you so much! Japanese maples are my favorite. I am sure yours will be stunning as well.

  4. Musette1 02/03/2020

    your garden is gorgeous and I love how you've integrated it into the woods beyond, giving it a fairytale feel (the 'shed' is beautifully designed and looks like a woodland cottage). That Japanese maple (which I presume is at the front of your house?) made me gasp!, it's so gorgeous! Love the underplanting, as well. The whole thing is gorgeous, from the front to the back!

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes Japanese maple is in the front of my house and is a brilliant red in spring and vivid burgundy in fall.

  5. Maggieat11 02/03/2020

    Swoon! Oh, my, your gardens are absolutely fabulous. Love everything you both have done. And the stone steps are gorgeous. Really love all the mature trees that you have been blessed with as well. What a special place you have. Thank you for sharing.

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      Thank you so much for your kind words. So appreciate!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 02/03/2020

    That is the most gorgeous, natural looking water feature, just perfect.
    And I've seen a million photos of Japanese Maples, but never such a perfect specimen as yours, it really made me stop and look at that photo.
    Such a cool idea to have the cheerfully painted and restored garden chairs, even bright and cheerful on an overcast day.
    Wow, Star Jasmine on the my zone 6b I have to settle for Honeysuckle on my arch, poor me LOL!

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      I so appreciate your kind remarks! We love our water feature and painting the chairs was an idea we saw at Seaside in Florida.

  7. JohnsonofMillCreek 02/03/2020

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden. It was a wonderful "stroll" on a wintery day....and especially loved the path up to the arbor. And I can almost smell that Star Jasmine. I grow a Jasmine Officinale here in the Seattle, WA area and every summer I revel in the fragrance.

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      Thank you so much! Glad you can grow a fragrant jasmine.

  8. btucker9675 02/03/2020

    Everything about your garden is perfection with exactly the right touch of whimsy! You and your husband are artists in every sense of the word.

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      I am overwhelmed by all the kind comments. Thank you so much!

  9. [email protected] 02/03/2020

    Love love love it! Makes me want to get my new-ish shed finally trimmed out. And some of those old chairs and benches painted, as well. Really, your garden has truly inspired me today ( as I look out at a dusting of snow- which used to be a rarity, but is becoming more common here, outside of Seattle). Thanks for sharing.

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      Love the splash of color of the chairs and can’t live without our shed! Thank you.

  10. RB2T 02/03/2020

    Hello, the garden is lovely. I have never seen a picture of such a mature Japanese Maple. It is beautiful. I'm in zone 3 and we can't grow them here. Japanese Maples and David Austin roses are two things I would love to have in my garden and can't.

    1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

      You will enjoy a splash of color with painted chairs and I Don’t know how we ever gardened without our shed! Thank you!

      1. BonnieFH 02/03/2020

        Oops I meant to say that my Japanese maples are my favorite plants in the garden. Thank you!

  11. Sasha_HMS 02/03/2020

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  12. carolineyoungwilliams 02/04/2020

    Bonnie, your garden is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I love your pond; it was a WOW focal point for me as well as the Japanese maples. Of course, I love the wooded area reminded me of my childhood. Taking a tour of all this beauty really make you want to sit a spell, reflect on all of the things that bring you joy, and count your blessings. Thank you so much for sharing. Be Blessed.

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