Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden Reborn

Photos and a video of a garden recreated after near total destruction.

The garden restored today, looking beautiful.

Anne Engelking Wellman shared photos – and a video! – of how she rebuilt her garden after it was destroyed by construction. She says,

“We’re in Newark, Delaware and have had a cottage garden for some years which has been shared on Fine Gardening. Two years ago we had to have that garden almost totally destroyed for a septic drainage field revision. We lost a tree, evergreens, roses, part of one pond was damaged, and the soil was completely ruined. By suggesting a change in the configuration of the underground pipes, we were able to save the grape arbor and a holly tree.

I like to record progress with garden photos and videos. After quite a bit of work done by my husband and me to repair the renovation mess, we now have much less lawn and many more flowers to enjoy.”

The mess in the middle of construction.

To see the whole transformation, check out Anne’s video below or click here:



Anne has picked some wonderful varieties to attract pollinators to her garden. To learn what plants help to attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators – check out these articles:

Sweetly Scented Annuals

Hummingbird Favorites

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View Comments


  1. user-7017435 03/09/2018

    Good morning Grannie Annie, Your new cottage garden reborn from the chaos is amazing. Your post this morning is a real treat for the eyes & the music is for the ears. This post this morning is inspirational for any gardener lucky enough to see it. Thank you & good luck, Joe

  2. mainer59 03/09/2018

    What a wonderful video! It reminded me that I had seen something like it before, and, sure enough, I was able to enjoy your previous garden video, too. This new garden seems to be even more lush and beautiful! One plant comment: anchusa dropmore is perennial (not biennial) for me. You should be able to enjoy it every year.

    1. grannieannie1 03/09/2018

      It looks like our Dropmore anchusa rotted out, but there seems to be a furry-leafed seedling nearby-- which might be a weed-- but I'm hoping it is a Dropmore. We loved that intense blue. Lucky you that yours is perennial!

  3. Vezpasia 03/09/2018

    Congratulations to you and your husband, what a beautiful rebirth, great idea to share with a video. I love all your perennials, very beautiful and so many butterflies, it’s inspirational to say the least! We are building a completely new garden having moved from a much larger one, can’t wait to see it bloom this spring, which will be its second year! I too am called GrannyAnny at times!

    1. grannieannie1 03/09/2018

      From one GrannyAnnie to Another GrannyAnny, so you know the work involved in starting over. After the initial shock of change, it is rather exciting to go out each morning to see what might survive to be part of the new garden. I hope your second year is full of great surprises!

  4. Maggieat11 03/09/2018

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! Thank you so much for sharing. Congratulations on your accomplishments.. and I thank Peter for his music as well!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/09/2018

    I just cannot imagine the pain of the destruction must have caused. But oh my what a wonderful job you have done on the reconstruction.

  6. User avater
    PKKing 03/09/2018

    What a lovely way to start the day. Lovely garden, lovely video and music, lovely story. Thanks you.

  7. Sunshine111 03/09/2018

    Good morning Anne! It was so lovely to see your heart and soul creation. I was so impressed with all of the effort that went into re-creating your garden masterpiece. And then to turn it into such an enchanting video! Thank you for sharing your garden of Eden with all of us. We are so blessed.

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/09/2018

    What a beautiful way to start the day...lost in mesmerizing garden scenes and magical musical. Thank you for this, Anne. I love the sentiment of philosophy shared towards the end...that is how we gardeners roll, isn't it? Always doing our best to make lemonade out of lemons. Your new garden seems wonderfully lush and alive after only 2 years. Your abundance of flowers is inspiring. Your grandson plays beautifully and must be such a blessing in your life.

  9. user-6945477 03/09/2018

    Beautiful transformation, gardens and piano accompaniment by your grandson. So inspiring! Thank you for sharing in this way.

  10. Chellemp 03/09/2018

    So beautiful and inspiring, Anne! It renews my spirit in creating a peaceful environment. Must keep planting! And as others have said, what a blessing to have a talented grandson to play your accompaniment and indeed, all of your grandchildren must revel in your garden. It is a wonderland.

  11. User avater
    pattyeckels 03/09/2018

    You have to be the most dedicated gardeners I have ever seen. There are no words to describe it. Thank you

  12. VikkiVA 03/09/2018

    Loved your video Annie and I can so appreciate all the hard work involved in this garden rebirth. What a talented grandson you have! Blessings, Vikki in VA

  13. wildthyme 03/09/2018

    Very inspirational! It must have been a very hard process to go through, but the end result is beautiful.

  14. Chris_N 03/09/2018

    Hi Annie. Love your garden. It's always interesting to see a garden being (re)built. I, too, had to go back and find your earlier videos. Much wonderful wildlife, although my favorite is the box turtle. Thanks for sharing.

    1. grannieannie1 03/09/2018

      Ah, that box turtle! They are endangered in Delaware so we are happy to see them show up even though they burrow into plantings.

  15. user-7003263 03/09/2018

    The garden you and hour husband have created, rising from the dust of destruction, is amazing. Loved that you video'd the garden and accompanied it with your grandson's classical piano solos. Just beautiful, all of it, and just the way to start a cold, not yet spring, morning. Thank you for sharing your grand adventure.

    1. grannieannie1 03/09/2018

      Interesting that you called it a "grand adventure." At the start the destruction was a horror, but over the months it did actually become an adventure and one we'll never forget!

  16. linnyg. 03/09/2018

    I love this video - so much so that I am putting it up on the big screen for my teens at school. BTW I'm a big fan of Debussy ~ your musical selections are beautiful.

    1. grannieannie1 03/09/2018

      Oh my! I'm flattered. Is it for biology class?

  17. user-7020789 03/09/2018

    Such a beautiful garden, and a great inspiration too. God bless you both for the energy I know you spent rebuilding your space. I’ve purchased a house with the standard grass yard, and with spring approaching I’m preparing to transform it. I’m also in zone 6 (new to me) and happy to see all your fantastic blooms. I wonder how you water your space. Rain birds? Drip? Or just let it rain? I’m in high desert so I’ll have to water. Love your garden! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. grannieannie1 03/09/2018

      Congratulations on your new house and yard! I hope you have a successful growing season as you learn about Zone 6. About watering: I've tried to plant what doesn't need watering (coneflowers, yarrow, daisy, zinnia, marigold, alyssum, echinacea, etc.) But I also like roses and some other plants that I'll occasionally water with a hose. The vegetable garden also sometimes gets watered, but it is also mulched a bit. Delaware usually has reasonable rainfall and if the soil has sufficient organic matter to stay moist that helps avoid watering. Unfortunately the septic system revision put the bad clay subsoil on top so I'm adding coir or peat as I plant new things trying to loosen it up. I bought a mini-drip system for the salad raised beds on our old patio but then never got around to installing it due to traveling. That's why those beds looked rather bare and also some animals ate things. Considering they aren't very deep we still had good looseleaf lettuce and a few herbs and flowers. One thing I've learned is to experiment, even when the directions say "likes moist soil." For years I didn't grow Cardinal Flowers because I'd read they needed consistently moist soil. Then I saw some growing for a neighbor, and she gave me a plant. They've now spread all over our back yard which isn't consistently moist! And the hummingbirds love them! However if you are in high desert it sounds like you might have less work and anxiety with some type of drip system, especially if you travel.

  18. foxglove12 03/09/2018

    All I can say Anne, is that you set the bar very high. OMG! I want to watch this over and over again, and will. More later once I've had me fill. So beautiful.

  19. User avater
    Vel Rhodes 03/10/2018

    How beautiful! Love the turtle! Is the Cypress vine an annual for you?

    1. grannieannie1 03/10/2018

      Yes, Cypress Vine is annual here z 6b Delaware. I think I read it is an invasive problem in warmer climates like TX? We grew them the previous year amongst pole beans and a couple did reseed themselves in that area but I collected the seeds for the new garden. they like some fertility so they had a shot of liquid fertilizer early on. I like the feathery foliage which was a beautiful yellow green with the sun shining through it.

  20. deeinde 03/17/2018

    Grannieannie, your new gardens are just as beautiful as the old! You are an inspiration to us all with your colors and textures. Especially to me! Tell me, do you start your annuals inside or outside?

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