Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden That’s Gone to the Dogs

By: Kim Charles

Michael Stumpf has discovered many creative ways to embrace dogs in the garden. 

"I'm from New Berlin, Wisconsin. My challenge is not soils or pests or water, but four dogs of my own and a continuous stream of fosters. How to meet that threat? Flagstone paths, strategically placed fences, dense plants, dog-safe plants, and large swaths of native grasses and meadows."

Have a garden you'd like to share? Email 5-10 high-resolution photos (there is no need to reduce photo sizing before sending–simply point, shoot and send the photos our way) and a brief story about your garden to [email protected]. Please include where you are located!

Sending photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don't have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

Follow us: @finegardening on Twitter | FineGardeningMagazine on Facebook | @finegardening on Instagram


View Comments


  1. user-7007498 09/29/2017

    Good morning, Michael. Beautiful dogs. Could you identify what kinds they are? Sounds like quite the challenge.

    Have a great weekend, fellow GPODers. I was at Chanticleer last weekend. Here are a few photos.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 09/29/2017

      G'day Kev. - Interesting history to Chanticleer. Thanks for sharing. Holidays? Cheers from Oz

      1. user-7007498 09/29/2017

        Hi, Frank. Chanticleer is a must see garden. It is the inspiration garden for me. About 100 minutes to get to for me. Wish it was closer.

        How is spring in Oz?

        1. frankgreenhalgh 09/29/2017

          Hi Kev. - Spring has been dry, and northern parts of Oz have experienced record high temperatures for September, and very early bush/wild fires. However, plants are flowering nicely and life is good. Cheers mate

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 09/29/2017

            Oh, wow Frank, those are some killer gorgeous blooms! What are the orangey red ones in the bouquet? I can't even begin to make a guess.

          2. frankgreenhalgh 09/29/2017

            Hi Michaele - The orange are Grevillea flowers (the birds love them - lots of nectar) and the purple and white ones are waxflowers (Chamelaucium - in the myrtle family; make good cut-flowers). Cheers, Frank

          3. User avater
            meander_michaele 09/29/2017

            Grevillea flowers...totally unfamiliar to me. Think I need to go off and do some reading about them. Thanks for the identification. The bouquet is stunning.

          4. frankgreenhalgh 09/29/2017

            Michaele - Grevillea spp. are in the Proteaceae family (including Aussie native plants such as Banksia and Macadamia). They developed after Australia separated from South Africa and Antarctica (Gondwana land). South African members of the family include Protea, Leucadendron and Leucospermum species. All members have small bunches of roots (proteoid roots) to increase the surface area and make the plants more efficient at extracting nutrients from infertile soils - especially soils low in phosphorus (like most Aussie soils).

          5. User avater
            LindaonWhidbey 09/29/2017

            Thanks for the photos and the ID, Frank. We just planted two grevillea and one is supposed to have orange blossoms. Now I can't wait:)

          6. frankgreenhalgh 09/29/2017

            Hope they grow well for you, Linda. There is a wide range of Grevillea species e.g. Grevillea robusta is a large tree. Cheers

          7. user-6536305 09/29/2017

            That is an awesome flower arrangement! I have never seen such odd (Grevillea) and beautiful flowers before. What is the name of the first photos - the pink flower with a bee on it? (hibiscus?) Thanks for sharing Frank!

          8. frankgreenhalgh 09/29/2017

            It's a peony rose, Lilian. Original tuber came from Germany to Oz in mid 19th century.

          9. user-7008735 09/29/2017

            That's gorgeous, Frank!

          10. schatzi 09/29/2017

            gorgeous, Frank.

          11. user-7007498 09/29/2017

            I love that container of flowers.

          12. tennisluv 09/29/2017

            Gorgeous peony rose and bouquet.

          13. Maggieat11 09/29/2017

            Great photos, Frank! That bouquet is stunning!

        2. user-6536305 09/29/2017

          Wow 100 minutes? What kind of unit is that Kevin? I am able to convert it to hour and minutes thanks for math 8!

    2. Sunshine111 09/29/2017

      Thanks for sharing the photos Kevin. Autumn crocus in the lawn... that is a new one on me. Every time mine come up I think about combining it with heuchera.

      1. user-7007498 09/29/2017

        I agree. I have planted it among carex and it looks cool. I also have it around the base of a crape myrtle which provides a nice contrast with the bark.

    3. User avater
      meander_michaele 09/29/2017

      Without a doubt, Kevin, I heartily agree that Chanticleer is a must see garden. I was not aware of it until a few years ago when a very delightful older lady came out to our place to see some features of the barn my husband designed. She asked if she could also do a walk about since she saw we were heavily into gardening. Of course, we said yes and, in the course of conversation, she asked if we had ever toured Chanticleer. She shared that it was her family home and where she grew up. And now she is on the board of directors and loves that it has evolved to become such a stunning public garden. We definitely made a point to visit the next time we were up in the Philly area. It took my breath many wonderfully creative ideas. Lucky you to live close enough to visit it once or twice a year.

      1. user-7007498 09/29/2017

        Hi Michaele. Glad you could see Chanticleer. They have many spring ephemerals, so late April is also a magical time. I actual go there about 5 times a year, anytime I need to go to the Philly area.

    4. User avater
      LindaonWhidbey 09/29/2017

      Thanks for the photos, Kevin. Chanticleer looks like an interesting garden. Love the way you captured the light in that first photo.

      1. user-7008735 09/29/2017

        Me, too, Linda! Thanks for sharing, Kevin.

      2. user-7007498 09/29/2017

        Thanks. I only had my phone that day, but the picture came out great.

    5. user-6536305 09/29/2017

      Just Googled Chanticleer Garden. Thanks for the photos Kevin.

      1. user-7007498 09/29/2017

        It’s a must see garden if you get out East.

    6. tennisluv 09/29/2017

      On my list of gardens to visit. Love that they supply a list of the plants in each of the gardens on their website.

      1. user-7007498 09/29/2017

        Chanticleer is my inspiration garden. I get there as often as I can. Definitely should be on everyones bucket list. Hope you get there someday, Sonya.

    7. Maggieat11 09/29/2017

      I have been wanting to get there for years now... maybe NEXT year! And, another road trip for next Spring... Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT! Heard it is fab!

      1. user-7007498 09/30/2017

        That would be awesome, Margaret. If you get to go. let me know, maybe we can have a get together with a few other local GPODers.

        I have wanted to go to Broken Arrow Nursery myself. About a 5 hour drive. Maybe some day.

  2. frankgreenhalgh 09/29/2017

    Hello Michael - Nice strategy and lovely meadows. OK where do the dogs sleep? Cheers from Oz - woof woof!

  3. Sunshine111 09/29/2017

    It's great that you can combine two separate loves so well! Bravo ?

  4. anabowers 09/29/2017

    Your garden meadow looks like a joy to me! Thanks so much for sharing your two passions!

  5. cheryl_c 09/29/2017

    Your dense native stands of flowers and grasses are inspiring, and an innovative way to keep dogs out. I wonder how you handle fall and winter chores - do you have to cut that to the ground at some point, or does your winter snow do an adequate job of clearing. Thanks for your happy pictures of sweet dogs and beautiful tough flowers.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/29/2017

    It's so great that you didn't force yourself to make a choice between your love of gardening and love of dogs. It's definitely god's work that you are doing that you are a willing and welcoming foster home for additional dogs besides your own 4. I really like your flagstone path in the first picture and how you have edged it in rocks of different sized and shapes...makes it very interesting.

  7. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 09/29/2017

    Hi Michael in WI, you have such a cheerful looking garden and dogs and you've made it a safe place for them. Where we garden, there are so many deer that we have cages around many of our plants, but it works and they're fun to make. It just makes our garden look like a plant zoo, but at least we'll be ready when we do get a dog.

    1. user-6536305 09/29/2017

      Dogs are great at chasing other creatures out of the garden. When Holly was alive, we had no mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, birds and neighborhood cats in my garden. The year she died, 70% of my tulips got dug up and eaten by some creatures (was planted deep.) subsequent year, tulips were all gone. We don't have deer in the area and would image dogs would chasing them out of gardens.

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 09/30/2017

        Hi Lilian, your dog was beautiful and I know how much you must miss her. We have had two fluffy dogs like yours in the past, a Samoyed and a Kesshound and they were great companions. We often think of getting another but we travel a lot these days and it seems unfair to a dog unless you can take them along. That day may come.

        1. user-6536305 09/30/2017

          Thanks for your commends Linda. Dogs are truly man's best friend but parting is very difficult.

  8. wittyone 09/29/2017

    What a wonderful solution. It looks as though it's working-----all those beautiful plants and happy dogs. A great combination

  9. sheila_schultz 09/29/2017

    Michael, you have done a fabulous job of working around the challenges of having dogs and lovely gardens, too. It's not easily done, especially with 4 dogs of your own plus fosters! The fencing surrounding the meadow gardens, without a doubt, has to have saved you the daily aggravation of repairing the damage to your beautiful flowers and your pups the constant frustration of getting into trouble when all they want to do is stop and chomp the blossoms! Your dogs are very lucky to live in such a loving sanctuary, and bless you for fostering!

  10. user-6536305 09/29/2017

    Your bosses look great in the garden! They are all so handsome and beautiful so is your garden Michael! My dog Holly used to dig a hole in one of my flower beds and took a siesta there and it was her spot ever since and her resting place. What is the size of your garden?
    Thanks for sharing!

  11. user-6536305 09/29/2017

    Here was Holly sleeping in the bed and a portrait of her. Holly, we all miss you very much!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 09/29/2017

      You have some nice memories, Lilian

    2. user-4691082 09/29/2017

      I'm sorry for your loss, Lillian. What kind of dog is Holly? She is beautiful.

      1. user-6536305 09/30/2017

        She is a schipperke. Thanks for your comments Rhonda!

  12. grannieannie1 09/29/2017

    Michael, the dogs, flowers, and meadow all look happy and cheery! You've found a perfect solution for them while serving nectar to the pollinators. The flagstone path is very pretty also, and good fencing seems to solve a lot of critter problems. We're improving ours due to groundhogs burrowing under. Thank you for posting an unusual group of photos.

  13. user-7008735 09/29/2017

    I think the handsome black dog in the last photo is saying, "Whadda ya mean, I can't go in there? C'mon, please?" You've worked out a good system to have a bright and cheerful garden as well as happy four-legged friends, Michael.

  14. schatzi 09/29/2017

    Beautiful rocks and flowers - good planning, and the dogs aren't bad either!

  15. Cenepk10 09/29/2017

    Young dogs are the challenge- older dogs are welcome companions:). Lovely garden & fence

  16. user-4691082 09/29/2017

    Hi Michael,
    God bless you for taking in strays! You have come up with some practical ways to "have your cake and eat it too"! There is something so peaceful about a meadow. I love phlox! I can almost smell it! How much property do you garden?

  17. tennisluv 09/29/2017

    What a great way to have your cake and eat it too (that is dogs and garden). It looks like you all get to enjoy the beauty you have created. Aren't 'rescued' pets the best. Have had both dogs and cats and will always do rescues. Your stone paths are really nice and the plant combination in the last photo are delightful. Thanks!

  18. Maggieat11 09/29/2017

    Looks like a great garden for pollinators, too! Like all your rock work! Thanks for sharing!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest