Garden Photo of the Day

A Minnesota Garden Makeover

By: Kim Charles

Joanna VonBergen shows us the progression of her gardens, recently planted at her NEW home in Minnesota.

"My former gardens were featured a few years ago here.  We have since moved (but still in Minnesota) and I'm basically starting over in the gardening arena. Since we mostly see gardens at their best on GPOD, I thought it would be fun to see a makeover."

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Here's how this tiered bed looked when we moved in at the end of last summer.
I started in right away digging out weeds, ditch lilies, weeds, lily of the valley, weeds – you get the picture. This next picture shows some progress. Who knew there were those lovely field stones mixed in the mess. I love rocks almost as much as I love flowers, so this spurred me on.  
Since it's the first year for most of the plants, it will be fun to watch them fill in over the next few years. I'm not completely happy with the placement of some plants, so I'm sure I will be moving things around striving for perfection as we gardeners do.If you're interested in seeing more of my garden makeovers and other fun gardening stuff, stop by my blog, Gingham Gardens. 

View Comments


  1. mjensen 08/11/2017


    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you. Small gardens can be very gratifying too.

  2. user-3565112 08/11/2017

    Good morning, Congratulations on your new home & gardens. It looks like you are off to a running start in a brand new garden marathon. I checked out your blog earlier this morning & wondering whether you were able to bring your lilies .
    Good luck, Joe

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Hello Joe - I did move about 50 plants, most of which were daylilies. I have started over with lilies, because I just can't garden without them. Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by the blog.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/11/2017

    Wow! This will be exciting to see it all grow. Please keep us updated.

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/11/2017

    Hi, Joanna, based on your previous gpod submission and your blog, it's safe to say that this new garden of yours is in the best of hands and will only get better and better. It had to feel so good to "untangle" and pull out the mass of sprawling stuff growing in the area featured today. Now you have plants of your choice and can tweak and rearrange as you please. Good luck with everything.

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you so much! "Untangle" is a great description for the mess I was dealing with.

  5. Sunshine111 08/11/2017

    Wow... so much work! It's so interesting to see a transition like this. Often we don't remember to document our progress. And it's hard to appreciate the finished product when you don't have a before picture as a reminder. Great job!

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you, Lily. I always love reading your comments here on GPOD. You're such an encouragement to gardeners.

  6. wittyone 08/11/2017

    Oh, the joys of transforming a weedy corner into something worth looking at. A lot of work, but oh the satisfaction of taking things in hand and really doing something with them. What luck to find all those beautiful edging stones in that weed patch. I agree there is just something about stones that calls out to a gardener to put them in just the right place.

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      I'm happy you share my love for rocks!

  7. Luvfall 08/11/2017

    Joanna, I feel your pain. I'm currently working on a similar project in my son's yard - but add ostrich ferns and black walnuts. I hope to have an end product ( is there such a thing for a gardener?) as lovely as yours.

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thanks. The end result(s) will be worth the pain.

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/11/2017

    It's great fun to see the process. So often we forget to take 'before' photos and it's really inspirational to what a bit of vision, hardwork and mother nature can do. Glad that Kim added the link to the old post. It's was nice reminder of the coole use of the ladder and the staggered clay pots.

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thanks a bunch, Tim. It's very gratifying to receive such fine compliments from you.

  9. tennisluv 08/11/2017

    Joanna, congratulations on your new home closer to the 'baby grand'. Isn't it fun to start a new garden with a clean slate, just do whatever you want and be picky about the plants you are going to use! I am in the process of doing the same and may have to send in a few before and new after pics myself. I am sure this new garden will be as floriferous and colorful as your previous one (Like Joe, I took a stroll thru your Gingham Garden blog before commenting.). Can't wait to see pictures of your evolving Eden. Thanks for sharing.

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you, Sonya and thanks for stopping by the blog. It will be a few years until it's like I want it, but the work of transforming the yard is so gratifying.

  10. cynthiamccain 08/11/2017

    What a lot of work, Joanna! Congratulations on a job well done. What is the tree in the corner that you decided to keep?

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you, Cynthia. The tree so far is a mystery, but I think it's a paperbark maple.

  11. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 08/11/2017

    Joanna, what fun to see the before and after of your hard rewarding work. When we did this 5 years ago, we were too exhausted to do a very good job of documenting our work and regret it now. Enjoy your new garden and keep us posted on the process. I'll also be checking out your blog.

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you, Linda. I wish I would have taken more before pictures of other areas in the yard.

  12. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

    Thank you, Diane. I'm happy you used the word "play" to describe gardening. Even though it's definitely hard labor, it is so fun. And, yes, the end result is very exhilarating.

  13. user-6536305 08/11/2017

    Great work in one year and it is taking the stage! Could not wait to see it next year! Also viewed your previous garden and it is a beauty! The hardest thing of moving is to leave your garden behind and hope the current owner taking care and enjoying it as much as you do. Love your Blog. You are a true artist. Thanks for sharing Joanna!

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you, Lillian. You always offer such encouragement in your comments.

  14. greengenes 08/11/2017

    What a change Joanna! You have a great creative eye and have created something wonderful! I know with your vision this will go beyond and beyond! Keep posting so we can enjoy your work! Thanks!

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you, Jeanne! It I have it looking half as good as yours, I'll be happy.

  15. user-7008735 08/11/2017

    You've made a wonderful transformation already, Joanna. It will be fun to see how your new garden develops. Have fun out there!

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thank you Lorraine. This is just a small start.

  16. Cenepk10 08/11/2017

    Good going, Joanna. Makes my back hurt to see the before & after. Very nice !

    1. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/11/2017

      Thanks. It makes my back hurt too.

  17. frankgreenhalgh 08/12/2017

    Hi Joanna - Sorry for late input. Great to see your work in progress and blog. Very lucky for you to find those lovely rocks. I'm a fan of rocks as well. Hope you continue to keep GPODers informed of your gardening journey. Cheers from down under

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