Garden Photo of the Day

A Peaceful Retreat, 20 Years in the Making

From sun to shade, a beautiful garden has evolved over the years

Today’s photos come from Dennis and Patty Taylor.

We have been gardening in a quarter-acre lot in Zone 5 in Bourbonnais, Illinois, since 1999. We have been featured in the local garden club’s garden tour twice, in June 2004 and again in 2010. At the beginning, it was mostly a full-sun garden, but it has become more shady as the trees have matured. It is not a formal garden, and plants are allowed to move to their preferred location. Other than the pondless stream and the sprinkler system, we have done all the manual labor, which makes it all the more enjoyable. Although it has been 20 years in the making, it, like most gardens, remains a work in progress. There are so many plants and so little space. It is a peaceful retreat that we enjoy as much as the weather and the mosquitos allow, and we love sharing it with friends and neighbors.

Monarda (bee balm) and Helianthus (perennial sunflower)

The flower of a button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis, Zones 5–9), a native shrub much loved by butterflies.

Lillium ‘Rose Lilly Thalita’. This double-flowered Oriental lily blooms with layer upon layer of fragrant pink petals.

Our first attempt at growing tropical Plumeria in the container. Notice the huge, double flowers of the lily in the background.

A restful retreat with an orange azalea and witch hazel (Hamamelis, Zones 5–9) to the rear.

Another seating area.

An oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5–9) with purple leaf shamrock plant (Oxalis triangularis, Zones 6–10).

The hosta bed and a heritage river birch (Betula nigra, Zones 4–9).

A small retreat for the gnomes with a pond and seating area. The red cedar (Juniperus virginiana, Zones 2–9) came complements of the birds.

Jackmani clematis (Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ Zones 4–11).

Hydrangea ‘Bluebird’ (Hydrangea serrata ‘Bluebird’, Zones 5–9) that has mostly blue but some pink flowers.

This final photo is from the deck where most of the enjoyment takes place, which usually involves soothing music and a glass of wine.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, 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.

View Comments


  1. garden1953 07/26/2019

    I love your gardens. What a wonderful place to relax and enjoy. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/26/2019

    Looks like you have a very loved garden that has given you great pleasure through the years. I'm quite captivated by the flower of the button bush...from the angle of the picture, it seems like it could be a variation of Whoville from the Dr Seuss book Horton Hears a Who...quite intriguing. I also love the purple leafed shamrock...what a great color those leaves present.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/26/2019

    I love that double lily. Are they both the same?

  4. btucker9675 07/26/2019

    What lucky friends and neighbors you have, to be able to share this oh-so lovely garden! Wonderful!

  5. User avater
    simplesue 07/26/2019

    Something of interest everywhere you look! Love the shade of Monarda you have! Nice job!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest