Garden Photo of the Day

A Weakness for Plants

More plants, more happiness!

My name is Ann Klingele, and I live in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. My husband and I moved here with our two young children 25 years ago. My love of gardening began with my grandparents. Their love of roses was inspiring. Many years later I am now lucky to have my own little garden retreat in the suburbs of Illinois. And it is little. My yard is approximately 50 feet wide by 40 feet deep. One-half is full sun and the other half is full shade. It’s been a bit difficult to make it cohesive. I have a weakness for plants (as we all do), so if I find a plant I love, I’ll make room for it. Needless to say, I have packed my small space with many plants, but I love it and it makes me happy.

Entrance to the garden. Every space is packed with plants, to marvelous effect! Just because you have a small garden doesn’t mean you can’t have a lot of wonderful plants.

In the shady part of the garden, Ligularia ‘The Rocket’ (leopard plant, Zones 4–8) brings bold foliage topped with spires of yellow flowers.

Annabelle hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Zones 3–8). This classic shrub is hard to beat for the sheer size of the flower clusters in summer, but don’t forget to stake it (as Ann has), because those flower heads are so huge they easily topple over.

A beautiful red-and-yellow Coreopsis (tickseed, Zones 5–8) flower.

Ann’s favorite garden sculpture.

Ann’s quiet spot in the garden.

Jackman clematis (Clematis jackmanii, Zones 4–8).


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View Comments


  1. garden1953 08/05/2019

    Beautiful, lush garden. Love it! Thank you for sharing.

  2. btucker9675 08/05/2019

    You've given a small space huge personality and charm!

  3. User avater
    simplesue 08/05/2019

    You've created such a nice peaceful and relaxing retreat. Shade gardens are so calming. I'm calm just looking at your garden via the photos on line!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/05/2019

    Hi, Ann, your photos show that you can make a big impact even with a smallish footprint. I love how you have left a gently curving pathway of grass that looks so welcoming for a relaxing stroll. There's so many wonderfully lush plants to appreciate along the way. You've been very successful in making your sunny side compliment the shady side and vice versa.

  5. carolineyoungwilliams 08/29/2019

    Ann, you have done wonders with your retreat. You have made a big impact and your outcome is amazing. Great job.

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