Garden Photo of the Day

An Unexpected Garden

Fun gardening in an unusual spot

three-level fountain in the middle of this small garden

Nicki Snoblin in Lake Bluff, Illinois, found a wonderful little treasure to share with us.

Today I would like to share some photos of a tiny garden in an unexpected place in my neighborhood. I don’t know who owns it, but it’s clearly a labor of love. Encountering a garden like this is like getting a wonderful gift.

wide view of small garden in the middle of pavementThis garden is nestled under two oak trees in a carveout between a parking lot and an alley, just off a major two-lane road. It’s packed full of eclectic edging and path materials, plants in pots and in the ground, and half-hidden delights.

three-level fountain in the middle of this small gardenThe centerpiece of the garden is a three-level fountain.

cut branches turned into garden path and edgingA creative use of branches made this path and edging.

close up of large multi-colored hibiscusThis large and beautiful hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Zones 9–11) in a pot must be overwintered indoors.

small rectangular container amongst lots of other plantsA rectangular planter contains what I think is a rooted cutting from the hibiscus, about to bloom.

vining plants next to container plantingsThis trellis covered with wisteria (Wisteria sp. Zones 5–9) has a little pot of oxalis (Oxalis triangularis, Zones 7–10) hung from it with a bent shirt hanger.

close up of Blackberry lily berriesBlackberry lily’s (Iris domestica, Zones 4–10) namesake shiny, berrylike seeds are the follow-up to cherry-orange flowers.

blue chair used as garden artA blue chair provides a pop of color.

close up of garden art hidden in plantsJust visible behind this rosebush is a metal decoration hung with crystals.

fake mushrooms amongst plantsA few colorful mushrooms

concrete turtle in gardenA concrete turtle makes its home beneath the edge of the fountain.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

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View Comments


  1. gardendevas 10/12/2023

    How delightful! Now that is the heart and soul of gardening — to plant and play with nature in an available locale.

  2. user-7821942 10/12/2023

    I love this! Imagine the joy this unexpected garden brings to those who pass by each day. Bravo!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/12/2023

    How sweet!

  4. btucker9675 10/12/2023

    What a charming little spot - surely must bring smiles to passers-by!

  5. mbrisport 10/12/2023

    So very creative. Loved it.

  6. User avater
    simplesue 10/13/2023

    That little garden is a nice surprise! Wow I love what you've done- taking a little spot to add a garden is always a nice thing to do and to come across!
    Oh I love your concrete mushrooms!

  7. User avater
    bdowen 10/13/2023

    I hope you can figure out who the gardener is and share the comments here with that person. Someone has a wonderful time in that space.

  8. [email protected] 10/13/2023

    What a wonderful treat for a Friday! Thanks for sharing this little treasure you came across.

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