Garden Photo of the Day

Anna’s Wisconsin Paradise

Flower, flowers, and more flowers!

Today we’re in Anna Tsai’s garden in Bayside, Wisconsin. We’ve visited her beautiful plantings before (Beautiful Combinations in Wisconsin), and it is always a pleasure to see how her gardens have matured!

As a gardener I enjoy working in my backyard. I plant, and I transplant, plan, arrange, and redesign my garden constantly to keep it neat and looking beautiful. I also have a lot of frustrating times dealing with plants that died suddenly with no reason. Some of the plants failed to bloom at all. I guess that is a frustration shared by every gardener. As an optimistic gardener, I refuse to give up. I keep working in my garden, which I’ve been working on for over 20 years now. I love what I am doing. I am so proud to share the photos from my garden with Fine Gardening magazine and its readers who, like myself, are passionate about gardening.

Pink lupinesPink lupines (Lupinus polyphyllus, Zones 3–8) preside over a spring garden bursting with color. Lupines thrive best in climates with cool summers, but they can also be planted in the fall for spring bloom in areas where they can’t survive the summer heat.

purple salviaIncredible spires of yellow foxtail lilies (Eremurus, Zones 5–9) tower over a huge clump of purple salvia (Salvia nemorosa, Zones 3–8). Good drainage is the key to happy foxtail lilies.

asiatic liliesSoft pink Asiatic lilies (Lilium hybrid, Asiatic group, Zones 4–9) are loaded down with flowers and flower buds.

AstilbeVarious Astilbe (Zones 3–8) in bloom.

pink and white astilbeA garden sculpture in front of huge masses of pink and white astilbe. Though astilbe will grow in a wide range of climates, they seem to particularly thrive in the Upper Midwest.

spire of lily flowersAn elegant spire of lily flowers just beginning to open.

LeucanthemumCheery white daisies (Leucanthemum, Zones 3–8) with a rich tapestry of shade plants behind them.

Veronicastrum virginicumVeronicastrum virginicum (Zones 3–8) is a native perennial that can reach as tall as 7 feet with dramatic spires of white flowers.

Ligularia japonicaLigularia japonica (Zones 4–8) has dramatic, jagged foliage and tall spikes of orange daisy flowers.

One last view of this spectacular garden.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/27/2020

    My goodness, Anna, you humbly mention dealing with frustrating failures on occasion but all I see are magnificent and enviable gardening triumphs. Your stands of magnificent lupines and those amazing golden exclamation points of the foxtail lilies are sublime. The more subtle vignette of the daisies having the color of their golden centers repeated in your choice of daylily is masterful. Your 20 years of arranging and rearranging your plant tapestry has been a wonderful success.

    1. user-7008467 08/31/2020

      Hi Michaele,
      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. It was tough when I had a full job but I retired two years and so it looks better now at least from the pictures.
      Thanks again, Anna

  2. User avater
    user-7007816 08/27/2020

    Beautiful.! You obviously have many happy plants.

    1. user-7008467 08/31/2020

      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. It is hard to live in Wisconsin, plus my yard doesn't get enough sun and also it's so wet.
      Thank you again, Anna

  3. cheryl_c 08/27/2020

    What a fantastic collection of photos! Your gardens are beautiful, your combinations of contrasting and repeating colors and textures are so inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing with us this morning.

    1. user-7008467 08/31/2020

      Hi Cheryl,
      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. They might look good in the pictures usuanlly.
      I am very much appreciated, Anna

  4. user-7645917 08/27/2020

    Oh my! Your gardens are spectacular! Thanks for sharing!

    1. user-7008467 08/31/2020

      Hi, Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. It's not really spectacular if you walk into my real my backyard. 😀
      Thanks again, Anna

  5. User avater
    simplesue 08/27/2020

    You have mastered perennial gardening!
    Your garden is better than Phipp's Conservatory's outdoor garden in Pittsburgh which has teams of people to work on it.
    Very impressive. Very beautiful!

    1. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. My property is 0.63 acre and you are right, they need teams of people to work on it in the garden. I haven't hired any one work for me yet but I am also worried that who is going to buy my property - it is truly a lot of work. Luckily I retired two years ago. Thank you again.

    2. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. actually the pictures looked much better than the real backyard. 😀 Thank you again.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/27/2020

    My, my, my, how very lovely!!

    1. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      Thank you so much enjoying my garden.

  7. btucker9675 08/27/2020

    Wow, just wow....

    1. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      Thank you so much enjoying my garden.

  8. welcometomygarden 08/27/2020

    Your paradise is a total inspiration! Thank you for
    creating such beauty.🌷

    1. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. Actually the paradise is too far away from my garden, I would say it's my world and holds me a lot. 😀 Thank you again.

  9. Sunshine111 08/27/2020

    So lovely! I can tell how much effort you have put into this! Thanks for sharing your lovely garden with us all❤️

    1. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden.

  10. schatzi 08/27/2020

    What an incredible botanic garden you have created! The last photo reminds me of Bouchart Gardens in B.C. Lush, exuberant, healthy, gorgeous!

    1. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden and thank you so much for your compliment and I am really appreciated.

  11. alicefleurkens 08/27/2020

    Amazing. Lots of plants i never have any luck with like Astilbe and Lillies. So beautiful.

    1. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. Actually Astilbes just need shade area and water, and Lillies need full sun with good soil. Please try and good luck.

  12. User avater
    bdowen 08/28/2020

    Especially love the lilies and lupines- two that don't survive in my garden. Your color combinations in each area and the pinks that bring it all together are lovely. Thank for sharing your beautiful garden!

    1. user-7008467 09/01/2020

      I love the Lilies and Lupines too. The lupines usually self seed and very easy to grow. Thank you so much for enjoying my garden.

  13. mischael 08/29/2020

    Wonderful! What a gift for arranging the base trees, adding the perennials that bloom throughout the year. I can just imagine the scent with the lilies! What variety is the ligularia? Lovely cut leaf...

    1. user-7008467 09/02/2020

      Thank you so much for enjoying my garden. Yes, the middle of July is the best color in my backyard especially those lilies.
      I am sorry, I forgot what is the name of the ligularia, it's one of my favorite plants too.
      Thank you again, Anna

  14. carolineyoungwilliams 09/08/2020

    Oh my Goodness Anna, I absolutely love everything about your garden. I fell in love with the very photo that introduced your article. I was excited, even before seeing the other photos...the colors, the mixing of plants and textures...I love it. You have done a fantastic job. Thank you so much for sharing your slice of paradise. Be blessed

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