Garden Photo of the Day

Bob & Linda’s garden in Pennsylvania

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian

Today’s photos are from Bob and Linda Vivian in Pennsylvania. Bob says, “Linda and I (or Grammy & Granddad to some) own 6+ very private acres in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian

“This is a lovely, gentle countryside without a single square yard of flat ground anywhere. My yard has a steady slope from one side to the other. I’ve spent years building stone retainer walls and digging out shelves in the hillside for patios and gardens, or merely to provide another spot for a shrub. It’s been my life’s canvass. Other than the loud complaints from my bones, I haven’t minded at all.”

Wow, Bob. I just want to sit down on that patio and relax in your beautiful garden. Well done! Thanks for sharing.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bob Vivian

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  1. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/30/2012

    what a great garden and stonework nestled in a picturesque setting! I love living in town but am so envious of this type of garden setting! Do you have problems with deer? Your hostas look uneaten.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/30/2012

    Bob and Linda, you have created such wonderful walls and landings...the stonework is soooo handsome. Are the rocks indigenous to your property (which means twice the work but at least they are free)? You have a wonderful balance of plant material, beds, lawn, sweeping curves...they all frame your lovely home beautifully. Grammy and Grandad's must be a favorite place to visit!

  3. cwheat000 11/30/2012

    The patio area is spectacular. I love the stonework, the real stone fire pit, and the lovely mix of shrubs and plants. The whole yard is beautifully planted and maintained. Your hard work really shows.

  4. tractor1 11/30/2012

    This is truly a remarkable landscaping creation, the pros couldn't do half as well. And what a spectacular blend of plantings of all sizes, configurations, and hues, and all in harmony. Like Vojt I'm also am in awe of how so many on large rural properties don't have a deer problem... I know where I live very few of those plantings would survive, besides the deer the rabbits would desimate those hostas, etc.... and the voles would eat all their roots, voles can't resist juniper roots, and blueberry roots are high on their menu. Here I'd need to fence my entire 16 acres at least eight feet high.

  5. tractor1 11/30/2012

    This photo is very typical, by about 4 PM they begin to feed and continue through the night until first light. How do you others do it, and I tried every repellent on the market, none work even a little bit, I just wasted my time and money. The only thing that keeps deer off my plants, especially my small specimen trees until they become tall enough is fencing. The only answer I'll believe is that they simply don't have any deer where they live.

  6. MichelleGervais 11/30/2012

    Tractor1/Sheldon---whoa. Just....whoa. That is a huge herd!! No wonder your garden gets decimated! Dare I say it...I think you should add a healthy dose of venison to your diet. (I reap the rewards of my father-in-law's hunting efforts. Yum!)

  7. wGardens 11/30/2012

    Thank you for sharing your lovely gardens with us today! Wow, do I ever yearn for spring ... your hard work and beautiful results inspire me to create, create, create! I too, work with stone and I love what you have done. And what a perfect place for your grandchildren to play, enjoy and learn about plants and nature!

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/30/2012

    tractor1, I know you have many beloved cats but do you have any dogs? We have a decent sized acreage in a somewhat rural area and there are certainly deer that roam about. However, multiple times a day, we take our dog (an Australian Shepherd)for runs about the property... through the woods and across the fields where she tends to do her "business". We have always felt that the well dispersed smell of her existence has kept the deer from making our property their home and grazing ground. I suspect that some year I will be rudely surprised and find my garden chomped to the ground. It will break my heart but I accept that Mother nature doesn't play favorites.
    Anyway, just thought I'd mention what we credit working for us.

  9. GrammyGranddad 11/30/2012

    Thank you for your kind words, Folks. It's such a pleasure to share with you all.
    The local stone is shale & unfit for landscaping. Over the years I collected most of the stone from the Laurel Highlands about 60 mi. away. Some stone came from local old barn foundations & some I bought.
    Each stone was handled 5 or 6 times between collection & installation. It's much like working a crossword puzzle with 80 lb. pieces.
    When deer are bounding in the fields I call them Bambi. When they're dining on my garden I call them "giant insects". We finally put up 1000 ln. ft. of 8 ft. h. farm fence 4 yrs. ago and I've been a landscaping dervish since.

  10. GrammyGranddad 11/30/2012

    This is embaressing! I meant to say "jigsaw puzzle" not crossword.

  11. tractor1 11/30/2012

    Michelle, I really don't believe in hunting since with all the stupidmarkets everywhere it is no longer necessary for survival, and today's hunting is no kind of sport, the critters haven't a chance. With all the high tech hunting paraphenalia (peruse Cabella's catalogue) hunting is no more sport than shooting fish in a barrel. Nowadays people hunt as an excuse to get out of the house for a few days with the guys and most drink themselves stupid, every year there are awful hunting accidents around here. I'll agree that some actually consume the meat but sadly that's very few, the majority of deer are photographed with the big bad shooter and then left for the coyotes and turkey vultures to feast on. Every spring when I get out to my back field I find a few deer carcasses that have mostly been consumed by the carrion eaters, some with an arrow in it, some with their heads hacked off... I have a bucketful of arrows in my barn. Very few along this road allow hunting on their property but on the next road behind me there are much larger lots; dairy farms, hay fields, and woods, so the hunters come in from that direction. Personally I don't equate wild animals with farmed animals, today killing wild animals is immoral. Coyotes taking down the weaker deer is nature, there is nothing natural about humans killing deer anymore. Look at the picture of the deer in my yard, how is shooting them sport, shooting them is not hunting, that's premeditated murder. And all those excuses about deer starving because there are too many is pure BS, there is plenty of food for deer to eat here. Deer don't live very long, five years is a long life for a deer, the old and weak are taken by their natural preditors, and that's how it should be. Did you know that it's illegal for restaurants to serve venison from wild deer, they have to serve venison from farmed deer. There are several deer farms in NYS. Farmed deer meat tastes much better too, wild deer browsing on conifers is going to smell/taste like Pine-Sol. I like the deer in my yard, I protect them here.

  12. tractor1 11/30/2012

    meander1: dogs don't do much to thwart deer. Many of my neighbors have dogs, but that doesn't stop the deer, dogs are indoors at night and that's when the deer browse. My next door neighbor had a big dog, Rocky would race after the deer but never catch any, luckily, sometimes a deer would stop and turn, Rocky would slink back to the house with his tail between his legs. Rocky knew better, a deer can easily kill a dog, a deer will bash its head in with it's front hooves. One dog can't do much except get out of breath, it takes a whole pack to take down a deer... that's how coyote hunt deer, in a large pack, they encircle the deer so it can't escape, but more than half the time the coyote aren't sucessful. And one deer is not a lot of food for a pack of coyotes.

  13. tractor1 11/30/2012

    GrammyGranddad: A crossword puzzle is just a jigsaw puzzle but with a higher IQ.

  14. tractor1 11/30/2012

    This was my neighbor's dog, Rocky, loved to chase deer and fetch thrown rocks.

  15. trashywoman62 12/01/2012

    Tractor1, your comments such as this one "Nowadays people hunt as an excuse to get out of the house for a few days with the guys and most drink themselves stupid, every year there are awful hunting accidents around here." make REAL hunters look bad. Here in IL there are many people who take hunting very seriously! Coming from a family who have hunted for many years, we would never mix alcohol and guns! Our friends don't either. Just because a few idiots you know of have not acted responsibly they don't represent the many safe responsible hunters who enjoy the sport and the venison. If a time ever comes when the "stupidmarkets"(your word, not mind) run out of food, we will still be able to feed our families.
    OK I will get down off my soapbox now.

    Bob & Linda, your gardening passion is evident in your photos! It looks like a very relaxing place to take an evening stroll and the stop on the patio and admire your work. Thanks for sharing.


  16. blue_nigella 12/01/2012

    Bob and Linda, Thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens. I especially admire all of your rock work! I understand how hard you have worked to create all the spaces on a sloping terrain.

    Michelle, Because of these daily garden photos, you have brought me joy, something to treasure in EVERY garden photo. It is my vicarious travelogue!

    Tractor1: This comment section wouldn't be the same without your input whether I agree or disagree on the issues.

  17. tractor1 12/01/2012

    blue_nigella: Thank you, I try to be real. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, if I did there'd be no purpose to my input. To wit: the hunting question, I've not met a hunter yet who doesn't think they are doing a great service. But from my point of view hunting was never a sport, it used to be a necessity but not anymore, least not in the US. Today in the US killing wild animals is murder, pure and simple... any brainless twit can shoot defenseless animals, typically the same miscreants who as children derived great joy in pulling off butterfly wings.

  18. ruru 12/03/2012

    Oh....I want to live there! Love it! Great color, texture, well thought out. Good job guys!

  19. NevadaSue 12/13/2012

    Love,love your garden! The stone work is wonderful and really adds that special touch.

  20. Andytkd 12/27/2012

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