Garden Photo of the Day

Deb & Paul’s garden in the Wisconsin woods

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Deb & Paul Skup

Today’s photos are from Deb and Paul Skup. Deb says, “My husband and I have been working on this garden (He does the hardscaping and some of the veggie gardening and I do the rest) for the past 19 years here in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. We’ve got 10 acres of woods out near the Lake Michigan shoreline.

“Our big project this year is putting up the fence you see in some of the photos to keep out the pesky deer. I work full time so there are a few weeds to be found but most of the time it doesn’t look too bad.”

I’ll say, Deb! That’s a sweet little pond. And I’m intrigued by your house–is it stucco? I love the color. It’s a great backdrop for plants! I laughed at the array of bug sprays lined up on the shelf by the door–I have a basket full of choices by my back door, too. Darned mosquitoes! On that note, anyone have a recommendation for a natural bug repellant that actually works? I will break out the deet on a bad day, but it’s nice to have an alternative for everyday use.

**** The push is still on–get outside and take some last minute shots, or compile a few you took earlier in the season. I’ll be eternally grateful…. Email them to [email protected] Thanks! ****

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  1. user-1020932 11/20/2013

    BIG annabelle by the door! and the ligularia really pops against that dark wall. hostas are always great but i have given up on them here other than in containers. michelle, we keep Skeeter Juice on hand here and it's very effective/ can be bought online with a simple google search. friends in Charleston use nothing but Tonic Water just splash it on and go or you can mix with gin and use internally, bugs still bite but you won't care

  2. gloriaj 11/20/2013

    Let's see which is my favorite, I can see myself sitting on the bench in the fourth picture on the right with a morning cup of coffee. Or is it the second on the left. Is that a hydrangea in that pictures.. Love hydrangeas. The bridge with the woods as a backdrop give the feeling of a path leading into the woods for a hike. The pond has a peaceful look. So which is my favorite, answer , all of them. I enjoy all of your garden, you can see the love. Thanks for sharing

  3. gloriaj 11/20/2013

    tntreeman you are a hoot. I enjoy your comments.

  4. user-1020932 11/20/2013

    gloriaj, glad i can provide a chuckle now an then. feel free to send me some of those fig preserves you made this summer!

  5. gloriaj 11/20/2013

    tntreeman, I wish I had gotten enough for fig preserves, but I only got about eight figs before it got cold, even through the tree was loaded. The figs would only ripen one or two at a time which never made it inside.( sweet ) This the third year for the tree and I am hoping it will make it through the winter as I only had time to mulch the roots and didn't cover the whole tree before I had surgery. But if I every get enough figs I will send you some

  6. user-1020932 11/20/2013

    gloria, give it time . i was covered up in figs this year for the first time. the previous 4 years i only got maybe one or two a day but this year gallons and gallons of fruit. my g'son would try to climb the trees to get them. hope the surgery went smoothly and you're on the road to wellness, spring will be here before you know it!

  7. OuiserThatsMe 11/20/2013

    we are very frugal and undemanding - when can we move in?
    What a beautiful place!!!

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/20/2013

    Deb and Paul, looks like you have a very beguiling property (I'm a sucker for a backdrop of natural woods but so, evidently, are the deer). I love the generous sized blue pot sitting by your pond at the edge of the treeline...the picture of tranquility esp. with the hammock beckoning.
    Compliments to your husband on his fine rock laying skills and you for all the great plant selections.

  9. GardenersWK 11/20/2013

    Is that a Sambucus Black Lace in the first picture under the window? I want one too! I love all the shade plants you have in your gardens! Apparently the fence works! You have whole hosta leaves and daylily buds!

  10. tractor1 11/20/2013

    A gorgeous lush woodland property, and great hunting for Fluffy (last photo) at the pool.

  11. annek 11/20/2013

    Your gardens feel so peaceful. I can taste tntreeman's gin and tonic as I laze around in the hammock next to oiserthatsme all the while watching meander1 meander into the woods and tractor1 clean the gutters.

    I, too, am lusting after your sambuca as well as that shady back porch!

  12. janetsfolly 11/20/2013

    I love your peaceful oasis in the woods! Very calming and alluring. All the pieces fit so well!

  13. tractor1 11/20/2013

    Hey, I'm not who complained about mosquitos.

  14. user-7006902 11/20/2013

    Beautiful! Love the color blends - and the color of your house. Love the woods. Love the plant "weaves" and pathways. Love the pond. I love it! FYI Good bug spray: Lewey's Eco Blends. If it worked in Maine it will work anywhere! Very oily but nice peppermint smell - no harmful chemicals.

  15. GrannyMay 11/20/2013

    Rocks and water and tranquil woods, what a beautiful backdrop for relaxing in your hammock! Perhaps watching the cat watching the birds at your birdfeeder.
    Deb and Paul you've created lovely gardens. While watching deer graze can be a delight too, fencing the area before they get used to stopping by for lunch is absolutely worth doing.

  16. cwheat000 11/20/2013

    You have a lovely private location and you have created a beautiful and peaceful garden. Your hostas are great. I also love the ligularia against the cool color of your house. I vote for more ligularia. As for mosquito repellant, I use EcoSmart from the Home Depot. It is inexpensive compared to most non-deet formulas, the smell is O.K., it isn't greasy, and it works.

  17. greengenes 11/20/2013

    Thanks for sharing! Love the color green! So many choices for plants. You have a nice arrangement of colors and textures. I so enjoy starting my day looking at the different gardens! I will be thinking about yours all of today! Oh by the way...venison is very good and low in fat! We have a big dog who runs off our deer here in Washington state. But sometimes they get a couple of bites in when our dog is in our house...oh well! Happy gardening!

  18. ancientgardener 11/20/2013

    What a lovely property. You have done a terrific job. Love your terrace and its plantings. What a great place to sit and enjoy your handiwork, but if you are like me you don't do much sitting. I can always see something that needs doing - weeding - deadheading - and find myself off the bench and working. Such pleasant work, however. Pesky deer is right. Yesterday I saw four in my garden topping off whatever greenery was left. I have a love-hate relationship with them. They are so beautiful and so destructive.

  19. greengenes 11/20/2013

    Have you grown the "Gunera"? It has the huge leaves and it loves partial shade. The leaves make a great jungle effect and iam using them for cement designs..

  20. wittyone 11/20/2013

    Deb, you're so lucky to live in Wisconsin---beautiful place. I suffer greatly from "Wisconsin envy" . Your garden looks so calm and peaceful. What fun to lie in the hammock and watch the deer looking in hungrily. What is the tall, airy plant in front of the ligularia in the top right photo?

  21. sheila_schultz 11/20/2013

    Deb and Paul, you've created such a relaxing and inviting environment I'm thinkin' you're going to have to add a few more hammocks... we'll be more than happy to bring the gin and tonic! Your 'yard' brings back wonderful memories of our many visits to Wisconsin. Thank you.

  22. quinquek 11/20/2013

    A really nice garden - very Edenic. I love the bank of hosta under the trees. Mine disappeared under the evil presence of vinca minor (which I deliberately planted) and vinca vine (which escaped from a pot). Lovely plant combinations, the whole garden fits perfectly into the woodland setting.

  23. bee1nine 11/20/2013

    I rather enjoyed the casualness of your garden style and love
    the peaceful feeling of having the woods behind it all. Truly
    making a lovely natural setting as I'm sure you want it to
    appear. Sweet little pond, as well!

    Thank you Deb and Paul.

  24. wildthyme 11/20/2013

    Lovely plant combinations, especially the 5th down on the left. You've really done a nice job making the garden intimate with such a large lot. Michele, the only "organic" mosquito repellent I've found is to smoke a cigar, or if you don't care to smoke, stand really close to someone who does!

  25. GETTYSBURGJANE 11/20/2013

    Although the name says Gettysburg, I'm still in NJ most of the time and the BEST mosquito repellent I've found is OFF clip
    on by Johnson & Johnson. It actually repels Asian tiger mosquitos and if you don't know what they are count yourself
    a lucky, lucky gardener. They bite repeatedly and are active from morning till night. The part I like best is that you don't have to spray your skin or cloths, just clip on the unit,
    turn on the fan and that's it.

  26. MichelleGervais 11/20/2013

    wildthyme, I LOVE cigar smoke. My father smoked cigars, and every time I smell one now I gravitate towards the person smoking it. I must come off as super stalkerish. Tried smoking one once and it was GROSS. Oh well.

  27. user-1020932 11/20/2013

    gin tonic and now cigars, , , all we need is a poker table and palm tree and it's HAVANA!

  28. terieLR 11/20/2013

    Lol'ly ~ afraid gin/tonic and cigar smoke would mostly repel my husband. (may have to keep that in mind...) Ha. On a 'natural' note though, I have used essential oils (Young Living) in a spritz bottle and offer it to garden guests frequently. For a one ounce bottle use 2 drops peppermint, 2 drops lavender, 4 drops purification and fill with water. Shake before using. Safe to applied to skin or clothing. And smells great too. ;)

    Hi Deb & Paul, Your setting is wonderful and well planned. Is the fence providing the protection that you've hoped for? Thank you for sharing your garden with us.

  29. GrannyMay 11/21/2013

    Am I too late for the party? I could bring a potted palm tree.

  30. user-1020932 11/21/2013

    may, you are not too late,,, we've been waiting for you!

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