Garden Photo of the Day

Designing a Garden Around an Antique Shed

A Missouri gardener brings her love of old architecture into the garden

Today’s photos come from Sharon Weiser of St. Joseph, Missouri.

Mine is a country garden at heart. In Zone 5, my garden is a mix of sun and shade, trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and bulbs. It includes a wooded garden, a vegetable garden, a cutting garden, and an herb garden on an urban lot. I have been gardening for close to 40 years but have had to leave a couple of beautiful gardens behind due to moving. This is a young, three-year-old garden. One of the reasons I bought this house was because the building was here and I knew it would make the perfect “she shed” to hold my antique garden collection.

For the Garden Photo of the Day, I have decided to focus on two sides of my she shed. I have always been drawn to old architectural pieces. Notice the arch on the shed and the iron porch pieces at the corners. The walkway is lined with lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantinaZones 4–8), while the daylily ‘Autumn Minaret’ (Hemerocallis ‘Autumn Minaret’, Zones 3–9), yellow blooming tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Gold’, Zones 8–11 or as annual), Yucca ‘Color Guard’ (Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’, Zones 5–10), and globe blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Globosa’, Zones 2–7) are highlights.

I also have a small greenhouse made of old windows, which is surrounded by ‘Angelina’ sedum (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’, Zones 5–9). In other areas of the garden, I use a variety of old grates as my stepping stones.

I believe one’s personality should shine through in the garden. I hope my sense of humor is recognized in small touches such as the necklace on the Garden of Good and Evil statue (see bottom photo) and the “goldfish” in the birdbath (above).

I love the fun of how the mirror reflects the garden back to me.

The east side of the walk to the she shed is anchored by a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 6–8), with Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (Zones 4–8), gaillardia ‘Mesa Yellow’ (Gaillardia × grandiflora ‘Mesa Yellow’, Zones 4–9), and Evolvulus ‘Blue My Mind’ (Zones 9–11 or as an annual) at its feet. I find treasures such as the old bird bath and old birdhouse at garage sales and flea markets.

The entrance garden to the she shed has a large blue pot as a focal point. The pot is planted with canna ‘Pretoria’ (Zones 7–11), ‘Kirigami’ ornamental oregano (Origanum ‘Kirigami’, Zones 5–8), and Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Red’ (Zones 9–11 or as annual). Coleus ‘Ruby Slipper’ (Plectranthus scutellarioides ‘Ruby Slipper’, Zone 11 or as annual) and variegated tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica ‘Monarch Promise’, Zones 8–11 or as annual) surround the pot. The coleus picks up the hues of barberry ‘Orange Rocket’ (Berberis thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’, Zones 4–8) on the opposite side of the walkway.

Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’, Zones 7–10), Siberian larkspur (Delphinium grandiflorum ‘Diamonds Blue’, Zones 4–7), and Pacific Giant delphinium ‘Blue Bird’ (Delphinium elatum ‘Blue Bird’, Zones 3–7) echo the blue of the pot; the perfect foil is heliopsis ‘Burning Hearts’ (Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Burning Hearts’, Zones 3–8). Other featured plants in this garden are feather reed grass ‘Karl Foerster’ (Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, Zones 5–9), Little Lemon goldenrod (Solidago ‘Dansolitlem’, Zones 5–8), and boxwood ‘Green Velvet’ (Buxus ‘Green Velvet’, Zones 5–8).


Have a garden you’d like to share?


Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.


View Comments


  1. user-7017435 09/17/2018

    Ms. Weiser, Your garden has a lot of originality packed into what appears to be a small area.. The reflection in the mirror & the spots of blue in every photo are little touches that make your garden terrific. Thank you & good luck, Joe

    1. SharonWeiser 09/17/2018

      I do love blue! Thank you.

  2. sandyprowse 09/17/2018

    Ms Weiser: I just love it all, out of this world to be sure. Fantastic. The greenhouse is great. Well Done!!

    1. SharonWeiser 09/17/2018

      Thank you for your kind comments. I have enjoyed the little greenhouse. Decorating it for the seasons.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/17/2018

    It is all beautiful but that last pic is the best.

    1. SharonWeiser 09/17/2018

      That is a different side of the garden shed. I like creating different spaces.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/17/2018

    Your garden is Delightful (I'd use all caps but that might look like I'm "shouting") in all imaginable ways, Sharon. Your sense of whimsy comes through loud and clear and all those fun and creative touches are just waiting to be discovered by garden visitors of any age. You grow smiles as well as plants! Love that we got to see a peek of you in one of the pictures that include the look very color co-ordinated with those vibrantly hued coleus.

    1. SharonWeiser 09/17/2018

      Thank you for your kind comments. It is easy to doubt ourselves. But, I have decided to do what makes me happy. I had bor even noticed myself in the mirror ?

  5. Maggieat11 09/17/2018

    I enjoyed your photos very much. I am sure your gardens changed considerably in the 3 short years at your current location. Of course, your lovely plants really shine but all the added garden art , etc., really adds to the appeal. So much to look at! Would be grand to visit you and your gardens! Thank you for sharing!

    1. SharonWeiser 09/17/2018

      You are always welcome to visit. There is nothing I like more than sharing our gardens and love of gardening.

  6. Sunshine111 09/17/2018

    Sharon! I may be echoing Michaele, But the first word that came to mind was delightful! It’s so nice to see your personality come through. I love going to garden is like this and seeing a surprise at every turn. You are extremely creative and it shows. Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. SharonWeiser 09/17/2018

      I love personal gardens. Thank you for your comments. ?

  7. sheila_schultz 09/17/2018

    Sharon, your fun-loving personality shows itself in every aspect of your lush gardens. They are delightful and certainly brought a big smile to my face this Monday morning. It's quite obvious you love what you do and I'm sure the birds, the bees and the butterflies enjoy the feast you have provided for their travels!

    1. SharonWeiser 09/17/2018

      Thanks Sheila. I do love it all. It is true my love of gardening began with plants. But, I am so thrilled with the other joys the planting’s bring to my environment.

  8. mjensen 09/17/2018

    beautiful. love the little shed with the angel

    1. SharonWeiser 09/17/2018

      Thank you ?

  9. ancientgardener 09/18/2018

    I have come to the party late, but must tell you, Sharon, that I enjoyed every view of your garden, shed, greenhouse and delightful garden art objects. You have a touch all your own and I love it. You have been very busy the last 3 years and the rewards are breathtaking.

  10. btucker9675 09/20/2018

    Your whimsical, beautiful garden must surely be home to quite a few fairies... : )

  11. User avater
    MurielGNunnally 10/02/2018

    wow! wonderful it is really very nice garden............... all pics are nice.......

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest