Garden Photo of the Day

Donna’s shrinking-lawn garden in California

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Donna Jones

Today’s photos are from Donna Jones in Santa Rosa, California. She says, “We have slowly removed lawn to create a raised bed garden, a little red hen house, and a garden full of hydrangeas, perennials, and other flowers. So much more productive and fun than the old lawn! I have a blog at where we share our garden adventures. There’s nothing better than sharing the love of gardening!”

True, Donna. And your garden is LOVELY!

**** 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. wGardens 11/04/2013

    Wonderful! You have some fabulous ideas here. Wish I could visit~ beautiful!

  2. user-1020932 11/04/2013

    evidence of lots of work and good harvests i'm sure. what variety is that very flowery climbing rose?

  3. gloriaj 11/04/2013

    First I like to say no other hens have such a beautiful home. I'll bet you are repaid with lots of eggs.Everything is beautiful, I can see the love you have for gardening, You are right, this is better than an old lawn. Could you tell me the name of the climbing roses in the last photo on the left. I will visit your blog.

  4. Wife_Mother_Gardener 11/04/2013

    Lovely, Donna! I love your birdbath with succulents in it!! Great design.

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/04/2013

    lots of creativity here! When I saw the photo of the beets, I thought you had snuck an oil painting in with your photos. Beautiful.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/04/2013

    Nothing boring about what's going on at your place, right, Donna?! Lots of beautiful plants, numerous fun and whimsical ornamentation ideas, and oh, those chickens....every day has to be a great day. I always get a huge smile on my face when I bop over to a neighbor's who has a variety of chickens and those critters come a running. They are so entertaining and, then, of course, there are the healthy organic eggs for sharing. The rose over your white arbor is you know the name of it?

  7. cwheat000 11/04/2013

    This garden is so warm and pretty. It feels like grandma's house or good comfort food. Speaking of food those beets are beautiful. We used to laugh at our nana, a great cook, when she used to rave about how beautiful food was. I whole heartedly agree with her now. I think garden produce can be every bit as pretty as a bouquet of flowers. That hen house is fantastic, too.

  8. Doxnmom 11/04/2013

    Donna, your garden is lovely. Oh, to stare at the rose covered arbor! Thank you for sharing.

  9. annek 11/04/2013

    Glorious! Like the other GPOD-ers I'm enchanted with your rose climbing towards the skies. And your photography is excellent. Send more photos of the little cluckers, I'm sure they make your already idyllic garden charming.

  10. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/04/2013

    Just visited your blog, Donna, and I share your somewhat recent addiction to succulents. I would positively be swimming in them, doing up one fun and creative pot after another, if I lived in CA where the climate is more hospitable to them staying outside all year long. Lucky you to have attended an event that featured a presentation by Debra Lee Baldwin and the other succulent "notables" you mentioned. Just today, I will be bringing indoors some of my most favorite succulent efforts for this year and see if I can nurse them through the winter. I've never tried saving them before so fingers crossed!

  11. tractor1 11/04/2013

    Gotta love those acrobatic flower pots... how do they do that? Beets are one of my favorites, don't forget to eat the beet tops, better than spinach. Thank you, Donna.

  12. wittyone 11/04/2013

    What an adorable chicken house---I bet the inhabitants just love it.

    How much more back yard do you have and do you have plans for taking out the rest of it?

  13. GrannyMay 11/04/2013

    Roses, succulents, vegetab1es and chickens - a garden to feed the soul and the body! Great job Donna!

  14. wildthyme 11/04/2013

    Donna, I love the formal layout of the raised beds and the combination of flowers & veggies. The climbing rose is spectacular! Do you know what it is?

  15. Jamesjoseph 11/04/2013

    I am new at gardening but it is lovely. I guess you can say I copy a lot of fine gardening people. I made a wheel barrow but lost my dog. Now I will copy some of your work. I always read the remarks on this site to get idea's. Again thank you and everyone who puts on comments.

  16. sheila_schultz 11/04/2013

    What a fun way to start the week... great photography, lovely gardens, a new blog to enjoy and lots of whimsey! You've done it all Donna ;) Thanks!

  17. user-7006902 11/04/2013

    I always have to applaud garden replaces lawn - beautiful job! So much better than lawn!

  18. TeriCA 11/04/2013

    What a great decision! Love your raised beds and I went to your blogspot, I found the succulent store I have been looking for, although it's 2 hours away, I will be going there! Plus I love the stone/gravel planter with white impatiens. Where did you find the planter??? It's all lovely!

  19. dirtgirl1949 11/04/2013

    Truly gorgeous! Obviously lots of hard work, love and dedication has gone into creating this slice of heaven. Well done Donna.
    We have gradually dug up many of our lawned areas as our harsh dry climate is just not suitable for maintaining a green lawn. We had ended up with parched yellow areas that needed so much waterering. So veg plots, chicken run, rose gardens and large areas of native plantings have been installed where grass previously attempted to grow.
    I am also a huge fan of succulents, so much can be achieved with them and of course they require so little water and attention.
    I would also love to know the name of that amazing climbing rose. Happy Gardening.

  20. oldsquaw 11/04/2013

    The still life of bench with beets and scallions is perfect. Now tell us how you did the flower pot tree.

  21. linda587 11/05/2013

    Beautiful gardens. Do you know the name of that spectacular rose?

  22. DonnaJones 11/05/2013

    Hi Everyone, What an awesome group of gardeners! Thanks for all your kind comments! The rose is "Jeanne LaJoie". It's a miniature believe it or not! It rates an "8" with the All American Rose Society and has been around since 1975. Hybrid Tea type bud, 1-1 1/2 inches and 35-40 petals, so a really nice little rose! The books say it grows canes that are 4 feet but, clearly, they under calculated since one of ours trails over an arbor and two others up our deck posts at least-12 feet! The one in the photo has been there since 1998 and it's still going strong!
    The flower tree pot is made by driving a 6 ft piece of rebar into the ground about 2 feet, then slipping the 8" clay pots over the bar through the hole in the bottom of the pot. I put the first one on top side down and the others upright, where they just rest on the one before. I was out walking through a neighborhood of older gardens for a blog post I was doing and saw one so I copied!
    My husband built the chicken house for me. I studied all the chicken websites and figured out how to build one that would be easy to clean without bending myself into a pretzel. We have three "girls" and they are loads of fun...not to mention the eggs!
    Thanks so much for all your lovely comments...gardeners are always the nicest people!

  23. DonnaJones 11/05/2013

    To make the stone impatiens planter we took part of an old fountain (the bottom "tray" in the photo) and set a matching stone pot on top, filled with planter mix and added white Impatiens to brighten a shady area under a Japanese maple. It adds a nice little spot of brightness!

    A little tip for the bird bath succulent planter: I sprayed it with "Flex Seal" the rubber spray-on sealer before planting in it so it won't rust away! That product is great to water proof all kinds of odd containers for planting! Donna

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