Garden Photo of the Day

Farmer’s Path Turned Shade Garden

Donna Heine turned a farmer's path into a shade garden.

"Just a few pictures of my wisconsin garden. My husband and I have created this in about 13 years. We have a 3/4 area lot and have cleared out a lot of under brush from a farmers path to create our shade garden of hostas."

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 03/16/2016

    Hi Donna - lovely garden! Can you please explain what a the term 'farmer's path' means for this Aussie? Thanks

  2. grannieannie1 03/16/2016

    No small job hacking away at underbrush to make a garden your own. That is a lovely path and shaded retreat you've created. And would the farmer have guessed his path would become such a beauty...and was it an Indian trail or mastodon trail before him...that sort of mystery and history of a garden adds another dimension to the land we're permitted to "borrow" for a few years and shape as our own. Yours is a peaceful refuge.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 03/16/2016

      GrannieAnne - You seem to know what a 'farmer's path' means. Is it land owned by a farmer and accessed by Donna for her garden? Makes me wonder about legal issues - does the farmer have any say in the use of the land? Is the land leased and for how long?????? Would appreciate your explanation! Thanks

      1. grannieannie1 03/17/2016

        Oh, no. I didn't mean to imply that Donna doesn't own her land. Only thinking that all of us who are working a garden think of it as "ours", but actually we're merely borrowing it during our lifetime for it will surely become someone else's in time. "My" garden was once part of a farmer's apple orchard, Before him and other white men it was Lenape Indian land from which they were driven illegally. Every time I dig in the land I hope to find some trace of the first owners. Or a mastadon fossil!

        1. frankgreenhalgh 03/17/2016

          Thanks GranniesAnnie - Our gardens in Australia are therefore part of an 'Aboriginal path' going back 40,000 years. Yes that is right - 400 centuries!

  3. user-4691082 03/16/2016

    Ooh,aah! How beautiful...your love for gardening is apparent. Love those host as and perfect bed lines!

  4. diane_lasauce 03/16/2016

    Very impressive! Thanks for sharing!

  5. User avater
    HelloFromMD 03/16/2016

    Your shade garden is perfect. The invitation to enter with the potted red flowers, the bench that beckons and the final destination a toy house? Hard to tell but looks intriguing. What are your top 5 hostas? How do you like Anemone sylvestris? I have heard it's a thug, since it spreads. How has it behaved for you? It is very pretty. Are you growing any trilliums? I have seen other midwestern hosta gardens online that had awesome trilliums. Trilliums are on my wish list but my soil is too acid to them so I would have to make a special bed that I can add lime to but no location for it. Your back yard is very pretty.

  6. CJgardens 03/16/2016

    Good morning, Donna from a fellow Wisconsin gardener. Love your park like gardens and back yard. The meandering shade path is serene and calming. Love the peony. Thanks for sharing photos.

  7. sheila_schultz 03/16/2016

    Donna, you and your husband have successfully created an inviting shade garden that appears to be both quiet and peaceful. It seems to beckon it's visitors to take a relaxing walk along it's shaded paths then have a little sit to listen to the birds singing. Well done.

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/16/2016

    Such a lovely welcoming path...I'll meet you at the far end where I see a bench just waiting for me to sit for a stretch. The gentle curving lines are perfect for a relaxed stroll. And, I'm with Diane on sighing with admiration over that handsome Globosa blue spruce.

  9. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 03/16/2016

    Donna, you've made me homesick for summer in WI, but then I remembered mosquitoes:) Your shade garden is so inviting with its winding path leading your eye and feet to a place to rest and enjoy. Is that white plant in the second to last photo a rock rose? We have one which has finally set buds after 2 summers, so I'm waiting to see it in bloom and can only hope that it looks like yours. Thanks for sharing this morning.

  10. Luvfall 03/16/2016

    Donna, you've given me some wonderful ideas for an area I'm trying to create in the tree line that borders our property. I was originally inspired by a visit to Al's Auto Body and Arboretum in Walworth but your path has much more variety in the plantings. Your white edged hostas really stand out. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Meelianthus 03/16/2016

    Hello Donna ~ What a beautiful, serene garden. I really don't know what a 'farmer's path' is but it seems you have made a very charming trail thru your wandering gardens filled with lush looking hostas. What a job to clear away under trees and create something so lovely. Thanks you for sharing all of your hard work.

  12. Cenepk10 03/17/2016

    Yes. Very very nice !!!!

  13. perenniallycrazy 03/20/2016

    What you've done with your garden is no less than wonderful Donna. I hope that you are able to enjoy these paths and destinations in your garden most days of the year. Please return with more photos every season.

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