Garden Photo of the Day

From Wild to Wonderful

A mature garden full of beauty

Today we’re visiting Karen Holmen’s garden in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

I’ve been out taking pictures of my garden over the last few weeks. It always takes a bit longer for things to bloom with all the shade we have, and some plants still haven’t flowered yet. But with all the rain we have had this spring and summer, the garden is looking as lush as ever. Over the last 30+ years, plants thrive, die, multiply, get split and moved around, and occasionally new perennials, shrubs, hardscapes, and yard art get added. The various garden areas have been a lot of fun to create over the years. It is amazing to look back at old photos that remind us of how wooded and wild the yard once was and what it has morphed into!

A pink daylily

One of the many paths to take when strolling through the garden. Lots of hosta, ladies mantle (Alchemilla mollis, Zones 3–8), and hydrangeas along the way.

We made a number of benches out of some old redwood decking. Looks like someone is sitting on my bench. 🙂

A view of the lower garden with astilbe, daylilies, wild geranium, bee balm, phlox, heuchera, impatiens, a “never-blooming hydrangea,” and some snapdragons.

A garden visitor on a daylily

This is a close-up of the entrance to the far backyard. Bee balm, hosta, potted impatiens, rocket ligularia, and a struggling clematis greet those entering.

As we leave the house through the front door, this small garden with a view of the pond in the background always greets us.

One of the fledgling Cooper’s hawks I spotted in the yard recently. His sibling had just caught a mouse, and this one seemed to be saying, “Let me have some too!”

We have had this angel for years. She is starting to show her age, but she continues to bless us with her presence.


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View Comments


  1. marthaveronesi 08/22/2019

    What a lovely garden you have!!! Congrats!! The path that invites you to walk around the garden is lovely! Those dayliles are really beautiful. Love the angel guardian with a lower bed of plants transmits peace and tranquility.

    1. karen49 08/27/2019

      Thank you! Our yard has become quite a retreat and haven for birds, butterflies and us!

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/22/2019

    Love your winding paths. Everything is so lovely!

  3. sandyprowse 08/22/2019

    The photos of the garden and the sun hitting the garden at certain parts of the path is truly exquisite. Just loved the photo of the baby hawk. A prize winner! Well done.

  4. cheryl_c 08/22/2019

    What a wildly wonderful garden! I love the way it is nestled into the mature trees, welcoming visitors of all sorts. I also think your garden art is so appropriately placed. Such a peaceful, beautiful garden.

  5. Pollen 08/22/2019

    Absolutly Delightful garden repose herein. The American Daylily Society had thier National Convention in Wisconsin mid July this year. Always have your daylilies name so other's can locate it please, there are 90k! The shot you gleaned of the owlette is adorable and please consider entering a photo contest with him! Bee well, NC Apiarist

    1. karen49 08/27/2019

      I am sorry I don't have the name. Quite a while back I bought several types of daylilies, have split and moved them several times and have lost track of what I had. With all the deer we have I am in the process of reducing the daylilies I have as it is such a chore to spray them so often to protect against the deer.

  6. btucker9675 08/22/2019

    How wonderful to have seen and photographed the gangly "teenage" Coopers hawk! Your garden is truly lovely - a place to lose yourself and find yourself at the same time. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. User avater
    simplesue 08/22/2019

    Wow! What a great garden! Love it! And how nice to see baby Cooper's Hawk, I've never seen one before! Thanks for sharing your cool garden!

  8. carolineyoungwilliams 08/29/2019

    Karen, Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden. I love it. I was so inspired, I've decided to plant more flowers throughout the trees on an incline at the edge of my property line. Thank you.

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