Garden Photo of the Day

Garden of a Busy Cook

Working with nature to make a lovely garden

Today’s GPOD contributor may be busy but still manages to have a very beautiful garden anyway.

I have a catering business that is very busy during the summer season, so I have to accept that nature has the upper hand and I am a minor player in the overall scheme of things. Two acres in Massachusetts is a lot with half a day a week to keep Mother Nature just a wee bit under control. So mostly I try to let her have her way, with a small part of my yard that I try to control.

dwarf Alberta spruceThis sure doesn’t look like the garden of someone with no time to maintain it! A row of dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’ Zones 3–7) makes a nice solid backdrop for this bed. Remember that this popular compact conifer sometimes reverts to a much larger growing form, so be sure to prune out any large, looser-needled branches that spring out of the plant.

garden walkwayA beautiful gravel walkway, lined with a rich diversity of plants. I see a mix of ornamental and edible things in this shot, such as kale in the foreground and basil to the right. Mixing beautiful and edible plants together is a great way to make the most of a garden space and is, of course, fitting for a professional caterer.

dense plantingAnother view of the walk up to this door. The dense planting is a great strategy for someone without a lot of time to garden. Cover every inch with plants and there won’t be room for the weeds to grow.

Letting nature have its way is also beautiful. This stand of wildflowers is dominated by common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Zones 4–9), a plant that not only is great food for monarch butterflies but that also has beautiful flowers and big, dramatic-looking foliage. Just remember that this species spreads very aggressively, so it is best in a wild portion of the garden, like this.


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 avater
    StefanieEhlert 02/26/2020

    I like this post and the garden is really cool... Thanks!

  2. Maggieat11 02/26/2020

    Wonderful! Love your dense plantings along your gravel
    path. Perfect to have your edibles mixed into the
    plantings with easy access from your home. Thanks for

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/26/2020

    Wow! How very, very lovely!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 02/26/2020

    What a darling Massachusetts cottage situated in that beautiful ornamental and vegetable mixed garden. Looks like something described in a fairytale.
    And I learn something every time from Fine Gardening Photo of the many plants and so much to learn...until now I had no idea Common Milkweed spread by rhizomes.
    You've created such a beautiful life with your garden!

  5. btucker9675 02/26/2020

    What a great garden you have! Love the "driftwood" giraffe sculpture in the wildflower area. Wonderful!

  6. coastalgardener 02/26/2020

    So lovely and lush! Just a wonderful garden...

  7. cheryl_c 02/26/2020

    It seems as though I can smell the aroma of your plants in the summer when I see the lead photo of this post! Yumm! This surely doesn't look like the garden of somebody with little time on their hands! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Musette1 02/28/2020

    I think this is a marvelous garden, well thought out! And that giraffe is ADORABLE!

  9. User avater
    AndersonBernard 03/02/2020

    I like your article.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest