Garden Photo of the Day

Gayle & Larry’s garden in Illinois

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht

Today’s photos are from Gayle Ruprecht in Chicago. She says, “My husband Larry and I are longtime residents of Chicago’s historic suburb Oak Park. We purchased our home nearly thirty years ago. Our residence, with its “prairie style” characteristics and spacious yard, provides the perfect setting for our modern Asian garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht

“Larry began creating the garden in 2008. Having been a Fine Arts major in college and owned a construction company, he applied his artistic ability and craftsmanship skills to the design and creation of the garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht

“Larry personally selected materials from upscale nurseries in both Illinois and Wisconsin for this project. The primary structures of the garden are “linear hardscapes” Consisting of various types of concrete and limestone. In addition, Larry carefully researched and chose a variety of plantings, including Tanyosho pines, weeping larches, Japanese white pines, spruces, and moss for his creation.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht

“Larry’s overall goal in expending the time, creative thought, and physical effort in the development of the garden was to achieve a visual seasonal appeal and create an outward display of nature’s beauty everyone could appreciate.”

Well, I’d say he’s been successful, Gayle! Larry, your garden is striking and beautiful. That big stone is spectacular! I can only imagine how you positioned it there in the yard… I’m all for exuberant, floriferous gardens, but gardens like this tug at me even more. The whole thing is so heavenly. Thanks for sharing it!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht

***I’m getting so many great submissions, but I can always use more! Dig out your cameras, take a big long walk around your garden, and SEND ME PHOTOS! I love having more than I could possibly process to choose from. Thanks!!***

***One more thing…..have you always wondered what your fellow GPODers are like in person? Never thought you’d get a chance to meet them? Check this out…. While the GPOD isn’t officially a taunton forum, it’s close enough, and I wanted to extend the invite. Anybody at all interested? I’d be willing to search for some gardens to tour…

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Gayle Ruprecht

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 05/24/2013

    i love this space, clean/ functional and each plant selected and placed perfectly. i wish i could do this at home but i'm a plant hoarder. beautiful garden and hardscapes

  2. tree_ee 05/24/2013

    Gorgeous! As a plant collector, I'm in awe of your discipline.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/24/2013

    The architectural consistency that this type of outdoor landscaping displays is very cleansing and appealing. I can appreciate and admire it although I do not have the self discipline and vision to ever put it into practice for myself. Gayle, it looks like it is in beautiful harmony with the glimpses that show of your home. Congratulations to your husband, Larry,for all the artistically impeccable choices he made in bringing this handsome landscape vision to fruition.

  4. Jay_Sifford 05/24/2013

    OK OK, so I was raised in Charlotte and firmly believe that there's only one thing that could make me want to move to the North and this garden has one: a weeping larch. I would give my proverbial eye teeth to be able to grow one of those things. I'd trade a truckload of crepe myrtles and fatsias in a heartbeat!

    Beautifully thought out, beautifully executed...there's not much else to say.

    tntreeman, I love plants too but this type of garden calls my name louder and louder. The last garden I designed is so classically something I couldn't live with but I love it more than I can explain... no turf, granite screenings with bluestone "planks" inlaid, a triptych of large granite spheres. Now there are some plants, but this garden made me think of that one.

    Wonderful job Gayle and Larry! Now send me your larch!

  5. hortiphila 05/24/2013


  6. trashywoman62 05/24/2013

    Wow! Larry, Gayle, you have a wonderful garden that must be as beautiful in the winter covered with snow as it is now. I love the significance each plant has on its own as well as part of the whole. Love the red of the maple showing through in the green pines.

    But for all it's formality I also found small items that tickle my funny bone like the rusty, metal "scarecrow" in your veggie garden and the bluish, gray twisted metal shooting out from the blue hostas in 4th photo, right side.

    Jay, I too, have Larch envy! And this specimen is amazing! I saw my first fall colored photo of a Larch in a magazine ad for a landscaping school in the northeast and called the school to see what plant it was! Evidently, I wasn't the only one because the receptionist who answered the phone knew exactly what ad and plant I was referencing! I just wish I could find one small enough to fit in my pocketbook! I hate losing $100 or more if its not happy where I put it and don't realize it till its too late!

  7. SilkPurseGarden 05/24/2013

    Makes my heart SING! Oh, Larry, it's paradise. What's it like to have a perfect garden? Love the sumac, Japanese maple, larch, japanese garden juniper composition next to your sitting area. (I might steal the sumac idea.) Your fountain is pure grace and will only get better when one of those spruce arms drapes nearer. Love it all--Congratulations.

    trashywoman62: weeping larches are sturdier than their delicate appearance would suggest. I have several and they have done very well here in Maine even taking partial shade and my horrible clay soil (amended, of course). Give them a try! They're worth it!

  8. SweetPeaGardens 05/24/2013

    Love it! So peaceful and serene, a lovely place to unwind at the end of a hectic day. It appears that there is something to focus upon from every angle. This is a perfect example of less is more. Well done!

  9. cwheat000 05/24/2013

    It is wonderful to see different garden styles and you have so masterfully executed this style. This minimalist style allows one to really appreciate the detailed beauty in each specimen. It is the polar opposite of my exuberant cottage style garden, but I truly enjoy it. I wish I could live long enough to grow every style of garden.

  10. jagardener 05/24/2013

    Peaceful and serene. More pictures,please.

  11. tractor1 05/24/2013

    All very intriguing, a lot of effort and $$$ to create but looks rather commercialized to my eye, as though there should be a booth stating the cost of admission... still it's lacking a significant koi pond, with obligatory bridge, perhaps next year. So, you've been there thirty years, what was your property like the other twenty five years... just asking.

  12. user-1020932 05/24/2013

    i see nothing "commercialized" about this space AT ALL and not all asian influenced gardens have an obligatory koi pond and bridge and a booth for admission? i would pay , it's a great space that took much planning, thought and work for it's implementation. it's very easy to be condescending and many times just hateful with the security of being behind a keyboard far away. i have tried and i simply can not fathom the mindset of some people and their comments perhaps it's not the properties featured but "their eye" that is the problem
    trashywoman i had a weeping larch here in east tennessee and it lived fine BUT the japanese beetles ate it back to hard wood in one day

  13. NancyLS 05/24/2013

    This garden is outstanding, such refined selections and design.

  14. ancientgardener 05/25/2013

    Serene is the word. It lacks just one thing - a comfortable seat for me to bring my book. Fear I would not get much reading done. I'd be soaking up the beauty. Reminds me of the beautiful Japanese garden in Portland, Or. where I also longed to spend an afternoon just listening to water spill from a piece of bamboo amongst the simple, peaceful surroundings.

  15. wGardens 05/25/2013

    Fabulous! Thanks for sharing. I love what you have done. Your skills are perfection! Great ideas, great results.

  16. Gardenbeauty 05/25/2013

    This is an absolutely beautiful garden that has taken a lot of time, effort and thought. The space is a beyond words. Larry you have created a masterpiece of your own!

    You have created a special entrance that invites the visitor into a sense of sanctuary effectively using water for its psychological, spiritual, and physical effects. Creatively using color and lighting to elicit emotion, comfort, and awe in the visitor creating sitting areas that enfold by providing a place of rest by highlighting natural features of anchor points, including the use of rocks, natural fences and screens to integrate art that engages the overall mood! I can only imagine what it would be like sitting on that beautiful patio enjoy a morning cup of joe, listening to the morning awake.

    Tractor1: I would love to see what your back yard looks like? Who is to say a Japanese garden has to have a Koi pond or bridge? Having visited Japan, there is NO right and or wrong way to capture natures BEAUTY! Looks to me like you are lacking knowledge about what lies beneath the beauty of nature.

  17. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/25/2013

    Late to the party again, but had to say that this is so beautifully and artfully done! Before reading the comments, my mind was on what is a common thread: oh how i admire your restraint! Like all good japanese-inspired gardens, it is obviously beautiful in all seasons.

  18. janeeliz 05/29/2013

    Truly unique and so elegant!

  19. mirandadawn 05/30/2013

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