Garden Photo of the Day

How a farmer’s daughter learned about gardening

Today we visit Linda Kiddoo, a farmer's daughter from Taylor Ridge, Illinois (zone 5B). she is proof that sharing your gardening passion with your children is smart!

"My husband Dan and I have lived in our home 24 years…married 42 years. When we purchased the 3 acres, it was full of brush and weeds and lots of beautiful trees. My husband and sons cleared the brush and weeds and kept as many trees as we could. It was my job to plant the flowers and bushes around the house.  Here are some pictures of this spring and last summer. I am not a professional gardener, but I am the 'farmers daughter' and learned all I know from my mother. Her flowers were unbelievable. The old garden gate is from my Moms yard.  The pink peony bush and Tiger Lillies are from my grandmas farm.  I am now retired and love love working outdoors and trying new plants and seeds. I read and enjoy the GPOD everyday and feel like I know you all.  Thank you for inspiring me to do something I love."

Keep sending in photos, everyone! Whether you've never shared before or you've been featured multiple times, we want to see your garden! Email a few photos and a little info about your garden to [email protected].




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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/31/2015

    Your story warms my heart, Linda, and your pictures delight my eyes. How wonderful to have plants and objects of ornamentation that anchor you to your heritage and keep alive memories of family. And how nice that your husband and sons put in such helpful sweat equity all those years ago to give a worthy canvas for all your beautiful and colorful flowers.Congrats on your retirement and enjoying gardening to your heart's content.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

      Thanks for your words of encouragement. It means so much to me. I am still learning every year, and not afraid to try new things. My Mom is now 101 years old and doing well for her age. She is happy that I am taking care of them.

  2. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/01/2015

    Such beautiful lilies and peonies! Definitely plants I can't garden without. My father, mother and aunt had gardens full of those kinds of delights and inspired me to make things lush and beautiful. It's wonderful to see gifts passed from generation to generation!

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

      I can't imagine not having those plants in my yard. I feel like I am the caretaker for protecting and preserving them for years to come. Thank you so much.

  3. wGardens 06/01/2015

    It easily shows that you love what you do. Wonderful to have plants from your Grandmother, and the gate from your Mother. She obviously guided you well! The clematis is stunning. And I do love all the trees in the background. Beautiful!

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

      I love gardening more and more each year. Thank you.

  4. NCYarden 06/01/2015

    Sweet garden, and fantastic space. Keep going! Nice old structural trees too...wow. I think it's great you've kept a garden continuum alive in your family. Little bits of history maintained and expanded. Thanks for sharing.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

      Thank you.

    2. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

      Thank you.

  5. user-4691082 06/01/2015

    Thanks for sharing, Linda. It just goes to show that we don't have to be professional gardeners to make a beautiful home. I hope my children catch my gardening fever!

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

      I am trying to teach my grandkids. My little 3 year old grandaughter loves to help her mom with plantings too. And my sons take good care of their yards and trees and plants too.

  6. Annek 06/01/2015

    Gorgeous bright colors and the dappled shade looks so inviting. Love your garden-yard

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

      Thank you. I appreciate it.

  7. greengenes 06/01/2015

    Hi Linda! Wonderful story and what a great "job" your husband gave you to do when making your yard better! It's addicting for sure. That's wonderful too that you have plants from your grandmother and mother! This makes it all so special! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us!

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      You are welcome. I am glad I get to do the planting and my husband got to clear the brush and poison ivy...ouch.

  8. wittyone 06/01/2015

    How nice it is to know you will be in one place long enough to foresee a weedy brush filled space transformed into a welcoming beautiful place to live. You have done a wonderful job on both counts. And how lovely to be able to add old family plants to the area to remind you of those who planted and cared for them originally.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      Time has flown by since we built our home. It has been a joy to work in our yard. Thank you.

  9. User avater
    gringopeligroso 06/01/2015

    Linda, I was wondering if'n you "hire out" your muscular landscaping crew to other states? ;-) We could keep them busy for a few years here!!!
    You have at least two blessings of which I'm envious:
    Enthusiastically dedicated, co-ordinated help; and a high canopy/dappled shade environment for your creativity. I love that y'all selectively cut the wilde tangle while appreciating the major elements of your (then) future retreat! Coming from the opposite side of that scale, we're planting trees as fast as the budget will allow to achieve a similar effect/environment, but it will be years before we have a similar effect. But, it's as much "The Journey" as "The Destination," right?

    1. user-7007140 06/01/2015

      Hi Jesse, You will be so surprised at how quickly your little trees grow! And it is very exciting. My own little Arbor Day twigs have become amazingly huge. The organization is a great place to order your future forest. Good luck.

      1. User avater
        gringopeligroso 06/02/2015

        I appreciate the encouragement!! While not ALL of my future shade plantings are "twigs," they aren't "instant gratification sized" either!! Going with diversity, which makes sense biologically, as well as aesthetically, but in a good nursery in peak season means spending more cents!! Oh the treasures I find and load up and woe for the ones I have to leave behind for other's gardens....sigh.... Mabey I'll win the Lottery and then I can take ALL of them home!!

    2. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      Yes I agree it is the destination. As much as I like the shade it can be a problem when trying to find the right plant. I have planted and split a lot of hostas. Hostas love this area. Bleeding hearts are doing well too. I am always looking for something new to plant in the shade. I thank my husband and sons for their help all the time. I am just not strong enough to do a lot of the heavy work ha. Thank you so much. And good luck with your tree planting. We have lots of leaves to rake in the fall ha.

      1. User avater
        gringopeligroso 06/02/2015

        I think you speak for most of us on our hunger for new things!! Probably why most of us are here every morning, in fact!! Always something to learn!!
        I just installed some Indian Pinks (Spigellia marlandica...i think) into the little shade we DO have. Have you tried this native? A treasure hunt to find, but they'll reward your efforts when they bloom in the mid spring. Down here in the sun belt, we must plant them in shade (morning sun only) or they fry in the long days. PS: they're Hummer magnets, too!!

        1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

          I am looking online now for information on the Indian Pinks plant. Thank you. I think I will be ordering them soon since it is recommended to plant by July. Great idea. Thanks.

  10. GrannyMay 06/01/2015

    Beautiful peony and lilies! Linda, it is heartwarming that you have the interest and opportunity to grow plants passed from generation to generation. I'm also a farmer's daughter raised with a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for gardening. It is a wonderful heritage that I hope I have passed on as well.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      Thank you for your kind words. I also have irises from their yard that are thriving. I look at the plants and it makes me feel that life goes on and on and on. Very relaxing and comforting, I keep learning new ways of caring for them and adding new varieties too. I'm addicted.

  11. sheila_schultz 06/01/2015

    You must smile when you work your gardens and see little bits of your Mom and Grandma surrounding you in the blooms of the peonies, lillies and the clematis twining it's way through your Mom's garden fence. What a lovely way to remember the women that helped make you the thoughtful gardener you have become.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      Thank you so much. My Mom is 101 years old and doing well. And yes the flowers remind me of her and my grandma. It is a comfort to me.

  12. MNGardenGirl 06/01/2015

    Now there's a garden I'd like to come stroll through and sit a spell. Thanks for sharing, Linda.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      You are welcome to my home anytime. Love to talk about gardening and listen to others ideas. Thank you.

  13. GrannyCC 06/01/2015

    Beautiful garden Linda! Love all the memories of the past. We used to live on my Grandfather's property with my Mother. When she passed away the property became a park. We were able to bring many plants that were theirs and it is a wonderful reminder everyday.
    Gorgeous clematis on the gate.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      Thank you. The clematis is only a year old and I am learning how to care for it. It seems to be fussy and I was wondering if I am doing something wrong. I will continue to explore the care of clematis. I wish it was fuller and stayed blooming longer. Any ideas on care?

      1. GrannyCC 06/02/2015

        I know that clematis like to have a cool root system. So I always plant mine so the roots are shaded. Perhaps you could give it some fertilizer when you water. Maybe someone else might chime in. Any suggestions?

        1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

          I will try the fertilizer. Today I noticed the clematis is done blooming and appears to be dying/ drying up in some areas. It did this last year but it came back this year and bloomed. Is this normal? Thank you Catherine. I appreciate your advice.

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 06/02/2015

            I know there is a disease called clematis wilt and some varieties are a little more prone to it than others. I'd suggest doing a little google search and see what kind of symptoms are described. One of my clematis goes funky on me after it blooms and I cut back the dead wilted stems. So far it has regenerated each time but it makes me a little nervous.

          2. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

            I will cut out the dead stems. Thank you for your advice and I will research the clematis wilt. I appreciate it very much.

          3. GrannyCC 06/02/2015

            I agree with meander not sure what it would be. You could also go to your local garden center and they might have some suggestion, Take some of the damaged pieces with you.Gardening is a mystery but it is wonderful the way the plants survive.!!!

  14. user-7007140 06/01/2015

    Growing up on a farm was a gift to me when my parents left the city - I was in heaven. The farm was not our own but we children had the run of it and the joy of experiencing all that living on a mixed use farm entailed. My love of the countryside stems from that time, a blessing indeed. Your flowers remind me of my mother, especially the Tiger Lilies which grew as tall as five feet. I still grow some of the same plants which my parents grew: calendula for my father, lilies and forget me nots for my mother. To me, my garden is populated with the memories of all those whom I have loved and the friendships I have made through gardening. And it goes on....... How wonderful is that?
    So glad you love the GPODers too. Thank you for taking the time to share your lovely garden.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      The Tiger Lillies are very tall, and once they bloom they die down. So I have been experimenting with what to fill in the vacant area. I will usually setup pumpkins and pots of fall mums during the fall.

      1. user-7007140 06/03/2015

        That's a really great idea! I'll try that,thank you.

  15. Clarkpark 06/01/2015

    Linda, I am sitting in a coffee shop in B.C. enjoying the pics of your calm and restful setting. The clematis on your mother's gate is charming! Thanks for sharing, Patty?

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      Wow that is so awesome that GPOD reaches so many places. You made me smile?

  16. Cenepk10 06/01/2015

    More More !!!! Encore !!!!

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      I will send in more photos when other plants start to bloom. The first week of July will bring many more plants into bloom. And then the fall brings more. It has taken me several years to coordinate blooming times so there will be continuous blooms. Thank you and glad you enjoy the photos.

  17. steve_mosley 06/01/2015

    your lawn absolutely sets everything off to the level of perfection

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/01/2015

      My husband will like hearing this. His grass is his kingdom?

  18. allisonbiele 06/01/2015

    Beautiful, I know how you feel about being out there in the garden

    1. michelleyo 06/01/2015

      Do you utilize a Pay_Pal address >?in the event if you do you can create an additional $530 /week in your pay-pal account by just freelancing on the laptop 3 hrs /daily. --->

  19. user-7007327 06/01/2015

    I love that you have family plants in a beautiful forest setting.

  20. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

    Thank you for your kind words. I really do love gardening and I am trying new plants and seeds every year. Some work and some don't. It's nice to see them grow.

  21. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/02/2015

    I am very late to this party,I had my eyes dilated and it takes mine forever to be normal so I can finally see. Linda your gardens are so beautiful and oh my gosh you have tons of room to play and plant,you are so fortunate to have plants and a gate from your family,I have Lilly of the valley from my Grandma and we have Dons from his Grandma (mailed to us by his sweet Aunt Helen)very special plants in my gardens. Your husband must love his lawn because it's beautiful and obviously well tended. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful gardens,I hope to see more of them soon. Happy gardening to you Linda.

    1. ILfarmersdaughter 06/02/2015

      Thank you sooo much for your kind words. I have glaucoma and so I have my eyes dilated at times too?. I think it's nice that so many people have plants from their family too. It is our pleasure to continue to nurture and care for these special plants. And yes my husband loves his yard. Because of all the trees he usually has lots of sticks to pick up before he mows. Thank you again and so good to hear from you.

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