Garden Photo of the Day

How to Downsize

From a big suburban lot to a townhouse

Today Lynn Rouse is sharing photos of her miniaturized garden. Many gardeners worry about not being able to maintain expansive gardens as they get older, but Lynn shows that you can keep all the elements of your garden if you just make them smaller and easier to care for.

My husband and I moved from a corner suburban property to a townhouse in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. As seniors, we appreciate this new condensed lifestyle. The garden consists of all the elements of the garden at our former home, such as comfortable seating, a fountain, veggies, a bird-friendly habitat, and plant material for creative floral designs that we prepare for show at our Optimistic Gardeners Club.

Mourning doves are occasional residents.

Bluebirds have several broods each year.

We have room for tomatoes in a large pot.

This is one of our finished looks. We rotate furniture and accessories each season for variety.

Another look. We have seating for seven people.

The alcove includes a fountain, silver lace vine (Fallopia baldschuanica, Zones 4–7), and coleus. A hanging basket full of annuals brings more color.

A note of whimsy in our alcove “destination.”

The bare area as it looked with the new fence and pine straw mulch.

The alcove at first.

The covered patio between the garage and the kitchen. It provides shelter and creates a breeze.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/27/2019

    Really nice job on your downsizing, Lynn. Your seating area looks comfortable, cheery and welcoming. And, speaking of welcoming, what a treat that a pair of bluebirds decided to take you up on your hospitality and call your place home.

  2. Doxnmomx2 08/27/2019

    Sheer happiness! I love what you've done and you've inspired me for my small patio home garden! The seating area is as beautiful as your lovely plants. And, your dog! I that an adorable Airedale? Thank you for sharing with us!

    1. user-7532381 08/27/2019

      He is a purebred Champion Irish Terrier named Danny Boy

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/27/2019

    Totally beautiful! You really have that downsizing figured out!

  4. btucker9675 08/27/2019

    This is very inspiring - you can have a lovely garden in a small space! What a great job you've done making this oasis for people, pets and wildlife! Your tomatoes look delicious!

  5. Cenepk10 08/27/2019

    Adorable!!! Cozy & beautiful & comfy !!! Tomatoes look great ! Way to go !!!!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 08/27/2019

    I was just thinking of simplifying my garden also. Yours space turned our beautifully. Loved seeing the before photo- just shows how lucky one is to have imagination to invent a great garden in that small space that so many other people would have left barren. Great job!

    1. user-7532381 08/29/2019

      My husband also has had 3 basil harvests and has small hot chili peppers. I have chives. These are all in pots.

    2. user-7532381 08/29/2019

      Thank you. It is our happy place. The furniture is half of what we had in our previous home. We bought planters that that would raise our plants above digging by our dog. I love fountains and am very happy with small solar powered one we have. It only works part of the day requiring fewer refills.

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