Garden Photo of the Day

Jacky & Lynn’s garden in Wisconsin, Day 1

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson

Happy Monday, everyone! Today’s photos are from Jacky and Lynn Swenson in Grafton, Wisconsin. Jacky says, “In 2003, my husband Lynn and I bought a newly-built home with three acres of land near Lake Michigan in the town of Grafton. There was only a driveway…no sidewalks, lawn, or hardscape. The weeds grew up to the door.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson

It had formerly been a farm field, and we hauled out old fence posts, barbed wire, dead trees, and debris that were left behind. Since we both grew up on Iowa farms and have a passion for planting and watching things grow, we make a good team. This also means that if one of us comes up with an idea, there is no one to “put on the brakes” and we have done some pretty big projects, including building two ponds stocked with fish and planting dozens of trees, bushes, and flowers. We have dug every hole ourselves for each tree, shrub, and plant. Sometimes our ideas put our muscles to the test, but it is all worth it in the end result.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson

We like a lot of flowers touching each other so your eye just flows along, but I still like to keep it pretty tidy and so I do a lot of cutting back and deadheading. I would call our garden style “Controlled Exuberance”! My husband Lynn has done all the hardscape work all by himself…brickwork, pond digging with rental equipment, and laying the stones and paths.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson

After nine years, he and I now have a serene paradise that we enjoy each and every day. Incidentally, you will note that there are several patios and lots of chairs, which are great places to enjoy the quiet beauty of nature and have a glass of wine. When our friends sit by the pond, they always comment that it is so peaceful. We love it here!”

Wow, Jacky–stunning. I am amazed at how much you’ve accomplished in 9 years!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson

****Jacky and Lynn sent in so many photos that I’m splitting them up. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, where you’ll see her beautiful ponds, among other things.****

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jacky & Lynn Swenson

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View Comments


  1. joycedaffodilhill 09/24/2012

    Controlled exuberance definitely works. Your vistas are wonderful, leading the eye just around the corner. Colors flow, it is a treat early this Monday morning. Thanks.

  2. Deanneart 09/24/2012

    Lovely garden spaces. Great job on on the flow of the borders and hardscaping.

  3. wGardens 09/24/2012

    I am SSSSOOOOOO ready for a personal tour.... AND.... a glass of wine.... Ah. Just beautiful. You make a great team, obviously! Thank you for sharing!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/24/2012

    Jacky and Lynn, you do beautiful work and make a wonderful team. There is nothing more satisfying than putting forth heroic efforts on a project...being physically exhausted and during the process, giving each other those looks that say, "we must be crazy". Then gazing with such pride and satisfaction at the finished results. Your husband has done an amazing job on all your pathways...which was the first one he tackled? the stone? the straight line brick? the herringbone brick pattern?
    Love how the sweeping swaths of grass set off your colorful beds so effectively. Everything is in such pleasing balance. Can't wait for tomorrow's installment!

  5. gramamarg 09/24/2012

    I live just south of you and am inspired to think this is nearby.
    I also am ready for a tour. Fantastically beautiful

  6. pattyspencer 09/24/2012

    Looking at all the pictures I can see how peaceful your place must be. I can just imagine sitting out there with that wine listening to nature. Beautiful gardens. You two certainly have done a labor of love.

  7. annek 09/24/2012

    I'm in awe of the 'wooded' aspect of your property. All that tree planting nine years ago has resulted in quite the garden. And, like most of the other comments, the flow of flowers meandering around rocks and bushes is fabulous. Way to go!

  8. tractor1 09/24/2012

    Looks like all three acres are parked out, quite an undertaking for just two people in only nine years. It looks amazing and must take every waking hour to maintain. I love all the hardscaping, a monumental feat! And with all the trees and conifers I'd love to see your property in winter. Thank you, Jacky and Lynn. Oh, I'm not much into wine but you can fill that lovely birdbath with 2nis for me.

  9. pattyspencer 09/24/2012

    Tractor1 - is that storm damage done to your trees?

  10. tractor1 09/24/2012

    pattyspencer: I'm pretty certain that tree was struck by lightening during a recent storm. I didn't notice it until a few days later when I went to mow one of my paths and spotted its top portion laying across the path. I went out with a chainsaw so now it's gone. Every year several trees fall for one reason or another. Many just get old and die. Many in the forest become too tall and spindly reasching for the sun so fall from becoming top heavy. Some give up the ghost from trying to survive in wet areas. Usually in spring is when I have the most clean ups to tend to, the weight of the winter snows culls out the weak wood. I don't bother with those that fall in the forest, I only clean up those that fall where I mow.

  11. aacrane 09/24/2012

    Lovin' the "controlled exuberance" aspect of it all. I tend to garden along those lines as well, though my standard sized house lot doesn't have a ton of space for exuberance!!!

  12. greengrowler 09/24/2012

    So loving the EXPANSE of acreage and what you've done to make it a serene paradise! I would call it a rolling tapestry of exuberance with no need of "control". I would happily enjoy it with wine...or martini...or two or three! Jacky & Lynn you should be so proud of the fruits of your hard(loving)labor.

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