Garden Photo of the Day

Jenni’s garden in Virginia

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski

Today’s photos are from Jennifer Rucinski in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Jenni says, “My “short” story is that I’m a gardener and mommy by night and a landscape designer for a small design/build firm (Mast Landscapes) by day. I’ve been doing the landscaping gig for about 16 years now (although my youthful appearence would in no way give that away… hahaha) but my own garden is the love of my life, right below my children. 🙂

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski

“It is definitely more of a plant collection than a well-designed garden and I caution my clients, if they come visit, that my own yard will in no way reflect what I’ll design for them… they wouldn’t want it! It’s so much fun, but pretty labor intensive. I’ve got the 8-year-old using Felcos already, though, and I’m grooming the 4-year-old, so soon I’ll have plenty of un-paid labor!”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski

Hmmm. I think I will adopt that evil strategy with my 6-year-old, Jenni! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Seriously, though, you garden is wonderful. And your little garden fairy…my goodness…adorable!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Jennifer Rucinski

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 02/19/2013

    lush, full, exuberant and garden "stuff" i love it
    my daughter "helped" me in the garden when small then when she got old enough to be real help she disappeared! now grown and on her own she asks if i have any pots i don't use, then if i have soil and then "well, what do you have that i can put in these pots"
    let the kids do everything they want in the garden , , they will keep that with them all their life

  2. Annedean 02/19/2013

    On this dark February morning I delighted in the beauty and richness of your garden! Thank you for sending this collection of photos.

  3. wGardens 02/19/2013

    Oh, my Goodness! Love it! Sign me up! :-) A wonderful "collection" of great plants, forms, garden art! (And your little girl- absolutely precious.) I am especially fond of the oakleaf hydrangea ....and... the birdbath!

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/19/2013

    Cramming in a collection of plants cheek to jowl is my kind of gardening. This winter I'm dreaming about what I can dig up to make room for new plants! Your garden looks like a treasure hunt.

  5. ElveraH 02/19/2013

    You had me at your circular steps! Really love them, how very inviting. And the rest of your garden certainly continues to enchant any guest, complete with a live garden fairy! I too entertained and educated my young daughter, now 30, in my garden. It is a gift that every gardener should bestow onto their children. Your garden is enchanting!

  6. bee1nine 02/19/2013

    I love the magical charm of your garden! Iam one who also
    likes to play with ornamental accents among the plants.
    (especially with gnomes and fairies- what can I say?!). But
    truly, you gave me 'warm smiles' with your bubbly garden
    fairy!! Great way to start my day!:)

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/19/2013

    Lots of great plants and fun treasures to feast the eyes on with, of course, the living, bubble blowing angel the greatest delight. Lucky her, she gets to enjoy heaven on earth and think that's just the normal way to live.

  8. user-1020932 02/19/2013

    meander1 you always have the nicest things to say. you aren't that far from me and if ever you are "up this way" let me know, would love to give you the garden tour of Kingsport. i do not have a grand home or garden but i do have a welcoming home and we could have Beergaritas in the back garden after the tour

  9. greenthumblonde 02/19/2013

    I think it's awesome that you have your kids out there. Suck them in while they're young. I had my son planting annuals at 5. He's 23 and I don't think the gardening bug stuck with him but you never know. A little piece of yard has a way of transforming people. I just wrote about that very thing on my blog. I love all your ornaments you've collected and your garden is a beautiful reflection of you. It's a gift that you can design for others too.

  10. shineeday 02/19/2013

    Hnmmmmmm(my dreamy sigh) to wake up everyday to a life and to work that you simply love....can't wait till I grow up! Ima be just like each and every one of you! I'm so inspired by the posts, the pics and the stories, I'm seriously rethinking my professional may not lead to my "grown-up" life as a "master gardener" but surely, (hopefully, prayerfully) it will lead me to a path of passionate, fulfilling work that I love!

  11. tractor1 02/19/2013

    Am I the only one who noticed that Jennifer's garden fairy is lacking a halo... with her magical scepter she reminds me more of a Tinkerbell. I like the glow of the fourth photo down on the left. I also don't see even one patch of lawn to mow. From the time my daughter could walk she was most interested in my vegetable garden and now she's had a vegetable garden too for each of her 45 years. I'm always so surprised at how few of our gardeners have a vegetable garden. Without a vegetable garden I don't consider one is much of a gardener.

  12. tractor1 02/19/2013

    How coincidental, visiting Great Trees Virgina I have at least one of each tree they have listed, of some I have several.

  13. user-1020932 02/19/2013

    maybe many of the posters here are like me in that they grow vegetables but don't include photos because many vegetable gardens (again like mine) are not that attractive. Lee Reich's , however, are spellbinding. i only have a pick and eat garden now as time is limited and i am fortunate to have 2 good farmers markets nearby and i'm happy to support them. i think anyone who grows anything is a gardener. i once spotted a little house with more hanging baskets than i have ever seen in one place hanging in tiers on the front porch. at first i thought "oh no" but i stopped and the lady who lived there was 90 years old , had always gardened but couldn't work the earth as she once did so her grandchildren created this hanging garden for her to enjoy and cultivate as she was no longer "bendy" enough for gardening in the for me, a few pots, a window box, a rooftop garden or 2 pots flanking the front door,,,,,there's a gardener in that house somewhere

  14. user-7006902 02/19/2013

    What a fabulous sanctuary! I cannot wait for the day when I remove the very last patch of lawn in my garden. What beautiful tangles of eye treats and intriguing plants. And oh, what an adorable angel!

    P.S. I do not know why my comments always appear twice. It prompts me to login but must also publish a comment without my login? I apologize for the redundancy - although repetition is good for the garden.

  15. pattyspencer 02/19/2013

    You had me as well at the circular stairs!!! Your daughter is precious!!!!!! And the picture makes her look magical. Totally love the lushness of your garden as well.

  16. user-1020932 02/19/2013

    violetfern, just think of yourself as New York, New York,,,,,,a city so nice they had to say it twice

    rained out so here i am, i'm sure Fine Gardening is going to block me at any moment

  17. Plant_Paradise 02/19/2013

    Simply enchanting! Love all your garden sculptures.
    That is truly a special moment you have captured with your daughter. Isn't that what being in the garden is all about?

  18. annek 02/19/2013

    OMG..Jennifer, the last photo of your daughter is precious! Beautifully composed, magical light.....just perfect. And your garden, oh my. If I were visiting I would, indeed, want you as my garden designer. Such a warm, cozy feeling taking a visual walk along your paths.

    Two questions: what are the light lilac flowers in the second photo, and where do you find all your wonderful garden ornaments? I'm intrigued particularly by the mythical character in photo number 3

  19. sheila_schultz 02/19/2013

    Man, there's been a whole lot going on in GPOD while I've been sick! I cant believe I've missed all the fun... is it going to pot luck at your place this summer? ;) I'll be sure to bring my point and shoot camera! Down to business...
    Jenni, your gardens are so very inviting, I love that you have created such beauty with all of the flowers you adore. There's never enough room is there? And I agree with everyone, your little garden fairie is pretty magical! You are a lucky woman.

  20. greenthumblonde 02/19/2013

    tractor1, I do not have a vegetable garden. Not allowed on my lot. But if I grow a tomato plant and basil in a pot I think that still makes me a gardner. I hope you concur ;) Oh, and I have an apple tree. But the family farms and roadside stands in my community grow better vegetables than I could ever hope to. So, for now at least I have to be just a flower gardener.

  21. user-1020932 02/19/2013

    jenni, we all love your garden and i think all would agree that now your "bubble girl" is an international star!
    greenthumblonde i have seen the pics of your garden and yep, i think you are definitely a gardener!
    sheila, you have me rolling,,,,,,point and shoot camera :)

  22. jennabean 02/19/2013

    I am just so tickled with all the sweet, wonderful comments about my little gardens you all are leaving! Thank you so much!

    Annek, if you mean the lavender ones with my little water bubbler? Those are 'Love in a Mist' (Nigella) and they go crazy! I love them in bloom, and the seed heads are cool too, but I tear them out once they're done because they will absolutely take over otherwise!

    I love to repurpose all sorts of old stuff in the garden but I am also lucky enough to live near Harper's Lawn Ornaments, right here in Harrisonburg... any and every do-dad a gardener could want! I scour their 'seconds' departments and that's wear the rather scary looking guy's face came from. He terrifies small children :)

  23. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/19/2013

    tntreeman, it sounds like a lot of fun to share some Kingsport gardens with someone as much in the know as you. And,please know that there is always a standing invitation to you and any other fellow gardener to spend some time meandering about my garden. Do you make a visit to the UT trial garden on occasion? If so, I'm about a half hour further south. I have gotten a lot of inspiration from the trial gardens over the years...they were particularly helpful to this transplanted northerner who moved here from MA about back in 1994.
    I loved your story about the 90 year old lady and her porch dripping with plant filled hanging heart warmed at how thoughtful her family members were to do that for her.

  24. user-1020932 02/19/2013

    meander1 i have been to the UT trial gardens but it has been a long time ago. i have very little free time "in season". i saw you mention fulton md, i spent alot of time growing up in Howard County, my aunt lived adjacent to Carroll Manor and ran the Forest Diner for decades now i'm hungry for crabcakes

  25. Happily_Gardening 02/19/2013

    Jennifer, your garden angel is absolutely precious...I'm still smiling!
    It is true sowing gardening seeds in the young will grow into a lifelong gardening love affair. It worked on me!
    meander1, had to touch on "tntreeman" comment..."meander1 you always have the nicest things to say". So true, for you are a breath of sweet fresh air each and every day.
    "tntreeman" you are following in her footsteps. Your story of the adaptive garden for the elderly was heart warming. Physical limitations do not necessarily mean the end to ones gardening days. It would be neat to hear, perhaps see, how folks have dealt with physical limitations and continued their love of gardening.
    The vegetable garden talk stirs the embers on a continuing discussion I have with my husband..."my desire to make the worthless (my opinion only) lawn into a practical, productive vegetable garden (lawn area best veg grow area in our space) and lovely wildflower meadow". I think done right it could been aesthetically pleasing to the neighborhood. And shucks I'd throw a few homegrown goodies on their dinner table and flowers to brighten the room :).
    Ok, think I've run off at the mouth enough...
    "Happy Tuesday All!"

  26. tractor1 02/19/2013

    greenthumblonde: last time I checked my rulz book a container grown veggie garden qualifies, as do raised beds, even veggies grown in pots on your kitchen window sill... I really don't care what photos folks submit so long as they depict their own garden that they've created themselves with their own hands. Submitting photos of other's gardens, public or private, is plagerism. Most all public gardens have a web site that feature many pictures... if you had a good visit submit the URL is all. And seeing professionally created gardens is pretty pointless, everyone who knows anything about gardening realizes that those are done entirely by the work crew, professional landscaper's hands rarely touch dirt, just the dirty lucre.

  27. user-1020932 02/19/2013

    tractor1 i think i would like to meet you one day and i'm sure we would have a lively conversation/debate/argument and it would be enjoyable for us both.
    i don't think submitting photos of others gardens public or private is plagerism unless you take credit for the work so far i have not known of anyone here doing that. many many public spaces are not known outside their local area and many would never know about them without this forum. as far as professional landscapers never touching the dirt, i was degreed in 1981 have been in business since 1986 and i'm still the dirtiest one on the landscape crew and a good 95% of the people i have met in the business , unless it is a landscape construction machine kind of operation, are the same. i have hundreds if not thousands of photos here that i have taken and the private gardens/plants i have always asked permission and never take credit for the work. let us all just enjoy and learn from what people here share with us. if just the URL was supplied for the cedarholme inn i probably would never have clicked on it but with the photos i wanted to see more. not criticizing, not arguing just stating a different viewpoint and not everyone who knows anything about gardening comes up with the same assumption. i do, however, wish i could handle much MORE of the dirty lucre, it seems to be in short supply much of the time

  28. thegardenlady 02/19/2013

    Fairies, including Tinkerbell, don't have halos, those belong to angels. Just sayin'... This little girl is no doubt angelic, but is clearly one with the fairies and elves who no doubt inhabit this voluptuous and enchanting garden. Thank you for sharing both your garden and it's fairy queen.

  29. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/19/2013

    Here's a perhaps novel take on "to have a vegetable garden or not have a vegetable garden, that is the question" ...if fans of Shakespeare will forgive me for some indulgent paraphrasing.
    Anyway, we live in the country and certainly have ample room for as big a garden as we would like to put in. However, from the very beginning of our moving in, some of the local farmers made it a habit to stop by and share their bounty. We always express very sincere thanks and when our blueberries and apples are in season, we return the favor. At this point, it would seem ungracious to plant our own tomatoes, zucchini, corn, onions, etc. and shut the door on the tradition of generosity that seems to exist out here. As transplanted northerners, my husband and I never wanted to seem off putting. We're probably considered a bit eccentric because of the extent of our landscaping but since we're usually outside weeding, mulching,and planting, at least the locals who have lived here from birth know we have a work ethic and we feel accepted.

  30. thegardenlady 02/19/2013

    marvelous perspective, as always

  31. user-1020932 02/19/2013

    meander1 i wish you were my neighbor. you're a good "yankee" :) sorry i couldn't resist

  32. janetsfolly 02/19/2013

    Jenny, your garden is a joyful sight! And this is why most of us feel the joy and share it, with kids, friends, passers-by, etc.
    Happily Gardening, you're on the right track! A few veggies, some scattered annuals, a pretty border around and no more mowing! Sounds great and if you share the bounty you may start a trend ;-).
    And BTW, the posters here feel more like good neighbors than some in my 'real' neighborhood! I'm slowly working up the courage to submit my garden, creeeep, creeeep.

  33. Happily_Gardening 02/19/2013

    janetsfolly, had to laugh at the lawn comment, I've told my husband many times, bet we'd start a trend if we turned the lawn into a garden. Remember Victory gardens?
    Submitting pictures?...don't let fear stop you, just "DO IT". This isn't a photo contest or photography class but just a place for gardeners to hang their hat for a spell and chat...share our love and passion for gardening with each other. It's the gardeners way! The only thing we're missing is the ability to share a slip of this or that plant...wouldn't that be nice.
    And meander1, your writing of you and your neighborhood was absolutely heart warming. You are a treasure!

  34. bee1nine 02/20/2013

    meander1, I couldn't help notice that you lived in MA. This
    is where I live!:)

  35. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/20/2013

    Happily Gardening, thank you for your kind words and right back at you! Your comments always give off such positive energy and enthusiasm...your GPOD moniker is aptly chosen and I always smile ahead of time as soon as I see your white flower show up.

    bee1nine, I lived in Hopkinton MA (its claim to fame is that it is where the Boston Marathon has its official start) for about 6 years but in 1993 when my husband got a chance for very early retirement from the heavy construction industry, we picked the state of TN to put down roots. We wanted slightly less winter and a longer gardening season. Where do you live in MA?

    tntreeman, you pegged me inner yankee has prevented me from taking on a southern drawl. My husband worked on the Fort McHenry Tunnel project in Baltimore and sure loved going into the downtown for some special MD crabcakes. We actually lived in MD two different times...the first stretch was out in Bel Air which is Hartford County and then, as I already mentioned, Fulton which is your stomping ground county of Howard. Maryland really is a beautiful state.

  36. user-1020932 02/20/2013

    i wish i could retire . i'll be 95 years old on my HoverRound screaming at my help to "pull that weed" "you missed one"

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