Garden Photo of the Day

Joanne’s garden in Ohio

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp

Today’s photos are from Joanne Niekamp in Ohio. She says, “My husband and I live in a small southwestern Ohio town in the middle of farm country. We build our home 34 years ago on what was basically an open field. We both came from families that instilled in us the love of flowers and growing things. Our garden is filled with well-loved hand-me-down plants that I have divided over and over again. I call it our stroll garden, as each day during the growing season, my husband and I walk through our yard to see what’s blooming.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp

“Our back yard is a certified wildlife habitat. We try to draw in birds with native trees and shrubs, bird feeders, and water. We have a raised bed, built by my husband, that changes from week to week, with perennials and shrubs coming in and out of bloom from April to October. Arbors separate the different areas into garden rooms. The front patio is where I satisfy my love of annuals. As the perennial flowers wane in the August heat, the annuals take the starring role. We sit peacefully in the evening, watching the hummingbirds and goldfinches come in for a drink.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp

“Our three children now bring our grandchildren to enjoy the garden, as our children enjoyed it when they were younger. As I watch the grandchildren smell the flowers, pick bouquets, and balance themselves as they walk along the low stone wall, I hope the love of gardening is passed on to them as it was passed on to us.”

You paint a picture of a wonderful, peaceful life, Joanne. And your garden reflects it. Thanks so much for sharing!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Joanne Niekamp


Here’s how it works:

  1. You send in photos of your garden to [email protected], along with a brief description. You know how much you like to read everyone else’s garden stories–now it’s time to tell yours!
  2. At the end of the week I’ll compile a list of names of everyone who sent in photos and choose 5 names randomly from a hat (perhaps a flower pot…). The first person gets first pick, second person gets second pick, etc. I’ll email you if you get picked.
  3. After all the winners have chosen, I’ll tell everyone who won, probably the following week.

Here is a list of the books:

  • Pick of the Bunch: The Story of Twelve Treasured Flowers by Margaret Willes
  • Ginkgo by Peter Crane
  • Gardening Vertically: 24 Ideas for Creating Your Own Green Walls by Noemie Vialard
  • World’s Fair Gardens: Shaping American Landscapes by Cathy Jean Maloney
  • Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo
  • The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City by Patrick Blanc

Now get cracking! I can’t wait to see what’s happening out there. But no worries if winter is still hanging on in your area. Send photos from last year!

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 04/03/2013

    very nice! looks like "home", hand me down plants are that for a reason,,,,,,they perform. great job and i see the satisfaction/enjoyment you get from the garden. i especially like the moon window/lattice on the back porch

  2. briandowns 04/03/2013

    Joanne,now we're talking! Outstanding in every way.

  3. wGardens 04/03/2013

    I can see why your home would be a favorite destination for your children and grandchildren. Lovely!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/03/2013

    Sometime's I greedily jump into looking at the pictures before I read the gardener's info or even let the heading sink in. So, Joanne,when my eyes rested on your first 2 photos, I thought, "hmm, a garden from Charleston, SC"...the aged brick pathway surrounded by the charming wrought iron fence work fooled me.
    You have so many lovely parts to your garden...that must be a very satisfying stroll. The clematis spilling around your pergola is glorious...what a treat of color that must be as you do your walk-about.

  5. tractor1 04/03/2013

    Joanne's garden is composed of several different parts yet all blend together flawlessly. I especially like the cottage that might be a gardening shed, and I like the vista in that last photo of what appears to be a property line and depicts the rear of the cottage. The only part lacking is a vegetable garden, the grands would love it. Thank you, Joanne.

  6. bee1nine 04/03/2013

    I can feel the intimacy and loving touch among your welcoming
    yard, pleasing plant beds and border's, that so help entice
    your delightful birds!
    ALL just simply inviting!! Thanks, Joanne :)

  7. cwheat000 04/03/2013

    Somethings just get better with age. Your garden look like years of love have gone into it. I would imagine it takes a lot to turn a flat piece of land with nothing on it , into something that looks like it has belonged there forever. So nice!

  8. Happily_Gardening 04/03/2013

    Your words and pictures fill the heart with peace and happiness. I feel as if I've stepped back in time where the hustle and bustle of today has temporarily stopped. Thank you Joanne from the bottom of my heart!

  9. mauritian_host 04/03/2013


  10. parktown 04/03/2013

    I have strolled in Joanne's garden many times. It is a layered garden that changes from one scene to another during all four seasons. It is a truly magical place to be.

  11. sheila_schultz 04/03/2013

    What lucky kids and grandkids to be surrounded by your well loved gardens! They are a wonderful legacy to pass on from generation to generation.

  12. n2hostas 04/03/2013

    Just beautiful, what a great way to start my day. Was headed out to work in my garden, but now I think I rather just take in the beauty of your garden.

  13. MyGardenNeedsHelp 04/04/2013

    Hey Sis! So awesome to see your garden online! How many times have your brothers and sisters also taken the garden stroll with you when we're out! . . . Remembering the development of your outdoor living space through the years. It relaxes me just bringing back the memories!

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