Garden Photo of the Day

Julie’s garden in Pennsylvania

Today's photos are from Julie Hoover, who says, "My husband Dave and I live on 3.5 acres in beautiful Douglassville, Pennsylvania. We are located about an hour and 10 minutes northwest of Philadelphia. I love to garden and cook and after a long day of work those are two of my greatest passions! We are on the adventure of trying to be as self-sufficient as possible, by growing much of our food in our two veggie gardens and by also preserving, with canning and freezing. I have a cottage garden with annuals, perennials, and herbs, and additional perennial beds around the yard. I designed the cottage garden and my husband constructed it and the potting shed." This is exactly what I picture in my head when I hear the words "cottage garden," Julie. So incredibly charming and beautiful. We need lots more photos, please!

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  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/17/2015

    Julie,you have designed some amazing gardens and your hardscaping is perfection to the eyes. The white fence is the most beautiful fence with curved top another perfect detail with so much personality and a perfect compliment to the rest of your design. You must enjoy seeing this lovely vista from your windows. Vegetable gardening takes me back to my childhood,I was fortunate to have had a rather large vegy garden to work in as a child,it was a must to feed a family of seven. I can't say however I enjoyed canning and freezing and pie making as much as I did working in the gardens.Your potting shed is adorable and sweet peas too,yes we grew those and I loved to bring large bouquets into the house,back then they were very fragrant not so much today unless you can get an old fashion variety.Like Michelle said very"charming"perfect way to describe your gardens,lots of love and hard work. Lovely lovely lovely

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/17/2015

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I spent a lot of time on my Grandparents farm as a child, observing, learning and picking vegetables with them. My Grandma always grew garlic, dill and sweet peas, and many other things. But, those three plants are in my garden every year in honor of her. I will never forget the scent of her Sweet Peas and have never found any that come close! All of this comes from a lot of love and love of getting my hands in that warm soil in the spring! Thanks again!

  2. jeanneheintschel 02/17/2015

    This is the home of my dear cousins, Julie and Dave. I was so thrilled to visit them last summer, from Toledo Ohio, and see this amazing, wonderful homestead....full of love !! And their bounty is as delicious as it is beautiful !!!

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/17/2015

      Thank you, Jeanne! Loved having you here with us!

  3. user-1020932 02/17/2015

    certainly a sight for frozen eyes and am i ever glad to see it. you have all of my g'moms plants in your garden and they are all glowing with health and vigor. i hope to one day have a vegetable garden as neat and as put together as yours. it's seed catalog worthy

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Hi Jeff, Looking at these pictures again today made me want SPRING to come so much! My Grandma had so much influence on me with gardening! Wish she was here to see it, but, I know she enjoys it everyday! My veggie garden started out pretty small, didn't want to get overwhelmed initially. I just love harvesting the amazing food that's grown and preserving it, still surprises me everyday that this is what we get from those tender little seeds! Thanks so much, happy spring!

  4. perenniallycrazy 02/18/2015

    Talk about storybook perfect and happy ever after! I wish I had a garden like yours Julie.

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Hi there! Thank you so much! I add a few new perennials and herbs every year, so every year it has a little different look, love the change of seasons with it too! In my eyes every garden is beautiful, have a great time planting this spring!

  5. greengenes 02/18/2015

    Sweet! It truly is a beautiful place, Julie! It is so bright and happy. I can feel the warmth of the sun in your photos; Is that gooseneck loosestrife in the first picture, being the white flowers? Everything looks so healthy and happy! I love your little garden shed! Thanks for sharing with us!

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Hi Jeanne, Yes, that is Gooseneck Loosestrife! One of my favorite perennials. Believe it or not this garden was totally destroyed in a hail storm last May and it actually came back and looked this amazing, devastated at the time, but, I was completely shocked when it came back! So glad your enjoyed my little bit of warmth during this frigid winter!

  6. Jay_Sifford 02/18/2015

    Julie, what a welcome sight, in between snow and ice and zero degree weather. Nice photos to see first thing in the morning. Thanks for sharing.

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Hi Jay, I was thinking the same thing about all of the snow and ice, especially here in PA... will my gardens ever look like this again??? Soon enough we will all be digging and planting! I can't wait! Thanks for your kind words!

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/18/2015

    Wow! I am impressed. I agree that the hardscaping and plantings are beautful and well matched. I'm resigned to being a vegetable failure, but on the upside that makes more room for perrenials in my small yard. It's obvious that you work quite diligently in your edible garden. I read your comment below; hail is the worst! It's great to see how resilient so many plants are, though. Thanks for sharing and brightening this bitter-cold day!

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Hi Tim, Thank you! It's my favorite thing to do after a long day of work! I love the Veggie garden in order and love to see it as it grows in stages, love seeing the perfect lines of veggies grow! The hail storm was a freak storm that mowed down everything, it looked like someone took a hedge clipper to it all. I had to replant about 20 pots of flowers and replant the Veggie garden too! I was so upset! But, the outcome was glorious... we were very lucky....glad my pictures brightened your day!! And there's nothing wrong with more perennials : )

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/18/2015

        We had some unusual hail in Ohio last year, too, but nothing like that. I would have had to sulk, depressed for a few days, before I kicked into repair-gear! But I'm moody....
        I know what you mean about being in the garden. My wife, although happy that I don't like football, says that she is a garden-widow. I am often late to work from walking in the garden on my way to the car and when I get home from work, through the garden I go...My parents grew great vegetables when I was a kid and so many of them are highly ornamental, at least in my opinion. Happy gardening this year!

        1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

          I was devastated and definitely shed a few tears, then the adrenaline kicked it and I was on a mission and got busy! I work from home and putter around in the gardens at lunch time, and it's so hard when it hits 1:00 to get back at that job that pays for all this joy! : )

  8. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/18/2015

    Ahh, Julie, how wonderful to be living your dream and fulfilling your goals! I know it takes a lot of effort on your and your super hubby, Dave's, part but how gratifying to bask in the memory lane fragrances that fill the air and have all those very healthy veggies and herbs to harvest. I always feel a little abashed when I have to admit that my passion for gardening does not include the worthy world of edibles. How do you decide what gets canned and what gets frozen and do you prefer one technique over the other? Your flowers look as bountiful as your vegetables so you obviously have a multi talented green thumb!

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

      Hi there! Everything about gardening is extremely gratifying to me, if I could sit and watch it grow everyday I certainly would : ) I can and freeze a lot and much of my decisions are based on trial and error. I can by water bath, pickles, peppers, beets, jams, relishes, and onions and typically freeze green beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, lima beans, peas, edamame, peppers and onions. I will admit I am terrified to pressure can and could probably do so much more if learned to do it the right way, so maybe that should be on my list for this year! My green thumb comes from years of following around my parents and grand parents as they all worked and still work so hard on their farms and in their gardens, it's in my blood! Enjoynthe spring!

  9. annek 02/18/2015

    I feel like I am entering the wizard of oz! Although it's been warm in our northern locale, it's still quite grey and dreary, so seeing the burst of colors in your wondrous photos today brought a huge smile to my face. I love the graceful arches of the gooseneck loosestrife but have heard rather nasty stories of it being invasive. How do you contain it! (Good ole fashioned pulling?). Yor veggie harvest looks to be more than bountiful what fun for you and the family to be able to 'live off the land'. Great posting today

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

      Hi Annek, I'm so glad I was able to put a smile on your face today! I love Loosestrife too, but, I haven't found it invasive as of yet. And if it comes to that, I'll probably dig up a few clumps and move them else where, I love how everything blends all together though. I enjoy sharing perennials with friends too! I always grow way too much produce so I share with family and friends and also some of our older neighbors that don't have gardens any longer, they love it! Thanks for sharing your sweet thoughts today!

  10. GrannyMay 02/18/2015

    Julie it is lovely to see masses of summer colour at this time and dream of warm days and home-grown veggies. Congratulations on embarking on the journey to be self-sufficient by growing as much of your own food as possible. With that much land, you could certainly achieve that goal. Though I no longer grow my own vegetables, I do have plenty of perennial herbs and fruit (apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches and figs) from young fruit trees that I wish I had planted much sooner.

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

      Hi there! I love dreaming of summer warmth this time of year! Some days at lunch, I go out with our dog and I face the sun and let the warmth soak in, it keeps me going on these crazy winter days! Sustainability is so important to me, like cooking from scratch almost every meal, keeping a wood stove to warm the house, raising chickens and selling eggs, hanging the clothes on the line and planting so many vegetables! I have a long way to go, but, try to do a little more very year! We would love to plant more fruit trees in the coming years, we have two very old apples trees left from the previous owner of our house and they are on their last leg. Sure made some great apple sauce from them though.but, we do have blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry bushes. I make lots of jam from them.

  11. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/18/2015

    Hi Julie,

    I was just going through my Select Seed catalog and yes FRAGRANT sweet peas, "a coveted highly fragrant selection from England" p.11. It's that time of the year, making up the list of seeds to buy. I saved some seed from my annual salvias last season so I am set except for zinnias. You picked a fine husband for yourself, the hardscaping is awesome. My favorite pic is the sign 'Laugh' with the adorable frog.

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

      Thank you so much for pointing out the Sweet Peas to me, I will definitely check out their website and see if I can order some seeds. I saved a few flower seeds this past year, Mexican Sunflowers, Coneflowers and Zowie Yellow Flame Zinnias. They are my favorite Zinnia by far! Check them out they are so beautiful! Just amazing color! I am the luckiest girl in the world, my hubby loves to construct, plan and build, and gets so much joy out of seeing it complete and seeing me happy! The laugh sign came from my Dad, who was a farmer growing up and has a horticulture degree. Guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Have a great garden season!

  12. GrannyCC 02/18/2015

    What a charming garden, It has a very English Cottage garden feel. Your kitchen garden is very lush and you certainly had a wonderful harvest, I too love to have a vegetable garden but this year I hope to put in raised beds. It is getting to hard to bend over!!
    I agree about the sweet peas they seemed to be more scented years ago, I also find I get a lot more aphids than before. I haven't had much luck with them the last few years but I do keep trying.

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

      Hi Catherine, Glad you enjoyed our garden pictures! Great idea to put in raised beds, I'm so glad we put them in the Cottage Garden, its so much easier to weed, pick and plant. Love Sweet Peas so much and all of the old-fashioned flowers. I haven't seen a problem with aphids too much, but, I do believe it's all about the environment and the weather and if your plants are stressed in some way. Keep on trying that's what gardening is all about! Happy spring!

  13. user-7007382 02/18/2015

    Hollyhocks and Sweet Peas, my favorites. Just a great looking yard. You have done a great job. I wish I had 3.5 acres.

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Two of my very favorite old-fashion additions to the garden by far! Wish I had Hollyhocks, especially, in every free area in the yard, I love them! Thanks for your kind comments!

  14. digginWA 02/18/2015

    I want to come sit on your little brick patio one summer day and just listen to the life in the garden. Thanks for sharing.

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Hi Tia, thank you! I love sitting on that patio, on some of the first spring days, everything comes to life and you can hear all kinds of birds, our chickens clucking away and church bells ringing every hour!

    2. greengenes 02/19/2015

      Hi Tia!

      1. digginWA 02/19/2015

        Hello across the water! Are you getting your garden chores done in this heat wave? I have a pile of treasure from the show that needs to go in the ground.

  15. wGardens 02/18/2015

    Fabulous. I am "smitten" with your raised beds and fenced veggie garden. Wonderful! And what a beautiful little ceramic birdhouse! Thanks for sharing. Your piece of the world is GREAT!

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Thank you, Margaret! Please visit: for the birdhouses, I have a few of them and they accent a garden beautifully. So glad you enjoyed our garden!

      1. wGardens 02/18/2015

        Thanks for the link, Julie! I checked them out and I like them very much. I didn't see that it said..... is there a way to clean them out? Thank you!
        Looking forward to more photos of your garden when you contribute again!

        1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

          Yes, the tops come right off and are very easy to clean out. I've given these as gifts and everyone loves them!

  16. schatzi 02/18/2015

    Lush, beautiful and productive. To garden is to hope. Spring WILL come again!

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Thank you, Shirley! I love watching everything grow... it is hope, and hopefully spring will be here soon!

    2. greengenes 02/19/2015

      Hi Shirley Graves!

  17. Cenepk10 02/18/2015

    Love LOVE Love it, Julie ! My garden is a cottage wannabe. I can see all of the hard work and passion… MORE PICTURES !!!! And what everyone else said !

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

      Thank you so much! Hopefully, I'll have more pictures to share this summer! It is a lot of hard work, but, I love the challenge, as it's so worth it!

  18. sheila_schultz 02/18/2015

    Julie... your vegie gardens are so pleasing to the eye as your perennial beds, no wonder gardening gives you such comfort at the end of a long day! And then there are those gorgeous raised beds which are just plain dreamy! I'm not a vegetable gardener, but I sure do appreciate those that are... This was a perfect post for a winter day ;)

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

      Thank you, Sheila! I feel so at peace in the garden, especially at the end of a long day! There is nothing like that quiet to take you into the evening! I can't wait to get back out there and get my hands dirty again! Thank your for your beautiful words!!!

      1. sheila_schultz 02/19/2015

        The beauty of GPOD is that all of us understand the peace and exhaustion digging in the dirt gives back to us at the end of a long day.

  19. steve_mosley 02/18/2015


    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/18/2015

      Thank you, Steve!

  20. VikkiVA 02/18/2015

    Julie, I have been through your pictures several times and I love everything you have accomplished. The white loosestrife with the bee balm is breathtaking. I really like how you have everything so organize. I love that style of gardening with pathways meandering through the beautiful blooms. I hope you share more of your lovely flower and veggie gardens with us. Vikki in VA

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/19/2015

      Hi Vikki, Thank you so much! I really planned my garden out the first year with such uniformity and spacing and by the third year, everything started growing and blending all together and looked so beautiful. Now I plant for color and let it all mix in, I love it so much better that way! I I love the loosestrife mixed in with the bee balm and false sunflowers too. The red stone path was my husband's idea, weed block down first, then the stone and after many years I still have very few weeds. Enjoy the spring, when it arrives and happy planting!

  21. user-7007140 02/19/2015

    Julie, I love this whole scene - just forwarded your garden post to my daughter in very rural England!
    You and Dave clearly work very hard at keeping everything so wonderfully organized and beautiful. Congratulations on spreading the joy, quite literally far and wide.

    1. juliekoricanhoover 02/20/2015

      Thank you, Eddi! We are such homebodies and love working outside, we surely get the most out of every day! And enjoy adding new things to the yard. We have a lot of landscaping to do this spring and I can't wait to get started! Thank you!

      1. user-7007140 02/27/2015

        I did send this to England, Julie. My daughter loved your garden,too, and we talked about making a little patio with table and chairs.

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