Garden Photo of the Day

Kerstin’s garden in New York

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley

We’re expanding the GPOD family with today’s photos. They’re from Kerstin McCauley in Westchester County, New York. Kerstin says, “Miyako (Remember her garden? Refresh your memory HERE, HERE, and HERE), my daughter in-law, talked me into taking pictures of my garden this spring to send to you. Most of them were taken in late May and a couple were taken in June.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley

“I have many spring-flowering bushes such as rhododendrons, azaleas, and Viburnums at that time. I seriously started to garden when I got a deer fence in 1997. As you can see, my garden is pretty wild. A few months before hurricane Sandy we had to take down a big maple, which was very lucky since it might have fallen on our house otherwise. Since the tree came down we have had a lot more sun and thus many more flowers and a lot of colors in the garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley

“I put a planted whiskey barrel on top of the stump and planted around the stump. For some reason the plants thrive there. The astilbes, for instance, are much taller there than in other places in the yard, and so are many other plants. I try to avoid chemicals in the garden as much as possible, so most plants just get compost.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley

“I am very lenient as far as plants multiplying and let them grow pretty much where they like, within reason. It sometimes makes for interesting combinations. I like the way that the Corydalis lutea is lining the front walkway. It started from one plant many years ago. And with help from chipmunks and squirrels they are now all over the place. Then again at times I have to do some serious editing, but often after the plants have flowered.”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley

I’ve visited this garden in person (years ago), and I LOVED it! I know that many of the plants in Miyako’s garden are divisions from yours. She is lucky to have such a generous gardening mother-in-law! Thanks so much, Kerstin, for sending in photos to share. Beautiful!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley

This is prime time to take some photos in your garden. So get out there with your cameras and send some in! Email them to [email protected].

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kerstin McCauley

Want us to feature YOUR garden in the Garden Photo of the Day? CLICK HERE!
Want to see every post ever published? CLICK HERE!
Want to search the GPOD by STATE? CLICK HERE!
Check out the GPOD Pinterest page! CLICK HERE!

View Comments


  1. user-1020932 08/23/2013

    all looks great to me! you, the chipmunks and squirrels have done a beautiful job. tell me, are those boulders naturally occurring? or did you bring them in

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/23/2013

    Kerstin, I think that a shared interest in gardening is such a wonderful building block for any relationship and I'll bet its especially positive for a mother-in-law and snarky comedian jokes need apply.
    Your spring garden is delightful...all that joyful color really makes the soul sing. Did you add additional dirt around the tree stump to create such a hospitable bed for the astilbes and hosta?

  3. Quiltingmamma 08/23/2013

    Thanks for sharing your garden. I like the natural, wild look. It means it is a garden that adapts to its environment and something that fits the owner. I envy the azaleas and rhodos. Thanks again.

  4. User avater
    forloveofflowers 08/23/2013

    Love the flowers and would also love to hear what kind of deer fencing she used to finally solve the problem! My flowers get just to the best point and are destroyed if I am not spraying something regularly.

  5. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/23/2013

    Wonderful and unrestrained. I enjoy how you have made the stump into an asset. I'm afraid I'm going to have to do that with our only large tree some day.

  6. rwotzak 08/23/2013

    Kerstin, Your garden looks lovely as always. I'm particularly partial to the more wild woodland gardens that fit so naturally in the hills of the Hudson Valley and Western CT.

    tntreeman: I don't know if Kerstin's boulders have been deliberately positioned in those beds, but I can tell you that in this region near the NY/CT border you generally get four parts boulders for ever part soil, and solid ledge is everywhere. It actually works out really well for folks who aren't looking for flat, formal gardens. Working within some predefined limits can often make for more interesting designs.

  7. iccarrion 08/23/2013

    Hi Kerstin,

    Your garden is lovely, thank you for sharing. Does your corydalis bloom all season long or only on the spring/early summer? I have a mostly shaded area in NJ in which to garden and was intrigued by this plant b/c it is said to bloom a lot and be good for shade. Thanks!

  8. tractor1 08/23/2013

    A lovely garden and yes, large rocks and rock outcroppings are a very common element of the New England landscape. Every year new rocks emerge where I mow, some small enough to pry out with a trowel, some require laborious excating, and some are just too large to remove so I mark them with phosphorescent paint and stick a reflective marker next to it... just yesterday I dug up a 100 pound rock that only had the tip of its nose out of the ground when it found my mower. I lugged it into the woods with the same intentions as with countless others that someday I will hitch up the cart and collect them and lay them into my creek... the older I get the more unlikely it is that will occur.

  9. GrannyMay 08/23/2013

    Aah, memories of Spring! Kerstin you have created a lovely colourful oasis among the large trees and the rocks that define your area. Please do take more photos to share.
    What is the low-growing groundcover under the Red Japanese Maple and the hellebores in the second-last photo? It is tantalizingly familiar, but I can't quite put a name to it. Thanks.

  10. sheila_schultz 08/23/2013

    Kerstin, your spring garden is simply beautiful, and it's the wildness that appeals to me. Your plantings are doing what they are supposed to do... grow with abandon!

  11. pattyspencer 08/23/2013

    Beautiful! I really like the pic of the stone pathway and love how you decorated your tree stump

  12. user-1020932 08/23/2013

    we have rock ledges here some places but it's rare to find boulders like that unless you're in the mountains. i've worked with rocks, stone so much this year that now i've become very conscious of every rock i see. thx, rwotzak and tractor1

  13. wittyone 08/23/2013

    The corydalis lutea is lovely and how nice that it is spreading itself around. I've had a pink variety for a long time but it goes back underground shortly after blooming. I've just put in the lutea this year and knew that it continued to bloom but figured that the "continued bloom" would be intermittent. But not at all---full bloom ever since it initially started----so nice. Hope mine is as obliging as yours since I can use it in a number of other places.

  14. bee1nine 08/23/2013

    Kerstin's garden idea (I can highly relate to) is a wonderful
    example how allowing nature to take its course and with right
    soil and light conditions for plants to roam/multiply. In turn, filling in beds and saving $$!
    I appreciate seeing these photo's and enjoy the free, feeling
    effect of your garden, very much!
    Kerstin, thank-you!!

  15. bee1nine 08/23/2013

    Hi GrannyMay, Forgot to add the name of the groundcover you
    were asking about.
    I know it as: Sweet Woodruff.

  16. blommor 08/23/2013

    Thanks for all your nice comments about my garden.
    The name of the groundcover by the Japanese Maple is Sweet Woodruff - Galium Odoratum.
    The Corydalis Lutea blooms all summer, although when it's hot it looks a bit worse for wear. However, when it gets cooler it perks up again(as do I).
    I have not brought in or moved any rocks or boulders, but tried to fit the gardens around them.
    I added compost around the tree stump. That was all and the plants loved it.
    Thanks again.

  17. GrannyMay 08/24/2013

    Thanks Bee1nine and Kerstin for the name of the groundcover, Galium odoratum, Sweet Woodruff. Its relative, Galium triflorum, Fragrant Bedstraw, is a wildforwer throughout my area, but is taller.

  18. cwheat000 08/25/2013

    Sorry I missed your garden the day of it's posting. It is lovely. You have amazing azaleas. I am envying your deer fence. You also have some great woodland perennials. The corydalis and the European ginger have naturalized beautifully.

  19. Jamesjoseph 08/28/2013

    Love you garden I to retired just a few years ago and love working outside. I hope one day I can take picture and post them.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Shop the Store

View All Products