Garden Photo of the Day

Kim’s garden in Washington

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kim Mikkelsen

Today’s photos are from Kim Mikkelsen in Yakima, Washington. She says, “My garden is in constant transition. But it’s gotten me through some tough times in my life! It’s my therapy garden, after a crappy divorce and two crappy cancers. Who can help but look at a garden and not smile? I’ve often escaped mentally to my garden when I can’t be there physically.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kim Mikkelsen

“My yard was on the garden tour for Yakima in 2012 and 2004. It was such fun to see old folks and young coming through the gardens. The elderly reminded me of my Grandma, who gardened until she was 102 and lived to 104. I would have loved to share the garden with her. I think the young folks liked it because the koi are so spoiled in my 5,000 and 8,000 ponds that you can pet them!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kim Mikkelsen

“I built all of the arbors myself (as a quilter, I can say it was like making a quilt only with wood and you could saw a finger off) and put in the drip system and the lighting (and only burned a little bit of the landscaping). Oh well, you live and learn. I think I’m a better quilter than builder. I had help on building the ponds and putting in the pathways. We did one in 108-degree heat and the other in minus 10 — NOT the smartest thing one would want to do — big der on my part). I’m a bean counter by trade, but get to put my creative part into my gardening and quilting. Ah gardening — can’t beat it!”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kim Mikkelsen

I am SWOONING over your edges, Kim, and that’s just the beginning! So great. Thanks so much for sharing your garden with us. I feel like there’s so much more to see, including more of the ponds! Please indulge us…..send more pics!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kim Mikkelsen
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kim Mikkelsen
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Kim Mikkelsen

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 03/29/2013

    now THAT is technicolor! vibrant plants, lushly planted and FUN stuff thruout. i'm envious of the edges too mine look good maybe 3 days out of the season and taht's it. great job

  2. brainbear 03/29/2013

    Kim your gardens are beautiful, I especially like the evenness of the edging. Did you use a power edger? Please send pictures of the ponds and let me know how you overwinter fish in your area.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. user-1020932 03/29/2013

    do you have to take your fish in during winter? mine just kind of enter a suspended animation state and remain outside year round. now i'm curious

  4. bee1nine 03/29/2013

    Hi Kim, WOW! Eye-popping in every way! And SO perfectly
    Must totally agree with you, one of the reasons I LOVE to
    garden is for its therapuetic benefits, as I'm sure I speak
    for many of our reader's here.
    Thank you for my BIG DOSE of beauty, today!!:)

  5. tractor1 03/29/2013

    A garden so precise it looks like a bean counter lives there, all the l/edgers perfectly balanced. I was hoping to see some of those quilter's arbors, but alas. With everything so vibrantly hued this garden reminds me of a Happy Easter basket. Thank you, Kim, more pictures please!

  6. tractor1 03/29/2013

    Oh, did I mention that cute pooch standing guard on the deck...

  7. PAdesigner 03/29/2013

    Love the bright colors of your garden, Kim. And you obviously know how to groom. Where did you get the flower sculptures in the last picture? Thanks for sharing.

  8. user-2077552 03/29/2013

    Kim, take more pictures quick! Your garden is luscious, and we need to see more. We need more! What is the size of your garden. Would love to see pictures of your arbors too.

  9. Nancy9350 03/29/2013

    I love your use of conifers! They're quietly holding the design together. My favorite photo, though, is of the river of yellow coreopsis (I'm guessing). Just gorgeous.

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/29/2013

    I'd totally need a garden staff to keep my yard so tickety-boo. Love the stone wabi basins and objet d'art scattered about.

  11. janetsfolly 03/29/2013

    Beautiful garden, Kim! Love the conifers, the scattered fountains, the glass whimsies, such fun! But the first pic with the magically floating pink 'clouds' brought a big smile to my face. This fellow bean counter (retired) kept thinking, ah yes, balance, balance. You've done a great job! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  12. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/29/2013

    Yowza on the garden and it's amazing vibrancy and yowza on the photography that has communicated it so well. Nancy9350 is so right about how your use of conifers gives the rest of the garden something to play off of. That is probably your quilter's talent making use of a subtle background fabric that allows the rest of the design to shine.
    I, too, am in the throes of serious edging envy and maybe what looks like your tendency for perfection in that is also attributed to your quilter background. I'm sure you finish off a beautiful project with an orderly border with no loose threads! Anyway, yes, we definitely need more pictures so we can add arbor envy to our list of reactions to your superb work. I would love to see a few photos of your quilts, also.

  13. WAMGanne 03/29/2013

    Kim, WOW that garden would make even "Cisco Morris" (WA state television garden celebrity) drop his jaw! I'm an Olympic Peninsula gardener and love this green, green state where gardening is fun and not a chore! You have given me lots of ideas for my gardens and, like the others who have commented, I too hope you will share more photos of your garden including your arbors and Koi ponds. AnneNPA.

  14. sheila_schultz 03/29/2013

    Yep, precise edging, beautiful conifers, colorful koi and oh yes, lush flowers... your beautiful gardens have it all! Gardening is the best therapy ever ;)

  15. trashywoman62 03/29/2013

    What a wonderful garden you have created. I understand the healing effect a garden can have too. I hope all the crappy cancer is gone, it's ugliness surely can't compete with the beauty outside!

    I assume the shade sails are for the benefit of the koi in your pond as well as the umbrellas? It looks huge! I love the posts with the hanging baskets around it. From the photo they look like petunia trees!

    I have visited your state several times and always gasp at the beautiful, lush gardens! My last visit in 2009 I was not too far from you traversing the mountains in Feb from Tacoma to Spokane. That was a beautiful sight. We stopped on the way back at Snoqualmie Falls! Speechless!

    Thank you for sharing and I, like the others, would love to see more photos, maybe with some snow.

  16. pattyspencer 03/29/2013

    Oh how pretty your garden is! So colorful and vibrant!!

  17. GardenStyle 03/29/2013

    Take it from a fellow Washingtonian (I live on the Kitsap penninsula)Gardening in this beautiful state is the best therapy ever! Your gardens are to die for. Gorgeous! Would love to see more pics. I'll share some of mine too! I'm about to get some serious therapy this weekend as the weather will be in the upper 60's to 70. Can't wait! Thank you for the eye candy it gave me inspiration to go out and get dirty!

  18. ancientgardener 03/29/2013

    Perfect!! And perfectly beautiful. It's like something from another planet where weeds do not grow and borders never crumble. How do you do it? I now have arthritis in my right thumb from so many years of clipping borders, but I could never get them all looking like that at the same time. I am 85 and feared that my gardening days might be nearly over, but after hearing about your 102 year old grandmother- hey! who knows?? Can't wait for my first spring trip to the nursery. You are an inspiration.

  19. joycedaffodilhill 03/30/2013

    WOW! For a bean counter, you have made some pretty impressive strides in gardening. Your borders and co ordination of plants is really impressive.
    I am very interested in the ponds and would love more photos. Thanks for sharing. More, please.

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