Garden Photo of the Day

Making a Garden From a Parking Lot

From nothing to beauty

finished garden with hardscaping and plants in bloom

My name is Heather, and my husband and I garden in Macon, Georgia. We moved into our historic home 13 years ago, and we set to work creating a cottage-style landscape that would allow us to grow vegetables, enjoy cut flowers, and still provide plenty of space for our young children. About five years ago, we purchased the empty gravel parking lot next door to us. At this point, we created a potager-style vegetable garden with boxwood border, installed a rock path, and added many perennials. In our zone, it is extremely hot and humid, and we’ve found that coneflower (Echinacea), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Salvia, daylilies (Hemerocallis), and native mountain mint (Pycnanthemum) perform well for us. I always plant zinnias and sunflowers in honor of my late grandfather, who always grew them. We also have a variety of hydrangeas and David Austin roses scattered throughout. Our lot is about a half acre and includes an outdoor living space as well, but I’ve just included photos of our favorite garden areas (as well as a couple of “before” photos). It’s been a DIY labor of love.

lot before being transformed into a gardenBefore—there was really nothing here.

starting to clear out lot for new gardenStarting the process of transforming the space into a garden

finished garden with hardscaping and plants in bloomAnd after—what a transformation!

peach colored roses climbing up a postRoses were trained to grow up this post.

Looking across the garden, the glossy foliage of a southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora, Zones 7–10) frames the view to one side.

sunflowers and other plants around a porchSunflowers (Helianthus annuus, annual) bloom by the corner of the house in honor of Heather’s late grandfather.

small child under trellis in gardenThe lush bounty of the vegetable garden entices young gardeners to enjoy.

close up of colorful cut flower bouquetA fist-full of homegrown floral beauty

brown bag full of freshly harvested vegetablesFresh nutrition from the garden


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 07/19/2023

    Always a fan of renovated garden spaces! Thanks for sharing your garden transformation.

  2. MohawkValley 07/19/2023

    Excellento ! That side lot project is just what one needs to really let loose with one's "expressions" . You can be very proud and , of course , very happy with the results . Now you have a canvas to start "playing" , little by little , bit by bit . The "majors" are done --- now those little , and sometimes all so subtle , finishing touches EVERY year get to add to this success ... Nice job !
    Peace from the Mohawk Valley in central New York State .

  3. User avater
    user-7007816 07/19/2023

    Mission Accomplished: Great Transformation.

  4. bunny2luv 07/19/2023

    Your hard work has paid off in spades! I love that you grow sunflowers and zinnias in memory of your grandfather. My grandmother lived in New York, but grew up in North Carolina. She talked about balsam impatiens, and I grew them one year for her. She was delighted with the bouquet!
    Enjoy your lovely garden.

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/19/2023

    Wow! Wonderful job you all have done.

  6. btucker9675 07/19/2023

    This is an amazing transformation and you should be so very proud of how you've created beauty from "nothing." That bouquet and the bag of perfect veggies - wonderful!!!

  7. User avater
    simplesue 07/19/2023

    The best garden stories are like yours! just the opposite of 'paved paradise and put up a parking lot" like that Joni Mitchell song lol.
    Fabulous make over- you and your husband did an excellent job! just gorgeous!
    and just for us northerns that love S. magnolias- Edith Bogue does just great up in zone 6b- never dropped a leaf in -5 cold snap last winter.
    Again- you've created a fabulous personal paradise from a parking lot!

  8. jos29803 07/20/2023

    Your imagination and hard work turned a wasted space into a useful, productive and gratifying space. Grand transformation. Be proud of your accomplishment and enjoy!

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