Garden Photo of the Day

Martha & Jim’s garden in Michigan

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Martha & Jim

Today’s photos are form Martha and Jim in Michigan. Martha says, “My husband and I live in Zone 5 in Waterford, Michigan. We love it here! Yes…even with the winter. My grandmother, who was a passionate gardener, once told me that she needed the winter to take a rest and contemplate dreams for spring. I happen to agree totally with her about that! Jim is the hardscape guy and the muscle. I’m the flower lady who usually moves plants around from year to year. We both design the gardens and usually agree with each other before we go forward. We have been married for 40 years and hope for 40 more. We share a passionate love for gardening!

“Every February I start seeds in my basement under regular florescent lights. I use a heating cable and have always had great germination rates. I mainly start New Guinea impatiens, begonias, ageratum, coleus, petunias, and red salvia. I usually have about 24 flats. It takes a lot of time to bottom water all of them but it gives them a thorough watering that has to be done less often. It is very exciting when I see them first emerge or see the first flower show itself! Its always fun trying new varieties, too.

“My husband is a builder and has torn down homes for customers to build new ones. What is fortunate for us is that we can use some of the stuff in our yard for free. Some of the objects you see in the pictures are repurposed things that would have been thrown out. We enjoy finding a place in our yard for something we like that would have ended up in a landfill.

“When I first started gardening I was really obsessed with it and could barely wait for spring to come. My first flowers I planted were marigolds and I planted them along my driveway that was over 50 feet long. I didn’t realize that marigolds would need to be deadheaded! Wow! I learned a lot that year.

“Years later I still love to garden but I definitely garden smarter. My progression through the years has gone from annuals to perennials to flowering shrubs to evergreens to trees to fruit trees. I always tell people read up on what you want to learn then don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Because sometimes the mistakes will teach you more than the successes. This year I started moonflower vines at the end of March. New lesson learned??? Start in the end of April next time. They are outgrowing the sticks I have them growing up on pretty darn fast! Yikes!!! Happy gardening everyone!”

Wow, what a LUSH garden! I love how you’ve used annuals liberally to add splashes of color. Lovely! Send more pics…..

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Comments

  1. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/24/2014

    Love your use of shrubs and small trees. After all the spring clean-up, i am definitely ready for lower maintenance shrub borders.

  2. flowerladydi 04/24/2014

    Hi Martha and Jim!

    Lovely!!! I love all the color! Your efforts starting those flats of annuals really pays off!! Truly lovely! Love your boulders!,,, I KNOW how heavy those are,, how fortunate for you to have them all! Love how your lawn just sets off your beds,,, a lovely green backdrop., and then all your conifers! They add so much! Great job!, and I too would love to see more! Love to see some of the ' reporposed ' materials! And your little fountain is so charming!! Thank you!

  3. wGardens 04/24/2014

    Beautiful! I would love to see more, also! Like that gazebo! I also appreciate your wonderful teamwork. Bravo! May you have 40 more years~

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/24/2014

    I'm always a sucker for sweeping expanses of lush lawn that have gentle curves... with wonderful planting beds unfolding along the way. Yours are perfection, Martha and Jim. The white panicles of the hydrangea that show in a couple of the pictures are like shooting stars among the greenery...very effective. The pool of red salvia (I think?) in a circular bed is gorgeous...stops me in my tracks.
    I, too, would love to see additional pictures...esp. some that show off those recycled materials...I'm an self confessed garden thief who's looking for new ideas!

  5. tractor1 04/24/2014

    Sounds like an interesting garden. I too enjoy winters to take a break from gardening and then look foward to beginning anew come spring. I can concur with sometimes learning more from mistakes than successes but I also subscribe to "measure twice, cut once". And I also plant mostly perennials, other than veggies annuals require more labor than I'm now willing/able to do. I wish I could see some of those repurposed elements. I need to see more and better pictures, these are too dark and fuzzy, and they won't enlarge.

  6. wittyone 04/24/2014

    Your plantings look so lush and healthy. I love the way those meandering swaths of grass set off your beds like a complementary frame around a great painting. Like others I too would like to see some of those repurposed materials. I have difficulty seeing differing possibilities in found objects and so find other's use of cast offs instructive.

  7. NC_Yarden 04/24/2014

    So pleasant. I love the dense green backdrops that really make the colors of the flowers standout. I have to applaud your effort with the annuals (not my thing much), as they are a nice addition. And much agreed about winter - as much I love to garden, a "forced" break is quite welcome; though maybe not a full break as there is the dreaming/planning and usually some maintenance and cleanup, but fairly restful nonetheless. And it sure makes Spring so exciting. Digging those rocks too - are they collected? I bet there's more to your lovely garden so submit more pictures. Thanx.

  8. Delores64 04/24/2014

    Absolutely gorgeous!!!!

  9. greengenes 04/24/2014

    Good morning! Well Martha and Jim, your gardens are beautiful. I also think it is amazing that you both agree on the gardening planting and work. I always thought it would be great to have my husband love gardening as much as I but iam not so sure. {he loves fishing}. We would probably have a hard time agreeing on things around here. So that is a good life you both have. You have done a great job and to be able to collect things from other places,.. how great is that! There are so many things that people throw away that is so cool. The saying goes, "one mans junk is another mans treasures." We sure would love to see more and some of the yard art!
    Yes, sometimes its hard to determine when to start certain seeds. I did that this spring and iam trying to keep alive the cukeamelon seeds I started. They like warm weather and it is still so cold and wet here... hope they make it. I sure want to try those little nuggets of crunch! Thanks so much for sharing with us today!

  10. GrannyMay 04/24/2014

    Martha, thank you for sharing these glimpses of your lovely garden. Wow, 24 flats of seedlings to nurture! Starting plants from seed used to be one of my favourite ways of extending the gardening season as well as getting the varieties I wanted, but now I have room for very few annuals so have given that up. Your massed annuals do look gorgeous! There is nothing to beat annuals for continuous summer colour! Still, my favourite photo is the last one, rocks and a small fountain or waterfall (hard to tell) that seem to be at the edge of a pond. I would love to see more photos of it all.

  11. GrannyCC 04/24/2014

    Lovely lush garden you have created Martha and Jim. Your pops of colour really set off the dark greens of trees and shrubs. That is a lot of seedlings you grow. I have a small greenhouse which I over winter plants as well as start seedlings mainly of vegetables. I don't do as much now as I find my flower beds are full so I buy annuals for pots. Do you have a vegetable garden?

  12. soilsister8 04/24/2014

    WOW, WOW, WOW!!! We also live in zone five so your gardens are especially inspirational and 24 flats of seedlings!
    Please do send us more photos and their stories of the garden's recycled building materials/hardscapes.

  13. user-7006902 04/24/2014

    Wow! I admire that you plant from seed. It must be very rewarding to see those seedlings blossom in your garden. I could stay here all day! I planted a few annual seeds this year - not nearly as many as you, but I am excited to grow Love in a Mist, Green Envy Zinnias and Blue Shrimp Plant - so far all have germinated. I once started Scarlet Runner Beans indoors - oh boy, was that a mistake! I know how quickly those sticks become shorter and shorter. I love Moon Flowers and have started some of those, too. Enjoy your garden and all those flowers! I know I sure did virtually.

  14. foxglove12 04/24/2014

    So lush! Love all the stone trimming.

  15. GeorgiaPeach16 04/27/2014

    Simply beautiful! But Michelle, I can't enlarge the photos enough to see the garden well. The pop-up photo isn't much bigger than the original. Please give us the second option for enlarging.

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