Garden Photo of the Day

Mary’s garden in Wisconsin

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman

Today’s photos are from Mary Bosman in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Mary says, “For far too long (35 years) we had a nothing back yard. I always felt that gardening was a hobby too expensive for us. But in 2009 developers started building next door, and we had a privacy fence built.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman

“One day I went to our city dump to drop off some branches and discovered, to my joy, twelve huge ferns lying on the city compost heap. From that time on, I was visiting there frequently–sometimes twice a day. Our yard and our lives became transformed. I have found variegated Solomon’s seal, cannas, Campanula ‘Pink Octopus’, ornamental Oregano, Russian sage, lady’s mantle, hostas, black-eyed Susans, and a  pile of healthy sweet woodruff,  to name a few. Now my nose is always in  a gardening book, so I’ve learned how to spot invasives, and unhealthy plants.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman

“We live in a cottage that was brought to the city  from the country in 1947 and onto the front of the cottage was built a small grocery store for the migrant workers. So we have two large windows facing the south, and the annuals I bring in for the winter flourish in our living room.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman

“Right now I have two variegated geraniums, one blue chalk fingers succulent, a hibiscus, ‘Moonshine’ yarrow, and a lemon scented geranium growing, all that I found in the dump! The yarrow I found too late to plant this fall, so decided to try growing it inside, and it’s doing very well. This year I got what I wanted for Christmas: a subscription to Fine Gardening Magazine!”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman

Woohoo!! So glad you’re a subsciber now, Mary! Your dump-inspired garden is an inspiration to me. Well done, fellow scavenger!

OK, everyone, pickings are slim. Send me some pics of your garden travels or of your garden last season!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Mary Bosman

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Comments

  1. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/28/2013

    congrats on your scavenging success! starting seeds is another great budget conscious way to get loads of great plants.

  2. bee1nine 01/28/2013

    How inspiring to find all those wonderful 'discards' of
    unwanted perennials at your city dump! I can appreciate you
    wanting to recycle them to add into your own yard.
    Thanks for sharing the photo's, Mary! :)

  3. tractor1 01/28/2013

    Rescue plants is a great concept. Now to be really frugal Mary's yard needs a vegetable garden.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/28/2013

    Well, Mary, your "nothing" backyard sure as heck has turned into Something....Something great! Loved reading the saga of your journey of self discovery...yes, with the right motivation, it turned out you found your inner gardener. You must so enjoy your backyard now. Sunrises and sunsets sure are a lot prettier as they light up beautiful flowers and leaves , aren't they?

  5. wittyone 01/28/2013

    It's wonderful when a trip to the dump can be so exciting and rewarding! I have a friend who does regular dumpster diving at a nearby big box store and she says that you would be amazed a what they throw out as unsaleable. Once plants have stopped blooming out they go.

    More power to you. You've done a great job so far.

  6. siesperanza 01/28/2013

    Well done. Your garden is lovely. Plants deserve to be rescued.

  7. wGardens 01/28/2013

    What an interesting story- and with wonderful results! Congratualtions! Had to have been exciting- and so fulfilling- to make such great finds and have them flourish!

  8. bethnbijoux 01/28/2013

    Mary, I absolutely love your garden! It is so inviting and has such a casual look of comfort! Great job with your lucky finds!! Thanks for sharing and welcome to this addictive "hobby" of gardening!

  9. jennymacgil 01/28/2013

    Beautiful! It has always amazed me what people throw away. As a student I furnished my first apartment with "scavenges". I still shop thrift stores for my wardrobe. I hadn't thought of the dump for my garden, but will definitely begin!

  10. GreenGrammy 01/28/2013

    So great to "mmet" another gardening addict--lovely garden, Mary! I love re-using things others have discarded, and nowhere is it more appropriate than in the garden. What is your black kitty's name? (I have one too.)

  11. Wife_Mother_Gardener 01/28/2013

    Very nice! Gardening can be amazingly affordable, especially if you do it your way and collect parts of plants from here and there.

  12. NevadaSue 01/28/2013

    Mary, What an inspiration you are. I love your garden and even more because you found it all at the dump. I agree that plants need to be rescued and allowed to flourish and grow. It is amazing how they love to come back even if there is a little life left in them. I have often taken other people cast offs and nurtured them back to life but not sure I have gotten any from the dump. What a great idea. Your pink hydrangea is beautiful as are the black-eyed susan. Be sure to send us more pictures as your garden evolves. :)

  13. Sheila_Schultz 01/28/2013

    Mary, you must smile every time you look into your yard, it's lovely!

  14. ggflowers 01/28/2013

    I am so happy to hear you salvage/save plants, a passion of mine. Your garden looks truly beautiful, thanks for sharing

  15. CJgardens 01/28/2013

    Mary, what a beautiful and plentiful garden you've put together with others discards. It's a great type of recycling. Wishing you continued success in your plant rescue operation!

  16. pattyspencer 01/29/2013

    Who wudda thunk it - finding plants at a city dump. You've done a beautiful job creating your garden.

  17. hhanssen 01/29/2013

    Mary, I have to rethink our garden now, - how I love those flowers you have, yet I am in North Texas where heat gets to the plants too often. I'll work on seeking ways to have lovely flowers without having to worry too much about their health- how lucky you are to live in a cool climate.

  18. hhanssen 01/29/2013

    Mary, I have to rethink our garden now, - how I love those flowers you have, yet I am in North Texas where heat gets to the plants too often. I'll work on seeking ways to have lovely flowers without having to worry too much about their health- how lucky you are to live in a cool climate.

  19. grannieannie1 02/06/2013

    Mary, you've proved what some creativity and handwork can produce on a blank canvas. It must be like opening an exciting Christmas present when you visit the dump and collect your new additions! Wish we could do that here! Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

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