Garden Photo of the Day

Michelle’s Garden in Connecticut: Before, During, and After


I’m just about finished putting the final touches on my slide show for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, and while I was digging around in old photos, I found some BEFORE shots of my garden I thought you all might find interesting. (Most of you have seen my garden in previous posts. If not, see more HERE) Enjoy, and Happy Monday! More info in captions.

This is what the back of the house and the yard looked like the day we saw the house for the first time back in January of 2002. The first thing we did outdoors was take down the pool. It left behind a huge circle of sand that made establishing lawn a challenge. But it freed up the back yard and the view. We also removed the deck and that big slide, of course.

—–Winter is the perfect time to take a photographic stroll through the photos you took in your garden this year……and then send some in to me at [email protected]!

Next came the bluestone patio, with the help of some strong, patient friends. Those stones are BIG!
Then came the oak and locust pergola, which broke the tall, blank expanse of the back of the house and blocked a bit of the blazing sun back there, once the plants grew in.

Want us to feature YOUR garden in the Garden Photo of the Day? CLICK HERE!
**Check out the GPOD Pinterest page, where you can browse all the post in categories…fun! CLICK HERE!**

View Comments


  1. user-1020932 01/27/2014

    lottsa work! and yes those stones are BIG but oh so nice once they are in place. i'm still intrigued with the dutchmans pipe but can't find anywhere here to plant one

  2. gloriaj 01/27/2014

    Love it. What a transformation. The privacy is so nice. What is the name of the vine growing over the Pergola and does it flower, when and how long. I like the leaves and their size.

  3. greengenes 01/27/2014

    Wow! What a change! Very nice and green and private. Just how I like it! Did you guys put the stones in by yourself? I have wanted to try using those type of stones but for my health I think id better just do a single pour cement and design it with colorful rocks in patterns. I looked at the older pics and I love the white arbor and trellis your husband made. Very nice in all. thanks for sharing!

  4. flowerladydi 01/27/2014

    Wow!!!! What an amazing transformation!!! It is FABULOUS!!!! Love the Dutchmans Pipe!,,,,, so cozy,,,, gorgeous stone,,, what a lot of hard work!,, but the results are go great!!! Great!!!

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/27/2014

    What a wonderful difference! Besides the obvious of the patio and pergola, there are so many delightful little the framed mirror and the beautiful container transformed into a bubbling fountain. All the plants are now so comfortable with each other...rubbing shoulders and being friendly...working together to give you and your family a perfect backyard oasis.

  6. wGardens 01/27/2014

    Great improvement , great sitting area. The stone is beautiful. Appears that neighbors are close so this was a wonderful project to do with great results. Some really nice containers, also! Always interesting to see the "before" shots.... thanks for sharing!
    Best Wishes on your Garden Show talk. Looking forward to hearing about it!

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/27/2014

    How cool is that? What a treat this morning. Thanks, Michelle!

  8. tractor1 01/27/2014

    It was a very good idea to have taken those before pictures, years later makes for good comparisons. I'd have gotten rid of that pool immediately too, in fact I would have tried to have the sellers remove it before I closed. To me those above ground pools are an eyesore and a liability, and in the northeast can rarely be used. I'm surprised there is no security fence enclosing that pool. Your yard has certainly come a long way, a lot of hard work.

  9. briandowns 01/27/2014

    As they say " Vonderbar!"

    They paved paradise and put up a better paradise

  10. GrannyMay 01/27/2014

    Love the transformation Michelle! When you see the before, it is hard to think what could possibly be done to create a private, functional and beautiful space from it - well you have done it perfectly! With the vine and other plants settling in, it now feels cozy and welcoming, a place to relax and leave all your cares behind. Congratulations!

  11. cwheat000 01/27/2014

    The before pictures show what an amazing job you did privatizing your yard. I love everything you have done.

  12. CJgardens 01/27/2014

    Loved seeing the before pictures. Would never have guessed that's what you started from. Wonderful transformation. I bought a dutchman's pipe because yours is beautiful. But I ran out of steam last fall and it never got in the ground. So it is tucked under mulch & 3 feet of snow hope it makes it.

    Good luck at the garden show. I attended our central Wisconsin garden show this past Saturday. Great to spend time with other gardeners, anticipating spring!! (Schools are closed today and tomorrow because of windchills about 30 degrees BELOW zero.) Think spring!

  13. sheila_schultz 01/27/2014

    Michelle, you and Rob created such a warm and inviting back yard that speaks volumes about the kind of people you are. Your vision became reality. What a wonderful way to start a very cold week!

  14. GrannyCC 01/27/2014

    What a gorgeous transformation. You and Rob have taken a bare blank space and turned into a The blue flagstone is beautiful. Love all the pots and the found items that you have incorporated. It is truly a wonderful garden room and I expect you spend a lot of time there.

  15. ChrisSeattle 01/27/2014

    Michelle, Your garden is amazing and shows all the hard work and dedication you exemplify in your own surroundings, not just on your website. Looking forward to meeting you at the Fine Gardening booth on Wednesday, Feb 5, at NW Flower and Garden Show in Seattle! Go Seahawks!

  16. quinquek 01/27/2014

    Great transformation! I love the before picture as it's so hard (for me) to visualize how much a site can change, especially going from nothing to something. Here going to something really nice. Good luck in Seattle!

  17. annek 01/27/2014

    After all those years, I imagine it's hard to imagine you ever had a pool slide in your backyard! You've both done such a good job of making a private, lush, protected garden room. It must be your favorite get away spot in the world. Love the been-there-forever feel, so serene.

    Good luck at the NW Flower and Garden show...all your GPOD-ers will be cheering you on!

  18. mksbrown 01/27/2014

    It is so fun to watch what happens as a garden evolves. Those are great photographs to inspire us to keep at our gardens. Your patio is so inviting and cozy now.

  19. janeeliz 01/27/2014

    YES, indeed! A remarkable transformation! It is a garden with a lot of character now. Love your happy Dutchman's pipe clambering over the handsome pergola . Those blue stones are gorgeous....what a job that must have been! Well worth it, tho. Good luck at the show!

  20. ptkmwilk 01/28/2014

    Thanks so much for posting the before shots as well, it really gives me hope as one who is beginning from scratch in a new location. I love to see these types of transformations.

  21. perenniallycrazy 01/28/2014

    Home is indeed where the heart♥ is!

    It is wonderful to see these "Before" photos because it highlights how rewarding and fun your (you and your family) 12 year journey has been. It is a beautiful and restful escape that you can come home to everyday and I can see the continuity of your design esthetic in your outdoor and indoor rooms. Looking forward to seeing yearly GPOD updates on your yard. I'm sure all the GPODers would agree with me!

    I'm curious to see what perennial vine you and Rob decided to plant in the new lattice, arbor and fence that he built?

    I am still in love with that golfball pot of yours. I rushed to IKEA back then to see if they still had it but alas, I snooze I lose. Sadly, the product had never been resold in the succeeding years. Got this perennial called Golf Ball Kohuhu (Pittosporum tenuifolium Golf Ball) that would be totally fun in the same pot.

    Have fun in Seattle Michelle! It's one of my fave cities.

  22. user-7006902 01/28/2014

    What an amazing transformation Michelle! (Just catching up to yesterday) I LOVE what you've done with the place. I am also lusting after those blue stones! I sure do love to see a garden in the making. It is great to look back and see growth. I love Dutchman's Pipe and planted one along my driveway but I want to see if I can propagate it and begin growing it on the front porch, too.

  23. AnneinQC 01/28/2014

    So beautiful and lush, I love that pergola. I also have a Dutchmans pipe which is slowly growing into other plants in my back yard. I have thought of taking it out as it is so vigourous but after seeing your I think I will keep it, they add so much to the garden. Before and after photos, you wouldn't know it was the same garden! Would love to see more photos!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest