Garden Photo of the Day

Midge’s garden in Pennsylvania

Raised bed vegetable garden. Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Midge Sobolewski

Today’s photos are from Midge Sobolewski. She says, “I live in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg. I have a garden business, doing design, installation, and maintenance. I use my own garden to try out plants and experiment.

Vegetable garden sculpture by Jean Coates

“We bought our land 30 years ago. It was a 6-acre cornfield bordering the Appalachian Trail, so it was really a blank slate. I began by planting tree seedlings on the back 5 acres. We kept paths mowed in the ‘woods’ and invasives out and now it really does feel like a forest back there. The area around the house has been planted slowly over time with many different themes.

Sobofleur on ice

“These photos highlight the vegetable garden and pond area plus some surprise visitors. As I get older, I’m trying to simplify the plantings, although it’s tempting to plant another area with something new. Last year I began a Japanese maple garden near my tree house.”

Pond area in spring

Absolutely gorgeous, Midge, every detail! We need LOTS more photos, ASAP. Thanks so much for sharing these!

Pond area in late spring, deer damage evident on wine cups

***I’ll be posting some photos of Fine Gardening‘s favorite show garden at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show tomorrow, plus giving a shout-out to the gardeners I featured in my talk at the show, so stay tuned! (Whew! It’s tough, recovering from several days out of the office, plus jetlag!) In the meantime, I’ve been getting feedback that, while all the snow pics lately are nice, everyone’s feeling the need for more GREEN pics in the GPOD these days. I get it–we’re expecting up to 14 INCHES of snow today, and I think we’re all getting a bit weary of it all…. so I need your help! Send in photos of your gardens from last summer! ([email protected]) Be sure to tell me a bit about yourself and your garden when you send in your pics. You’re much more likely to be featured if I have all that stuff at hand. Thanks, everyone!

Stewartia in fall
Pond in winter with winterberries–deer have kicked up stones
Near pond–Stewartia, yucca, spurge, Japanese anemone, weeping hemlock
Foxes a few years back

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 02/13/2014

    now THIS is truly a treat this morning with everything white outside. not sure where to begin... the scarecrow i want, the pond / i want, i really do love this entire place. the foxes are a real treat, i haven't seen a fox here since the coyotes moved in some years back. your experiments in your own garden are a real success!

  2. flowerladydi 02/13/2014

    Good morning Midge!

    I LOVE it!,,,,, but as Michelle says,,,, want to see MORE!!!

    I absolutely love your Stewartia!!,,, would love to see a close up of the bark! I have a small one and just adore it!,, your Fall color is so great! Also love your hemlock,,, is that Cole's Prostrate?,,,love the blue spurge and how it compliments the yucca! It is all just lovely!,,,,and the fox,,, they are great! Also really like how you trimmed your yews there,,, great architectural statement,,,, not to mention that adorable sculpture in your fabulous veggie garden., All just wonderful!!
    You have done a great job!,,, so nice to have property!! I try to experiment with plants etc. too for business, but with just a postage stamp yard, it is difficult to add more anywhere! Yeah for you!!!

  3. wGardens 02/13/2014

    Ah, just WONDERFUL! Yes, truely a treat. How fortunate to have such a nice big area to work your garden magic. Must say, I am loving that sculpture... very cool draped in ice as well! A great shot with the foxes, also. I see them here maybe once or twice a year. Thanks for sharing... I look forward to MORE photos!

  4. mainer59 02/13/2014

    That is the neatest sculpture! I tried goggling and could not find Jean Coates. Is she a friend of yours? I love the shots of the same place in 2 seasons.

  5. PAdesigner 02/13/2014

    from Midge

    thanks, everyone. A few comments on your comments. Jean Coates is a friend of mine, now living in Wisconsin. I don't think she is doing sculpture right now. The hemlock is 'Cole's Prostrate' - about 18 years old now as is the Stewartia. Love slow growing plants! The spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites)and yucca love the good drainage of growing in gravel. I've seen one coyote here a few years back. Wish the foxes would return! I'll get more pictures out soon and try to take more this coming year. No snow pictures! Coming down heavily here.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/13/2014

    Midge, add my voice to the growing chorus of "Love that Sculpture"...she is the perfect piece in the perfect place. Now, perhaps, her purpose is to scare away unwelcome wildlife (at which she has not been totally successful), but I see her as a cheerleader chanting "GO, MIDGE, GO" with your gardening successes!!
    Thank you so much for sharing the especially verdant vibrancy of the spring photos...although I do love that Stewartia's fall color.
    Wonderful property that is obviously loved by its humans and visiting critters.

  7. hummergirl 02/13/2014

    Midge- LOVE LOVE LOVE your gardens and accents-including that lovely lady watching over them!! I think I will steal your raised bed design and path. It looks so compact and easy to maintain, but plenty of planting space! Also, LOVE the fox picture, a fantastic shot! I do hope they return for you. Looking forward to seeing more in the future! Thank you for sharing with GPOD!

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/13/2014

    Your own private park. Love the bronze fennel and the yucca.

  9. user-1020932 02/13/2014

    Midge, did you train the hemlock to get more height? or just let it do it's thing? i have 3 cole's prostrate here for over 20 years but they are maybe 6" tall at most but spread out about 4 ft. just curious

  10. Sculpturedale 02/13/2014

    Especially fun for me...I graduated from Dickinson (a hundred years ago), at which time gardening was the last thing on my mind! Nowadays I'd see myself settling in a quiet nook at your beautiful place studying for exams (but would probably fail them b/c I'd so be enjoying the sights). Love the fox pics, I hope they are still roaming the area.

  11. annek 02/13/2014

    Mmmm, love the circular pond and wonderful bench. Makes me want to hunker down, sit pond side with a nice glass of wine and chat about gardens. The Stewartia and hemlock are stars....I add my request to the pleas for more photos this summer :-)

  12. annek 02/13/2014

    Mmmm, love the circular pond and wonderful bench. Makes me want to hunker down, sit pond side with a nice glass of wine and chat about gardens. The Stewartia and hemlock are stars....I add my request to the pleas for more photos this summer :-)

  13. annek 02/13/2014

    Mmmm, love the circular pond and wonderful bench. Makes me want to hunker down, sit pond side with a nice glass of wine and chat about gardens. The Stewartia and hemlock are stars....I add my request to the pleas for more photos this summer :-)

  14. annek 02/13/2014

    Mmmm, love the circular pond and wonderful bench. Makes me want to hunker down, sit pond side with a nice glass of wine and chat about gardens. The Stewartia and hemlock are stars....I add my request to the pleas for more photos this summer :-)

  15. pattyspencer 02/13/2014

    Beautiful garden - I love the yucca and the pic of the foxes and (blue being a favorite color) the pic with the blue urn - I really like the contrast of the blue and green - yes I'm with the others - more pics!

  16. tractor1 02/13/2014

    That's a great pool, is it a plastic liner or of hand laid clay, and how deep... no koi? I think it needs some water lilies, and frogs. And I love that veggie garden, raised beds make it easy to tend. Those fox are fantastic... I see some here but mostly I get skunk, racoons, possums, and porcupines... of course these critters are mostly nocturnal so not often seen. Thank you Midge, and more photos, lots more photos!

  17. quinquek 02/13/2014

    I love the scarecrone! Makes me wish I'd left an open central square in my kitchen garden. And the Stewartia is wonderful and creeping onto the "must get" list. Altogether a real tonic as I'm looking at 8 and more-to-come snow outside! Thanks for sharing and, yes, more photos!

  18. greengenes 02/13/2014

    Goodmorning all you happy gardeners! This is the bite that gets us wanting more! The bite that makes us addicted to find out what is next... Oh, I think iam a plantaholic, gardenhalic, etc... Really enjoyed these pics, Midge. they are all great. I liked the way the back hedge is cut by the pond. It gives a sense of a room background. It must of been quite a delight seeing those foxes. Ponds do bring in a lot of wildlife. Iam putting in a pond this summer just for the wildlife. Well thanks for sharing, Midge. It sounds like we would all enjoy seeing more!

  19. PAdesigner 02/13/2014

    from Midge again:
    Treeman: the 'Cole's Prostate' hemlock has not been trained. It's only about 6" tall too. It's cascading over a low stone wall and hasn't been pruned at all. I'm just now thinking it needs some shaping.
    Tractor1. My pond is about 14 feet in diameter and 28" deep with a heavy plastic liner. I designed it as a 'plunge' pond - I chlorinate it and take dips in it. I empty it out and clean it every spring and have a portable filter I use occasionally. It is a bit of work, but I love the look!
    Sculpturedale: I went to Dickinson too - long ago!
    Thanks for all the comments - it's great to be connected to other gardeners. I will send more pics!

  20. wittyone 02/13/2014

    Oh, surely not a scarecrow! More like a dancing lady with her skirts swirling around her. What do you have climbing on the archway that frames her?

    I love the pops of bright blue against the green---just beautiful.

  21. user-1020932 02/13/2014

    thanks, Midge, now that i look more closely i see the wall, first glance it looked BIG, my coffee had not kicked in i guess

  22. sheila_schultz 02/13/2014

    Green is such a beautiful color, I think all of us are yearning for visions of what's to come. Thanks Midge, your photos are a wonderful treat this morning. Add me to the list of those that want your garden girl... seriously WANT! She's awesome. Your amazing gardens aren't half bad either ;) I am eager to see many more photos.

  23. zeldajune 02/13/2014

    What a beautiful garden! I love the pond. I surely do wish I had one - maybe someday. I like the lady too, and the hemlock and the blue pot and, well, just all of it. Thanks for sharing with us.

  24. PAdesigner 02/13/2014

    from Midge again:

    Wittyone: the vine over the arch is a jasimine (Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita') - seems to be hard here.
    My pond is not a wildlife pond - I know selfish of me, but I do have water elsewhere.
    I'll have to tell my artist friend Jean to get back into the sculpture business!

  25. GrannyMay 02/13/2014

    Your pond and surrounding beds are beautiful! That Stewartia with the contrasting yucca, spurge and others is pure poetry! And how nice to see a fox family! I used to see them regularly in Ontario, but never here. For me, your Scarcrone (great word quinquek!) steals the show, in every season! Yes, more photos please!

  26. perenniallycrazy 02/13/2014

    Good morning Midge! Yours is a garden with a lot of personality. It is edgy and sharp with beautiful structural features and plants yet has whimsy. Looking forward to seeing the other rooms and succeeding chapters on your garden story on GPOD.

    Can't wait to hear about your Flower Show Experience tomorrow, Michelle.

    Hope everyone can enjoy a Valentine's hot chocolate with today and tomorrow's GPOD. Take care everyone.

  27. CJgardens 02/13/2014

    Enjoyed hearing your garden history. I admire those who are in the gardening business and still have the passion to work in and enjoy their own gardens. I love your gardening lady; I would never label her as a scarecrow - she is beautiful. The plunge pond is a wonderful idea. (Oh, to have a larger yard.) The fox family is adorable but my parents lost two cats to the fox living in the woods nearby. Looking forward to more photos.
    Michelle, excited about tomorrow's submission.

  28. cwheat000 02/13/2014

    I adore the bit of formality in your garden- the well trimmed hedge, the classic bench, the symmetrical pond, the formal bed design of your vegetable garden. It allows all the rest to really shine. You have some lovely specimen plantings as well. I hope you send more photos also. What a treat!

  29. Meelianthus 02/13/2014

    What a treasured treat to view your beautiful gardens this morn Midge. I don't want to repeat everything that has been said by all, but it is true - you have done such a wonderful job in your garden design. I would love to stroll through the area and take it all in. I love the oh-so-healthy looking Yucca. It is a beauty, and I too love the Garden Queen.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful talents.

    I am so sorry for everyone that is covered in FEET of snow! I hope your winter will end soon. Close your eyes and picture Springtime. ^_^

  30. janeeliz 02/13/2014

    I LOVE your garden, Midge! A wonderful mixture of elegance with a touch of whimsy. Great structure! Love the look, as well as the purpose, of your lovely round pool-that's new to me and Id love to try it out in a warmer season. And, of course , your great sculpture... placed in the perfect spot. The fox photo is so sweet-with mom keeping a careful eye out for danger while her pups explore. I hope to see your Stewartia in every season...and the other trees you planted long ago, too.

  31. tractor1 02/13/2014

    Now I know Midge is a skinny dipper! LOL But I suppose it would be ezsy to one day make that pool a home for critters. PA must be getting a good dump of white stuff today too, I got about 16" already, a white out:

  32. wildthyme 02/14/2014

    Arrrrghhhhh . . . I have always wanted a stewartia!!!! I've never even seen one except in garden catalogs, and now that I've seen yours "live" I want one even more. Alas, I am a zone too cold. I may have to move one of these days just so I can have one. It's almost enough to make me wish that global warming is more than hype . . . almost. Just one zone, no more!

  33. tractor1 02/14/2014

    wildthyme: My local nursery catalog says Japanese Stewartia is good to Zone 4... once this winter weather lets up I will query them about what size trees they have and prices... I'd like one myself. Look under ornamental trees.
    I think if you have a sheltered spot out of the wind you should go for it.

  34. GardenSmiles 02/14/2014

    Midge, Thanks for sharing your garden with everyone. It is wonderful, love the summer/winter scenes with your pond and raised beds! The garden chair in the cool fox photo is awesome. It's usually fun to see visitors in our gardens.

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