Garden Photo of the Day

Pat’s Perennial Garden

My tuberous begonia basket

Pat O'Brien has done a lot with her two year old perennial garden!

"I would like to share the photos below of my perennial garden from last year.  I live in Woodstock, IL and started my first  perennial garden 2 years ago.  My garden consists of a 60 foot long rock wall and and I am having a lot of fun with it. I am now retired and have a lot a time to spend gardening and I truly enjoy it."

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  1. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/03/2016

    No email yet today on this.
    Pat, this is beautiful. You have done a lot of work in two years. Did you add the stone wall or did it come with your home? It's pretty amazing and a great setting for your plants. Your butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a winner and your perfect grass really sets off the garden! Keep on gardening!

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      They finally fixed the comment glitch. Thank you for your kind words. I've been working on it full time for two years, since I retired. Most of the plants are 3-5 years old. Stone wall came with the house when I moved in ten years ago. It's such fun, isn't it? I'm learning so much. The classes I've taken at our community college have really helped me learn about soil, micro climates, growing conditions, etc.

  2. diane_lasauce 05/03/2016

    That is some rock wall. Too bad about that chain link fence. In a few years I bet you will find a way to camouflage it. Happy Retirement! Remember "old gardeners never die, they just spade away..."

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      I like your old gardener quote! How cute and how true. I read this also: "The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies" by Gertrude Jekyll

      1. diane_lasauce 05/12/2016

        Indeed, so true Pat.

  3. NCYarden 05/03/2016

    What a sweet garden, Pat. I can't believe that stone wall, such a great attribute to have and work with...all sorts of ideas with that running through the landscape. Love the happy alliums standing up for attention. And I'm really liking what looks to be some sort of blue spruce (maybe?) border in the back. Garden on - it appears you have lots of space in which to get creative. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Yes, I have 3 huge towering Colorado Blue Spruces at the back of my 1/4 acre lot. They are stunning. I'm thinking of a wild flower garden in front of them. ??

  4. anitaberlanga 05/03/2016


    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you. It's so refreshing!

  5. foxglove12 05/03/2016

    Beautiful! Love the design, shape, stones and lushness. What are the tall white flowers at the end?

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      The tall white flowers are allium. Aren't they pretty? Thank you

  6. MNGardenGirl 05/03/2016

    Beautiful! Please share more.

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you and I will send more photos as the weather brings out the plants.

  7. sheila_schultz 05/03/2016

    You have created a lot of beauty in 2 years, Pat! The stone wall is a perfect home and backdrop for your plantings... it adds so much depth and interest for your yard. I, too, am curious if it was part of your yard or if it was an addition. However it came to be, it's outstanding!

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you. They rock wall was here when I moved into my home ten years ago. It was just rocks, no plants in it and grass in front of it. I did a lot of planting over the 3-4 years when I first "discovered" perennials. I've been working on it full time for two years since my retirement.

  8. GrannyMay 05/03/2016

    You've done a lovely job with this unique rock retaining wall! I imagine it must be difficult to reach some of the plants to tend them. Would love more photos as your garden grows.

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      The top of the rock wall is easy to reach (on hands and knees). Rock wall is 60 ft long and 3-4 ft. high, so it's easy to access. I will send more photos as the weather and garden progress, Thank you

  9. GrannyCC 05/03/2016

    Great wall and garden. I imagine it gives you some privacy from the neighbours, Love the Alliums. Enjoy your retirement and your lovely garden.

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you. I'm having such fun!

  10. wGardens 05/03/2016

    Wowser! That wall is a stunner! Love it with all those happy plants embracing it. Gorgeous clump of phlox, also!

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you and I'm glad you are enjoying the photos.

  11. maryannbastin 05/03/2016

    congratulations Pat. you have accomplished a lot in just two years! I am a bit of a clematis collector and can visualize that chain link fence covered in colour. I bet the butterflies love your garden!

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Yes, I've been working on it full time for two years. I have also discovered clematis this year. They are beautiful, aren't they? I wish I could cover that chain link fence, but it is the neighbor's. There is also a ten foot easement between us with utilities. So no deep planting. I'm still trying to figure what I can plant that is not deep but will cover that fence without touching it. Quite a problem, right?

  12. marlenemullet 05/03/2016

    Beautiful gardens! I love the stone wall!

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

  13. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 05/03/2016

    Pat, there's nothing quite as nice as waking up knowing that you get to play in your yard all day and you've done a great job during playtime. Rock walls are fun to work with since they show off plants so well. Love your flocks and allium. I'm guessing that the garden will be expanding into that expansive grassy area eventually.

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      After reading your comment, yes good idea. Time for expansion! Thank you.

  14. VikkiVA 05/03/2016

    Ahhhhhh, sweet retirement! Your garden is so pretty and your rock wall is to die for. Take pictures of that huge Peony this year when it blooms and share it with us. Vikki in VA

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you. Peony photos will be on the way when it blooms!

  15. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/03/2016

    Love the "au natural" tumbled look of your rock's definitely of the Thomas' English muffin variety...lots of fabulous nooks and crannies...oh, the fun of all those planting opportunities. Your perennial garden already has so much charm and lushness, Pat, that's it hard to believe it's only 2 years old. Congrats on all your great gardening.

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Sorry it too so long to reply. They fixed the glitch and I am now free to comment. Thank you for the compliments.

  16. user-4691082 05/03/2016

    2 years? Nah...Really? You have done a wonderful job! Keep sending the photos!

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      I have been working on this stone wall for two years (since I retired) The plants are 3-5 years old. Of course, with Spring here, there are more waiting to be planted! Thanks I'll send more photos as soon as the garden progresses.

  17. janeeliz 05/04/2016

    You have created a very unique and special garden.What a great idea...beautiful rock wall, so colorful and just the right size for retirement!

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you very much. I never thought I could do something like this. And there is more to come.

  18. perenniallycrazy 05/04/2016

    Love the bright, happy and saturated colors and the expanse of it all. It must be a joy to walk through your garden each and every day.

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you. It is so much fun! I find such peace and happiness with it.

  19. Cenepk10 05/04/2016

    So pretty. Lush & Green !!! Bet your garden center loves to see you coming !!! Keep up the fabulous work !

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      Thank you. I bought most of my plants for less than $5.00, so I hope they last a while! I'm now into starting perennial seeds. I can get a different variety other than what the stores sell.

  20. grannieannie1 05/05/2016

    I do love your water pump and the huge round rocks and especially the pretty way the flowers tumble down them. It looks like you have an endless supply of nooks and crannies to fill with soil in that wall and plant with whatever floats your boat.

    1. user-376858 05/12/2016

      The water pump is from my grandmother's farm. My dad painted it and gave it to me. I love it! I also have the pump that was in her kitchen. It's red and green also. "nooks and crannies" Yes, thanks for the ideas. There are more to plant! Thanks

  21. user-376858 05/12/2016

    I have been working on this rockwall for two years (since I retired). The plants are anywhere from 3-5 years old. The sedum is great. It spreads easily. Thank you for the compliment.

  22. user-376858 05/12/2016

    My rock wall is 60 ft. long and 4 ft high and tapers to 3 ft. It was here when I moved in ten years ago. The rock wall had no plants and there was grass in front of it. Alpine? Yes I thought of alpine plants when I first started planting. I still have room left for them!!

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