Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Amy’s garden in Ohio

Kitchen Garden, we put this in in 2004, evolving from mounded beds, to fencing it in, to building raised beds made from untreated lumber and graveling the walkways 2 WAYS TO ENLARGE! Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford

Today’s photos are from Amy Stafford in Cincinnati, Ohio. Amy says, “I started gardening in 1999 when we moved to a home that was located on 57 acres. A friend had given me a book–Martha Stewart’s Gardening Month by Month. I didn’t know who Martha was at the time, but I fell in love with the pictures and knew I wanted to try doing my own thing. Before I knew it I had a thriving garden, chickens, and bees. Then of course came the produce and I had to learn how to cook it, and can it.

Kitchen Garden, we put this in in 2004, evolving from mounded beds, to fencing it in, to building raised beds made from untreated lumber and graveling the walkways
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford

“Since then we have moved to the home that we live in now and I have taken the gardens that were already established here and put my own touch on them, added several more, and again have chickens and bees. I garden completely organic and try to bring in as many beneficial insects, birds, and reptiles as I can to help me find success in the garden.

Kitchen Garden, we put this in in 2004, evolving from mounded beds, to fencing it in, to building raised beds made from untreated lumber and graveling the walkways
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford

“I started blogging a few months ago and I have thoroughly fallen in love with sharing everything I do. It inspires me to keep trying new things so that I can share them on my blog. http://ahealthylifeforme.com/

Gorgeous, Amy! Your veggie garden is heavenly, and I love the formality of the entire garden, filled in with luscious plants. Wonderful!

Kitchen Garden, we put this in in 2004, evolving from mounded beds, to fencing it in, to building raised beds made from untreated lumber and graveling the walkways
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford
Knot Garden, existed but needed much trimming, new sod and this year I planted 320 Gladiolous to boom inside beds 1/2 pink 1/2 red.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford
Formal Beds filled with hydrangeas, peonies, primroses, irises, and much more.  Beds are in partial shade and have succession of blooms throughout the season.  Even during winter with the hydrangea wood and statues in the garden keeps things beautiful and interesting.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford
Formal Beds filled with hydrangeas, peonies, primroses, irises, and much more.  Beds are in partial shade and have succession of blooms throughout the season.  Even during winter with the hydrangea wood and statues in the garden keeps things beautiful and interesting.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford
Formal Beds filled with hydrangeas, peonies, primroses, irises, and much more.  Beds are in partial shade and have succession of blooms throughout the season.  Even during winter with the hydrangea wood and statues in the garden keeps things beautiful and interesting.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford
Formal Beds filled with hydrangeas, peonies, primroses, irises, and much more.  Beds are in partial shade and have succession of blooms throughout the season.  Even during winter with the hydrangea wood and statues in the garden keeps things beautiful and interesting.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford
Formal Beds filled with hydrangeas, peonies, primroses, irises, and much more.  Beds are in partial shade and have succession of blooms throughout the season.  Even during winter with the hydrangea wood and statues in the garden keeps things beautiful and interesting.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford
Formal Beds filled with hydrangeas, peonies, primroses, irises, and much more.  Beds are in partial shade and have succession of blooms throughout the season.  Even during winter with the hydrangea wood and statues in the garden keeps things beautiful and interesting.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford
Formal Beds filled with hydrangeas, peonies, primroses, irises, and much more.  Beds are in partial shade and have succession of blooms throughout the season.  Even during winter with the hydrangea wood and statues in the garden keeps things beautiful and interesting.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Amy Stafford

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/20/2012

    Amy,your vegetable garden area is very impressive. It must be very satisfying to have everything so under control and organized. I have a friend who is attempting to create what you have already achieved to perfection and will make sure she sees these these pictures...she needs some encouragement and inspiration because it is a lot of work to do what you have done. You've even got the white picket fence she sees in her dreams.
    Cute...your pooch coordinates beautifully with the oak leaf hydrangeas in their glorious bloom!

  2. cwheat000 06/20/2012

    Martha would be proud. You have a fantastic property. My dream property would be a big chunk of land . What a lot of work, but so worth it. All the hedge material and knot gardens are rare to inherit when buying a house. They make a wonderful backdrop for all the beautiful things you are growing with them. The lawn you installed is spectacular, especially if that too is organic. You have a dream kitchen garden too. We have started making raised beds like yours. Right now I only have three but they are a very productive way to grow veggies. I just bought my first oakleaf hydrangea. I love the row of yours. I love the doggie, also.It looks like you have a wonderful older home. A new home would have a hard time matching the grace of this property. What a beautiful setting, enjoy!

  3. dukeofargy 06/20/2012

    stunning. I'd love to meander through there. Well done.

  4. wwross 06/20/2012

    Neat. Looks like a lot of work. With so much space, it would be nice to also see a more naturalistic section with things less clipped and ordered.

  5. janetsfolly 06/20/2012

    This is amazing! What a beautiful playground for your bees...would love to see a photo of your bee yard :). I'm sure it's just as lovely and well tended as your gardens. And where do the chickens roam? You have created your own bit of heaven!

  6. jagardener 06/20/2012

    I am in the tropics and can't do what you do but I am sure GREEN with envy. Beautiful!

  7. dadeo1 06/20/2012

    nice formality....love the oakleaf hydrangea hedge. anxious to see the glads in bloom. beautiful...

  8. kzoocookie 06/20/2012

    So peaceful and green! I love the topiary and clipped evergreens -- good contrast to the other plants.

  9. AmySue 06/20/2012

    Thank you everyone, yes a lot of work, but you are right very much worth it! The Gladiolus are just starting to bloom, they will be a beautiful sight when they reach their glory! The bees are kept with the fruit trees and they do a wonderful job in the spring pollinating them so that they are loaded with fruit by the end of summer. I usually have to do trimming and propping because their limbs get so heavy. The chickens love to roam under a row of pine trees that border our property. The also love to work the Naturalizing Bed for bugs. In the spring and fall I let them loose in the Kitchen garden to take care of bug removal as well.
    Changing the Kitchen Garden over to raised beds and gravel walkways was the perfect decision. It makes compost each bed so simple and rotation of crops a breeze. The gravel walkways help keep weeds down (though I still have my fair share) and after a heavy rain their is no muddy feet! Oh yes, and the pooch is Roman he is ever my fateful companion in my garden!

  10. tractor1 06/21/2012

    Wow, this looks like it requires two, maybe three full time grounds keepers. That raised bed section alone needs a full time caretaker, not to mention all that hedge clipping, lawn mowing/edging, acres of beds to groom, a certified arborist can be employed full time tending to all the trees in that park, etc., and that house looks huge, where does one find time, has to have a live-in housekeeper too/two, at least one professional cook just to harvest and prepare that abundant cornucopia of produce. And I know for a fact that tending to bees and chickens is a full time job 24/7. And one needs to devote a minimum of three hours every day just tending to poochie, takes me more than three hours every day tending to my six cats and they don't go out so I don't walk them. I have to agree with wwross, with 57 acres it would be nice to view the more natural less professionally manicured sections.

  11. butterfly567 06/21/2012

    Stunning :)
    Embroidery designs

  12. smdntv 06/21/2012

    The raised beds require very little money but an investment in soils and time during the initial filling. This year I started a plot 16' x 4' in a community garden in Penn Hills, PA. We built the box, placed it on ground, covered the bottom with cardboard (don't use moving boxes as they have an impervious layer), then the hard work of filling the box with a mixture of fill dirt, compost and some sand. The outside of the box had the same cardboard but topped with mulch free from the township. I agree that this is an over-the-top garden, but it's not impossible to create one that works for you :-)

  13. AmySue 06/21/2012

    We actually contacted a local lumber yard and they used untreated extra lumber scraps to make the boards that we asked them to cut to our specs. The owner of the lumberyard liked the idea so much that he made some of the same beds for his wife, I also he traded some produce for product so it cut down on cost. My husband and sons built the beds using L brackets, it was a Sunday project and nice that everyone participated. I used mostly compost from our own yard to fill in beds. I used weed fabric in walkways to help with maintenance. The real expense was the gravel, but well worth it! I take care of the vegetable and garden beds all by my lonesome, and care for the chickens with the help of the family here and there, I take care of the bees, with help of a friend (who is teaching me the ropes). I do hire someone to trim bushes, grass and help with mulching. As for the pooch, I have three, and I can say I take care of them all by my lonesome, after just giving them a bath this afternoon!

  14. dianthus56 06/25/2012

    Absolutely gorgeous gardens and property! I am sooo envious! How did you ever learn to garden so beautifully? I can't imagine all of the work it has been but the results are fabulous!! I have a small flower garden in my backyard, half in sunlight, half in shade and I am very proud of what I have accomplished thus far but would love to have the raised beds for veggies and my herbs (which I grow in containers on patio). Haven't been able to convince hubby yet to convert the backyard to raised beds! We live in Cincinnati. Have you ever shown your gardens in any of the garden tours? Keep the beautiful pics coming as you are an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. jaegerb 08/04/2012

    I love you garden, and would like to know how your husband constructed the boxes. I want to use those around my backyard separating the lawn from the plants. :-)

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