Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Benjamin’s garden in Nebraska

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Vogt

Today’s photo are form Benjamin Vogt in Lincoln, Nebraska. Benjamin says, “Here are several images of my prairie-esque garden. I began the garden in July of 2007 (almost 5 years old!). I use 75% native perennials, shrubs, and trees, and do copious amounts of research so the right plant goes in the right place–the plants then need me hardly at all.  I cut down everything by hand, using the waste as mulch, and use hollow-stemmed plants to create mason bee bundles to hang on the fence.

90% of the garden gets cut down to the ground each March. This photo was taken in May.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Vogt

“I raise, on average, 200 monarch butterflies each year, and garden for insects. The garden attracts twice as many insects each year (seriously!), and more and more birds feeding on them. I use no chemicals, and predatory insects often take care of the bad ones within days.” Holy cow, Benjamin, that’s gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing your garden with us! ***Benjamin has a blog! Check it out HERE.***

The garden entrance, flanked by a crabapple and ‘Fineline’ buckthorn.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Vogt
Coneflowers, giant rudbeckia, mountain mint, monarda, liatris, and penstemon.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Vogt
A disappearing fountain brings in bathing robins almost every morning, and even some butterflies.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Vogt
Monarchs vastly prefer Liatris ligulistylis as they migrate south.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Vogt
Fall color in the form of bald cyprus, asters, amsonia, goldenrod, and sedum.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Vogt
I garden for winter interest–structure and texture bring in many winter birds, from cardinals and juncos to flickers and hawks.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Benjamin Vogt

Did you notice?? Nebraska! That makes 35 states represented (we’re missing NV, AZ, NM, WY, ND, SD, OK, AR, MS, IN, KY, WV, HI, AK, and VT), along with at least 4 Canadian provinces and several countries. Keep sending in your photos, so we can span the country and the globe! I am waaaaay too excited about the prospect….. Does anyone know of a widget I can add to the page that keeps track of specific locations on a map?

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View Comments


  1. AlisonAustralia 03/13/2012

    Thank you Benjamin for your gorgeous garden photos. It's my sort of garden and I love your discussion about use of natives and encouraging insects. After 5 years I have one big bed of perennials and grasses that I am proud of, but a lot more still to go. Your photos will encourage me to knuckle down to the next steps ...

  2. Kris_at_Blithewold 03/13/2012

    My garden at home is the same age but not nearly as successful (yet). These photos are great inspiration to get rid of more/all of the lawn before it starts growing again.

  3. GrnThum 03/13/2012

    Beautiful garden, Benjamin, and I'll bet the Monarchs get together in Mexico and talk about their visit to your lovely space all winter long! It's encouraging to see folks using more natives to help these orange travelers on their way north and south during the summer. Natives are usually so easy and trouble free - we need more people to grow and promote them! Our Master Gardening program is raising and selling native plants here in Forsyth County, NC to encourage their use. Monarchs here are not nearly as prevalent as up your way. I'm a registered "Monarch Waystation" just to give them a let up. Many thanks for your hard work!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/13/2012

    Sincerest kudos to Benjamin for so beautifully showing the art of form and function in his approach to gardening. The plants all look very happy in their placement and really serve a purpose.The picture showing the cluster of monarch enjoying the bounty was perfection. GrnThum made me smile with the cute comment about the monarchs singing your garden's praises once their trek to Mexico was completed.

  5. Steepdrive 03/13/2012

    WOW! Absolutely gorgeous! What an inspiration for me to do even more in my garden.

  6. siesperanza 03/13/2012

    Benjamin you are amazing. All this in only five years. i loved seeing your garden in all seasons. It looks like your place has a nice setting. Beautiful photos too.
    Is your garden irrigated or do you get enough water? Hope your garden gives you many years of continued joy.

  7. user-7006902 03/13/2012

    I see a lot of my favorites in your beautiful garden! I can't get over how lush and lavish your garden is in just under five years! Have visited your blog previous to this and enjoy it. Look forward to more visits.

  8. ozgoode 03/13/2012

    What a lovely garden! Thank you for sharing! This is very much the effect I am trying to create. I will shamelessly copy your fountain.

  9. BVogt 03/13/2012

    Siesperanza--I do NOT irrigate. The garden is gently sloped, and the plants up top are dry loving, while the ones at the bottom are rain garden-esque. I may water once in August if it's been a dry summer, but that's it. The thick planting, and place-specific planting, seems to keep everyone happy and weed free. Thank you ALL for your comments! So happy to share with you! I do have some passive-aggressive gardening tips here (this is my first garden, btw):

  10. delancey 03/13/2012

    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos, Benjamin. I, too, am in zone 5, in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, & have been using more and more native plants. I find the early-season picture quite helpful, as it shows the garden's structure (note to self: take photos this year! Start today!).

  11. tractor1 03/13/2012

    Benjamin has created a beautiful composition of plantings yet very utilitarian in how they coincide with nature, I like it a lot.

  12. soilgoil 03/13/2012

    Benjamin, I love that you're gardening for insects and birds, with natural beauty as a by-product. You're an inspiration to all of us.

  13. MizScarlet 03/14/2012

    I, too, applaud your use of the native plants to encourage butterflies in your garden. It gives me inspiration to add more native plants to my landscape. Thanks for the pictures and all your hard work.

  14. CindyKS 04/05/2012

    Wow. Love it. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  17. grannieannie1 10/18/2014

    PS Just checked out your interesting blog. More beautiful shots! What are you growing on your arbor?

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