Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Cheryl’s garden in Massachusetts

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe

Today’s photos are from Cheryl Monroe in Jefferson, Massachusetts. Cheryl says, “I garden on an acre of what was once a glacially depositied sand pit, turned into a suburban development. When we moved here 15 years ago we had sand, sand, and more sand, but no vegetation whatsoever, unless you count the hyrdo-seed the developer sprayed over the entire acre.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe

“Over the next few years we brought in (by ourselves) rocks, soil, trees, and plants. We did all our own hardscaping and planting, learning as we went along, and now have a yard made up of many different gardens and outdoor spaces, including a large pool and basket ball court for the kids I needed to landscape around, a rock garden, several mixed shrub and perennial borders, and a small garden devoted to pink flowers.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe

“I am a collector of sorts, and have a variety of clematis, sedum, and roses. My ultimate goal is an English cottage feel, which is difficult given our lack of old stone walls and trees and our soil problems. It may be a dream, but the vision in my head looks great!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe

“After spending lots of time taking classes in horticulture, and especially learning everything I could about clematis, roses , and design, I now speak to local garden clubs and libraries about gardening and have a blog ( that I use to tell the story of the garden and link information I need to share with the groups I speak to.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe

“In the photos you can some of the roses I grow, my potting bench and arbor leading to the back garden, a view of the pink garden that is planted outside our family room window, and the antique windows we installed in the fence so when you are in the pool area you can view the back gardens and beyond.” Gorgeous, Cheryl!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cheryl Monroe

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View Comments


  1. JuleMG 06/25/2012

    Love those windows!

  2. mainer59 06/25/2012

    What kind of rose do you have on that arbor? I love it! I can't get my roses or clematis to make it all the way to the top of mine.

  3. wittyone 06/25/2012

    I'd say you are well on your way (f not already there) to that cottage garden in you head,

    I think that garden in their mind's eye is what every gardener works toward.------ where there are no hungry critters wreaking havoc, there is plenty of rain spaced out over the growing season and all the plant combinations come together as planned.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/25/2012

    Cheryl, I agree with wittyone that the English cottage vibe is alive and well in your very charming garden. I absolutely adore your windows in the fence idea and your execution of it is perfection. You have a wonderful eye for delightful details that just pulls everything together so successfully.
    Now I'm off to enjoy your blog.

  5. annek 06/25/2012

    You have transformed a sand pit into paradise! You've managed a wonderfully creative job of placing plants, hardscaping and outdoor rooms in an appealing outdoor setting. I particularly like the potting shed with the rose and clematis tumbling over it's frame. You're skills are good!!!!!

  6. grdnintheburrow 06/25/2012

    thanks for all the kind words! we all spend so much time creating and planting and it feels great to have someone ( even a vitual someone) give you the thumbs up! As for the rose on the arbor is a rambler that was given to my grandmother by her mother as a housewarming gift. I took cuttings and it now grows here and at the houses of many of my grandmothers children and grandchildren. I have tried to ID it, but with no success yet, so we call it Grammy's Rose , it will grow up to 20 ft .

  7. tractor1 06/25/2012

    Cheryl, if I wanted a cottage garden first thing I'd build is the cottage... there are many resources with plans for building garden sheds in cottage mode... still not too late. And as to having trees, from your pictures it appears your neighbors have trees. There are many trees that do very well in very sandy soils, Long Island, NY consists of retreating glacial deposits and many trees grow there wonderfully well... especially many pines, the various oaks, and the locusts... stone fruit trees do very well there too. You don't seem to be having any problem growing a lovely lawn in sand and your roses look spectacular. I perused your blog and I like your salmon colored antique cast iron butcher's string holder. Thank you for sharing.

  8. olympic_mtn_gardener 06/25/2012

    It is all gorgeous! I agree with the comments by wittyone, meander1 and annek. You have done an amazing job of taking a sand pit and making something truly spectacular. It gives me hope that the vision in my head can some day also become reality (with persistent hard work, of course!)

  9. cwheat000 06/26/2012

    Way to make lemonade out of lemons. I especially love Grammy's rose. You gotta wonder why you can't buy roses like that anymore. My mom has one like that (we also don't know the variety) and it is one of the easiest and most charming roses I know. Very nice job.

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