Garden Photo of the Day

Veronica’s Garden in New Hampshire

The before and after here is CRAZY!

When I put the call out for photos a couple of weeks ago in exchange for a chance to win a free gardening book, Veronica Guyre in Lyme, New Hampshire (USDA Hardiness Zone 4b), decided to throw her hat in the ring. We’ve heard from Veronica before. We featured a couple of plant combos from her garden back in 2010 (refresh your memory HERE and HERE). But who knew that when you back off from these close-in shots, you’d find this STUNNING garden? WOWSERS!!


Veronica says, “My husband and I have been reclaiming this previous gravel pit property for the past nine years. Much input was necessary from county and state agricultural consultants and a complete assessment of the 54 acres was made by the county department.

“Working this abused property, on top of gravel and sand, is a constant challenge for both my husband and me. I have enclosed a ‘before’ photo of the sand and gravel pit after its final leveling. Several pines and birch were rescued before building and hardscaping and are now close to 20 feet tall. Over the years we’ve planted trees, shrubs, a perennial border along the driveway, and an enclosed vegetable garden that has a stone path and a pergola by the house.” Well. I’m speechless. How about you guys?

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View Comments


  1. user-258617 05/30/2012

    Wow! I'll steal some of your plant combos for sure!

  2. mainer59 05/30/2012

    It is lovely! How much loam did you put over the gravel (not tons, but inches). Do you have a watering issue, or is your soil well improved? If improved, do you add compost yearly?

  3. wGardens 05/30/2012

    Simply Awesome! Congratulations on creating such a wonderful space. Thanks for sharing.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/30/2012

    This is one of the most dramatically pleasing transformations of property I have ever seen! You certainly had a blank canvas to start with and have created a masterpiece. I'm sure you are forever tweaking and improving things (because that's what we gardeners do) but to this viewer's eyes, it is perfection.
    And, I love the graceful sweeping curves of your sets off your lush beds so beautifully.
    I, too, am interested in how much soil/loam you added to get such a rewarding growing medium.

  5. tractor1 05/30/2012

    A mind blowing transformation with spectacular results.

  6. pattyspencer 05/30/2012

    Magical and beautiful!

  7. stinkygardener 05/30/2012

    What an amazing space! The Guyres have certainly done a LOT of hard work and continue to, so it appears. It's all paid off! Really outstanding results! Gorgeous.

  8. kyaker 05/30/2012

    Thanks for all the kind comments! This entire property continues to be an adventure!

    The meadow area of 5 acres was scratched up with a piece of equipment, seeded and mulched with hay. It is mulch mowed every August.
    Lawn areas were supposed to get 6" of loam,but ended far short of that amount. Perennials and my vegetable garden are mostly heaps of compost from a local farm in Vermont. Trees and shrubs required large holes drilled and filled with loam and compost. Every spring we heap the vegetable beds with compost and we make sure certain areas are heavily mulched. On advice, we added irrigation.

  9. passwords 05/30/2012

    What a wonderful job you both have done! Now this is what I call reclaiming the land. Truly awesome.

  10. tractor1 05/30/2012

    Veronica: next you want to protect grass seed and other ground cover seed from birds use straw, hay contains too many seeds of all types of plants, many of which can become problematic. The trick to reclaiming several acres is to mow, mow, and MOW! Mow often and mow short (2"). I'm sorry you had to install irrigation, that can be costly for several acres... I'd gladly give you all my extra water and it's substantial, think Noah's Ark. You did a fabulous job.

  11. kyaker 05/30/2012


    I'm sorry if I caused any confusion... only my vegetable garden,perennials,shrubs and some lawn areas near the house receive irrigation. Vegetables are mulched with straw. Trees,shrubs and perennials are mulched with shredded hemlock bark+compost. The 5 acre meadow is on its own.
    All but 2.5 acres of the property are under conservation easement.

  12. dahliab 05/31/2012

    I'm in awe!

  13. janetsfolly 05/31/2012

    Just one question, do you ever participate in garden tours? It would be worth a trp to NH to shake your hands! Just awesome, really.

  14. sumhillgardener 06/04/2012

    Wow, this garden is perfect. Such a gorgeous border, my favorite colors. The handsome fence encloses a charming garden of incredible lushness and happy plants!!! I love the vignette of geranium, lambs ears and sedum. Great job !!!

  15. greenthumblonde 01/06/2013

    I just love this property. Special.

  16. user-4691082 03/18/2015

    Speechless doesn't even begin to cover it! Great job!

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