Garden Photo of the Day

Returning to a Garden After Almost a Decade

Changes in a beautiful garden

Today we’re visiting Michael Follose’s garden.

I sent you pictures of my garden almost 10 years ago and would like to update you on our progress.

Since then, we laid an extensive brick paver patio that includes a large firepit with built-in seating and lighting. This was a multiyear project. During this process, our entire backyard was torn up, and we had to re-landscape around the new hardscape. The plants have filled in nicely around the pond adjacent to our brickwork. I’ve included an early evening shot of it.

One of these pictures shows a weeping birch tree with hostas below it. I planted that tree almost 45 years ago. We lost it to disease and had it cut down this year. We’re currently redoing this entire area as a full-sun garden. Once we complete this area, we’ll send more pictures. (We’re slower now—could be another 10 years!)

I enjoy looking at your Garden Photos of the Day while I sip my morning coffee.

Shady seating at the edge of the patio.

The new patio project looks amazing—and with lots of space for plants.

Looking up at the house across the new brick patio.

garden water featureA spectacular water feature, made even more impressive by dramatic landscape lighting.

birch treeThe birch tree, planted 45 years ago, and now recently cut down. One thing you can count on in a garden is change! While it’s sad to lose such a beautiful tree, it’s exciting to envision the new garden that can be created.

annual plantersSpectacular annual planters. Using huge masses of the same plants always creates a dramatic statement.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

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View Comments


  1. nwphillygardener 10/29/2019

    Congratulations, Michael. There's a lovely restraint to your planting groups, with repetitions and drifts that I applaud. Can you tell us about what looks to be a wood plank platform onto which you have set a collection of container plantings (in the second photo). Is that intended to allow water to simply drain through without visibly soaked a more impervious surface?

    1. centraloregongarden 10/29/2019

      See answer below.

  2. cheryl_c 10/29/2019

    Michael, I'm so glad we were given the link to your gardens nearly 10 years ago, where you shared that you are in a high desert area - that truly shifts the appreciation for all the work you have done and are doing - having only a 90 day growing season and an arid climate are true challenges. Nonetheless, you've created lush beautiful gardens, and used your patio to repeat the visual lines of your home. Fabulous job!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/29/2019

    Your new paver patio is very handsome and the generous proportions with built in seating provides a thoroughly welcoming ambiance. I enjoyed visiting your previous submission (thanks, Fine Gardening, for making that possible) and the water feature looks more "au natural" than ever...and, it looked great back then as well. You have a wonderful eye for combining colors to give impact but remain impeccably tasteful.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/29/2019

    What a lovely patio! It looks like you can see out to fields? Oh, I would sure love to be there!

    1. centraloregongarden 10/29/2019

      Yes, we are surrounded by open fields.

  5. User avater
    simplesue 10/29/2019

    That water feature is one of the most natural looking one's I've seen. Looks like nature put it there, only better!
    Love that two level patio, and the way the stones in the retaining wall border fit together beautifully. Paths to walk on, places to sit... Pure paradise- night and day- in your garden!

  6. centraloregongarden 10/29/2019

    One of the wood platforms covers the access to our septic tank and can be easily lifted off if needed. We built two of them, because we wanted symmetry in this area of our garden.

  7. btucker9675 10/29/2019

    Wow - just WOW! What amazing work you've done and the results are spectacular.

  8. Cenepk10 10/29/2019

    Fabulous!!!! It takes a decade - at least to see some real action... from the plantings & also to get the design to come together- which in fact to me is STUNNING!!! Love it ALL.. See ya later, tree.... as mulch, maybe.

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