Garden Photo of the Day

Revisiting Lynn’s garden in Wisconsin

July 2014

Today's photos are from Lynn Nehring out in western Wisconsin. We visited Lynn almost exactly a year ago (refresh your memory HERE), and she's back with an update. She says, "In the fall of 2013 I had to endure many changes, as we had to have a mound septic system installed.  I dreaded it; however, I saw opportunity as well. In October 2013 I planted a new island bed between an existing hill and the new hill created by the mound.  I've included a picture from fall 2013 and another from July 2014. Sun and shade perennials did very well in this area and I've been thrilled with the outcome. Just goes to show you change is good!" But….how are these photos less than a year old, Lynn? You are Super-Gardener!! What color is your cape? What an amazing comeback. ***We'll get to see lots of Lynn's containers tomorrow–stay tuned!***

Send me photos of YOUR garden! Email me at [email protected]

Come and meet up at the  Northwest Flower and Garden Show this year!

I'm scheduled to give another GPOD talk (A few of you will be getting emails in the next two weeks as I put together the slideshow…), and a number of people have emailed to say that they'll be at the show, and that they'd love to meet up with a bunch of fellow GPODers!

The RSVPs so far:

Glenda Curdy (Nurserynotnordstrom)
Tia Scarce
Jeanne Cronce (Greengenes)
Sheila Schultz
Shirley Graves
Chris Niblack (ChrisSeattle)
Kielian DeWitt (Annek)
Linda Skyler (Meelianthus)
Kathy Schuler

So…who else is going to be there?? Let us all know in the comments, and we can start planning an outing! Perhaps after-dinner drinks one night at the bar at the Sheraton?  I'll repeat this announcement for the next week or so, at least, and keep a running list of who's coming….enticement for even more people to come. Oh, and when you comment to say you'll be there, give us your real name so that I can plan name tags that include both that and your screen name…

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October 2013

Standing on top of the mound turned out to be a great place to take pictures.  Here's a summer picture…..

….and a fall picture.

Thought I'd take you on a tour of some of the other areas. Here is one of my few sunny areas that includes daylilies, lilies, echinacea, mondarda, rudbeckia, various sedums, etc.  2014 was a great growing year for us as we had more rain than average.

This garden is shady on the left and sunny on the right (see the astilboides plants and lilies)

This area gets very little sun after 11:00 a.m. but seems to thrive.  You've seen this shot from another year.  The lilies were fantastic this year. They are the OT (orienpet) oriental/trumpet cross, many of which get at least six feet tall here. 

A part-sun area behind our garage.  The wax begonias brightened the area all summer.

This is one end of a bed that is about 90 feet long and 30 wide at the widest.  It does amazingly well with no more than a couple hours of sun in most spots. The lilies have to be staked but the effort is worth the color.  Phlox thrive here as well as hostas, astilbes, ferns, and Siberian irises.

The ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford' takes the stage here.  I moved it to this location a few years ago and couldn't believe what a bit more light did for it.  It loves moist soil, too.

A September picture of the retaining wall garden I planted in the fall of 2012.  I used the castor bean plants for height and annual grasses on the corners to break up all that white siding.

View Comments


  1. Nurserynotnordstroms 01/21/2015

    Oh Lynn you are a wizard how gorgeous are your gardens. I tend not to be much of a flower girl more foliage but your photos might be making me feel a little different about color(I have a feeling this years garden show in Seattle is going to be a lot of flowers since it's a romantic theme)you must work very hard,that seems to be a giant piece of property and it's impeccable and your Astilboides is stunning as well as all of your Heucheras. Your trips to the nursery must yield a lot of plants. Do you do some propagating?and do you have a greenhouse?I have never been to Wisconsin but it's on my bucket list I plan to visit every State at least once. Anything special I should see when I come to Wisconsin?

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      I do not have a greenhouse. Many of my plants are divisions of my plants! We are older and need lots of help to keep this up now. A hardworking friend (with great ideas) helps me out about once a week. Several high school and college students also help us out. When you come to Wisconsin, please visit! You should visit the Rotary Gardens in Janesville, Rock Landscape & Gardens in Baldwin (near here), and Witt's Gardens in Eau Claire (also near here) just name a few.

      1. Nurserynotnordstroms 01/21/2015

        Lynn thank you so much for the invitation to visit and the wonderful suggested gardens. I hope to meet you one day and enjoy your lush gardens.

  2. perenniallycrazy 01/21/2015

    Awesome transformation Lynn! I think all your fingers are green, not just your thumbs. Unbelievable what you have achieved in a year's time...perhaps you can share all the details with us. Seems like your plants are on steroids. Looking forward to your containers tomorrow.

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      My habit (maybe a bad one) is to buy plants I love and ones I think will do well here and then figure out how I'll use them! I may repot them in the spring and watch them over the summer. Most of the beds here have been planted in September through October. This way I have time to think about their placement and can move the pots around in a new area before actually doing the planting. There are two holding bed areas as well as hundreds of plants loving to be divided to use along with the new ones. My better half and our helpers need to get credit too for making my dreams become reality.

  3. wGardens 01/21/2015

    Oh my! This is fabulous! "Wizard" is a good word! What an accomplishment. Congratulations! Keep those photos coming!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/21/2015

    Gotta' say, Lynn, I am mesmerized and enthralled by the abundant lushness of your super gorgeous flower beds that just seem to go on and on into infinity. Your garden seems to have a wonderful balance of sun and shade that brings out the best in all your, that beautiful dark rich soil is the stuff of dreams!

  5. user-1020932 01/21/2015

    great shots, great plants, great garden. i'm very envious of your Ligularia, i struggle with Britt Marie, i'm with meander about that soil! it's a beautiful space you have created

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      Improving and replacing soil has proven to be the best investment!

  6. jerrysiss 01/21/2015

    Your property is beautiful. I live near Cleveland so mu climate is not so much different than yours. I've gotten some ideas of what to plant where as I'm redoing my garden this year. Thanks, hope you don't mind.

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      I'm honored!

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/21/2015

    Lynn, I love your garden. I went back to the last post, too, and all of your lilies have me completely twitterpated! Stunning. I've been adding more lilies because my wife loves them, but now I'm smitten too. Claude Schride is on my short list this year. do you happen to remember the name of the golden-orange heuchera in photo 5 next to what looks like Hakonechloa 'All Gold"?

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      I believe you're speaking of 'Copper Cascade' heucherella which I love. I have better luck with heucherella here than heurchera, though I have both. There are several 'Sweet Tea' heucherella and a 'Brass Lantern' heucherella in that same garden. There will be a close-up of that area in tomorrow's pictures.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/21/2015

        Thanks, Lynn. I look forward to tomorrow's post. The good news for my wallet is that I already have all three of those Heucherella; two of which I planted last year, so I am anxious to see how they perform in my garden. I love those colors!

  8. NCYarden 01/21/2015

    What a great property and absolutely gorgeous garden. It's a veritable park. Great combination of trees and perennials. And those hostas...I'm swooning. There must be no voles in fortunate. In pic 8 (with the blue spruce) is that a gunnera or rice paper plant growing next to the hosta? Love those magnificent large leaves. It is all so beautiful. Congratulations too on the quick turnaround after your septic install. It's tough to see things so torn up, but like you said, it opens up some new opportunities that plants are so willing to oblige. Thanks for sharing.

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      Not gunnera. It's an Astilboides plant which is supposedly Zone 5 but it has survived here in our Zone 4 garden for 14 years. Voles? Yes, we do have voles and they're becoming a huge problem.

      1. NCYarden 01/21/2015

        Haha, I guess I could have read the provided description. I just didn't realize that was what it was referring to. That is a cool plant. I would love to grow that. I might to need to locate one of those. How fortunate it is doing so well for you. Thanks.

  9. Lisianne 01/21/2015

    Wow. I really want to see (and smell and walk through) this in person. So very welcome on a cold, snowy January day here in Ohio!

  10. annek 01/21/2015

    What a transformation! You've done a beautiful job finding the perfect places for plants to thrive and compliment one another. Your lilies are stunning and the swaths of flower beds on either side of the path is enamouring. Wow!

  11. greengenes 01/21/2015

    Yes Diane... Last year I tried them in a huge pot and in full sun. They grew nicely but didn't reach their fullest potential. It was worth the try though!

  12. greengenes 01/21/2015

    Change is good! This is proof for sure! It turned out lovely, Lynn! A golden opportunity it was for you to put in the new area. The fall photograph is so beautiful too! Arent those orepients a great lily! I have those yellow ones too and I so enjoy them. Last year I found some purple ones and they were nice and iam hoping they will do twice a good this up coming season. I so enjoyed seeing the flow of your gardens. It really pulls you in and everything is outlined with green! I love it all! Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. greengenes 01/21/2015

    They got to be about 4 ft tall. I wish I had a picture for you. They were put by an entrance and the color was great and then the seed pods stole the show! I would plant them again some time but this year I am pondering putting in the pots, two david Austin roses. Havent made up my mind yet...have you ever tried roses in a pot?

  14. terieLR 01/21/2015

    Hi Lynn, I have taken so long lamenting over each photo that I will have to keep this brief. My first thought about the placement of you newest garden was yay, rainwater. Does it slope in the right directing to make the most of natures gift? Your gardens are absolutely beautiful. I love its repetitious rows of hosta ~ etc..

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      The rainwater was/is a problem. This past fall we had to reroute it! It wasn't a problem in the new "island bed" but a bed further downhill. We won't know until spring if the problem is solved.

  15. bons 01/21/2015

    What a gorgeous garden! Is that Gunnera I see? My garden is in southeastern Minnesota, and have been wanting to grow gunnera for years, and why oh why, haven't I tried it? Lovely, Lynn...simply lovely!

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      I have to gunnera here. You must be speaking of the Astilboides plant. Some leaves have measured 24-30" wide.

      1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

        I meant I have no gunnera here.

        1. bons 01/31/2015

          Thanks, Lynn! Astilboides is now on my must-buy list for spring 2015. Hopefully it's not too difficult to find. Love your garden!

          1. satisfaction 01/31/2015

            I believe White Flower Farms still offers it.

          2. bons 01/31/2015

            I'll check it out...thanks so much.

  16. GrannyMay 01/21/2015

    Lynn, having reviewed your garden post from last year, I'm not at all surprised that you have created another amazing flowerbed to add to your beautiful estate. Your huge borders full of exuberant swathes of colour are a gardener's dream! How you keep all those plants looking so healthy and whole is still a mystery, though you did say last year that you do battle voles and other pests. Love it all! Thank you.

  17. sheila_schultz 01/21/2015

    Diane, I have used Castor Beans in containers for several years. They make quite the statement and because of their gorgeous color and size they can hide, or pull the eye away from a variety of ills! My only disappointment has been that even though I plant mine in large pots, they don't get as tall as those planted in the ground.

  18. greengenes 01/21/2015

    thankyou too! I believe I will try the roses this year! Have a great day!

  19. sheila_schultz 01/21/2015

    Like Jeanne's, mine also grew to about 4'-5'.

    1. satisfaction 01/21/2015

      Not in containers they grow six to 15 feet tall depending on the variety. In containers mine also are 4-5 feet.

  20. sheila_schultz 01/21/2015

    Lynn, you must have added some fairy dust to the soil in your gardens, all of your plantings are very, very happy! If your new bed looked this good the first year...2015 is going to be amazing. One thing for sure, you will never have to go to a florist to fill a vase with with a stunning arrangement!

  21. satisfaction 01/21/2015

    Thanks for your great comments! There's never too much moisture here as the trees drink it. I have grown castor beans in containers for years as I can set the containers in the sunny driveway (our only full-sun spot). Then when they're quite mature we move them to other areas. You may see some in tomorrow's pictures.

  22. user-7007327 01/21/2015

    This is a wonderland.
    Love the meandering lawn to outline the beds. Thank you for sharing.

  23. user-7007076 01/21/2015

    I love the meandering paths and park like space! Great work!

  24. cynthiabardoukalarge 01/22/2015

    I love the moss growing on your rock wall! Those little miniature volunteers add such a nice touch. Can you tell me the name of the hosta in the middle of that picture (third picture from the last), the one just under the pink flowers? Also, is that creeping jenny spilling over the wall? Thanks!

    1. satisfaction 01/23/2015

      Moss is plentiful here. Some astilbe have seeded themselves into that rock wall along with sedum and ferns. The hosta is 'Sum and Substance' and yes, that's creeping jenny. I love it on the wall but when you're not looking it creeps into the lawn below as well.

  25. Cenepk10 01/22/2015

    You people... That garden is crazy beautiful- ya'll are making me want quit gardening...

  26. Cenepk10 01/22/2015

    Voles ? I acquired a cat for the voles .... Now everywhere there is mulch - there are little cat pawed mounds. Can't win.

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