Garden Photo of the Day

Scenes From Tina’s Garden

Successes in a new garden

Today’s photos are from Tina Tyzzer.

We built a new home in 2016 (Zone 6, Indiana) on 6 acres that had been farmed for the previous 50+ years. In spite of my being a gardener for more than 20 years, not much survived the first year. The vegetable garden provided enough for the table, but not much for the winter, so I did a soil test and discovered that we had a very high PH (8.0). We’ve been making compost and amending the soil from this and bedding from our chicken coops. From all perspectives, 2020 was a very sad year, but at least we got to spend more time in the garden!

African daisyI have grown African daisies (Osteospermum, annual) before but never with the success of this year. They just tumbled over each other.

moth on African daisiesAlthough I didn’t witness many pollinators on the African daisies, this moth did seem to enjoy them.

sunflowerAll of our sunflowers (Helianthus annuus, annual) have self-sown from previous years and/or were spread by our free-ranging chickens.

sunflowersA favorite spot for the sunflowers is just off the porch, where they are sheltered from the wind. There were hundreds of sunflower seedlings there that had to be thinned. There were still plenty left.

Sunflower about to bloomSunflower blooms are amazing at every stage of their life.

red zinniaWe planted lots of red to attract hummingbirds, but monarchs enjoyed this part of the garden as well.

bee gardenThe only garden that has thrived since the beginning is our bee garden, which was planted by seed in front of our six beehives. It is so laden with plants that we have not added anything to the soil, so nature has definitely taken over here. This year the yellow lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata, Zones 3–8) appears to have taken over, but the Monarda (Zones 3–9), Echinacea (Zones 5–9), and purple spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana, Zones 4–9) are hanging in there. The surprising thing was that other beautiful pollinators far outnumbered the honeybees, so definitely we will be expanding this garden.

And last but not least, we invite all forms of wildlife to our gardens. There were twin fawns that showed up several times. This was the brave one; the other is hidden between the corn rows. It’s a good thing we grow plenty to share! We used a chain-link fence to keep the predators away from the chicken coops. I guess we should have also enclosed the vegetable garden!


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View Comments


  1. Carolyn3134 01/25/2021

    Wonderful! I loved your pollinator patch!!

  2. Rebeccazone7 01/25/2021

    The sunflower before it opens is the promise of what's to come. We all know that eventually the weather will turn. I enjoyed all of it.

  3. cynthia2020 01/25/2021

    Hi, Tina. Your photo of the day is lovely, sunny, and novel. I enjoyed reading your gardening story and looking at all of the pictures - am fond of Coreopsis and Monarda so admire the healthy, full look of the bee garden. Thank you for sharing!

  4. PattyLouise 01/25/2021

    Beautiful! Enjoyed the tour! Very inspirational!

  5. user-5117752 01/25/2021

    Here's to a better 2021 in your garden! But your photos are beautiful and the bees must have produced some delicious honey. You didn't mention that! Thank you for taking the time to share with us!

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/25/2021

    Love that coreopsis. Trying to get it going here at my acreage.

  7. daisy8 01/25/2021

    Love your photos, Tina & how nice it must be to have all those happy sunflowers that self seeded by your porch. I’m zone 6 Indiana too & looking forward to putting these icy days behind & getting to work in our gardens again soon. I’m sure your gardens will continue to grow even more beautiful each year with your six acres.

  8. User avater
    simplesue 01/25/2021

    Beautiful! And I love that you welcome wildlife into your garden!
    I just love your sunflowers!

  9. btucker9675 01/25/2021

    Beautiful! Although I will not welcome deer into my garden - they can denude a garden in no time flat in my past experience!

  10. alicefleurkens 01/25/2021

    That’s lovely Tina. I love your African daisies. At our house the rabbits eat them all. Alice

  11. bdowen 01/25/2021

    Favorite photo: the unopened sunflower. A nice reminder to enjoy our flowers as buds, full bloom and beyond. Red flowers: I've watched monarchs check out all the zinnias in the patch, but choosing to stay longest on the red ones. Planning to plant more red zinnias this coming summer. Thank you for sharing your garden!

  12. Musette1 01/25/2021

    thanks so much for identifying your zone!

    Your garden is coming along beautifully and like so many others on here I love the photo of the unopened sunflower.
    Thanks for sharing !

  13. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 01/25/2021

    Thanks for posting & sharing your photos. We don't grow annuals, guess we're in the small group of people who don't. But we have other pollinator-friendly items. No hummingbirds either I'm afraid this far north.
    We have had deer! So in that we have much in common. :)
    Happy gardening!

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