Garden Photo of the Day

Solace and Inspiration Found in the Garden

Gardening inspired by nature has had a lasting impact on this gardener's life

My name is Terry Hartman, and I live in Plano, Texas. I have been practicing natural landscaping for 37 years. The one thing I have learned about gardening is that there is always something else to learn. Nature is ever changing.

My philosophy of design is to plant each and every plant in a place where it can grow to maturity and still fit the spot and each plant can take on a personality. My landscapes are designed to be low maintenance and beautiful, mimicking the beautiful landscape that God created. Millions of people travel all across this country every year to check out the natural landscape that we are all part of.

I use various levels of plants and terrain in my garden. I have the most beautiful garden in a very nice city because of many years of studying nature. Success is learned from my observation of this beautiful country.

There is a great human interest story to the garden. Nature is where I found solace as an orphan since I was four. I scattered seeds all around the orphanage flower beds from dried blooms of petunias, four-o-clocks (Mirabilis jalapa, Zones 9–11 or as annual) and rose moss (Portulaca grandiflora, annual). Gardening gave my life a meaning, being close to the spirit of the land. It also gave me a way to be successful, because I am never satisfied with my work. I know I can do better because the spirit drives me.

A huge oak tree presides over this naturalistic garden.

Color from foliage and flowers runs between stones to make a complex tapestry.

Silver dichondra (Dichondra argentea, Zones 8–10 or as annual) makes a beautiful, low-care carpet.

A wide view of the garden, showing a range of textures and colors coming from different perennials and the use of stone.

Annual vinca (Cataranthus roseus) provides great, heat-tolerant color and mixes nicely with longer-lasting perennials and stonework.


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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/09/2019

    How wonderful that your special relationship with Mother Nature developed so early in your life. She is a lifelong partner to treasure and be guided by. I definitely love how you have incorporated so many stones and rocks as friendly companions to your plantings. They give the ground covers a reason to show off little zigs and zags of a natural stream.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/09/2019

    Oh, my, love it Terry!

  3. btucker9675 04/09/2019

    Thank you for sharing your story, and your incredible garden - love the use of stone that adds so much to the color and textures. I hope your neighbors have taken note and made their gardens in a similar fashion.

  4. cheryl_c 04/09/2019

    Terry, I love the way the stone ties the house to the landscape, and the way you have designed the beds to mimic nature. I also love your philosophy about making sure each plant goes into a space that will continue to suit it for many years. I haven't always followed that practice, to my chagrin! Thanks for sharing your gardens and your story.

  5. User avater
    simplesue 04/09/2019

    Love your garden and the way it looks so natural with plants place among stones. And so true about there always being something new to learn. Love that you started throwing seeds around as a little orphan child, and growing flowers at such a young age. Thanks for sharing!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest