Garden Photo of the Day

Spring in Zone 4

What spring in Zone 4 looks like.

"My name is Carol Jean Kadonsky and I garden in central Wisconsin (zone 4) and I shared photos back in 2013.  I know many gardeners have spring blooms already but in my yard the bulbs are just poking out of the ground.  So I'm sharing some photos from last years gardens and projects.  Last July 10 & 11 my garden was part of the Master Gardeners "Garden Walk."  The weather was beautiful and we had a great turn out.  Looking back, it's all a bit of a blur but a wonderful experience."

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In preparation for the garden walk I finally painted my metal dining patio set purple; it now matches my purple wooden chair planter.

That is Mme Julia Correvon clematis growing on my copper tubing trellis against the pine tree. With raspberry wine monarda/bee balm growing next to it.

This is a new dahlia and I do not know the name because it does not match the picture on the packaging but I like it better than what it was supposed to look like.

Fall shot of my back border.

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/15/2016

    Hi, Carol Jean, it's always so nice when a previous photo sharer returns to treat us with more garden pictures. I always try to relook at the earlier submissions to have more dots to connect on the whole picture (Got to see a great shot of your purple chair all planted fun looking).
    Anyway, it's no surprise that you would have had lots of happy garden visitors on the tour. You have so many wonderful bursts of color throughout your garden and lots of projects to stir the imagination and evoke squeals of "Oh, I'd love to try that!". That dahlia is breathtaking and your photo of it is calendar or notecard worthy.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Michaele, yes I did get many comments on my "projects". The living picture was a favorite again. I also think they liked the old-fashioned look of my garden; many of the flowers their mothers or grandmothers grew. Attached is a picture of the purple chair planter from last summer. I used nemesia and it was blooming yet in November so I will use more of that in my containers this year. I've been struggling shrinking my photos to fit as an attachment but have bungled my way through.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 03/15/2016

        Thanks for the additional picture of the purple fun and festive looking. I was not familiar with nemesia so went off to do a google search. Seems like it comes in lots of great colors. Any annual that keeps blooming into Nov. is pretty special. And, you are not alone is sometimes being thwarted by the size limitation of including pictures in comments. I wish that wasn't the case because I get frustrated by my lack of know how in making a particular photo acceptable.

  2. grannieannie1 03/15/2016

    I'm feeling the energy flowing off your lush and colorful borders into my brain! Just wonderful to behold with rain and snow still in this week's forecast. Also admiring your natural aged wood arbor with all the birdhouses in view and the garden seating snuggled by plantings. You have the knack for giving plants the exact room they need to grow to give a full look, but not cramped, something I'm still working on. Great job! Thank you for sharing it all with us.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Thanks for your lovely comments. We have snow coming too. I like aged cedar but the arbor is more than 10 years old and I'm concerned my posts are rotting at ground level. I will just have to figure out a solution when it does happen. My more recent additions of cedar posts I place in the metal post holders that are pounded into the ground.

  3. user-4691082 03/15/2016

    Now that's a lot of plants! I'm sure the butterflies have a hay day in your yard. Your vegetable garden is hidden behind all of those beautiful perennials! I like the way that looks! Good job.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Rhonda, the vegetable garden was there first but through the years I have worked to make it more attractive and partially hidden behind the tall perennials. I have lots of wildlife in my yard but not a lot of butterflies yet. I don't use pesticides and have planted milkweed for the monarchs so hopefully they will come.

  4. wGardens 03/15/2016

    Beautiful! You obviously had a LOT of happy visitors to your garden! You've certainly created a wonderful area to appreciate and enjoy your wonderful plantings ~ and such interesting additions to delight! Love what you have done!

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Thank you Margaret for your kind comments. There are 5 gardens on the Garden Walk each year and they were all located in town this past year (they rotate to different areas of the county each year) so it was more convenient to attend. Add in the wonderful weather and yes attendance was near 400!!

  5. sheila_schultz 03/15/2016

    Carol Jean, your gardens beautifully provide a grand buffet for any creature with wings! Do you have a big sign on your garden gate saying, 'Free Eats'?

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Sheila, I love your idea for a sign. I've been looking for some additional decoration for my veggie garden gate and haven't found anything I like. If I do make my own sign from your idea, I will share it with GPOD!!

      1. sheila_schultz 03/15/2016

        Happy to help ;) Your home must be so fragrant in the summer with all of the gorgeous bouquets you can cut!

        1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

          It turns out I can't bring the flowers in the house because they bother my sinuses/allergies too much. But I do try to share with others.

          1. sheila_schultz 03/15/2016

            I find it wonderful when folks that are allergic to things find a way to get around those issues when they discover their passion. You can love gardening and flowers... outside! My husband found a way to get around his dog allergies once he fell in love with German Shepherds... we now have 2. Not so sure about that?

          2. CJgardens 03/15/2016

            My son and daughter-in-law put in thousands of dollars on hardwood floors in their new home to get rid of allergens and then 4 weeks ago adopted a dog because his wife always wanted one.

          3. sheila_schultz 03/15/2016

            Life happens often for the best! Nothing like the love of a pup to make so many of us happy!

  6. GrannyCC 03/15/2016

    Wonderful lush garden Carol Jean. No wonder you were on the garden tour although I am sure it was a lot of work. Love all the full and colourful beds.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Thank you for the nice comments. Yes it was work, but deadlines are good to get those things done you have been putting off. My son was helping me finish the edging of last bed as it was getting dark the night before. You can see in trellis photo I didn't get the mulch on the beds. It is actually still in a pile in the back corner. It just composted a bit through the winter!!

  7. GrannyMay 03/15/2016

    Who needs an early spring when you have this wonderful garden to enjoy in the summer? Beautiful!

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Thank you GrannyMay. I always enjoy your photos too.

  8. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 03/15/2016

    Like your Zone 4 garden, Carol Jean. I know full well what the challenges of that zone can be having grown up there but also the pluses. The heat that you get in the summer makes for those lush blooms. Your clematis on the pine tree with the monarda is so pretty and that dahlia is a stunner. Nice photos.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Thanks Linda, for your sweet comments. Copied the idea of a clematis on a tree from this blog.

  9. CJgardens 03/15/2016

    Good morning everyone from Carol Jean,
    the title is a bit misleading. I'm attaching a picture of my backyard that I took this morning. My beds are scattered with metal cages to protect my tulips and lilies from the rabbits. I have not yet pruned the ninebarks and it's too wet to rake the lawn. We are expecting snow tomorrow but it won't stay around long.

  10. MNGardenGirl 03/15/2016

    Thanks for sharing, Carol. I too garden in Zone 4. Your pictures make me long for summer.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Joanna, I went looking and found the photos from your MN garden. Very beautiful and I like all the "rooms" in your yard. How has your yard changed in the last 2 year? I hope you will share again.

      1. MNGardenGirl 03/17/2016

        Yes, Carol Jean, I will share my gardens again someday. We actually preparing to list our home for sale to downsize, so I will be starting all over in another yard. The hardest part about leaving my home will be leaving my gardens. Thank you for your kind comments regarding my garden photos. Happy Gardening!

        1. CJgardens 03/17/2016

          Joanna, good luck with the house sale. Hope the next house has a yard with lots of potential. Will you be potting up some of your perennials to take with you?

  11. VikkiVA 03/15/2016

    Carol Jean, your garden is a masterpiece! I love how full of glorious color the bed in the 3rd picture is. That dahlia picture looks like an artist painting - it is stunning. Thank you so much for sharing your garden with me. Vikki in VA.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Vikki, thank you for the wonderful comments. My "sunny border" bed is one of my favorites too. It was the only sunny spot in my yard when I started my perennial beds so it became my warm color bed and it was far enough away from the pine tree roots that it wasn't dry all the time. My struggle now is to blend it with all the other purple/pink beds in the back yard.

  12. Meelianthus 03/15/2016

    What beautiful gardens Carol Jean! I love all of your different little areas and especially the path area leading up to your enclosed vegetable garden. What a lovely garden tour that must have been for all of your guests. Everything so beautifully maintained, thanks for sharing your joy.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Thank you for your encouraging comments.

  13. CJgardens 03/15/2016

    More from Carol Jean,
    Michaele once wrote that posting on GPOD was like "show and tell" from grade school days. I like that idea so that's what I'm going to do. The photo of the picket fence and screen door was one of my spring projects. The old gate had broken after 20+ years and I had seen decorated screen doors as garden art. So I found a screen door at a garage sale and made it my new garden gate. It's very light and swings so smoothly. The additional picket fence helped give a finished look to my veggie garden. I'm training a clematis to grow up the edge of the door to hopefully help the tall door to blend better with the shorter fence. I've been looking for additional decoration for the door but I might work on a sign suggested by Sheila earlier in comments.

  14. CJgardens 03/15/2016

    The explanation for the last photo (taken 8/31/15) is I found a great deal on apple trees in 2014. But my yard is so small and crowded I chose to espalier them on the back fence. But I didn't get the framework up and prune them until April 2015. They are doing well despite my mistakes. Attached is a photo from April 2014.

    1. GrannyMay 03/15/2016

      Carol Jean thanks so much for the extra photos and explanations! It makes the garden come to life when you explain in your own words what you have done and why. I did look up your earlier posts and and You are one amazing, resourceful, talented lady!

  15. CJgardens 03/15/2016

    I would also like to explain my thumbnail photo. I live in dairy country of WI and barn quilts are popular and beautiful. I wanted to cover holes left in the siding from a basketball backboard, so I designed and painted a small "garden quilt" for my garage. In the photo I'm attaching you will also see some mini-gardens (found on clearance the fall before) set up on my driveway to catch the southern exposure. They are planted with green beans which were not a good choice; they were dry continuously. After the beans I planted a fall crop of kohlrabi and they did well. On the far left side of the photo you can see my "melon" lilies - I don't know the name of the variety and to me they are the color of ripe cantaloupe. I planted them to shade the heuchera planted in my Heuchera Haven. The interesting thing about the lilies is that they had red lily beetles and larvae this past year. It turns out Marathon County, WI is the first place in Wisconsin (and most of the midwest) to have red lily beetles. Lucky us -NOT!! I have many lilies and am hoping the beetles do not spread to the others in my gardens. I will watch vigilantly for them. But being an optimistic gardener I bought two new lilies to plant this spring.

  16. foxglove12 03/15/2016

    So beautiful well done!

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Thank you. Bring on Spring!!

  17. User avater
    user-7007816 03/15/2016

    Hello Carol,
    I garden in central Michigan, so I appreciate what a remarkable garden you have put together. I like all of the individual areas. I wish I could have been there for the Garden Walk.

    1. CJgardens 03/15/2016

      Garden visitors are always welcome but it's more enjoyable to walk through the yard with just a few and have more personal conversations. Thanks for your nice words.

  18. marlenemullet 03/15/2016

    Your gardens are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  19. janmillerrubelmann 04/05/2016

    Beautiful. I am hoping my new perennial garden will be fuller this year like yours. I will have to add some annuals but that is okay as I like them too.

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