Garden Photo of the Day

The Garden Of Her Dreams


Happy Birthday Nadene Miller! Your son, Ty, wanted to surprise you by honoring your garden on the GPOD on your birthday (did it work?). 

Ty says "Mom turns 91 on January 28th and I know she would get a great deal of joy seeing her garden honored as the GPOD. I selected photos to share, which was not an easy task as I have taken hundreds over the years! Mom is a big fan of the GPOD and she checks the post every morning after breakfast."

Here's how Ty describes his mother's love of gardening: "A love affair with gardening that began with a scrapbook at the age of 14, continued through a long string of many gardens around central Illinois that she started optimistically but ultimately abandoned, and finally, after settling in her current home in 1996, culminated in “the garden of her dreams.” At 91, Nadene Miller still gardens–as much as the challenges of extreme age allow – on her 40’ X  70’ plot in Bloomington, Illinois."

Have a garden you'd like to share? Please email 5-10 photos (and a brief story about your garden) to [email protected], or tag your photos on Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Whether you've never shared before or you've been featured multiple times, we want to see your garden! You don't have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

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Hey, is anyone going to the Northwest Flower & Garden show? If so, please stop by our booth (in the seminar space) and say hi!










View Comments


  1. user-7007498 01/28/2016

    Beautiful garden, Nadine. i hope I will continue to have the energy to keep up my garden as I age. I love the informal space and design. Your use of pots to break up the patios and walkways is superb. Awesome use of foliage color and texture to create interest, accentuated with a few flowers.

    Ty, thanks for sharing your photos of your mom's garden. Very inspirational.

  2. jeffgoodearth 01/28/2016

    First, let me say Happy Birthday! Nadine, your garden is beautiful and filled with color and I am loving it all. Your spaces all hugged up by your plantings make for a wonderful space to enjoy nature in your own back yard. Thanks, Ty, for sending these photos in, I am very happy to see them all.

  3. tree_ee 01/28/2016

    Happy birthday, Nadine . . . what a lovely garden you've made!

  4. candigelis 01/28/2016

    Nadine, your garden is stunning. All the little artistic touches, such as the birdhouse and the angel, make it even more special. I especially love the obelisk that I can see in the background of one of the pictures. Hope you have a wonderful Birthday...and many more!

  5. deeinde 01/28/2016

    Happy Birthday, Nadene! Your garden is beautiful! What a lovely spot. I love all of the color and texture. You have created a haven for sure!

  6. NCYarden 01/28/2016

    Complete awe...both with the garden and Ty's honoring of his mother's garden. Nothing new for me, but of course I am fascinated with those gorgeous Japanese Maples. Happy Birthday, Nadine. Garden away.

  7. user-3565112 01/28/2016

    Happy birthday Nadine. Your garden is beautiful & looks so relaxing. You have the touch with Japanese maples & you garden flows from one beautiful scene to another.
    Beautiful accomplishment Nadine, Good luck Joe

  8. Jay_Sifford 01/28/2016

    Happy birthday Nadine! Your garden is lovely.. thanks to Ty for sharing it.

    1. Meelianthus 01/28/2016

      Jay, what fun to see your beautifully designed garden in 'Country Gardens ' magazine. Amazing how you transformed your clients garden into a place of their dreams. I really enjoyed reading all about your process and the lovely outcome.

  9. user-4691082 01/28/2016

    Happy Birthday Nadene! Your garden is so beautiful! You give me hope as I get older! I hope you sit out there every day and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Perfect blessed!

  10. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/28/2016

    Thanks so much, Ty, for letting us GPOD-ers share in honoring your mother's birthday. Nadene, your garden is beautiful. I love your charming patio and other seating opportunities...I do hope you reward yourself by plopping down in a chair on occasion to admire your handiwork. Are my eyes deceiving me or is that a poinsettia in picture 7 looking so colorful with its red brackets. Sincerest Happy Birthday and we all want to be you at age 91...still enjoying gardening.

  11. wGardens 01/28/2016

    I join others in wishing you a wonderful Birthday, Nadene!!! Thank you Ty, for sending in these special photos of your Mother's gardens. Absolutely beautiful. Love the color palette, the choice and placement of plants- ah, what a treat. So many things to see~ and, of course, I do love those Japanese Maples!

  12. lindanewber 01/28/2016

    Happy Birthday Nadine. Your garden is beautiful. I think the prettiest I have ever seen. You've incorporated LOTS of different plants, yet still maintained a peacefulness. I would love to just sit in your garden on a sunny day with a cup of coffee and a good book. Congratulations, on your Birthday and your exquisite garden.

  13. greengenes 01/28/2016

    Happy birthday Nadene! What a beautiful garden! Every square inch of it! Iam so happy for you to be still enjoying this and playing in the dirt! I hope i can be like that when i am your age! What a passion gardening is! May you have a wonderful year ahead! Thank you Ty for sharing too!

  14. Quiltingmamma 01/28/2016

    Happy Birthday Nadine! and a big thanks to Ty for thinking of such a personal and thoughtful gift to his mother. It is a lovely garden, and I can't help but realize that she didn't start in this garden until age 70! That is an inspiration. The cool colour schemes are so relaxing and all the seating options so inviting. Thanks again for sharing this warm and caring post.

  15. lauranathanson 01/28/2016

    My kind of garden - beautiful, peaceful, and natural feeling. How wonderful to have such a son as you have raised. What a birthday gift!

  16. katieerb 01/28/2016

    What a wonderful garden, Happy Birthday Nadine and thank you Ty for sharing it with us. 91 and still gardening, what a great inspiration, as we age it gets harder to do the things we so love to do in the garden!

  17. cheryl_c 01/28/2016

    Good morning, and a very happy 91rst birthday to you, Nadine! What a sneaky son you have, and how delightful that he shared with us such beautiful pictures of your beautiful garden! So many lovely vignettes - it is clear that a lot of love and an excellent eye for combinations went into the planning. Please share with us again!

  18. User avater
    HelloFromMD 01/28/2016

    Hi Ty, how old are you? Extreme age? My mom just turned 90 and she has cousins that have turned 100. In fact we are taking her out for her birthday today. She is doing great, still driving, playing bridge,going to exercise class.

    Your Mom is very talented. I was in love with her style from the very first picture! Gardening keeps you young. You just can't wait until spring. Thoughtful gift Ty. I reread the passage and she lives in Bloomington. Home of Indiana University. My son almost went to the Jacob School of Music but selected UNT instead to study Jazz. Fell in love with Bloomington during our campus visit, nicest people in the world. Truly earns the name the Heartland.

    What are some of your Mom's all time favorite plants? Happy birthday, Nadine.

  19. user-7007366 01/28/2016

    Congratulations Nadine, 91 years, a loving son, and such a beautiful garden. You are blessed and now we share in your joy. Thank you.

  20. NWAgardener 01/28/2016

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nadine! Both you and your garden are an inspiration to me. Your garden is a beautiful and serene haven with lovely and healthy looking plants. Enjoy your special day with your kind and thoughtful son.

  21. annek 01/28/2016

    Your garden is an absolute delight, Nadine. So well laid out with lots of diverse foliage for interest and wonderful pops of color. Happy, happy birthday to a fellow-gardener. You are an inspiration. And thanks Ty for photographing and submitting these creations.

  22. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/28/2016

    Happy Birthday, Nadine! Thanks Ty! Wow, this is a gorgeous garden and an inspiring story. I love it. Such great structure and wonderful, healthy plants, complimented by great photos. My favorite 'moments' while reviewing the photos were the unexpected not-hardy-in-illinois pops of the poinsettia (which looks stunning there amidst the sea of green) and potted agapanthus. I am all emotional! :)

  23. Sunshine111 01/28/2016

    Happy birthday Nadine! I hope you enjoy seeing your pictures online today as much as we are enjoying them. Looking at these pictures brought back memories of me and of my grandmother who was also a great gardener. Thank you

  24. ginnystokes 01/28/2016

    Spectacular! Saving for inspiration!

  25. VikkiVA 01/28/2016

    Beautiful garden Nadine and thanks to Ty for sharing with us. Vikki in VA

    1. eddireid 01/28/2016

      Vikki, how clever and thoughtfu of you to include this card. Great!

  26. GrannyMay 01/28/2016

    What a thoughtful, wonderful surprise for your mother, Ty! Happy Birthday Nadene! Your garden is beautiful! I think you have put all the best parts of what you learned from your previous gardens into this one, definitely worthy of being called the garden of your dreams. May you and your son enjoy it for many many more years.

  27. cynthiamccain 01/28/2016

    What a wonderful birthday present for your mother, Ty--thanks for sharing these photos with us! And Nadene, the fact that you remain a passionate and active gardener is so inspiring to me. When people ask how I'm going to maintain my (large) garden as I grow older, I will think of you! Happy birthday!

  28. galealdred 01/28/2016

    Congratulations Nadine. Simply beautiful. A rare gift to be able to garden still. Inspiration for all the gardeners in this world. Many birthday wishes to you.

  29. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 01/28/2016

    Happy Birthday, Nadene! You're my hero gardening into your 90's. I'll bet that this beautiful, serene garden that you now have has kept you feeling young. Oh, and you have a very thoughtful son.

  30. Catasetumkid 01/28/2016

    Nadene, you are an inspiration! What a fabulous garden. Happiest of birthdays to you! Ty, what a wonderful son you are, thanks very much for the photos.

  31. CJgardens 01/28/2016

    Happy 91st Birthday, Nadene!! Your gardens are very lovely. I agree with all the other comments, you are an inspiration. I'm going to consider putting more shrubs in containers to see if I can cheat on my zone 4. Thank you Ty for sharing the photos and doing this sweet thing for your mom.

  32. GrannyCC 01/28/2016

    Congratulations Nadine on your 91st birthday. Your garden is a delight and I hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks Ty for sharing your Mother's garden.

  33. sheila_schultz 01/28/2016

    Nadene, I bet you didn't expect your son, Ty, to arrange a Surprise Birthday Party for you today on GPOD, did you? Happy 91st Birthday!!!
    Your gardens are lovely, Nadene, as are your containers! Did I see 3 Yuccas towering over the pink geraniums in the next to last photo? I love that!
    Enjoy all the happiness gardens can give... it won't be too many more months before all your beauties can go outside again. Once again, Happy Birthday, Nadene, and thank you, Ty for the party favor of introducing us to your talented Mom!

  34. terieLR 01/28/2016

    Just needed to chime in here and wish Nadene a blessed birthday. We hope this day will bring you happy moments for many days to come. Your gardens are glorious.

    1. terieLR 01/28/2016

      PS I really hope you are able to read all the wonderful comments on FB. :)

  35. Meelianthus 01/28/2016

    What a wonderful story and an amazing son/mother event. As gardeners we will all hope to be out amongst our beloved plants into our 90s. Your gardens are so charming Nadene. The last photo with all the seating on the patio surrounded by beautiful overflowing pots is so inviting. You have created a lush and happy place to celebrate your 91st year - Happy Birthday to you Nadene.

  36. foxglove12 01/28/2016

    Happy birthday Nadene! What a lovely, lovely, lovely garden. Thanks so much for sharing your glorious passion with us!

  37. janeeliz 01/28/2016

    How sweet of you, Ty, to share your mother's garden with us all on her 91st birthday! It is so lovely and inviting! Happy Birthday to you Nadene ...may you continue to enjoy another year in your wonderful garden.

  38. christianesterges 01/28/2016

    happy birthday from Brussels... thank you for the gorgeous pics of your stupendous garden !

  39. eddireid 01/28/2016

    Nadine this is a magical place you have created! Pots and statues and gazing ball and a cherub and Japanese maples and places to sit...... Visitors must never wish to leave a garden of such peace. My own mother loved to work in her garden and I congratulate you on bringing tears to my eyes and precious memories. A very Happy Birthday to you, and many more to come.
    Ty, your action has made your mother proud and the rest of us thrilled for her - thank you.

  40. perenniallycrazy 01/29/2016

    What an awesome and heartwarming post. You have such a beautiful garden with so many rooms to sit, ponder and enjoy. Happy Birthday Nadine!

  41. darylsavage 01/29/2016

    Congrats on your birthday, your garden, and on having the kind of son who would be so thoughtful to do this for you. You and your garden are an inspiration for everyone, and I can only hope I am still gardening like you at 91.

  42. jagardener 01/29/2016

    I endorse everything said by Cynthia. For almost 40 years I have had the pleasure of a one acre lot. But time, arthritis etc make me think of downsizing, Nadene and her garden will now be an inspiration to me, The 2015 photos are special. Happy birthday Nadene - I wish you many more good ones- and thanks Ty.

  43. User avater
    user-7007816 01/29/2016

    An amazing life's work. Just lovely.

  44. Cenepk10 02/01/2016

    This is wonderful ! Truly wonderful !!!!

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