Garden Photo of the Day

Turning a Deck and Pool Into a Garden

Reusing materials to make a beautiful, productive space

I’m Lia Noterile in Middletown, New Jersey, which is Zone 7. I’m a fairly new veggie gardener. What started out as my quarantine project is now my new love. My job was closed for three months, which gave us (my husband, my son, and my daughter also helped out) an opportunity to build our new garden. I’m very lucky my husband likes to build me things and is so handy. It all started out as an old deck and above-ground pool (total eyesore). In tearing down the deck, we left the old posts that were cemented into the ground and used that as our starting points for our project. We reused all the deck boards and as much of the wood as we could for our project. It’s so rewarding to grow veggies and such a treat to have fresh vegetables! I’ve grown to love the garden so much and plan on enjoying it for years to come.

The new veggie garden! What a huge change from a deck and above-ground pool, and what a great way to reuse the materials instead of hauling them to a dump.

Looking through the arbor to more of this beautiful garden space.

Healthy eggplants spill out of the bed, with marigolds (Tagetes patula, annual) blooming at the edges—proof that a vegetable garden can be beautiful as well as productive.

What a fantastic potting bench/work area! It looks great, and is a practical place to work as well.

The proud gardener with a homegrown watermelon!


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View Comments


  1. Carolyn3134 09/25/2020

    Absolutely wonderful! What a great tribute to the silver lining you made from this cloud. Marvelous!

  2. sandyprowse 09/25/2020

    What a delightful story that was. It will bring a smile of joy to all that read it. Nothing could look more inviting than your garden plan now. Well done! And the watermelon proves it to be so.

  3. User avater
    user-7007816 09/25/2020

    I have never seen such a beautiful vegetable garden. Well done.

  4. User avater
    simplesue 09/25/2020

    It's pretty! Your garden is proof a vegetable garden can be just beautiful and ornamental as any flower garden.
    It looks like a great place to take a stroll through, and the arch is such a nice focal point along with the garden work station.
    Such an excellent job, and love the story behind it and how it evolved during Covid and being laid off and recycling all the wood! Great job!

  5. katherine_8 09/25/2020

    Kudos to you and your family, Lia!! I love the no-fuss walkway between your garden beds, and your use of companion plants like marigolds to deter insect pests. Complete and practical turn-around to your space. Go pat yourselves on the backs for a project so well done :)

  6. User avater
    cynthia2020 09/25/2020

    Lia - I like your productive, sleek, and modern garden! Thank you for sharing your hard work!

  7. Sunshine111 09/25/2020

    Great job! It looks very neat and nice😊

  8. nwphillygardener 09/25/2020

    Lia, this is an inspiration. The reality of this being a product of time well spent during the tense uncertainties of a global pandemic makes it all the more special. I imagine your attention to details will yield great harvests for years to come.

  9. btucker9675 09/25/2020

    This is an amazing space! I am now inspired to up my raised bed game over the winter to be ready for Spring. Really beautiful and your husband should be very proud of his handiwork.

  10. User avater
    treasuresmom 09/25/2020

    Love your raised beds.

  11. Maggieat11 09/26/2020

    Wonderful! Looks like you have a natural knack for gardening. Best wishes for continued success! And thanks for sharing.😁🌿

  12. Musette1 09/26/2020

    gosh, that is a thing of beauty, that garden! congratulations to you and your family (esp your husband and his handy ways) for creating such a gorgeous, functional space!

  13. User avater
    bdowen 09/28/2020

    What an amazing transformation and beautiful, lush garden. Quite an inspiration!

  14. madcosta_7 09/29/2020

    What a beautiful garden and I see you even have lights for walking through at night. LOVE IT!!

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