Garden Photo of the Day

Winter Daydreams of Last Summer’s Garden

The garden of a busy mom

Today we’re joining Amanda Benick as she reminisces about last year’s garden.

Here are some photos from my first full summer gardening in a new home with a much larger yard than I was used to. It is right around an acre.

I’m a fairly busy person, raising a five-year-old as a stay-at-home mom for the past two-plus years. There’s shopping, dinner, books, preschool, play dates, and finally at the end of the day, gardening! I’ve kept at it well past dark in the summer, just long enough to start seeing the bats flying overhead. That’s about the time I quit for the evening. I’m not a bat person! I do all my own landscaping. I create beds, borders, and mini patches by removing turf and adding compost or leaves and then inserting some annuals just to get things going.

In order to start creating some rounded, crescent-shaped flower beds around my patio, I removed some turf and used up the sandy, gravelly soil from the planters that were left before me. I planted some fun annuals in these two beds just to get things started. Since it is dry, gravelly, poor soil, I sowed tithonia (Mexican sunflower), nasturtium (jewel, Alaska mixes), bright orange cosmos, and all types of marigolds. When we moved in there was a makeshift fire pit at the edge, so I made that the “mint prison.”

MarigoldsMarigolds (Tagetes, annual) blooming around the patio

Mexican sunflowerMexican sunflower (Tithonia, annual)

Mexican sunflower closeupClose-up of the glowing flowers of Mexican sunflower

Marigolds and Mexican sunflowerMarigolds and Mexican sunflower together. They have similar-colored flowers but dramatically contrasting growth habits and leaves.

pink snapdragonBright pink snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus, annual) looking perfect set all by itself in a complementing pot.

fairy garden in a potA tiny fairy garden in a pot, with three fairies beside a magical stream flowing between the plants.

fuchsia plantA fuchsia plant in, appropriately, a fuchsia pot.

cream-colored marigoldsTall, cream-colored marigolds blooming by the mailbox.


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View Comments


  1. Maggieat11 02/11/2020

    How nice to have an acre of land to enjoy! And what a lovely photo of your daughter. She will probably enjoy gardening as much as you do. Best wishes for another enjoyable growing season!

  2. User avater
    bdowen 02/11/2020

    Beautiful photos to carry you through the winter. Love the fairy garden, esp. the stream! Great way to get your daughter interested in gardening too.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 02/11/2020

    "The Mint Prison" LOL! You made me laugh, and I can just see you gardening as twilight and the bats come out! I've heard that the Mexican Sunflower is a favorite of Butterflies and Hummingbirds, so you should get some of those for sure, because your's are growing fabulously well!
    Is that a little Morning Glory Vine at the mailbox! What a darling arrangement, your mail carrier would have to enjoy that for sure! Look'n good! I bet this coming summer you take up more grass, I think you are on a roll!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 02/11/2020

    Mexican sunflowers are a must have for a garden. The bees, hummingbirds & butterflies love them.

  5. cheryl_c 02/11/2020

    Looks like you are off to a great start, and your sense of color and humor will come in handy as you carve out larger and larger areas to garden. Your daughter is in her fairy attire as well- I am sure that she is already germinating her love of gardening. Please send pictures as you progress over the next years.

  6. btucker9675 02/11/2020


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