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Garden Photo of the Day

You Learn Some Garden Lessons the Hard Way

Fifty years of gardening experience have gone into the creation of this beautiful garden

Michelle and Gil Hart sent in pictures of Michelle’s garden in Spokane, Washington. They have lived at this house for about 17 years. The garden is about 1/3 acre and was bare when they moved in, except for perimeter trees and a roughed-in pond. The pond now contains about 3,000 gallons of water and has 2-foot koi. These koi (and their offspring) have been garden residents for over 12 years.

Michelle describes herself as both a plant collector and a ruthless gardener who can’t stand plants that look sick. She says that she’s learned many lessons the hard way in her over-50 years of gardening. That sounds like a perfect formula for learning to be a great gardener to me: Be a collector who tries everything, and then be ruthless about getting rid of anything that doesn’t work. Mistakes and missteps are inevitable when gardening, and the important thing is to learn from them so you don’t have to repeat them.

This part of the garden pond is framed beautifully by full plantings and is presided over by a beautiful sculpture of two herons that, unlike real herons, don’t harm the koi living in the pond. View our tips for planning your first water garden here.

 

The big masses of perennials and shrubs help visually divide up the garden, making 1/3 of an acre look much larger than it actually is.

 

This charming little fairy house is made from an old stump nestled in ferns with a clematis twining over it.

 

The garden has space for full-size humans as well as tiny fairies, with this flagstone path leading to a shady seating area. Click here to get some great pathway inspiration.

 

Michelle is clearly a gardener who likes to have a little fun. These face planters looks very pleased with their plant “hair.”

 

This is a rich tapestry of foliage, with an enormous hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ (Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’, Zones 3–9) glowing in the center.

 

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 GPOD@finegardening.com 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.

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Comments

  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/17/2018

    Adore those little face planters!!

  2. DeeinDe 08/17/2018

    I LOVE the fairy house!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/17/2018

    Your garden is thoroughly delightful, Michelle...filled with beautiful plants and extra little touches of ornamentation that tickle our secret inner child. Also, I admire your willingness to remove plants that aren't thriving...a little practical ruthlessness is a good quality for a gardener to have.

  4. Musette1 08/17/2018

    this garden is charming! I am envious of your 'Sum & Substance' and it is encouraging me to be ruthless as well - mine are in way too much sun. So I'mo dig 'em up! and put them somewhere more appropriate!

  5. BTucker9675 08/17/2018

    What a magical garden you've created! I would imagine you can't help but smile when you're out there.

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