Backyard Stories

Every garden has a story, and that's why we created Backyard Stories. Explore our collection of real-life gardening tales told from the backyards of gardeners we know and love, featuring all the ups and downs, trials and errors, hits and misses, and more.

  • A smiling blonde woman in overalls carries a large bundle of vegetables in a garden full of kale plants
    I believe deeply in the concept of making life choices with sustainability in mind. But the concept means different things to different people and entities, . . .
  • Close up of several bright orange flowering maple blooms
    I have always loved oriental poppies — their generous size, papery consistency, and vivid color. However, I’ve never managed to keep one alive as a . . .
  • An oppossum stands on top of a wooden fence, looking straight into the camera
    I like for my garden to be as natural and sustainable as possible. This means I don’t use harmful chemicals, I don’t over prune, and . . .
  • A bird's eye view of small seedlings growing in cups of soil on a table
    I usually have pretty good luck starting my own vegetable seedlings. While it’s a great way to cut the cost of planting a garden, there . . .
  • Three small cuttings of plants forming new roots in jars of water
    Propagating plants can be easy or difficult. Even after following all the rules, some plants may not take root. The propagation methods I use most . . .
  • Gardening Know How via Nikki Tilley
    Gardens are well-known for relieving stress and healing what ails us. It’s one of the reasons why I love gardening so much. Even the tedious . . .
  • Houseplants of many varieties sit on tables and shelves beneath stylish plant-themed art
    Before I had furniture, I had houseplants. Houseplants have become as integral to my home décor as the chairs I sit in. Every room has . . .
  • A big open green lawn with a tree line in the distance
    Most of my gardens have been extremely limited in size. This is hardly surprising since I’ve lived mostly in urban locations where big back yards . . .
  • A bright yellow sunflower peeks over a wooden fence
    I am a big fan of privacy. I don’t like my daily life looked upon, and I take the utmost care to keep my activities . . .
  • Dahlia tubers sit on a plastic milk crate drying, surrounded by fallen autumn leaves
    It’s fall again, which means it’s time to dig up the dahlias and the cannas. Since I moved from a very temperate region this is . . .
  • A single orange tulip grows up out of the snow
    The warmest winter I recall only produced a smattering of snow. Temperatures remained above 40 degrees F. (4 C.) most of the season. The above-average . . .
  • A backyard and tree covered in snow
    Winter – for a child growing up in Central Alaska – was a fierce season and a long one. You plowed your way through it, . . .
  • Two potted jade plants, two on the floor and one on top of a wooden stump
    For more years than I care to remember, I’ve owned a jade houseplant. Quite honestly, I’m not even sure when or where I got this . . .
  • Multiple air plants, one red and several green, growing suspended in the air outdoors
    I’m fascinated with odd plants. You know, the kind you won’t find at Home Depot or other standard garden centers. Tillandsia is a plant I . . .