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 plastic soda bottle cut in half and placed over seedlings growing in pots
    Early spring is a tough time for gardeners. We’re eager to get started outside, but we have to wait for the last frost. Of course, . . .
  • Green plants in a glass terrarium with condensation on the walls
    Where I live in southeast Michigan, my garden is firmly situated in zone 6. This means only evergreens thrive in winter. Everything else either dies . . .
  • A woolly bear caterpillar
    Each fall, a small town in Northern Ohio hosts a woolly bear festival to honor these rust and black colored caterpillars of the Isabella Tiger . . .
  • Bundles of rosemary and lavender on a wooden surface
    There simply is no substitute for fresh herbs in cooking and baking. The dried, purchased ones are too old to hold much flavor and aroma. . . .
  • A variegated pink and green philodendron houseplant
    I love that the millennial generation restored the houseplant to its rightful place. They reminded us all with their obsessive trend, that having green, living . . .
  • Since I don’t live on the equator, or anywhere near it unfortunately, sunlight in my yard shifts seasonally. It’s less this aspect of seasonal light . . .
  • Closeup of a hand holing seeds
    When I was a kid, my grandparents grew foods that you couldn’t find in the produce aisle. I’m not sure why, but they are certainly . . .
  • Tomato sauce cooks on a stovetop with a wooden spoon
    Growing up, my parents grew a traditional Italian garden. From rows of staked tomatoes to plots of basil, it contained everything my mother needed to . . .
  • A branch of green and white variegated leaves sits in a glass of water
    Let’s be honest. Purchasing live plants is one of the most expensive aspects of gardening. Whenever we desire multitudes of the same plant, most gardeners . . .
  • A mother and two children smile at Thanksgiving table
    Family and health are more important than stuff and wealth. I firmly believe that, which is how I found myself in a totally alien location . . .
  • Hands passing food over a bountiful Thanksgiving table
    Thanksgiving is just around the corner, close enough that I’m already thinking about the menu. My family generally has the ubiquitous turkey for dinner, albeit . . .
  • Cubed carrots on a wooded cutting board
    I am so used to being a vegetarian that I forget how extraordinary it is that no meat or poultry has passed my lips for . . .
  • Celery growing in a garden
    When it comes to vegetable gardening, sometimes I question my sanity. I claim to grow my own veggies because they taste better and are less . . .
  • A woman lies on her back in the grass surrounded by fluffy dandelions
    It’s not often that we focus on the sounds in the garden. As a writer, I am generally busy describing visuals about plants, with perhaps . . .