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.

  • Cherries growing on a tree
    When we bought our current house, it was touted as having a crabapple, cherry, and a walnut tree. The crabapple turned out to be an . . .
  • Five tiny seedlings growing in a seed starting tray
    Every year I vow to do things better and differently. I learn something new each season, and the weather patterns teach me about my microclimate. . . .
  • Herbs growing in metal cans against a white background
    While I’m traditionally not very good at setting and keeping New Year’s Resolutions, I’m always excited to set goals for my garden. For 2023 I . . .
  • Several sachets and lavender flowers on a wooden table
    Lavender has a heady scent and charming purple flower spikes. It is relatively easy to grow even in poor soil. It needs consistent water at . . .
  • White amaryllis flowers growing on a windowsill
    Despite being an avid gardener, I have always struggled when it came to growing plants indoors. In my small home, I simply couldn’t find the . . .
  • Sliced cheese on a wooden board surrounded by fresh and dried mint
    By the time the holidays and cold weather come around, the garden is dormant and sometimes even covered in snow. However, I can still find . . .
  • Several red amaryllis blooms on a table surrounded by Christmas decorations
    My home is filled with plants. I am just a hoarder, it seems. And I keep acquiring more. So many that I have had to . . .
  • Gardening Know How via Nikki Tilley
    A lot of people celebrate the holiday season with festive lights and décor. Lord knows my mom was one of them with so many lights . . .
  • Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
    If there was one plant that reminds me of the holidays, it would be a chestnut tree. While this species is not typically thought of . . .
  • A potted Norfolk Island pine against a white background
    Christmas plants are festive and beautiful, and it’s lots of fun to grow your own instead of buying them at the garden store at Christmas . . .
  • A father and two children carry a freshly cut Christmas tree on a tree farm
    I never buy a Christmas tree anymore because I have my big indoor Norfolk pine that is potted. It suffices to hold any ornaments and . . .
  • An outdoor Christmas tree in a pot decorated with lights
    A live tree or an artificial tree? The question is one that can cause surprisingly emotional debates. It shouldn’t matter that much, in the big . . .
  • The back of a woman and a black horse walking through a field
    What is my favorite thing to do outside besides gardening? As a garden writer, I’m obviously very invested in the two acres of property that . . .
  • An old metal toolbox painted blue
    I’m always using random junk I find to use for plants. Out in the sticks there are no shopping malls and I am averse to . . .