Garden of the Kings – FineGardening



My name is Joanne Guerriero, and this is the garden created by my dad, Donald King, age 88. It’s located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a 6B zone.

Nineteen years ago when my parents (Don and Barbara) moved into this home, there was a bit of structure in the backyard garden—a brick patio and a small pond.

Since then, Don has created a bit-wild, naturalistic, whimsical environment that fills the yard. Being friendly with a large local landscape designer gave Don access to the business’ “burn pile” made up of dying, damaged, or otherwise discarded plants. More than 75% of the garden’s plantings Don nurtured back to health. They are recycled “rescues” that were removed from other gardens!

The garden is populated with perennial plants, flowers, and shrubs, and Don adds annuals for color and interest. The garden is laid out in vignettes, with sculptures, reimagined trash, structures he has built (dry well and dry bed, outhouse, stone walls, bridges, walkways) and recycled natural materials dotting the landscape. It’s a low-maintenance wonderland and my dad’s pride.

Each year I create a monthly calendar made up of 12 garden photos and then share copies with family members. We call it “The Garden of the Kings Calendar.”

white arbor over a brick path leading to houseAn arbor makes a great entrance to a brick path lined with daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrid, Zones 3–9).

small outhouse with wooden flowers aroundA little outhouse serves as a garden sculpture in a quiet, mossy corner.

long garden path with bridge that cuts through garden beds and small pondThere is so much to take in here—the bridge over a pond filled with water lilies (Nymphaea, Zones 5–9), the beautiful brick path, the arbor that draws the eye, and the tall trees beyond. And don’t miss the little alligator hanging out on the bridge!

sunny lawn transitioning to shady gardenThis is a lovely spot to sit and take in the garden, and it’s a perfect transition from a grassy lawn in a more sunny spot to the moss lawn in more shade.

garden pond covered in waterliliesLook how healthy and lush the water lilies are! You can barely see the water.

unique garden art surrounded by green foliageA fascinating piece of repurposed garden art

fountain birdbath surrounded by green grass and foliageA frog fountain birdbath at the edge of the pond.

white metal body form in the gardenCreative garden art set against lush greenery

ceramic pot as a focal point in the lush green gardenA simple ceramic planter serves as a focal point.

stone bust amongst large planting of hostasA bust contemplates the beautiful hostas (Hosta hybrids, Zones 3–9)

dry streambed in the gardenA dry streambed runs through the garden.


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 [email protected] 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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here