A Test Garden for the Home Gardener

A trip to the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden in Des Moines, Iowa is a real treat. This is not just a beautiful garden but the garden rooms are sized for the home garden. In addition, all of the plants are labeled and they are in hardiness zone 5.


The garden is divided in different rooms. Here. the vegetable garden is set off by blue and grey fencing


The curved walkway beckons one forward, enticed by mystery of what is ahead.


A beautiful seating area flanked by Picea pungens ‘Globosa’


Exquisite details are found throughout such as the watering can tile in the walkway.


The paint colors in the garden are inspired. I particularly enjoy this purple stand.


Just the right shade of green on this tuteur.


The shed has an unusual color combination that helps it blend into the surroundings.


I love this vertical gardening example with a variety of herbs. I could easily duplicate this on my deck.


The garden lessons include deep borders. In my own experience, I have found that many gardeners make their borders too shallow making it hard to get enough diversity of height and texture in the plantings to make it pleasing.


Water is a critical feature in a garden. Here, a short creek lined with rock was developed.


Falling into a pool at the bottom of the slope.


A home-sized deck is included. Again, I appreciate the color choices.


To me, an aesthetically pleasing garden is about texture. A perfect example here with the fern, hosta, and grass.


As soon as I got home I ordered this fabulous hosta, Goodness Gracious.

This  garden was designed as a lesson in design and plants for the home gardener. I hope you get a chance to visit and be encouraged to implement some of the ideas.