Great Garden Spotlight: Michelle (@gardensandchickens)

What Would You like to Learn About Today?

Great Garden Spotlight: Michelle (@gardensandchickens)

We may supply the great plants, but it’s our customers that have the great gardens! Each week we find ourselves in awe of the amazing gardens you share with us on social media. We find so much joy and inspiration in what you share that we couldn’t just keep them to ourselves, so we’re starting our Great Garden Spotlight series! We hope this series helps you find inspiration, connect with fellow gardeners, and learn a few great gardening tips along the way.

Michelle sitting on a blue bench in her garden with the text Meet Michelle @gardensandchickens

Pictured above: Lavender, Hydrangea

Meet Michelle, who some of you may know as @gardensandchickens. She’s a working mother-of-two that always manages to carve out time to work in her flourishing garden. The best part? She takes her Instagram followers along for the ride, sharing tips and bits of inspiration as she goes! We admire how she gives back to the gardening community with enriching content, which is why we had to feature her garden in our first spotlight. See how she uses our plants (and more!) to build the garden of her dreams.

Tell us about your garden! What's your zone, weather, soil, and light like?

I garden in Atlanta, GA – which is zone 7b/8a with heavy red clay soil that I’ve learned how to amend and plant in. We have hot and dry summers and wet but mild winters. I garden on a pretty typical suburban lot – it’s a little bit more than half an acre. Our front yard is mostly lawn (right now) and full sun. Our backyard is a combination of part sun/shade/and full sun which makes it both challenging and fun to plant in.

a lush and colorful Perennial border in Michelle's garden
a lush and vibrantly colorful Perennial border in Michelle's garden

Pictured above: Foxglove, Foamy Bells, Astilbe, Fern

How would you define your garden style? Do you have a theme or follow any rules in your garden?

I try to be a “no-rules” gardener because I truly think of my garden as my “play space” – where I can experiment and try plant combinations without much consequence. I used to mostly stick to planting white, blue, purple, or pink blooms and avoided planting red and yellow flowers “so they wouldn’t clash”… But this year I found that I actually really like the splash of color that I accidentally planted! I do try and ensure that each area that I plant has some sort of evergreen shrub so that winter is a bit less boring… and if I can incorporate a fruit tree or edible plant – I do. It’s fun for the kids and delicious season after season!

What plant is a must-have in your garden?

It’s so hard to pick just one… but if I had to pick, I would say oakleaf hydrangea. They have multi-season interest – big gorgeous blooms and require absolutely no maintenance!

a mixed garden bed in Michelle's garden that features an oakleaf hydrangea

Pictured above: Oakleaf Hydrangea, Geranium 

Lush and colorful plants in Michelle's garden

Pictured above: Yarrow, Daisy, Hosta, Fern, Hydrangea

Michelle's Great Garden Tip

Gardens aren’t built overnight. I feel like it’s so easy to think you can completely transform your yard in one season and people get inspired and plant all the things across their entire yard and then quickly get overwhelmed with the maintenance and upkeep baby plants sometimes require. I’ll give three tips that help me stay “grounded” in the garden:

  1. Focus on transforming one bed at a time – watch to understand the light conditions (full, part sun, or shade), and find plants that grow in your zone that you love for that bed. That way you’re only dragging a hose/worrying about one bed a season and your garden budget has a bigger impact. A few plants across your property might not be noticeable – but a few new shrubs in one bed will bring you so much joy throughout the season.
  2. Don’t overthink it – most plants can be moved in the fall or spring without issue. The great thing about gardening is that most decisions aren’t permanent.
  3. Check the tag for mature size – those baby plants will grow. You want to make sure you have room for them! Also, if there’s a plant you love that you don’t have room for… there is likely a more compact version of the plant available that you can substitute.

Want your garden to be featured in our Great Garden Spotlight? Message us on Instagram or tag us in garden photos featuring our plants! We’d love to see (and share) them.

Written by: Miranda Niemiec, click here to read bio.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Let us know! We have an experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to make sure your garden turns out perfect. Or check out our other blogs, here.