About Beth

Here I am in Bath, England in 2019.
England has such amazing gardens!
Thanks for visiting Garden Fancy! I'm not a professional gardener or an expert anything, but I am captivated by beautiful gardens and would like to share with readers my own gardens and how they change over time as I experiment with new plants and become a more experienced gardener.

I have not gardened for all that long, only since moving to five acres in rural southeastern Iowa in 2008. Before that, I found myself becoming increasingly interested in garden photos and books (I guess I came to gardening through books, not through doing gardening). But gardening is now my primary hobby, one that gets a bookish person like me outdoors, gives me exercise and allows me to strive toward making my surroundings more beautiful.

In my gardens I love to have masses of lovely flowers, particularly scented flowers: Colorful spring bulb displays to banish winter's grays, the glory of late spring and early summer perennial flowers, followed by late summer annuals from seeds and starts, and ending with late-season roses and a few autumn perennials. My efforts to improve the results in my own gardens are still ongoing. I prefer old-fashioned "common" flowers -- they're common because most of them are easy to grow and flower generously. But I try to experiment with new seeds and plants every season -- who knows how wonderful a less-well-known cultivar could turn out to be?

About me personally: I was born and raised in a college town in central Iowa, and I'm married to a very nice veterinarian who helps me with the more brawn-requiring tasks in my gardens. He also grows vegetables, feeds chickens and sheep, and drives his 1940 Ford 9N tractor when it's needed for garden maintenance. We have a teenage daughter and son, whom I home school, and who (under duress) occasionally help in the garden. We also have two cats, an aging Jack Russell dog who allows me to garden somewhat deer- and rabbit-free, and the above-mentioned chickens.

I'm the author of Iowa Gardens of the Past: Lost and Historic Gardens of Iowa, 1850-1980, published in 2020, a book about the history of ornamental gardening in Iowa, and hope to one day write and publish other garden books about Iowa and other places too.

I hope you will enjoy reading about my learning about gardening and my attempts to make my own gardens more beautiful (although, as you can see from the photo below, I am already surrounded by beauty, regardless of my gardening efforts). I realize that I'm very lucky to live in such a beautiful spot, and hope I can share it with readers.

Thanks for reading!



  1. Hi Beth,
    I often scroll thru the photos of members's gardens on Dave's site. You colourful pics attracted me and it was delightful to see what you have achieved. Your garden is so lovely and so full of beautiful plants.Here in New Zealand we are in the first month of winter so my garden is not as colourful as in summer but I do have Camellias and Helllebores in bloom. Still, today is the 21st June and so the days will begin to lengthen from tomorrow. I am happy that Spring cannot be far away.

    1. So glad you found my blog through Dave's Garden! I understand how you must be feeling in winter, having come through a particularly hard one this year myself -- it feels like it never will end! I wish you luck in banishing the winter blues. Thanks for visiting! -Beth

  2. Hi Beth! Love your posts and your pictures. I am newer to gardening- you have a few years on me. I look forward to learning from your experiences! ~Jaime@landofozzy.com

    1. Hi Jamie, thanks for stopping by -- I'm so glad you found my blog! I hope you will start a blog so I can see what you are up to in your own gardens too. Best, -Beth

  3. Hi Beth,
    Appreciating your beautiful garden from sunny South Africa in the Southern Hemisphere.It is amazing what you have achieved with such grand proportions on 5 acres which is a most formidable task.
    Please include me on your distribution list marjoy@telkoms.net