Mike Pisani’s Garden

500 Illinois

Mike Pisani loves reusing quality materials that need a new home. Most of the materials in the gardens’ décor were discovered on Craigslist and Marketplace, or scavenged from junk piles. He often saves found materials for years until just the right project comes along.

He loved watching PBS garden shows, along with “This Old House” and “Hometime,” because he enjoys seeing what can be accomplished with as little money as possible. So the work on his landscape and gardens has all been done by him – no contractors were involved.

His garden design might be described as a cross between a Japanese garden and an English garden. The unique blend has evolved from year-to-year over 20-plus years. He tries to add a major feature each year – a new area, focal point, or bed. The decor he has developed lends itself to the garden’s shape and the presence of some shade, plus the rocks and hardscape are easy to maintain.

Visitors might notice an abundance of liriope in the garden areas. Pisani loves this plant “because it’s bullet-proof,” plus it looks great, never has weeds and can be transplanted all over for free. He loves daylilies for the same reasons. White lilacs are another favorite because they are hardy and smell amazing in the spring.

Pisani started gardening as a child. Both of his parents enjoyed being outside planting and tending their yards. He said he learned a lot from both of them, as well as from Saturday morning television. He despises watering, but recognizes that in some years it’s a necessity. Gardening in Kansas has taught him that if something doesn’t survive, plant something else.

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