Summer brings out the natural beauty of our nation, and, in my opinion, it comes at a time when we could really use it! Our gardens are a source of comfort, pride and satisfaction for most Americans.

We tend them by weeding, watering, transplanting and replanting. Many studies point to the healthy benefits of gardening. There is a certain meditative, almost spiritual component that many gardeners feel in working their personal plots of earth.

With vibrant colors that pop like fireworks, I can almost smell the fragrant aromas.

Which of the following neighboring states can claim the title of "most beautiful gardens"?

Let's judge by these Instagram photos I've posted. We start by making our claim for Iowa with this beautiful garden:What was blooming in my yard today! #beautiful #flowersoftheday  #phlox #daylilies  #flower_perfection  #mygarden #gardenersofinstagram  #gardenchat  #iowagarden  #dirtroadiowa

Now, a garden from our neighbors to the east: Illinois.

A few of my favorite flower pics in a collage. #flowers #photography #flora #nature #photocollage #silentspiderphotography #catignygardens #catigny #illinoisgarden #naturephotography #flowerphotography

Here's a Wisconsin garden:

Delightful color in the garden. Bloodgood Japanese maple and hakenechloa grass. #pleasantsprings #wisconsin #wisconsingarden #november2015 #fallgarden

Here's a garden from Minnesota:

Ok, I had to post another #summertime photo from #2008. This was taken in my mom's garden. #flower #floral #gardenflowers #photoarchive #garden #flowerphotography #naturephotography #nature #photography #summerflowers #godsbeautifulcreation #godsworld #minnesotagarden
To our south, the Missouri garden:
Here's a Nebraska garden:
The best days start with flowers. 🌻💜🌞 . . . #growwiththeflow #gwtfaquaponics #aquaponics #SustainableAgriculture #flower #cutflowers #flowerfarmer #bouquet #freshflowers #flowergarden #bachelorsbutton  #cosmos  #nebraskaflorist #farmerflorist #fresh #organic #LNK #LincolnNebraska #Nebraska #MYLNK #garden #nebraskagarden #instagardeners_feature #finegardening #buyfreshbuylocal #localgrown #summer #flowerpower #floral #floraldesign
And the winner? Well, that's your job to decide!
I love them all. And that's the story I'm sticking to.