My Secret Garden by “Annie Harris”

Garden description: This is my little garden in my little yard in the back of my little row home in the city of Wilmington. It is very private, surrounded by a tall fence, and the only access is through my house. I am not from the city and even after 40 years living here still consider myself a country girl. Just about everyone knows I hardly ever get rid of anything because I am sure I will find some use for it in the future. My friends know that if they need something, and they come ask me, I will more than likely have it. I also keep things because I LIKE them or I never would have gotten them in the first place! So just about anything you see here I already had, ready o be put into service and given another life: broken furniture and dishes, remnants of my kid’s old wagons and bikes, bricks collected one by one from old ruins in Yorklyn having wrestled them from the stinging nettle and an occasional snake, and a smattering of treasures discovered at Goodwill and yard sales, and (to the eternal embarrassment of my children) a fine assortment of perfectly good and oftentimes very unusual items found “trashpicking” on Thursday nites in my neighborhood. (You wouldn’t believe what some people toss out!) I like to sit back there with my morning coffee, along with my bunnies, box turtles, the squirrels and the birds and enjoy a little bit of country in the middle of the city
Who are the gardeners: It is my garden and I like it just the way it is.
Why do you garden: Downstate folks value land and being close to the earth and growing things more than up this way I believe. All my cousins and uncles are farmers. I love feeling the earth in my hands, snagging weeds, watching things pop up. I have 3 different seating areas and enjoy having friends stop by for refreshments , and just to relax and soak in the smells and views and sounds of my garden. I often will get sleepy in the late afternoon from being outside all day and will curl up and drift to sleep in my little hidden area all the way in the back enclosed with burlap drapes.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: I miss all the visitors I so enjoyed in the past
What do you have in your garden? I honestly don’t know what half the stuff growing back there is, the squirrels are always planting something, and the birds do their part too. In fact, I never plant bulbs anymore, just throw a handful (trashpicked after Easter and Mother’s Day) out back –the squirrels are great at naturalizing. I love cleomes because I think they are beautiful and the birds and bees love them. I have been told they are weeds and invasive but they are one of the few things that don’t mind my clay soil. I also love sunflowers which sprout up near the bird feeders, vines like hyacinth bean and sweet peas. Nature does a pretty good job of sending up plants that are beautiful in my eyes, so I don’t fight her.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? No disease, occasional slug or two.

7 Flamingos by “Alison Altergott”

Garden description: This is a two-year-old garden, still very much a work in progress. Upon moving three years ago, I started with the front yard, and I’m now filling in the back yard and attempting to grow some vegetables as well.
Who are the gardeners: Myself, with the companionship of my dog.
Why do you garden: I love the colors and textures of plants, and the wildlife they attract.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: My garden has been a wonderful retreat and occupation while I haven’t been working. I’ve also caught up with my neighbors a lot, since we’ve all been out in our yards more.
What do you have in your garden? My focus is primarily on native plants, especially good pollinator attractors. I have at times caught people stopping as they walk down the street, to take pictures of bees, butterflies, and birds in my flowers. Recently I’ve been excited by the appearance of dragonflies as well! The front yard is my mini-meadow study, a collection of vignettes and vibrant color combinations. Among the early flowers are zizia, amsonia, baptisia penstemon and iris, transitioning to the salvia, monarda, rudbeckia, milkweed and phlox currently in full bloom. Asters and solidago will take over and continue the color into November. In the backyard I am working on a rain garden, growing vegetables and flowers for cutting, and a shady retreat, a perfect spot for a hammock.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? I do not use chemicals at all, and water sparingly from two water barrels. The only problem I have, really, is mosquitoes, which I’m hoping the dragonflies will help with!

My Happy Place by “Lo-Raine”

Garden description: “My Happy Place” has been personally crafted with an array of colorful flowers and greenery that creates an atmosphere of warmth, calm and peacefulness. The breathtaking view of the sunset connects me to a place and time where my spirit is captured by the beauty of nature.
Who are the gardeners: I am the hands-on gardener with a passion to create life and love into each plant and flower so that it may flourish with enrichment and beauty to enhance the environment.
Why do you garden: I garden to connect with the beauty of the universe which allows me to wait for daily visits from my favorite spirit animals Butterflies, Dragonflies and Hummingbirds. I enjoy the scenery of watching the Hummingbirds quench their thirst throughout the day. As I sit in home office, I am mesmerized by the view of flowers blooming. “My Happy Place” affords me the opportunity to unwind and mediate. Sunbathing, watching the sunrise and sunset is one of my greatest treasures. While enjoying all the pleasures of my Happy Place, I indulge in my favorite all-natural hand-crafted Ginger Beverage “Jinjaluv.”
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Gardening has impacted me in a positive way during this unprecedented time. It has allowed me to stop and watch the flowers bloom; provided so many opportunities to slow down and realize the simple things in life. Life has been the Best Ever, not being caught up in the hustle and bustle from the outside world.
What do you have in your garden? “My Happy Place” boast with five colorful variety of Canna Lilies, three vibrant colors of Hibscus, along with a Perennial Hibicus, Palm Trees, Ferns, Caladiums and two Hardy Banana Trees.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Two Latern Flies made it into my My Happy Place. Fortunately, they did not make it out. As fast moving as they are, I was able to quickly stomp them to the ground.

Pickin’ Petals by “Karen”

Garden description: Full of color throughout the seasons, even winter with February blooms of Arnold’s Promise and Lenten Roses. Spring and Summer I walk around the garden deadheading, clipping a chewed or yellow leaf or two and sometimes cutting back hard to get that second bloom. In the fall, the garden is decorated with pumpkins, mums and Autumn Joy, Rosy Glow and Blue Pearl sedums. It’s been a labor of love over the years. I started with almost a blank slate, a couple of Hosta’s and Daylilies, and a chain-link fence.
Who are the gardeners: Karen and John contribute to the garden in different ways. I design and plant. Everything I love gets planted in this garden. Sometimes it’s trial and error, but I don’t mind. It’s part of the gardening experience. I record in my journal how a plant adapts to certain conditions such as dry, likes wet feet, sun, shade, part shade. I already have a list of plants that need transplanting in the fall. If I had to pick a favorite plant, it would be the coneflower. This is the time of year that the finches perch on top of the cones and pick them clean of seeds. John takes delight in the beauty of the garden and compliments often about it. He waters the garden everyday and spruces up trees and bushes, moves mulch and dirt around…whatever I need. His favorite plant is Achillea Apricot Delight (Yarrow).
Why do you garden: I love the work and the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. I like watching plants come alive and the way they move in the breeze. I check on them everyday. I tour gardens, talk gardens, and I write about gardens in my journal. Gardening is my thing. I have many favorite quotes. Here’s one I like: “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”. Audrey Hepburn
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Gardening has impacted me in a very positive way. You can get lost in the garden. It’s very freeing and allows total creativity. Being home more, gave me a calming diversion from work stress because my garden was just steps away. There’s definitely something very therapeutic about watching nature. This year, I happened to see a new bird species in the yard hogging the peanut butter suet, a Northern Flicker woodpecker. If I was at the office, I probably would have missed it. One other time, I saved a newborn bird that fell from the birdhouse above where I was digging. I gently picked it up and placed it back in the nest. It was accepted back into the family and survived. I felt really good about that.
What do you have in your garden? Herbs and flowers are planted in the garden. To name a few…Various Coneflowers, Yarrow, Black and Blue Salvia, Astilbe, Ferns, Hosta, Sunshine Superman (Coreopsis), Agastache for the hummingbirds, several varieties of Coral Bells, Sedums, Shasta Daisy, Evergreens, plenty of trees and shrubs that flower, St. Johns Wort, Geum (Fireball and Mrs. Bradshaw), Lavender, False Indigo, Butterfly Weed. Basil, lemon and chocolate mint, thyme, oregano, rosemary, chives are the herbs. Winners for pots this year are Purple Prince, Angelonia, Picasso in Purple Supertunia. These annuals are nice and hearty.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Occasional insect chews and powdery mildew on a crepe myrtle and winterberry. I just leave it alone. Plan on looking for a natural remedy and add the recipe to my garden journal. Limited rabbits eating flowers off plants thank goodness. Population explosion for squirrels that were destructive on the lawn. dug it up in spots. And how about those carpenter bees buzzing around our wood decks in the Spring. Thank goodness they found other wood to bore like a shovel handle one year. Haha Have seen a couple of lanternflies, which were promptly swatted..

A City Front Yard Garden by “Marilyn Bromels”

Garden description: This garden is planted with shade-loving plants. The lawn area receives afternoon sun, but the planting bed is shaded for the entire day by the Korean dogwood in the center of the plot and trees from the neighboring lots. The lot front is 20 feet wide and the garden width is about 16 feet.
Who are the gardeners: Marilyn Bromels and Gerald Woodward
Why do you garden: For the joy of creating something alive and beautiful.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Plants were more difficult to obtain, especially the Bounce impatiens.
What do you have in your garden? Korean dogwood tree, five holly bushes, stand of Astilbe (not blooming at time of photo), 75 Dragon Heart caladiums grown from bulbs ordered online from Caladium World, 16 Bounce impatiens purchased locally, and 6 white browallia purchased locally.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? The holly bushes had a bad infestation of scale this summer. Treatment with Malathion solved the problem.