Garden Oasis by “Anita Ciconte”

Garden description: Our garden is an inviting retreat from early morning to evening. The sunflowers attract yellow finches and some of the flowers attract the pollinators. You can listen to the sounds of the fountain in the one seating area and enjoy a beverage. The other seating area you can enjoy a meal or play a board game with family or friends. There is even room to play cornhole in the lawn area next to the dining table. Our garden area has versatility and is a delight!
Who are the gardeners: My husband is the primary gardener, and I’m the secondary. We have an annual family tradition and every Mother’s Day weekend we plan and purchase flowers.
Why do you garden: For relaxation and to provide an environment for nature to thrive.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: It has provided a creative outlet and provides a connection to nature.
What do you have in your garden? Planters with multiple types of annuals. The garden has cosmos, zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers. Fire and ice bush, fig trees, roses.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? No.

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Flowers Gone Wild by “Flowers Gone Wild”

Garden description: I love to have flowers blooming all the time. The ones that seem to do the best self seed but of course then things get out of control.
Who are the gardeners: Mostly myself, my husband mows the lawn.
Why do you garden: for fun, I like flowers.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: I have had more of a change to enjoy the garden. Instead of it being a chore when I get home form work.
What do you have in your garden? I have a large collection of perennials, that I like to augment with flowering annuals. The yard is pretty shaded but some herbs and lettuce grow well. I try a few vegetables, the spring ones work the best. Hosta do very well and I am expanding my shade garden to include move variety of ferns.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? yes, white flies. Treating with insecticidal soap.

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Rock Garden Sanctuary by “Jane Brooks”

VGC 2020 Winner!Flower Gardens – 3rd Place

Garden description: We built the garden on a hillside, making 3 levels using New York blue granite rocks. It was done in June 2018. We then added two magnolia trees, two red buds, several hydranga and three cryptomeria trees. I’ve been adding perennials, spring bulbs and annuals since.
Who are the gardeners: My husband, John, takes care of the grass and I do the flower beds. We’re both retired and love working in the garden. I grew up on a farm in NE, so it’s in my genes.
Why do you garden: I love being outside, it’s good exercise and I love flowers.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: It’s been a life saver. There’s always something that needs attention in the garden so it keeps me from going crazy. I hide from the virus in my yard and it’s very enjoyable and rewarding.
What do you have in your garden? So far I’ve planted 1000+ spring bulbs….daffodils, various allium, Spanish blue bells and Casa Blanca lilies. I’ve focused on deer resistant perennials….daisies, echinacea, rudbeckia, liatris, salvia, huechera, coreopsis, yarrow, dianthus, phlox, various sedum, lots of iris, baptisia, painted daisies, plumbago, clematis, lambs ear, drift rose, Irish moss, amsonia, carex, bee balm, lobelia, and balloon flower. Under the huge maple tree we have shade perennials….hostas, huechera, Japanese Forrest grass, hellebores, astilbe, and ferns. I add color with annuals…petunias, calibrachoa, geraniums, Brown Eyed Girl sunflowers, hibiscus, mandevilla, canna, gerber daisies, thyme, ornamental peppers, marigolds, celosia, and lots of coleous.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Haven’t really had any problems🤞

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The Garden at Mill Top by “Wes Bowers”

Garden description: The garden is a tapestry of color throughout the year. Numerous hellebores, wood poppy, lily of the valley, bloodroot and thousands of bulbs push their way skyward in the spring. These are followed by Korean spice viburnum, flowering almond, peonies, hydrangeas, amsonia, various varieties of lilies, and daisies. The highlight is the 200 dahlias that begin blooming in July and last until the first frost. The dahlias are joined by numerous varieties of perennials and several varieties of annuals. The bark of red-bark dogwood and the berries of viburnum, winterberry, purple beauty berry, and holly brighten the dull days of winter.
Who are the gardeners: Wes Bowers is the primary gardener. He is the past president of the Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society. His dahlias have won awards at numerous shows sponsored by the American Dahlia Society. He is assisted by his wife Annette. Her primary focus is to make arrangements using flowers from the garden so she can distribute them to others in the community. She often puts her arrangements in the public library, a nearby oncology center, and her favorite coffee shop.
Why do you garden: I garden for exercise and relaxation. I get plenty of exercise weeding, spreading mulch, trimming shrubs, and tending to the dahlias. Observing the plants as they grow and flower is enjoyable and relaxing. Giving away cut flowers and divisions from the perennials is a way to spread the joy around the community. I get satisfaction knowing that I have created an environment favorable to birds and pollinators.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: The garden has been a place to relax by tending to the plants; sitting on a bench under a shade tree; laying in the hammock; and watching the bluebirds catching insects, the hummingbirds enjoying the feeder, and the woodpeckers devouring the suet.
What do you have in your garden? Most of the garden is planted with perennials. Perennials include columbine, bee balm, false indigo, blue bell, clematis, poppy, canna, calla lily, oriental lily, tiger lily, day lily, toad lily, Dutch iris, bearded iris, astilbe, sedum, yarrow, coral bells, dianthus, coneflower, oregano, phlox, chrysanthemum, cardinal flower, goldenrod, wild ginger, flowering tobacco, aster, black-eyed susan, hosta, gladiolus, liatris, catmint, sage, mint, and a couple of rose bushes. Dahlias are planted in seven different beds around the garden. There are approximately 100 different varieties of dahlias. The dahlias include many different forms, with blooms ranging in size from 1 inch in diameter to over 10 inches in diameter. Shrubs include lilac, spirea, rose of Sharon, fogathilia, dwarf magnolia, crape myrtle, butterfly bush, mountain laurel, blueberry, and several varieties of azalea, holly, and viburnum. Varieties of hydrangea include oak leaf and limelight. Tree peonies and herbaceous peonies with both single and double flowering blooms are grown. Ornamental grasses, ferns, and lily turf add texture. Annuals such as marigold, zinnia, coleus, snap dragon, verbena, and cosmos are used to add color in various places.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Minimal disease is present. Japanese beetles and grasshoppers are occasionally found and are picked off of the plants and crushed. This controls these pests without using chemicals. There are numerous deer in the area. If the deer munch on a particular plant, I select a different variety that the deer dislike.

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A Tribute to Lil by “Joseph Blake”

Garden description: The garden was designed with my mom in mind. She loved gardening and plants in general. The more, the better. The garden was her retreat, place of peace and love.
Who are the gardeners: I tend my garden alone.
Why do you garden: It is a wonderful physical/spiritual workout that provides that “special” kind of peace.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: The garden gives me focus, offers me hope, and validates the idea that change is a constant and nothing lasts forever.
What do you have in your garden? The garden curves from Jefferson Street to McCabe Avenue and has many habitat challenges so I planted with multiple micro-environments in mind. Little Henry’s, Black Elderberry, Silver Miller’s, Yarrow, Dragon’s Breath, Saw Grass, Elephant Ear, Russian Sage, China Pink Flowers, Violas, American Holly, Yucca Plants, White Dogwood, Evergreens, Azalea Bush, Rhododendron and even a small cactus have a place in the garden. The ornamental grass provides texture and flow as the wind curves the block and colors change with every season. I see it as a moving tapestry of plant life and development.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Just neighborhood cats. I spray violet.

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Shade Garden Makeover by “Natalie Carmolli”

Garden description: This is an area in my back yard that has been neglected for the 16 years we’ve owned the house. We recently cut down a dead black walnut, so the area, which is visible through my family room windows, suddenly had a little 1/2 day sun to work with! The ground and retaining wall were choked with English ivy and refuse from the old tree and an existing Hemlock. I removed the Ivy from the wall and ground (digging out the roots) and placed full shade plants nearer the Hemlock and part sun plants near the corner of the house, some in a colorful raised bed. It’s now a beautiful, deer resistant, tranquil site that features many native plants, that I can enjoy throughout the seasons.
Who are the gardeners: I planted and maintain this garden, and my front yard (which is all garden) myself.
Why do you garden: I garden for exercise, enjoyment, and stress relief.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Being able to create a new backyard oasis was very cathartic for me. It allowed me to get out and do something I knew was healthy for my body, my mind, and my soul. Now when I see it from outside, or inside through a window, it will remind me of one of the ways I got through this time…in a positive and constructive way.
What do you have in your garden? Arctic Fire Yellow twig dogwood, Scentlandia sweetspire, Lemony Lace elderberry, Let’s Dance Big Easy bigleaf hydrangea, Jack of Diamonds Brunnera, Spot On lungwort, sweet woodruff, Crested Surf Japanese painted fern, Carex, Astilbe, assorted coral bells, hellebore, hens & chicks, and sedum. (Pot contains ColorBlaze Lime Time Coleus.)
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? My biggest problem is deer…and lots of them.

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