Garden description: It has been great fun converting 5 acres of weedy field and scruffy forest to an informal garden. Have been working at it for 40 years, more intensively the last 5 years now that I am retired. Given the mix of hillside, meadow, woods, stream, and bog, one can find a spot for most plants, although the combination rich, perfectly-drained, evenly-moist, brilliantly-lighted conditions called for in many a plant catalog continues to elude me.
Who are the gardeners: I do all but lawn treatments.
Why do you garden: The daily surprise of what is growing, flowering, or in trouble. The challenge of trying to get difficult plants to succeed. Rushing out in the morning to experience the fresh air, the kaleidoscopic colors and forms, the perfume of growth and life, and the beauty of it all when it works.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Been great — more time than ever to hang out in the yard. Been good time to give garden tours to individuals.
What do you have in your garden? I collect plants. This includes trees such as stewartia serrata for its bark, Sargent’s weeping hemlock for its bonsai-like trunk, cunninghamia lanceolata glauca for its powder blue needles, Japanese maples for their leaves and perennials such as podophyllum difforme for its leaves and dracunculus vulgaris for its flowers. These plants are interspersed with beds of moss, carex, fern, and pachysandra to provide complementary sweeps of color and texture. Other features of interest include a maze constructed of down wood, a bamboo tunnel, and a chain-saw wood carving that stops traffic.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Deer do serious damage daily by rubbing bark off trees and shrubs, eating a wide range of foliage all year, and making muddy churned messes out of moss beds.  This damage has been slowed but not stopped by using deer spray, fencing, barbed wire, motion-activated sprinklers, motion-activated radios, ground netting, and the strategic placement of trifoliate orange branches (vicious thorns).

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