Garden description: Our Fairfield Garden has just turned twelve years old. When we first moved to this 60+ year old home there were only large pines, a Zelkova tree, some shrubs and masses of pachysandra and English Ivy. The former owner was proud of the “No Maintenance” yard and I knew it would take years to eradicate all that invasive ground cover! Working on the front curb appeal first, I established a large island bed, a shade garden under the Zelkova, plantings along the driveway and pulled the front beds out by 8 feet. Each and every day in the garden, I pulled up, mowed or mulched ivy. In the next few years, a gazebo, raised bed vegetable garden and more flowerbeds were added. We built a small conservatory greenhouse and cold frames onto the house using salvaged windows five years ago. Provisions were made all along the way for shelter, food, water and places to raise young for wildlife and the garden is now a certified Wildlife Habitat. Our Fairfield Garden has evolved over the years due to our care, acts of nature and weather. It has been our joy and solace, especially since retirement and during this pandemic.
Who are the gardeners: I am the head gardener but do hire help for fall & spring cleanups as well as any trimming/pruning needing a ladder. Day to day, it is all me. I have found that intensive gardening has reduced the amount of weeding needed. Established perennials need little extra watering during dry periods. My grandfather taught me how to garden and I have always had houseplants and a garden. Since retiring from teaching, I have also managed a little hobby blog called Our Fairfield Home and Garden. There I document changes in the garden and projects I undertake. I also took up watercolor painting and paint the birds and flowers that are dear to me.
Why do you garden: In the garden, I can forget the worries of the world for a time. It is somewhat under my control where the troubles raging around me are not. There is peace in gardening.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: n/a
What do you have in your garden? Many native and ornamental plants and shrubs have been incorporated into our garden. Among those are varieties of hydrangea, rudbeckia, echinacea, aster, dogwood, plumeria, ferns, lily, allium, clematis, spirea, hosta, ninebark, viburnum, crape myrtle, acuba, rose, fig, rose of sharon, ironweed, solidago, vitex, phlox, joe pye weed, milkweed, abelia, iris, carex, leucothoe, clethra, dicentra, quince, buckeye, kerria, calicarpa, mountain mint, many spring-flowering bulbs and much more.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Dry weather has required me to water containers, window boxes, raised beds and new plantings. The bird population has kept destructive insects at bay.

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