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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