Hedgerow for the Birds and Bugs by “Judy”

Garden description: In 2019 I decided to replace a boring section of backyard lawn with a hedgerow consisting of mostly native plants that provide resources to support bees, butterflies, and birds throughout the year. The result has been gratifying! Something is blooming in the hedgerow now for the entire season, April through October, attracting multitudes of interesting insects and other creatures. In the fall, lovely berries support migrating birds, while standing perennial stalks help overwintering species. The garden is also designed to be quite symmetric, giving it a certain formality despite profuse growth.
Who are the gardeners: Just me! I am a retired University of Delaware entomology professor, and have always delighted in the natural world.
Why do you garden: My professional interest was insect-plant interactions, and I continue to be fascinated by the huge variety of plants and animals, large and small, that occur even in a relatively developed suburban area. I try to foster their populations by maintaining as much diversity of native plantings as possible in our yard.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Even though we can’t travel, each day there is something new to see in the garden. I am more appreciative than ever of the wonders of the natural world.
What do you have in your garden? Native shrubs in back are viburnums, winterberry, red-twig dogwood, summersweet clethra, buttonbush, and fothergilla. Tall perennials in the center include purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susan, Joe Pye weed, agastache, blazing star, and feather reed grass. Shorter perennials in front are moss phlox, blue star amsonia, and aromatic aster.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? No insect or disease problems so far. The first year I had to pull out thousands of maple seedlings. This year only hundreds, so as the hedgerow fills in the danger of it becoming a maple grove continues to decline!

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Little Italy Lovelies by “T”

Garden description: A tiny tropical oasis in the city.
Who are the gardeners: Me.
Why do you garden: Flowers make me happy! And I like a challenge!
How has gardening impacted you during this time: It’s a great escape.
What do you have in your garden? I have hardy banana under-planted with caladiums, hardy hibiscus, a rose of sharon pruned into a tree (a work in progress!), a lemon tree, several varieties of clematis and loads of annuals- hibiscus, wave petunia, portulaca, mandevilla, sweet potato vine, lantana, verbena, calibrachoa and papyrus.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Not typically.

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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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