Gardening for 50+ Years – FineGardening

Gardening for 50+ Years - FineGardening

Today we visit Linda Colson in New Jersey.

I’ve gardened on the Cape between Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean in Cape May County, New Jersey, for 30 years since moving here from the mountains of western Pennsylvania. Everything I knew from my 20 years of gardening in clay and loam soil was challenged by the sandy soil of this coastal area. It took the addition of plenty of fertilizer and other amenities to enrich the soil, and lots of loving care to improve the soil. What fun it was!

This is in early spring, before any flowers appear. In the foreground is a border made of miniature cotoneaster with the colorful Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ (zones 5–9) and the dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’, zones 3–6), which invite you to enter a bird bathing area . Iris spines wait for their flowers, and autumn ferns (Dryopteris erythrosora, zones 5–8) and hostas fill the background. The building in the background is The Shed, a pole barn construction built by the Pennsylvania Amish. It houses my art studio and my husband’s workshop.

green garden bedHere is the same garden at the same time of year, but photographed from the other side. Azaleas abound. There is a viburnum on the left, and behind that is a pink Pieris japonica (Zones 5-9) that has reached 7 feet in height and just keeps passing.

Azaleas in full bloomThe azaleas are blooming. A box hedge can be seen in the background, privatizing the garden from the hiking / cycling path that runs past the rear of our property.

Rose tentThis side garden shows rose tents (Lychnis coronaria, zones 4–8), moonlight coreopsis (Coreopsis ‘Moonlight’, zones 6–9), endless summer hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’, zones 5–8) and random New Guinea impatiens planters (Impatiens hawkeri, zones 10-11 or annually) added for color. I am proud to say that my gardens have been certified by the National Wildlife Federation for many years.

High gardensMy husband created the elevated gardens that will be planted for the season in this spring picture.

Turtle in the gardenThis is just one of the animals that I like so much in my garden. I’ve photographed tree frogs, snakes, toads, wild turkeys, praying mantises, butterflies, and a variety of birds too numerous to mention. It is a pleasure to come across a visitor while I work and to know that everyone is involved in keeping my gardens healthy. My gardens are organic. Never have I ever used toxic products.

Garden harvestJust some of the fruits of our labor. Of course, part of the joy of gardening looks forward to receiving such rewards throughout the season.

Hosta and fern garden bedThis hostas and fern bed enjoys a shaded area of ​​the gardens.

Sedum autumn joyThis is shown by the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Hylotelephium spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’, zones 3–9) with Coleus hidden behind it. The Coleus is my mother’s heirloom that I have rescued from season to season for 30 years. You really built the rock face with the help of my husband. In the background you can only see a glimpse of my treasured summer house, which my husband built in 1994 as an anniversary present. There is no place I would rather be than on my knees in the gardens. It is my “happy place”.

Do you have a garden that you want to share?

Do you have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a specific collection of plants that you love, or a beautiful garden that you got to visit!

Submit 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We would like to hear where you are, how long you have been working in the garden, what successes you are proud of, what mistakes you have learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants or funny stories from your garden.

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