My Great Outdoors: JoanneM's Great Green Garden

Name: JoanneM Location: Murrysville, Pennsylvania Type of space: Suburban Garden Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: My house was built in 1964 by a retired couple who were avid gardeners, but house and garden had been neglected for many years. The later owner had burned trash, and when the burn barrel was full, had tipped it over to roll down the slope to settle in a mess of multiflora roses, wild black raspberries, and other weeds. My project and my enjoyment have been in reclaiming the old garden. There were some wonderful things to start me out. My first spring I discovered a patch of 25 highbush blueberries, among other pleasant surprises...

How did you create it? The property is nearly an acre, about half of it left to wilderness. Shady and much frequented by deer. I've learned a lot about what deer do and don't like to eat. I grow a lot of boxwood, foxgloves, astilbes, lamb's ear because they don't like it, but I also must have hostas and daylilies, so I spray (or try to remember to spray). I am especially inspired by the shade garden at the Cornell Plantation in Ithaca, where hostas and bears' breeches are magnificently massed. My hostas are multiplying like a house afire, and the bears' breeches are coming along.

Recommended store, site, product or resource? Nature and the garden books by Henry Mitchell.

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