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Garden Photo of the Day

Why do you garden?

Our Ponderosa Pine had to be cut down so I had them make a pedestal for my pot. Coleus is mounded on the pedestal with Morning Glories covering the hummingbird feeders and Sedum, looking on. Hakonechloa Macra is to the left.

Do we choose gardening, or does gardening choose us? It seems Leslie deLongpre in Pittsburgh, PA was chosen by the need to garden! Kudo's to her supportive (and handy) husband! 

"Here is a little tour of my garden.  I live in Pittsburgh Pa. I’m a self taught gardener, and mostly garden by accident. I NEED to be out in my garden for at least a little while every day.
My husband supports my habit, with his rockways, edgings and uncanny ability to level any surface by sight."

This is what happens when a Geologist retires. My husband  made a dry creek bed where the gutter comes down. When it rains we run to the window to watch our creek rise! In the fall my Hakonechloa Macra turns a beautiful yellow color.

My daughter made this head/vase in school, many years ago. It has finally found the right resting place on the side of my trellis, with Morning glory and Mandevilla vine.

This is on top of a potting table my husband made for me. An accidental grouping of leftover flowers put in one pot, made a beautiful composition that I couldn’t replicate, even if I tried.

My Clivia gets to come out and play in the summer. I love how the colors of the plant complement the colors of the sun and moon.

This is our tree man who watches over our ferns. The Grand kids love to climb on the stool and re-arrange Mr. Tree’s face. The ferns were started many years ago and keep filling in the area. I’m not sure what kind of fern they are.

How did you catch the gardening bug, and what keeps you going?

Keep sending in photos, everyone! Whether you've never shared before or you've been featured multiple times, we want to see your garden! Email a few photos and the story behind your garden to GPOD@taunton.com.

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View Comments


  1. PerenniallyCrazy 06/29/2015

    You have a wonderful garden Lesiie! I love your story and I love the fact that your husband is your gardening accomplice/enabler as well. I am also quite enamored by the head pot that your daughter made for you. I hope you come back and share more pictures in the fall with us. We definitely need to catch a glimpse of that Hakone grass and that dry creek bed of yours once again.

  2. Jeff Goodearth 06/29/2015

    potheads, clivia, Hakonochloa, rocks and a self confessed NEED to be in the garden,,,,,,,my kind of garden and gardener. it all looks great!

  3. Lisianne 06/29/2015

    Your clivia are stunning! I keep mine inside all year and it blooms in Jan-Feb. Since you are in PA, I assume you overwinter it inside. Under what conditions? Does yours bloom inside in the spring also? This past year, the blooms were sparse, so I potted up slightly after bloom this spring. What fertilizer do you use?

    1. lesliefarrelldelongpre 06/29/2015

      The clivia seems to bloom only out doors in the late spring and not every year. I do bring it in for the winter. Inside, there is not a lot of light. I use MiracleGro as my fertilizer, and try to remember to use it every 2-3 weeks before Aug.

      1. Lisianne 06/29/2015

        I don't fertilize that often, so I'll try that. I know to keep it quite dry, as I almost killed it by overwatering a couple years ago. I've only had it not bloom one year, and that was the year I lost half of it through the excessive watering.

  4. ClareRocky 06/29/2015

    That clivia is absolutely gorgeous! It looks so healthy and happy!

  5. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 06/29/2015

    Leslie, you have so many delightful sights in your garden...wonderful plant combinations, whimsical (and interactive) ornamentation, and well done hardscape. It sounds like your husband's retirement has suited him well and how nice that his increased availability has been put to good use! Having a spouse with his kind of skill set and willing attitude makes him worth his weight in proverbial gold. ( I am equally blessed so I know the value.) The head vase made by your daughter is a treasure and it's so nice that it has a starring location. We're a greedy bunch here at gpod so I'd love to see even more pictures whenever you have a chance.

  6. oldsquaw 06/29/2015

    Leslie, the clivia are stunning, and I love your tree man. Such Fun!
    In answer to the question, "Why do I garden, it's the anticipation, the knowledge that there is always something coming, whether it's daylilies when the first flush of roses has dwindled, or daffodils when the winter is over. At my age, that's life affirming.

  7. NCYarden 06/29/2015

    I concur completely. "Need" is a resounding truth of gardening. Just can't get enough. Beautiful garden, Leslie. Love the dry creek bed. I think I would find myself setting a toy boat or something similar in it whenever the river runs. If you hadn't explained the lost Ponderosa Pine I would have sworn you had your coleus pot hanging from the power lines.Ha. Thanks or sharing our passion.

  8. buckgardeners 06/29/2015

    Love your beautiful garden, Leslie. The plants are lovely, and so are the stones and bricks and faces.
    Having grown up in an apartment in Brooklyn, I have no idea where I caught the gardening bug. The closest I got to plants were the slightly dusty peace lilies my parents had in pots. Well, okay, I do have a little idea - the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, my favorite place of childhood. My dream job was to work there. That didn't happen, but as soon as I got out of Brooklyn, I started puttering in the garden (and now work at the beautiful Leonard J. Buck Garden, hence the nickname) and haven't stopped. Nevertheless, my home garden isn't half as nice as Leslie's!

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/29/2015

    Beautiful, Leslie. Love the hardscaping and the dry creek bed. Really gives some variety and interacts with your plantings beautifully. It's fun to see the straight species of Hakenochloa macra. I've read it gets a bit bigger than the cultivars; mostly because it is chock-full of chlorophyl. Yours looks amazing! I need to be out in the garden, too. So much to do, so much to see, so much to smell!

    1. lesliefarrelldelongpre 06/29/2015

      You are right about the Hakenchloa being bigger. I keep giving away pieces and you'd never notice that I keep trying to down-size it.

  10. lesliefarrelldelongpre 06/29/2015

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments! You are just feeding my addiction! I check out your gardens everyday and learn so much from you all!

  11. Sheila_Schultz 06/29/2015

    There's a whole lot of peaceful beauty in your gardens, Leslie. Your Hakenochloa macra is simply magnificent, and I am filled with envy... I've tried and tried and tried to grow that sucker to no avail.

    Why do I garden? Because it makes me easier to be around at the beginning, middle and end of the day. I used to say that it was cheaper than therapy... probably not, but one thing for sure, it's a whole lot more fun ;)

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/29/2015

      Definitely not cheaper than therapy! Maybe fewer tears? Nah, who am I kidding? I cry all the time. :)

      1. Sheila_Schultz 06/29/2015

        You and me both, Tim! I cry like a baby every time the hail is bigger than pea size!

  12. thevioletfern 06/29/2015

    I can see why you need to be in your garden every day - it is magical! Someone just gave me (I know, blessed!) a clivia and it is about to bloom - excited to see yours. Love your creative pots and the morning glories climbing your hummingbird feeders. So beautiful and peace evoking. What great art that face makes as a container - so special. I would love to see a photo of your dry creek after a rain! I garden because it connects me to something - the earth, the bees, the birds - I don't often feel connected to others. I love my connection to my garden.

  13. GrannyCC 06/29/2015

    Truly a labour of love for you both. Great structures and plantings. Gardening is good for the soul .

  14. ILfarmersdaughter 06/29/2015

    Love your garden. All your flowers are so beautiful and your ferns are gorgeous. I too need to be in my garden and do a walk about every day. My garden relaxes me. Your dry creek beds are great. Thanks for sharing.

  15. user-6891665 06/29/2015

    A beautiful garden

  16. user-7007140 06/29/2015

    Such an interesting garden and beautiful plants. A friend blessed me with two pots of clivia from her own plant divisions, so they're some of my prized possessions but are not yet flowering. After seeing yours I am going to put them outside,too. Amaryllis do well out in the garden, even re flowering! Love the creek, your daughter's pottery head and everything else,too.
    You and your husband clearly have great fun. Carry on with all of it.

  17. user-4691082 06/29/2015

    Leslie, I think the ferns are ostrich ferns. Your garden is beautiful. I see the clivia inside at Longwood Gardens but it's great to see it in your yard! Beautiful garden, thanks for sharing!

  18. GrannyMay 06/29/2015

    What a gorgeous spot you have created, Leslie, after the loss of your Ponderosa pine! It looks like nothing has suffered from the additional sunlight, indeed there is a great focal point with the starring Coleus harmonizing with the orange Cannas. Whether your other plant selections have been accidental or deliberate, they certainly work well! Love that the dry creek bed, your daughter's pot head, Mr.Tree for the grandkids, mean that your garden is a family affair. What could be more perfect? Hope you will share again.

    I too NEED to be out in the garden every day! I caught the gardening bug from my mother, though it took a while. When I was a teenager, helping her plant and care for the garden was a chore I would avoid if possible. It was not until I had my own garden that I understood its pull and the happiness it provides.

  19. Nurserynotnordstroms 06/29/2015

    I have never grown Clivia but I love it,the color is lovely. Your gardens are beautiful and how smart to keep the stump for a plant. I love that Hakonochloa grass but in our gardens it's a difficult one to dig up to propagate. The face your daughter made is so fun in the gardens it must make you happy every time you pass by. I was so happy when I saw your ferns (I thought yes finally an ID on that fern) but oh darn you didn't have an ID either. I got mine from my sister in Baltimore and she didn't know what it was either. It sends out new ferns via runners and they are tough ferns I have some in the full sun some in shade some in dry shade I love this fern and it looks delicate so win win win in my gardens. Thank you so much for giving us a peak into your wonderful garden world.

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