By: Kim Charles

For New Englander Lisa Eglin, gardening inspiration bloomed from just one bee balm clipping. 

"I reside in Worcester, MA, which is the second largest city in the state. Though we live in a residential neighborhood within the city, many of the lots are small. Our lot is only 7500 square feet. The majority of our yard is in the shade but, as you can see in the pictures, I have tried to maximize all of the south-facing space we have! I moved into the house before the summer of 2013 and did not touch the landscaping until 2015. As you can see in the "before" pictures, I knew absolutely nothing about gardening, nor did I have any interest in it. I actually thought crabgrass was ornamental! At the end of summer 2015, my husband and I went and stayed in a B&B in Manchester, VT, and I was in awe of the proprietor's country gardens. She gave us a clipping of red bee balm, and this is where my interest in gardening bloomed! My aunt also gave me cuttings from her gardens, which are mature and absolutely beautiful. By the summer of 2016, I had ripped up half of our yard, cut down large amounts of overgrowth, and installed a new deck. I researched almost every annual and perennial in the North East (zone 6) and happily spent all summer cultivating and caring for my new landscape. This summer we installed a new fence, which provided a great backdrop for another garden! I hope you enjoy the "before" and "after" pictures. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into the transformation of our yard, but I loved every single second of it. Now I spend my days outside, enjoying our country garden in the city."

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Here is the garden I started at the beginning of this summer, after the fence was installed. Enjoy!

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