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Garden Photo of the Day

A Visit to Bee Blessed Acres

From boring lawn to flower paradise

Thirty years ago I married a professional beekeeper, who put honey in 55-gallon barrels instead of bears, and moved from Whigham, Georgia, to Cozad, Nebraska. From our telephone courtship I knew that my husband was very proud of his bluegrass lawn, which I discovered lost in a sea of alfalfa on my one trip north before we were married. River rocks was his foundation planting of choice, and for a couple of years I thought that might be the best choice in such cold; however, one day I was inspired to step off the back deck and push my shovel into the bluegrass. Eventually my husband was encouraging me to stop killing it all! Even so, he got rid of the sprinkler heads and supported me in every way. After our kids were grown I became a Master Gardener and enjoyed learning and volunteering so much I have kept at it for twenty years. Now my garden covers several of our Bee Blessed Acres.

My biggest failure was an attempted memory garden for our daughter under our Scotch pine windbreak. The hungry deer and the dry shade totally defeated me. I have lost many smaller battles as well, but I just love digging and planting, so in time I developed the sunny perennial garden I had always dreamed of with my husband’s bluegrass for contrast inside the split-rail fence. Less maintenance and less water characterize the prairie-like plantings farther from our house. Shade dominates part of our mature garden, as some have accused me of trying to re-create Georgia woodlands.

Now we are selling and moving to Oklahoma. I hope to begin a new garden there as I learn about a new gardening zone and a new time of life at age 71.

Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria, Zones 4–8).

Bright white Asiatic lilies (Lilium hybrid, Asiatic group, Zones 4–8).

Huge white flower heads of smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens, Zones 3–9).

Another Asiatic lily, this one showing off its orange flowers on tall, elegant stems.

A sea of the nodding white flower heads of gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides, Zones 3–8).

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–8), surely much appreciated by the bees!

What a spectacular garden! Certainly an upgrade from a plain bluegrass lawn.

 

Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to GPOD@finegardening.com along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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Comments

  1. user-7017435 08/15/2019

    Your gardens and the story describing their development thru the years are beautiful I hope you have success with your daughters memory garden in Oklahoma & everything goes well for you. Good luck, Joe

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/15/2019

    Those lilies are sure gorgeous!

  3. Stewpot 08/15/2019

    Beautiful and full of love. My best on your new journey of life. I imagine you having success there as well.

  4. User avater
    SimpleSue 08/15/2019

    I enjoyed hearing your story on the garden and your life. Looks like you have actually learned about gardening with hands on work and trial and error, and have been super successful with it. I'm very impressed with what I see in these photos. I really hope you submit garden photos of what you create in Oklahoma.

  5. BTucker9675 08/15/2019

    Oh, how I hope that the new owners of your beautiful garden will take good care of it and understand the gift of beauty they have been given! Best of luck in Oklahoma - you will surely make your new home into a place of grace and beauty!

  6. mjtrusz 08/15/2019

    How lucky for someone to inherit such a beautiful garden and yet it will be exciting to begin gardening anew in a new place. Not sure i you will still be keeping bees but a wonderful plant in my yard that is full of all kinds of bees, false dragonhead, and old plant that blooms for me in September giving all the pollen collectors a last sip before the weather changes. Thanks you for sharing.

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