My name is Regina Melo, and I am a Brazilian American who has been living in Connecticut for the last 25 years. I started gardening about 16 years ago when we sold our condo in Bethel and bought a house in New Milford. It was a new construction, and my husband and I had a whole new blank canvas to tackle—the yard. You can see more of my garden on my Instagram as @gigi_a_melo.
My husband has focused on growing an edible garden. In the first year he built only one bed; later he added two more.
I wanted to create a backyard with some fruit trees and a mix of shade and sunny bed flowers and attract plenty of wildlife. I soon learned I would have to change my plans. The septic system in the backyard is huge, and it wouldn’t be wise to plant trees and have lots of structures built on it, so it’s a very sunny yard. I decided to make one big flower bed in the back, away from the septic system, and flower beds on the sides of the house. Thanks to the neighbors’ trees, there is a small shady area in the back (east side) where I planted some ferns, and in the summer I add some colorful annuals, especially impatiens. I have focused on design and growing plants. I admit I made quite a few mistakes: I wanted to see everything blooming and shining quickly, so I didn’t give some plants the proper spacing, I planted invasive ground covers, and so on. Bottom line, I didn’t have patience when I started gardening, and soon enough it became too overwhelming to care for, and throughout the years I started downsizing.
Bumblebee visiting purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–8)
An orange hybrid coneflower (Echinacea hybrid, Zones 4–8)
Black-eyed Susans around a birdhouse (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–10)
A lily-flowered tulip (perhaps the variety ‘Ballerina’, Zones 3–8)
Cheery violas (Viola × wittrockiana, cool season annual)
A rich dark red rose (perhaps the variety ‘Europeana’, Zones 5–10)
A tiny tree frog hanging out in a fading rose bloom.
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 [email protected] 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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