Garden Photo of the Day

Betsy’s garden in New York

Photo/Illustration: All photos courtesy of Betsy Kinkade

Today’s photos are from Betsy Kinkade in New York State. She says, “My flowers are run of the mill geraniums, daylillies, perilla, cannas, mums, hydrangeas, hosta, etc., but when you put them into the setting of an 1830 farm house in upstate New York (Poughkeepsie, specifically), it’s never less than magical.

“We house-hunted for two years before finding the perfect spot…two ponds and a creek, two small wooded areas, meadows with abundant wildflowers, an old orchard (where both of our children were married), outbuildings (including the old outhouse where we store mulch, a barn and sheds, and a carriage house) and our home, a beautiful old farm house with a solarium where flowers magically bloom year round.

“It’s not formal or fancy. One of the old buildings is deteriorating, the surrounding woods are not cleared, the ponds are home to snapping turtles, and my husband and I do almost all the work ourselves. The old farm’s beauty is definitely rustic, but like many old places, it is a world of pleasure and delight, and it never fails to make us happy, regardless of the weather or the season.  My limited gardening skills are shown off beautifully against the charming old backdrop.

“I bring many outdoor plants in to the solarium during the winter, so there’s almost always something in bloom there year round. Many of the same plants go outdoors during the summer, either in pots or into the ground. I love to “slip” plants (my dad’s way of describing making cuttings) and most of what I have is an offspring of something we started years ago, including a nine-year-old descendant of a geranium from our daughter’s wedding.

“Every year I try to cut back and every year it’s futile. Isn’t this true of all gardeners? We love this old place and feel fortunate to have found it 30 years ago!”

I LOVE that patio, Betsy, and your geraniums are gorgeous! It must be so nice to have them blooming indoors in winter. Thanks so much for the visit to your garden!

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  1. dirtgirl1949 04/03/2014

    Wonderful photos of a stunning garden. Well done Betsy, I can see why you love living there.

  2. grannieannie1 04/03/2014

    What a beautiful lush setting with mature trees as the background, and you've displayed your plants so well on the patio. It reminds me of how my grandma grouped hers. Do you have some of the rose scented geraniums like she did in that charming mix?

  3. wGardens 04/03/2014

    Oh, my! I love it all! Great plant placement, great setting! Wonderful shot of the dragonfly, and awesome dawn photo! Bravo! Would love to see more~ (Would love to see your 1830 farmhouse, too!)

    1. Shelly2020 04/20/2020

      Well Betsy, it's clearly evident that you love your garden! And who wouldn't. I bet your family loves to visit home. It is so wonderful that you preserved all the old buildings. Making them perfect would take away from the charm. I like color combinations thought-out your garden. Geranium's always make me smile. You have brightened my day today. New construction is nice, but give me an old farmhouse and ponds and old out buildings any day! Great jog thank you so much for sharing your home and garden with us.

  4. flowerladydi 04/03/2014

    It is charming Betsy! So many great geraniums!, and I love how you have displayed everything! How great to have your solarium for the winter months as well, and so great to be able to keep those plants for so long, like old friends!

    I love the old barn,,, and am mesmerized by the foggy driveway photo!,, so cool! I would love to see more of the property! You mention 2 ponds, a creek woods and meadows,,,, It sounds so fabulous! I would sooooo love a piece of property like that, and can totally see how you love it so much! Send more photos!!

    Thank you!!!

  5. tractor1 04/03/2014

    Hello Hudson valley neighbor... I'm just north of you. Your property looks delightful, very homey. I like your patio with all the surrounding plants. Now I need to see some long shots of your house, out buildings, and especially those ponds you speak of. Thank you Betsy, and I'll be hoping to see more.

  6. mainer59 04/03/2014

    Tried and true plants have stood the test of time for a reason.Geraniums will always be popular, even if plant snobs don't realize it as they go in and out of fashion. In British terms, the whole yard is the garden. I especially like your wooded driveway.

  7. OuiserThatsMe 04/03/2014

    Lovely garden Betsy!!! Enjoy all those beautiful plants and spots you created!!! And yes, I too would like to see more of it!!

  8. atpeacewithnature 04/03/2014

    I am another Hudson Valley neighbor - Cold Spring, and your place looks absolutely PERFECT! A Special place to live.

  9. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/03/2014

    As fortunate as you and your husband were 30 years ago to have found your dream place to live, that 1830's farmhouse was equally fortunate to be purchased by people who would love it and its history. How wonderful to have a solarium and make such good use of it. I am in love with your "plant stand" in pictures 2 and it an old stone grinding wheel? I can't totally tell and yet, I find it captivating and hugely appealing. And, sigh, all those colorful geraniums with blooms all year long...amazing!
    I definitely hope you will return and share many more pictures with us. Sounds like there is a treasure trove of wonderful photo opportunities.

  10. bee1nine 04/03/2014

    I like your care-free spirit, Betsy.
    And what counts, is the wonderful feeling to be surrounded by
    all the things you love and have created along the way to make your own special and happy place!!

  11. greengenes 04/03/2014

    Dreamland for sure! I have always wanted an old farm house with the tall ceilings and long windows and huge porches and..and..I think its is simply quite beautiful and charming! To have a solarium would be so fun, too. Iam happy for you and your husband, Betsy! You truly have a gem of a place! I would love to see more! Thanks!

  12. GrannyMay 04/03/2014

    Betsy, just your description of your wonderful, almost 200 year-old farmhouse and its surroundings is lovely! What an amazing place to find and enjoy for 30 years! How I would have loved to raise my family in just such a place - no wonder you call it a place of wonder and delight! Your use of traditional favourite flowers is perfect in such a setting.
    Thank you so much for sharing not only your photos but your happiness with us!

  13. sheila_schultz 04/03/2014

    What a wonderful visit to your garden Betsy. The photos show a comfy, cozy home and surroundings overflowing with flowers that bring back happy memories. I have to admit, though, that I didn't need the photos (as much as I enjoyed them). Your words were so filled with love for your home and family, for the geraniums that remind you of happy times... they were a perfect start for my day. Thank you.

  14. GrannyCC 04/03/2014

    Betsy what a wonderful home and garden. Your geraniums are amazing. You must do a lot of cuttings. Sounds like you have your hands full. You and your husband have created a beautiful home and garden.

  15. Meelianthus 04/03/2014

    Absolutely stunning Betsy! How fortunate you and that old home were to find each other. A lot of love there I can feel. Your patio flowers are wonderful. Sure would love to see pics of your ponds and stream. What fun to have such things on your property. Is it a large plot? Thanks for sharing your joy.

  16. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/03/2014

    Late to the party, but wanted to say the garden and plants are lovely. Run of the mill? No? Stalwarts and work-horses? Yes!

  17. cwheat000 04/03/2014

    Nothing run of the mill here. What a wonderful setting with a wonderful collection of plants.

  18. wildthyme 04/04/2014

    Betsy, many adjectives come to mind looking at your photos, but "run-of-the-mill" is not one of them! I can see why you chose that spot and it shows off your gardening skills beautifully.

  19. CJgardens 04/04/2014

    I have to comment even if it is belated. I agree with greengenes that I would love to have a property with a charming old farmhouse, woodland, meadow, orchard, out buildings and even just one pond or stream. Regretfully not within my budget.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful homestead and old fashioned plants. I think they hang around because they are tough and hard working. I think I saw a lantana in some of your containers - do you over winter them also?
    Hope you will share more vistas on your property.

  20. user-3282241 04/05/2014

    As a neighbor to the east in Pawling , I share your love of our Hudson Valley and making cuttings. Most of my plantings are "gifts" from Mother Nature . I am anxiously waiting to see what survived the endless winter of 2014 as the snow has finally left my yard!!

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