Garden Photo of the Day

Fun and Relaxing NY Garden

By Alexandra Dittrich

Can you tell I LOVE purple?

Sharon has come a long way, and should be proud of the progress she's made with her garden.

"My name is Sharon Goetchius and I live in Stony Brook, New York. Drooling over all the magnificent pictures you posted each day, I've decided to submit mine.  I live and breath gardening and I still can't believe that I've been able to create all of this. I still remember TRYING to prepare my first bed, when we bought our house 13 years ago. I think it took me an hour and a half to dig a hole, big enough for one tiny plant! We had so much clay in our soil. Now I can't even FIND a place to dig! When I do lift that shovel, just to change the scenery, it's so much easier! All that compost I've made (which makes my plants sometimes look like they're on steroids) certainly has paid off. Whenever I get the chance to just sit back and take it all in, usually with a glass of wine at dinner time, I still say the same thing, "I absolutely can't believe that I've created all this!" And, then, I usually turn to my husband and say, "Remember that first hole?!" Just for extra measure I've included a picture of the yarn balls I made to finish off the ends of my garden stakes. You see I'm also a knitter and had to incorporate that into my garden, of course!"

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Another creation by the man! You know, when you have lemons, make lemonade? Well, we did! We lost this tree last fall. But, we couldn't let it go completely because after all, it holds up our hammock. Thus, he played, I gardened. The result, a gnome house and pretty flowers for those little guys. Please don't tell my 5 year old grandson that there aren't really gnomes inside. He still believes!

This is the back of our house which used to be just a long, plain back of our house. Now it's filled with bird houses (Another man idea). I must admit that at first, I wasn't sure about this one. Now, I say, "Good morning, Morning Glory" every morning!

Looking out at my 'kitchen garden'!

Our now, 16 year granddaughter couldn't say grandma at first, so my son came up with ShaSha (for Sharon). Well, it stuck! So, my husband created this sign for our shed. I love the way it incorporates the loves of my life, with my passion for gardening!

Russian Sage and Black Eyed Susans playing nicely!

Streptocarpella and begonias make a beautiful show!

Springtime in 'The back, back!' Our special retreat for early evenings and friends!

Tired of stabbing myself with tomato stakes, I decided to cushion the ends with yarn balls! I love knitting but don't usually have time in the summer. This way, at least I played with some yarn and now, no more booboos!

Can you tell STILL tell I LOVE purple?

View Comments


  1. frankgreenhalgh 08/16/2016

    Well what a breath of fresh air you bring to GPOD today, Sharon! Your enthusiasm and passion for gardening shine through, and these together with your persistence have resulted in a very interesting, innovative, colourful and fun garden. Your grandchildren are very lucky to have such a switched on, active and imaginative (e.g. plants on steroids) grandma. Cheers, Frank

    1. sharongoetchius 08/16/2016

      Good morning, Frank! Thank you so much for for your compliments! You certainly have me pegged! How funny!???

      1. frankgreenhalgh 08/16/2016

        Thanks for responding Sharon. I really enjoy the dialogue involved in GPOD, especially when authors of posts participate.

        It is actually 10 at night here in Australia. I post early because it is 12 noon here when I access GPOD posts i.e. you guys are sound asleep, with the exception of my good mate, Kev. Hooroo from Oz.

  2. user-7007498 08/16/2016

    Sharon, you have created a fabulous retreat and rightfully so, should be so proud of your accomplishments. I love when plants with different textures are planted tightly and allowed to intermingle.

    You and your husband have created the most interesting use of a dead tree that I have ever seen. I absolutely love the gnome house. The other features you have created, the birdhouses, the stakes with colorful yarn balls, the sign, and the great birdhouse in the 3rd to last photo, all accent your garden perfectly and make it your own. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

    1. sharongoetchius 08/16/2016

      Thank you so much, Kevin! It is my pride and joy.....well after my grandchildren! I just love playing in the dirt! And, with my husband's penchant for his projects, we've had lots of fun!

  3. diane_lasauce 08/16/2016

    Sharon, your husband's sense of whimsy is undeniable. Glad your sod busting panned out. Very pretty results. Kudos!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/16/2016

    Your pictures and personality packed commentary are thoroughly entertaining and downright heartwarming, Sharon. I love what a co-conspirator your husband has been in adding those one of a kind touches that evoke a story and a fond memory. Does Streptocarpella have a common name that might ring a bell with me? It looks delightful as the companion to the begonias. All your plants seem to be brimming with health and vitality and. although you are giving added compost the credit, I'd say your doses of TLC also have a lot to do with it.

  5. NCYarden 08/16/2016

    Good morning, Sharon. Amazing what some teamwork and passion can lead to. I can relate to your garden narrative, and it's pleasant to see how you and your husband's influences blend in the beautiful result. Wonderful plant combinations. The azalea cluster is striking. And I must tip my hat to your husband on the tree stump, and probably gonna borrow the idea in some fashion. I just had to cut down my bald cypress this weekend, but left a chest-high stump, as I figured something might be done with it. And here you come with this fantastic story and idea. Much appreciated.Thank you for sharing.

  6. user-4691082 08/16/2016

    Wow, Sharon! Everything is stunning. I think I need to concentrate on mass instead of 3 itis! I can't even decide what I love the best!

  7. lanacawrse 08/16/2016

    Beautiful pics of a beautiful woman's yard! Congratulations Mom. It is such a well deserved honor to be featured. The passion you put into your garden's is truly amazing and shines through in all the pictures!

    1. frankgreenhalgh 08/16/2016

      Lovely of you to endorse our assessment of your mom's passion for gardening etc., and lovely of you to show your appreciation of and support for your mom, Lana.

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/16/2016

    Your hard work really has paid off, Sharon. Looks great. I love all of the bird houses, too. Do they get residents every year? I have to admit that I thought to myself 'yarn-balls, schmarn-balls' until I saw the photo: you've won me over-very whimsical!

  9. Sunshine111 08/16/2016

    Absolutely gorgeous Sharon! I love the combinations, the creativity, and all of your bird houses! I am just a bit envious…

  10. VikkiVA 08/16/2016

    As if I needed any more coaxing to create a fairy/gnome area in my garden! Absolutely love what you and hubby created out of the lost tree. I need a close up picture of that please. Your love of gardening is certainly apparent by all the beauty you have created. Bravo! Vikki in VA.

    1. sharongoetchius 08/16/2016

      Go for it, Vikki! Promise to send pics! Will do early next week! Thank you so much for your sweet words!?

  11. eddireid 08/16/2016

    Wonderful Sharon, the whole garden is made up of pictures. Very lovely and very whimsical but not at all overdone. I am a knitter, too, so love to see the creativity of playing with the yarn balls!
    I am not a fairy garden gardener but I do love your husband's Gnome House! A wander around your beautiful garden ending with a glass of wine, sounds perfect.

  12. User avater
    Vel Rhodes 08/16/2016

    Hi Sharon, you and your hubby have created a lot of beauty! Thanks for sharing. Is your Streptocarpella hardy outside? It is only a houseplant for me in Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, B.C.

    1. sharongoetchius 08/16/2016

      Hi! Thank you so much for your sweet words! This is the strepocarpella's second season..was a houseplant over the winter and now is back out there! I have it in a shady spot that gets hit with the sprinkler and NEVER even have to give it a drink! It's truly one of my favs!?

  13. ilianatakova 08/16/2016

    Sharon, I LOVE the blue and the purple as well! Actually the blue and the purple are a must have in the garden. How do you cope with controlling the Morning Glory? I have to constantly keep an eye on them in the garden or they will take over. They are my mischievous children. :). Great garden!

  14. sheila_schultz 08/16/2016

    Sharon, your gardens are bursting with personality and joy! It is so obvious that each and every plant has been lovingly positioned to bring a smile to the faces of your loved ones. Your narratives tell the stories of the how and the why and your photos show the beauty of your visions. I love it all... especially the giant gnome home! I can easily imagine all the whispering that goes on when your young grandson sneaks around the hammock to see if any of the gnomes are out playing. His imagination must go into hyperdrive when he visits his ShaSha! You and your 'man' make a wonderful team!

  15. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 08/16/2016

    Sharon, your gardening story is one that I think many of us can relate to but you certainly have an extra dose of creativity. Your grandchildren are very lucky that their Sha Sha and her man have made such a beautiful garden for them. Thanks for sharing.

  16. schatzi 08/16/2016

    I too love purple and blue and I love your garden and your joyful personality! Your color and texture combinations are great. I never would have thought of planting a Streptocarpella outside in the garden. It looks very happy, but I hope you take it in in the fall. They are wonderful house plants, like all the Gesneriads - African violets, sinninigias, etc. I love Strep-
    tocarpus too - they have larger flowers and a broader color range. Your yarn balls are a great idea - too bad I don't knit. You should be very proud of your creation - along with your husband's creative input - you have done a great job.

    1. sharongoetchius 08/16/2016

      Thank you so very much! What kind words! And..yes I do take the streptocarpella inside! As a matter of fact, this is its second summer and I was a bit doubtful at first, as it was kind of loosing it..but it is so amazing now!!! You know, you should make yarn balls, even though you don't knit..they're just fun! Enjoy!?

  17. Cenepk10 08/16/2016

    Beautiful. Loved hearing the exuberance in your post !!!!

  18. thevioletfern 08/16/2016

    What a beautiful creation you've added to this world Sha Sha! I love your yarn ball stakes and I have come close to poking my eye out before. I love all the purple - just beautiful!

  19. tree_ee 08/16/2016

    Purple's my favorite garden color, too, so I am really enjoying your photos. The yarn balls are brilliant! (So is your husband.)

  20. sharongoetchius 08/17/2016

    Hello there, fellow gardeners! Just wanted to thank you all for totally making my day! You all made me feel like a celebrity! Not only did you say the kindest things, but you obviously took the time to truly go above and beyond! Gardeners are certainly an amazing 'community'!????

  21. user-7007940 08/17/2016

    I love the garden gnome tree house. brilliant

  22. Plantstuff 09/02/2016

    Great Gardens!

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