My name is Karen Squillacci, and I’ve been gardening in Southern New England since I was knee high to a grasshopper. My family consists of a long line of avid gardeners who graciously passed down so much of their knowledge to me. I have been propagating plants since before high school and quite a bit longer than it was fashionable to do so.
I have also been a subscriber to Fine Gardening for many years. It has become a great resource and point of inspiration to me.
My property consists of 25 acres, mostly wooded with walking trails. However, approximately 5 acres makes up my garden and living space. I’ve been gardening in this location for almost 20 years. I am a backyard chicken farmer and beekeeper as well. My gardens are pesticide free, and I use compost mostly for enhancing the gardens.
Here’s the vegetable garden, with a pear tree and perennials growing in front of the fence to attract pollinators.
To the left is our firepit garden, with a stone wall I built with rocks collected on the property and Adirondack chairs made by my husband. The area in front of the wall is filled with perennials.
This interesting rock is on top of the wall. She is the guardian of my gardens.
The planters on the wall are filled with New Guinea inpatients (Impatiens hawkeri, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) and caladiums (Caladium hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as a tender bulb). Each was “browsed” by the local wildlife shortly after this picture was taken.
The garden supports all types of wildlife, big and small. Here a small tree frog has found a place to rest.
Between the seating area and potager garden, this beauty sits. It is native passion fruit (Passiflora incarnata, Zones 5–9). I love that it looks exotic yet grows in my New England Zones 5–6 (depending on the zone map I look at) garden and is dual function beauty and fruiting!
Orange daylily, commonly referred to as “Ditch Lily” (Hemerocallis fulva ‘Flore Pleno’, Zones 3–9) because it is found on many roadsides, is prolific in my garden. Even with deer and bunny browsing, it returns year after year.
Here, a lichen-covered rabbit statue tucked into the garden blends nicely with leaves of the bellflower and false sunflower.
This woodland garden consists of a mixture of shrubs, perennials, and annuals that I use to fill in gaps and keep the scene colorful throughout the year. I use chicken-feed bags that have been cut to fit as my hanging-basket liners.
I love that not only are the gardens colorful, but my harvests are as well.
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Fantastic use of space! What a harvest haul you have there :)
Congratulations, and good wishes on your gardening journey!
Very lovely. I hope to see more of your gardens in the future! Thanks for sharing.
Very nice! And I love your guardian rock!
The fire pit garden area with the drywall-stone wall and the fabulous handmade chairs your husband built- wow- such a great place to sit and enjoy the seasons!
Your harvest basket- so picturesque and fresh!
I learned some things from you- I had no idea tree frogs were in northern states, and never noticed the Passion flower was hardy to Northern growing zones.
You and your husband have made a wonderful garden!
Your guardian rock is super special. You must have been watching very carefully to notice her, but once you see her you can't "not see" her.
Every garden should have one! How lovely that she just "happened" and you "happened" to find her.
I love how thoughtful and observant gardeners are. Let’s add patient to that list as well. Your garden looks so peaceful and it’s clear how much you enjoy it. It’s lots of hard work, but at the end of the day you have something beautiful for you efforts.
There is nothing I don't love about your wonderful garden...
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