Today we’re visiting Deborah McQuiston’s garden and sharing some photos she took in the beginning of October.
I live in northeastern Pennsylvania, in the Pocono Mountains, Zone 5b.
Our house was built in 2012, so I started with nothing: half an acre, nothing in the middle, surrounded by more than 200 deciduous trees. Challenges are the ever present deer, our short growing season in Zone 5, and gardening on a slope in the rear of the house.
It’s still a work in progress: hardscaping is done by landscaping professionals, but all 400+ perennials and shrubs have been planted by this 60-something!
My goal was lots of evergreens, since we can easily have more than four months with no signs of new vegetation. I also like weeping, cascading plants. No pyramidal or columnar shrubs for me!
So there’s lots of Pieris japonica (Zones 5–8), junipers (Juniperus species), Russian cypress (Microbiota decussata, Zones 3–7), a thunderhead Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii ‘Thunderhead’, Zones 5–9) in the front and a few cascading pines, cotoneaster, and weeping hemlocks sprinkled in. There are lots of perennials, including ferns, sedges, grasses, and some pachysandra. I brought a few daylilies and Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum, Zones 2–7) from my old house in Valley Forge, both of which require deer spray but are worth the effort.
I feel I still have a ways to go: there are blank places to fill! But I feel after seven full growing seasons that I’m at the point where I can start dividing some of the original plants.
Having a garden full of mature trees can be a challenge, but they make a beautiful backdrop.
A mixture of shrubs and perennials makes an interesting carpet of various textures.
Russian cypress makes a beautiful trailing carpet of evergreen foliage.
Perennial plants, with a hint of water beyond
Container plantings add life to the deck seating area.
This is a garden that feels like walking through a natural woodland, in the best possible way.
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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