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.
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