Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Bonnie’s garden in Pennsylvania

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bonnie Pancoast

Today’s photos are from Bonnie Pancoast. She says:

In September of 2004 I lost my home and gardens to then Tropical Storm Ivan. (By the time it reached the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania it had been down-graded from hurricane status).  Less than 3 months after the disaster we moved into our present home. Not having the finances to begin new gardens,  I patiently dug up every perennial and shrub I could rescue from the mud of the old house and brought them to our new home. The following spring I tried to plant them in shale laden soil.  By the time the following fall arrived,  I hated everything about the property.  I couldn’t dig holes and almost everywhere I turned I was dealing with an unruly slope.  During the spring of 2006 I discovered a rock wall from a previous owner covered over by dirt and weeds.  Thus began the gardens.  Discovering my love of hardscaping, I now scour nearby fields for stone and ask owners of dismantled barns if I may salvage the foundation rock.  Now, 5 years later,  the gardens are in a state of becoming and I still look for rocks in barren fields.

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bonnie Pancoast

Entrance to our home:  Old farmhouses in Eastern Pennsylvania were often built very close to the road and ours is no exception. When we moved to this home in the fall of 2004, the front of the house was a narrow  grass corridor and one small flower bed.  I slowly began removing the sod and created gardenscapes.  The last of the sod was removed this spring. A buried downspout was hidden by creating a dry stream bed. I planted annuals to create depth and color.

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bonnie Pancoast
2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bonnie Pancoast

The labyrinth: It has always been my dream to have a labyrinth in my garden.  In 2005 I read an article on  labyrinth construction.  Five years later the appropriate garden space appeared and the construction began.  I started with a 30 foot winter pool cover to place over the grass. Next landscaping blocks and Belgian blocks were purchased through Craigslist. Using the article I had printed five years earlier,  I began laying the blocks.  To create a positive energy the inner circuits are made of white quartz unearthed on the property.  Once the circuits were completed,  mulch was added.  The entire process took only two days.  The quartz standing stone was replaced by a soapstone statue, The Dreamer, purchased from 10,000 Villages, an inspiration to never stop believing and never top dreaming.

2 WAYS TO ENLARGE!Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Bonnie Pancoast

Here is a link to my photo blog with an explanation of the labyrinth.
http://theirisandthelily.wordpress.com/the-labryrinth/

Amazing job, Bonnie! Thanks so much for sharing these photos with us!

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Comments

  1. pattyspencer 11/25/2011

    Beautiful! My neighbors could only wish - in their wildest dreams - that my front yard looked like this. I have way to much grass and nearly (clearly) no where enough plantings.

  2. tractor1 11/25/2011

    You've done a magnificent job, your labor of love shines through. One of my first chores each spring is to scour my mowed areas for rocks to harvest lest they wreak havoc with my mower. Here in the Catskills the land grows rocks, so ever you need more feel free to take all you want from those I've piled in the woods. They just stick their nose up but once I begin digging I never know what I will find, most are manageable but several are nearly the size of a VW bug and certainly weigh more. With the front loader on my tractor I manage to move them, leaving a free hole for planting a tree. I applaud your perserverence to rebuild.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/25/2011

    I was deeply touched reading your story especially in view of being in the season of gratitude. You have shown inspiring
    evidence of having that wonderful American spirit of
    indomitable perseverance...making lemonade out of lemons.
    Your new garden areas must give you so much satisfaction. Your front area looks like a living cornucopia...so lush and bountiful!

  4. user-7006885 11/25/2011

    Just beautiful! It's inspiring to see someone using their own time and labor and working with what is available. Many would just bemoan the situation and be disgruntled or depressed. Instead you did something with what you had and made a gorgeous retreat for yourself and others. Great job!

  5. Annesfirst 11/25/2011

    I am deeply inspired by your story after losing my own garden a few months ago to Hurricaine Irene. The soil is currently recovering under a blanket of winter rye.

  6. ColetteWeir 11/26/2011

    Pics are fabulous -- but even moreso impressive when presented with the opportunity to witness in person. Bonnie is truly gifted in conveying the potential beauty provided to us via Mother Nature. Thanks, Bonnie -- for the opportunity to take "time to smell the roses"!!!

  7. Joyce70 11/26/2011

    How very beautiful. Your labrynth is wonderful. I've experienced the peace and fulfillment walking brings. Thanks for your inspiring story.

  8. nadwa 12/12/2011

    Amazing job, Bonnie! Thanks so much for sharing these photos with us!

  9. summersbreezes 03/05/2012

    Wow...from adversity comes strength and beauty You've done an amazing job of moving and rebuilding your gardens. Well done.

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