My name is Sharmila Nailadi, and I live in Avon, Connecticut. I have a small butterfly/cottage perennial garden that I started when I moved here almost five years ago. Gardening has always been my passion. I have experimented with annuals and container gardening for the past twenty-five years, but now my garden has mostly perennials, shrubs, and ornamental trees. Plants in my garden such as catmint, monarda, butterfly bush, and salvia are hummingbird and butterfly magnets. I’m an artist, and I think of a garden as a blank canvas that you fill up with plants of different colors and textures, just like an artist would do with paints.
My garden has been constantly evolving, and it has been a rewarding, sometimes frustrating, learning experience. I have had successes and failures with my plants. The challenges (in the short growing season that we have) have been to find the right plants for the right location (part sun to part shade), finding plants that deer are not attracted to, and dealing with the unpredictable weather that we have here in Connecticut. Some years we have had hot, dry summers, and some years it has been constantly wet and cloudy. There have been problems with pests such as Japanese beetles and plant diseases such as powdery mildew and rust. My hope for the future is to have learned from my past mistakes and to have a beautiful, healthy, colorful garden that attracts a variety of butterflies and birds.
Swallowtail butterfly on ‘Miss Molly’ butterfly bush (Buddleia ‘Miss Molly’, Zones 5–9).
Knockout rose (Rosa ‘’Radrazz’, Zones 5–9) growing as foundation plants.
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ (Zones 4–8), which is a spring bloomer.
Hydrangea arborescens, ‘Annabelle’ (Zones 3–9) growing along the walkway.
Annuals in containers.
‘Peach Drift’ rose in a mixed perennial bed.
Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’ (Zones 4–9) growing almost 5 feet tall.
Echinacea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ (Zones 4–8) with its beautiful bright pink blooms.
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.
If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.
You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!
Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.