October 20, 2021

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Susan’s Garden in the Catskills

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Today we’re in the Catskill Mountains of New York State, visiting Susan Simperfender’s garden.

I’m a self-taught gardener who has benefited from advice from locals, friends, and our local nursery—and Fine Gardening! It’s been about 15 years of cultivating all you see here. I got especially passionate about 2010 when things were quite hard and my garden was my haven for healing.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsMy husband built the stone border for me—60 feet by 5 feet of garden. I chose the location by looking out my kitchen window while doing dishes, imagining what I’d like to see. I started with many silly plants that didn’t make it because I knew nothing.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThe late phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–8) you see here was my first success. Anyone can grow phlox—especially in the Catskills. It’ll make you feel like you can do this!

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsNext was the showy sedum (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Zones 3–10).

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsWhen I bought the tall rudbeckia (Rudbeckia laciniata, Zones 4–9) on the ends and middle. I thought I was buying black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 4–9)! Oh well. So I replanted them in their current locations for contrast and direction. Finally, I bought black-eyed Susans for real. And again, you can’t fail at them.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsIrises (Iris hybrid, bearded group, Zones 3–9) have become a beautiful group in the front and bee balm dots throughout.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsJoe Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum, Zones 3–8) is the silliest addition. It popped up as one last year and I kept it; now there are seven. So you see, I work with my Zone 5 and have learned to enjoy it and to encourage what lives our mediocre soil that is supplemented with good soil.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsDark purple columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris, Zones 3–8)

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsMountain cornflower (Centaurea montana, Zones 3–8) in front of a birdbath

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsAnd last, a magical, foggy morning

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 [email protected] 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.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

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.

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