My name is Karen Squillacci, and I’ve been gardening in Southern New England since I was knee high to a grasshopper. My family consists of a long line of avid gardeners who graciously passed down so much of their knowledge to me. I have been propagating plants since before high school and quite a bit longer than it was fashionable to do so.
I have also been a subscriber to Fine Gardening for many years. It has become a great resource and point of inspiration to me.
My property consists of 25 acres, mostly wooded with walking trails. However, approximately 5 acres makes up my garden and living space. I’ve been gardening in this location for almost 20 years. I am a backyard chicken farmer and beekeeper as well. My gardens are pesticide free, and I use compost mostly for enhancing the gardens.
The planters on the wall are filled with New Guinea inpatients (Impatiens hawkeri, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) and caladiums (Caladium hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as a tender bulb). Each was “browsed” by the local wildlife shortly after this picture was taken.
Between the seating area and potager garden, this beauty sits. It is native passion fruit (Passiflora incarnata, Zones 5–9). I love that it looks exotic yet grows in my New England Zones 5–6 (depending on the zone map I look at) garden and is dual function beauty and fruiting!
Orange daylily, commonly referred to as “Ditch Lily” (Hemerocallis fulva ‘Flore Pleno’, Zones 3–9) because it is found on many roadsides, is prolific in my garden. Even with deer and bunny browsing, it returns year after year.
Here, a lichen-covered rabbit statue tucked into the garden blends nicely with leaves of the bellflower and false sunflower.
This woodland garden consists of a mixture of shrubs, perennials, and annuals that I use to fill in gaps and keep the scene colorful throughout the year. I use chicken-feed bags that have been cut to fit as my hanging-basket liners.
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