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Shelley’s Upstate New York Garden

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Today we visit Shelley Haefner in Old Chatham, New York, who shares a few favorite garden photos that always help her get through the long winters in New York.

I started gardening ten years ago to make my garden “pretty”. I hardly noticed the journey I was about to start! Our home is in New York State, half of our landscape is in shade and half in full sun. I get the best of both worlds and enjoy creating interactive gardens around my home. I mainly use perennials, shrubs and small trees. My gardens have meandering borders and follow the contours of our natural landscape. Beauty was just the beginning of my journey. The garden has rewarded me with amazing experiences ever since. I love learning more each year about the relationships between insects and flowers, plants and soil, and people and nature. It is my real happy place.

My shade garden is over 40 feet long and 20 feet wide!

Long full sun garden bed filled with flowersIn the full sun garden, a panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata, zones 3-8) blooms in the foreground, and a variety of coneflowers (Echinacea hybrids, zones 4-8) and other perennials do the same in addition.

flower gardenAnother view of the sunny garden.

purple daylily blooming in the gardenThe day lily ‘Festivus’ (Hemerocallis ‘Festivus’, zones 3–9) is the focus in the sun garden.

A large rock in a shady gardenThe boulder on the far right was excavated during the excavation of our property. It’s an amazing part of the structure for this shade garden.

rustic cedar arbor in a gardenA local craftsman in the Catskills built this rustic cedar arbor for me as the entrance to my vegetable garden.

a butterfly over a flower gardenI captured this beauty on my phone and used the Live option to see it fully open its wings as it flies.

small garden bed with yellow Hakone grassYellow Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’, Zones 5-9) highlights the foreground of this small island bed.

Hummingbird on catnipHummingbird on our catnip (Nepeta × faassenii, zones 3–8).

Shade garden full of hostasView of the length of the shadow garden.

Tree frog on golden jubilee hyssopA tree frog rests on the hyssop “golden jubilee” (Agastache rugosa “golden jubilee”, zones 5–8).

many colorful plants in full bloomLate summer, wrap up the flowers!

Do you have a garden that you want to share?

Do you have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a specific collection of plants that you love, or a beautiful garden that you got to visit!

Submit 5-10 photos to for submission [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, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you have learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos to the GPOD email box in separate emails, that’s fine.

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Robert Dunfee