When Gardens Matter


They make a difference…

If I had to pick a place that says a garden in the best way, it might just be this place.

The garden owner takes care of her property in the most organic and sustainable way I have ever seen on a property this large. It has every element of nature present, from hoards of insects and birds to all kinds of animals.

It has water, pastures, meadows, hills, trees and forests to appeal to the eye and appease the wildlife.ย  It is a cacophony of color and garden goodness.

I have seen the owner driving her tractor loaded with garden debris headed to the compost pile. I watched her hauling and wheeling manure and compost to dress the planting beds. Surrounded by hills, her area is heavy clay and shale with the topsoil stripped away eons ago. It has been a labor of love to create good soil on this property. Most beds are built up with her manure/compost mix. Each spring, she places her mulch around all the plants, and we are talking thousands of plants. Gardens matter when they are loved.

The owner’s property is used for her daylily business of growing and hybridizing. It is a sprawling country property located in Boston, NY. While we were there digging out daylilies we were buying for our plant sale, she watched us to make sure we cleaned the roots of all the soil and replaced it back into the hole we created. Any debris such as leaves were gathered and taken to the compost pile. All her leaf mulch was collected from the trees surrounding the property in Fall which we dutifully replaced also. When this property takes from the earth, it gives it back in spades. That is when gardens matter.

Maybe most of all, the plants she grows at Gladstone Gardens must thrive in our seasons and have cold climate hardiness without special care. She tolerates nothing less. Her daylilies have substance to hold up all day and those whose foliage goes summer dormant are eliminated.


A woman in her 60’s, she tends this huge property herself. Gardens matter and so do the people who tend them.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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40 Responses to When Gardens Matter

  1. Gardeners are wonderful people!

  2. That is truly impressive! It shows how gardening is good for the soul and the environment! Nice post.

    • I don’t know if she can always remain organic in her garden practices since she does run a business. Insects can get out of hand, but not much bothers daylilies. I have seen her hand pick insects though.

  3. Loretta says:

    A labor of love for sure, and kudos to her for doing it all on her own. A nice burst of sunshine in the photos on this dreary Sunday morning, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. John says:

    Thanks for this post, this just made my day. It’s so inspiring to see the positive impact one person can have on a place. I’m not even a big daylilly fan, but I’d still love to visit and meet this incredible woman.

  5. Phil Lanoue says:

    Looks like a lot of work that really paid off nicely.

  6. It looks like a little piece of heaven, Donna. Thanks for sharing your impressions, your beautiful photos, and information about this special place.

    • For all the commercial growers in our area, this woman stands heads above the rest in the personal care she takes with her plants. I do have a post coming up on the growers and nurserymen. The ones I will be showing produce some of the finest plants in our area.

  7. What a wonderful garden and gardener, thanks for sharing๐Ÿ‘

  8. Denise says:

    Indeed. Especially people like this wonderful woman.

  9. Amazing woman! Amazing garden! You pay her a wonderful tribute, Donna. Obviously well deserved. P.x

  10. Emily Scott says:

    It looks absolutely stunning, a place of joy both for wildlife and people. The kind of garden I like to spend time in.

    Btw re your phrase “from hoards of insects” I think you mean hordes, unless the owner is collecting stockpiles of insects – perhaps she is in a way! http://www.vocabulary.com/articles/chooseyourwords/hoard-horde/

    • Ha, ha, you caught me. I am dyslexic, so I get caught often. I never see mistakes. I doubt she is collecting insects, more like squishing them. I have seen her hand pick them, so they meet a nasty end. I am sure she never touches a hair on a bee’s head though…

  11. Labor of love indeed and she has a paradise to show for. This is a finest example of love of earth – love of life. Admirable and very inspiring. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Les says:

    I often yearn for a larger garden and think about all the plants I like to grow. Then I think about how little time I have to tend my small urban patch. So I really admire what gardeners like this are able to create.

    • My plot is little and working in the landscape trade like you do at the botanical gardens, time is limited for me too. You need to see my next Garden Matters post. It is urban gardening galore. The one after is on parks and botanical gardens. They matter quite a bit too.

  13. debsgarden says:

    I was thinking this must be a young person until you revealed her age! She is fortunate to be blessed with good health at her age. No doubt, working the land as she does contributes to her health and well-being. Certainly it must build her indomitable spirit! Her property is beautiful and inspiring in many ways.

    • She works like a person many years younger. I know I can’t keep up. I do think more gardeners should be like her, inspiring those around them. My next post has over 400 of them that have inspired a nationwide trend.

  14. Andrea says:

    I can’t imagine the magnitude of work she has been and still doing. It is easier if she is in this part of the world, as there are helpers who can be paid daily wages, but in your area that is extremely expensive, i suppose. She is an enigma of a woman farmer and rejuvenator of the lands.

    • I don’t know if she hires help, as I have never seen any. Yes, workers are expensive because many Americans do not want to do this type of manual labor. I know that firsthand seeing the landscape trade in action. Workers come from Mexico and Jamaica in our area.

  15. Debra says:

    Brava! It looks like paradise.

  16. These gardens are beautiful and so is the woman who tends to them. All gardens do matter. Thank you for sharing this one.

  17. Great photos. What a wonderful gardener and gardener.

  18. Looks like heaven!


  19. I am both inspired and envious. It would be a dream to work at a place like this.

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