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. 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.