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Charlene’s Pennsylvania Garden – FineGardening

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Today we are in the city of North East, Pennsylvania, visiting Charlene Kerr’s garden.

We’re on the south shore of Lake Erie in northwest Pennsylvania (even though the city is called North East!). The lake offers cooler springs and warmer waterfalls, making it ideal for wine, cherry and apple orchards and our gardens. We started gardening when we bought this house in 1796. In 2005 we removed a 100 year old extension, added a new one, restored the 200 year old part of the house, then started the rejuvenation and started adding to the gardens. We added native and unique plants with the help of Brett Maloney Landscaping.

Fringed tree (Chionanthus virginicus, zones 3-9) and an old spirea (Spirea prunifolia, zones 5-8) emphasize the two-story deck with a view of Lake Erie.

large tree with white flowersSpots (Iberis sempervirens, zones 3–8) and Korean dwarf lavender (Syringa pubescens, zones 4–7) thrive under an ancient apple tree and an old fireplace. A pergola and terrace were added for the fireplace.

Shrub with large purple flowers next to a garageThe detached garage serves as a storage shed with a flower shed on the other side. It is flanked by rhododendron, hostas, deutzia (Deutzia gracilis, zones 5-8), pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis, zones 5-9), iris (Irish hybrid, bearded group, zones 3-9) and a yellow wooden tree (Cladrastis kentukea, Zones 4–8).

light pink peony with dark foliageTree peonies (Paeonia hybrids, zones 4–8) and Allium (ornamental onions, zones 4–10) in front of the old chimney and pergola.

Trees shrubs and perennials with a house behind themThe western row of trees buffers the neighboring house with a multitude of hostas, woodruff (Galium odoratum, zones 4-8), ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris, zones 3-7), coton divaricatus (zones 4-7), double-thread viburnum (Viburnum plicatum, zones 4 -8), Weigela (Weigela florida, zones 4-8) and a weeping false cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, zones 4-7).

Crabapple trees in full bloomCrab apple trees (Malus sp., Zones 4–8) bloom in mid-May.

A tree with dark, pink-edged leaves A ‘Tricolor’ beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Tricolor’, zones 4-7) protects ‘Johnson’s Blue’ geraniums (Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’, zones 4-8) and daisies.

A flower bed around a statue of a womanThe first purple irises (iris hybrids, beard group, zones 3–8) bloom around the lady statue, along with hostas, the last of the daffodils and peonies.

Do you have a garden that you want to share?

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Submit 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, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you’re proud of, failures you’ve learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants or funny stories from your garden.

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Robert Dunfee