Garden Types - Created Date : 29.8.2019

Step Into My Garden

Step Into My Garden

Step Into My Garden

An avid hands-on gardener and nature lover, Katherine Whiteside welcomes you to her organic garden for a bounty of easy-to-do ideas and tips to bring beauty into your home, naturally.

Designed by Katherine Whiteside

Published by Country Home

Click images to enlarge.

During walks in the forest surrounding her home, Katherine collects interesting nature finds, such as fungus, rocks, and bark. "The objects I find outside are just as worthy of display as my favorite silver and paintings. A beautiful stone is a sculpture, a bright piece of fungus is like a miniature painting, and pumpkins and gourds look like Buddha statues."

Dried gourds become mini sculptures when coupled with old glassware and cloches.

"I never put away my tools," Katherine says. "I leave them outdoors underneath the eaves on the garage. Sure, they rust. But you know what? They still work."

To protect a patch of peonies from being backed over by cars, I surround them with skinny posts topped with gourds.

"My office sits conveniently across the field from my house," Katherine says. "In the winter, instead of walking to work, I'll put my stuff in a backpack and cross-country ski."

"I bought this mailbox at an old hardware store," Katherine says. "I use it to store twine, scissors, a trowel, and my favorite tool-a hand weeder. All of my jeans have holes in the rear right pocket from always putting it back there."

"Every year I make a new scarecrow to stand guard over the vegetable garden," Katherine says. "This creation was a particularly hip gal (note the wristwatch) that we named Sheryl Scare-Crow."

"I surrounded a big apple tree with two sets of old picnic-table benches," Katherine says. "It's a great place to sit and watch wildlife. There's always a lot going on in a fruit tree."

This handmade bench was crafted by two teenage brothers, Ian and Forrest Kingsley. They collected the wood in the nearby forest, then made the bench as a gift for Kathernine. "I love it," she says, "especially when it's surrounded by a blanket of fall foliage."

An old metal table displays the day's fresh produce. Katherine loves her small kitchen with bright turquoise floors. "A chef once complimented me by telling me I must be a good cook because I didn't need a lot of counter space," she says.

Fresh from the garden: yams, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. "When I have my produce all laid out, I tend to use it all," Katherine says. "The best meals happen when I put all my fresh produce out on a table. I look at it, think about it, then create a meal around it."

Only 50 miles outside of New York City, Katherine Whiteside's home in Garrison, New York, sits on 4 rolling acres in the Hudson River Valley. "It's a Zone 5 at the top of the hill, and a Zone 4 at the bottom," she says. We sat down and talked to Katherine about organic gardening, decorating with nature, her passion for gourds, and her book, The Way We Garden Now.

Have you always gardened organically?

Yes, for more than 25 years. Originally the reason was the simple fact that I did not like the smell of chemical fertilizers. To me, vegetable and flower gardens smell so wonderful that I just couldn't imagine hiding those aromas. As I educated myself, I realized that "the nose knows" and that organic techniques produced healthier food and a more robust environment. And they also made gardening far less expensive.

How does nature influence the way you decorate?

I'm a real nature nut. I painted my walls soft, warm sunrise/sunset colors because the sky is so pretty at those times. Plus those colors make people's complexions look beautiful, too. Vanity can be a good thing! I always try to bring something new from the gardens inside to display. It reminds everyone how the seasons continually offer us beautiful things to look at-even in winter.

What's your favorite season?

Autumn is my favorite season. My garden is planned to crescendo in September and October, with more flowers and food than imaginable. It makes sense to have a gorgeous garden when the sultry temps go back down and the energy of autumn just makes me want to be outside. The Hudson River Valley provides the most beautiful backdrop for late-season perennials, second-flush roses, and unusual annuals that just keep going and going-some until Thanksgiving.

What's up with all the gourds?

I'm crazy about gourds. I grow the birdhouse gourd variety because they don't seem to mildew and I love their mottled color. Around the garden, I have four arbors where I grow gourds. In the summer they have big white flowers that open at night and attract hawk moths. When the first frost hits in fall, the foliage dies back, and the gourds hang and dry all winter long. In the spring I pick them to use all over the place: to top off fence posts, for the scarecrow's head, to make birdhouses, and to display indoors.

What prompted you to write The Way We Garden Now?

When my kids left home and moved into their own homes, they'd call me up and say, "Mom, how do I start a garden bed? What should I grow?" That's when I decided to write a garden book with good, useful information for both novices and experts.

I love poking through your older discussion threads for jewels like this one. I love hearing the thoughts of the gardeners as well as photos that make me feel like I have visited.

I recently visited the Huntington Library in Pasadena that has the most amazing gardens that started out as private grounds. I wonder about the inspiration for the variety of gardens there in one

I am so inspired by the amazing gardens in this group. Thank you!

111 months ago


Thanks for that. I stopped posting these articles because I thought no one was paying attention. Beats me how other groups can carry on busy conversations and in this one you could hear a cyber pin drop. Glad you're enjoying yourself here. You might also enjoy my other group h ¦ m e

Garden Care Tools

Equipping yourself with knowledge of care goes a long way in your DIY garden project. Continue reading the following for basic tips you will need, including weed control.

Having the necessary tools

Your hands are not the only tools you need for gardening, but you don't need to buy too many tools at once. Instead, focus on the basic tools to help you with your gardening.

Gloves: Without the right pair of gloves, you may have to deal with splinter shortage. Do not buy large gloves because they are difficult to use. Also, be sure to keep yourself away from insects and water when storing.

Hand trowel: Perfect for digging around and planting.

Spade: It makes it easier to dig holes and move mounds from one place to another.

Rake: It is a very important tool if you want to keep your garden clean from debris and leaves.

Hoe: Choose an anchor according to your garden type. If your garden is perennial, you may need a finer hoe.

Loppers: If you have something to walk around in your garden, you need a couple.

Long hose: Select the one with rain bar and adjustable nozzle.

Wheelbarrow: If you use compost or have a backyard with more soil, you need it. It can help you take a pound and pound.


Cutting off overgrown or dead trunks and branches is a fundamental task to keep your plants free from infections and diseases. Other garden plants such as shrubs, trees and roses need to be cared for and pruned.

Tip: When pruning trees, you should not remove 30% of the leaves of a tree at once. You can ask your garden experts to determine the pruning method you need for the task at hand.

At the end of winter, damaged shrubs and trees buddha. Never wait until spring. Keep in mind that damaged or injured stems and leaves can become infected and make the disease even stronger. It is better to trim the pruning or pruning of the broken limbs, even if the storms in winter cause other damage.