In Barrington, Rhode Island, there is a typical ranch house in a peaceful neighborhood, with a garden flaunting character all of its own. My friend and fellow Master Gardener, Cyndee Fuller, has turned her 7,500 square foot property into a beautiful mix of fruits, flowers, vegetables, herbs and shrubs. Her garden is designed around where the plants will best thrive, regardless of whether that is in the front or the back of the house.
Cyndee's front garden is surrounded by a cute white picket fence. Taking advantage of the full sun, here is where she grows her vegetables.
Eggplants, peppers, tomatoes beans and cabbage are lined up in neat rows with brightly colored trellises supporting melon and squash vines.
Also in the front are her rhubarb and herb beds. The deliberate nature of the beds, coupled with the colored trellises, creates an interesting and attractive entrance to her home.
Her back yard is shady, with her own and neighbor's trees creating a lovely canopy under which she has a seating area. This garden consists of hostas, bamboo, lilacs, hydrangeas and cone flowers.Mindful of the insects and birds, many of the plants are allowed to go to fruit and seed to attract pollinators and promote a healthy ecosystem within her garden.
It is obvious to see that Cyndee's gardening passion is fruit. She has managed to pack in to her garden strawberries, blueberries, elderberries, juneberries, a large raspberry patch, a fig tree, and a sprawling grape vine.
The vine is supported by trellises designed and built by Cyndee who has some definite DIY skills!
Her pride and joy, however, are her blackberries. Positioned in the middle of her back yard to get the maximum sun exposure, this enormous, three year old thornless blackberry patch is groaning with fruit! The berries are enormous and so sweet. Good job, Cyndee!
After gardening for thirty years, Cyndee is not afraid to experiment and try new things. As she says, gardening is always half failure and half success. Working together in the Demonstration Garden at the Master Gardener project we volunteer at, Cyndee is trying out bitter melons to see how they will do in our climate. She also is experimenting with Garden Huckleberries at her home and at the project. The verdict is still out on that one!
Canning is one way Cyndee preserves what she grows. Right now her favorite is jalapeno jelly, served with goat cheese on crackers.
|Cyndee attends to her plot at the new Barrington Community Garden|
An active member of the Barrington community, Cyndee has been instrumental in getting planning permission to start a new Community Garden in the town. The garden broke ground this spring and is rapidly taking shape with many plots already rented. A buzz with all there is still to do, Cyndee's commitment to the garden and the community is obvious.
Cyndee's passion for home food production and her belief in community access to pesticide free public spaces, including community gardens, has lead her to become an example in her neighborhood and a leader in her town. I always learn something when I talk with Cyndee, whether its a new plant or gardening tip and I love her just stick it in the ground and see what happens attitude!
Thank you to Cyndee for allowing me to share her gardens with you. Do you have friends who's gardens inspire you?