Garden Of The Week
2016-2017 Series 11
Proudly Presents

Chris Petersen & Steve Widom
Asharoken, New York
 flag USA

"Welcome to Hidden Harbor Garden"

spacerMy husband, Steve, and I are lucky to live in the Village of Asharoken, New York (pop. ~654), which is located on picturesque Northport Harbor. While my husband single-handedly built our home, I started planting our first gardens. That was almost 35 years ago! When my father moved, we bought the house next door, giving my husband office space and me more room to garden. The beachfront is 200' wide, yet the property is over 1500' in depth (a portion of the property is actually under the bay). Along the driveway, native plants such as prickly pear cactus, beach plum, bayberry, black pine, Eastern red cedar and oaks grow in the sand.

spacerCloser to the house, the cultivated gardens begin. The soil is sandy and needs amending with dehydrated manure (cow and chicken), compost, and mulch. I have to admit that I don't add organic matter often enough. Pesticides are avoided, but I use herbicides sporadically to eliminate tenacious weeds! I leave brush piles, provide fresh water, plant host and nectar foods for insects, hang bird feeders and birdhouses, and grow plants with seeds, nuts and berries in order to encourage wildlife.

 Steve, Chris and oldest Grandchild

spacerMore than 600 varieties of daylilies share beds with a menagerie of perennials, grasses, bulbs, trees, and shrubs. These plants, including collections of way too many named hosta and lilium, are for the most part marked with plant labels. The markers, my camera and my computer are invaluable when my brain fails me!

spacerMany beds have themes such as the "Hot Red Bed" or "The Birdhouse Garden". One of my favorite gardens is a long hedgerow featuring hydrangeas, acubas, hosta, astilbe, skimmia, epimedium, primroses and ligularias. Elsewhere, there's a small koi pond, a white garden, and a raised Spider/UF bed. Scattered around the garden are containers where I experiment with unusual annuals, tropical plants, tomatoes and herbs.

spacerIn the past few years, deer have found the garden. Growing daylilies in an heterogeneous setting and frequent spraying by my husband has allowed me to have a bit of a daylily season. The deer wiped out a mostly daylily bed that is adjacent to a mature oak tree and an old apple tree. I'm sure that the fallen apples and acorns are drawing the deer to this area. I can't blame them for visiting my garden when I'm offering deer candy! They really trim back my shrubs in the early spring. The hosta are also deer fodder. I'm afraid to jinx myself, but they haven't touched the hydrangeas - yet! Periodic salt water flooding has also wreaked havoc on the plantings, but after my initial dismay, I am resigned to doing more shopping!

spacerOur garden, which is named "Hidden Harbor", is an AHS Display Garden and has been an open garden on many occasions. I'm a special education teacher by trade, but photography has been my hobby for many years. I have contributed photographs to the American Hemerocallis Society's magazine, The Daylily Journal and the Region 4 newsletter. Many of my photographs appear in the books Landscaping with Daylilies, The Open Form Daylily and on the cover of The Illustrated Guide to Daylilies (all written by Oliver Billingslea). On multiple occasions, I have been the recipient of AHS photography awards for pictures of landscapes and/or daylily flowers. I'm President of the Long Island Daylily Society, an AHS Garden and Exhibition Judge Instructor and on the AHS Awards and Honors Committee.

spacerMore photos of "Hidden Harbor" can be seen at: If you have any questions, e-mail me at: I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

please click on top left photo to start the viewing

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