Sylvia welcomed me to her private relaxing getaway garden in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Woodbridge is one of the little towns that make up southern Connecticut. After an evening tour with Sylvia and her daughter Marah I got to learn much more about this beautiful area.
As we relaxed and chatted for a bit in the front yard the first thing I noticed were her chickens. She has 5 and calls them “her girls”. When she moved here she decided she wanted to have chickens, it took her some time to learn what was needed to care for them and has it totally down pat now. They live in a cute little coop and provide fresh eggs for the family to enjoy. They come out to greet her as she walks by every morning to check on them.
Sylvia came to USA from Argentina when she was 23, trained as an accountant and lived in New York City. She lived in the fast lane, good job, traveling, and parties; then when she turned 30 she decided she wanted to have children. She was twice inseminated and now has her son and daughter. About 15 years ago she decided to start her own accounting business and moved to Connecticut to do this. After a few years of challenges she now has a very successful business.
She had never really wanted to settle down, in the sense of owning a home however when she turned 50 she felt it was time to try something different and bought her in Woodbridge. At this time in her life she is taking more time for her hobbies, which includes creating this relaxing getaway garden.
She has only been gardening for 4 years and admits she is very much a beginner gardener. With her first year gardening she planted a bunch of seeds, but did not realize she had to weed the garden in order for the plants to grow well, so the weeds totally took over. After that first disastrous garden she decided she had to take the time to learn more about this gardening thing. She was generous in saying my website was helpful and is a great resource for her.
In her second year she decided to make raised beds. She has 6 raised beds 4 feet by 4 feet each surrounded by cedar mulch. A fence encloses the garden area as there are deer in the area and she also has 6 dogs.
She grows what she loves to eat, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, beets, lettuce, and herbs. She loves her teas and grows chamomile and chocolate mint to make her tea.
She has pear and peach trees, blueberries and strawberries. All are only a few years old so is not harvesting a lot of fruit yet. I gave her a few tips on pruning. All her trees and shrubs looked healthy and I could see her having successful harvests in the years to come.
She lives in a climate that has cold winters and grows mostly heat loving veggies so starts planting her garden in May.
She does have some problems with mildew on her squash and has researched different homemade and commercial sprays to combat this. She did mention one year she tried to grow broccoli and cauliflower but the Chinese beetle wreaked havoc on them, so she decided not to grow them again.
She amends her beds every year with a mixture of compost and new soil. I suggested she mulch the beds with straw over the winter, which will help to keep the integrity of the soil intact and less nutrients will be leached with the spring thaw. She has set up soaker hoses throughout the beds to make watering easier during the hot summers.
When asked she said her main challenge is learning all there is to know about growing vegetables and fruits. Her list to learn more about is canning, pruning and composting; I can see her accomplishing all these in no time.
I truly enjoyed walking around their getaway garden and chatting with Sylvia and her daughter Marah. They took me out for dinner, drove me around the area, showed me some beautiful sites and then generously put me up in a hotel.
I felt honoured to meet them both, and will be able to reciprocate their hospitality when they will be visiting Vancouver this August.
Thank you to both Sylvia and Marah for your wonderful hospitality.