About this blog

joene’s garden is written by … you guessed it … Joene. That’s me.

This blog chronicles my experiences gardening in the more south-eastern section of central Connecticut (Hardiness zone 6). We grow really wonderful rocks in this part of Connecticut, rocks that glaciers left here many years ago. The soil is generally acidic. Oak trees and mountain laurels grow exceptionally well here, as do deer that eat vegetation from above, and voles that eat vegetation from below.

Some in this region become overwhelmed by the forces that seem aimed to hinder any expectations of growing beautiful and productive gardens. Not me. Gardening is part of who I am; it makes me happy.

I approach the challenges facing gardens in my region as something to celebrate and overcome. I build gardens around native boulders and use glacial rocks for walls, paths, and features. I embrace our naturally acidic soils by adding perennials, shrubs and trees that do the same. I study local creatures to learn how to garden with them. To grow plants that deer and I both like, I use protected gardens.

I’ve been practicing my gardening skills for four decades, giving me a bit of gloves-in-the-soil experience. I’ve also earned certification as a landscape designer and an organic land care professional. But I’m always learning and I still make mistakes.

Gardening is a wonder. Sometimes it’s best to simply observe to learn, other times it’s best to learn from other gardeners. Gardening is also very regional. What works for me and grows well here may not work or grow elsewhere … but this only adds to the wonder.





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9 comments for “About this blog

  1. July 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Joene,

    Sorry to leave a this message here, but I couldn’t find an email address for you. I wanted to extend an invite to a Hosta Tweetup we are having on the July 25th. If you are interested please send me an email. We have a great group of garden people, and would love to have you join us!


  2. July 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Hi again Joene,

    Sorry, should have mentioned the Tweetup is in Granby, CT.


  3. pam mcfarland
    August 19, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Hi – curious how your online schooling is going with the Anna Gresham School. I am contemplating enrolling and am looking for someone else that has. Thanks much. Best – Pam

    • joenesgarden
      August 20, 2010 at 10:23 pm

      I’m really enjoying the course. Feel free to email me with any specific questions you have.

  4. August 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm


    UConn Symposium to Discuss Invasive Species in Connecticut

    For more information:
    Donna Ellis, (860) 486-6448, donna.ellis@uconn.edu

    #10061 August 19, 2010
    STORRS, Conn – The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group will present “Challenges and Successes: Working Cooperatively to Manage Invasive Plants”, a one-day symposium at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, on Thursday, October 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    The symposium will address the importance of native habitats, how invasive species harm these habitats, and why cooperative efforts are vital to understanding and managing our natural landscapes.
    All who are interested in invasive plant issues are invited to attend. This symposium seeks to draw together municipal staff (parks and recreation, public works, inland wetlands/conservation commissions), nursery, tree and landscape professionals, educators, students, landscape architects, gardening enthusiasts, state and federal employees, members of conservation organizations and the public into a discussion of the challenges presented by invasive plants and how we can promote native plants by managing invasives.
    The keynote speaker will be Dr. Bernd Blossey of Cornell University. Dr. Blossey’s presentation is titled “The Power of Choice: New Frontiers in Invasive Plant Management and Conservation.” Concurrent afternoon sessions will include the industry perspective – what’s working, early detection & rapid response; invasives management research; invaded forests; Cooperative Weed Management Areas and local success stories. Research posters and other educational exhibits will be featured throughout the day.
    Pesticide recertification credits and a variety of other continuing education credits will be offered.
    Early registration (postmarked by Sept. 18) is $40. The fee is $55 if postmarked after September 18 or for walk-in registrations. Student fee, with ID, is $25. Walk-in registrations only if space is available. The symposium program, registration form, and other information are available on the CIPWG website: http://www.hort.uconn.edu/cipwg
    Please send registration and checks (payable to The University of Connecticut) to: Donna Ellis, University of Connecticut, Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, 1390 Storrs Road, Unit 4163, Storrs, CT 06269-4163. Included in the cost of admission are an information packet, parking, lunch, snacks and beverages.
    For more information, contact Donna Ellis at (860) 486-6448; email donna.ellis@uconn.edu.


    For other UConn news, follow us on Twitter at UC Today.

  5. Cheryl
    January 11, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Hi Joene ..I’ve been looking at taking the Anna Gresham course – just wondering how it’s going and what you think of the course – do you recommend it?


  6. joenesgarden
    January 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Cheryl, I highly recommend Anna Gresham’s course for anyone who can self-direct and understands that the course takes a significant time commitment.

    I am not as far along as I would like to be at this point simply because of other work and family issues, but I’m learning a lot and am enjoying the course.

    Thanks for asking and good luck.

  7. April 11, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I saved the moonflower seeds from last year and put them in a container, labeled in and put it in the fridge that I had read somewhere that I was to do. Now that it is close to planting them, I’m not sure what I should do to prepare for that. I live in Iowa, not sure what zone that is in. As the seeds will be cold/cool, I’m sure they will have to somewhat warm up before I plant them. I just want to make sure I do it right and not mess it up as I have back problems so I prefer to only have to plant them once. I already have a spot picked out for them similar to last years. They did awesome last year and that was my first year having them, so am looking forward to another great year, but want to do things right. Any help you can provide would be great. Thanks.

    • April 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Since you had success last year I suggest following the same routine as you did then. Choose a spot in full sun and make sure there is ample support for the moonflowers to climb up. You can check the viability of your seed by placing a couple on a damp paper towel, folding the towel in half with the seeds inside, and placing the entire thing into a clear plastic bag or container. If the seeds are viable they should sprout in a few days. You can carefully plant the sprouted seeds with the root downward or plant the unsprouted seeds, or both. You can find your zone by Googling hardiness zone and searching using your zip code.

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