Susan Reilly says she gets plenty of compliments on the colorful annuals and perennials that surround her Glenville home. And this year in particular, Reilly has the property looking splendid.
“Like everyone else, I’ve been home,” she says. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden.”
She figures there are about 75 plants and shrubs that she has planted over a long period of time. Peonies, for example, came down from her mother and father’s home in the Lake Champlain area. Her father was an avid gardener.
Her home was once part of a Soroptimist International garden tour. During the tour, she displayed an oil painting of her garden that a neighbor had done.
“I enjoy watching the hummingbirds,” says Reilly, noting that they are drawn to coral bells, but will go to other flowers. “And I do get birds — some of the small birds, like goldfinches, will eat the seeds off plants.”
Her yard is a mix of sun and shade, with a sunburst locust tree that gives some cover.
Her favorite flowers?
Well, that’s hard to pin down. But she does have a new addition that she’s fond of.
Earlier this year, Reilly was making face masks and giving them to friends. In return, one friend gave her a little box of vinca flowers.
“I had never bought them, but I like them. They don’t seem to get too dried out,” says Reilly. “They don’t really have a lull. They keep flowering. I have white ones and halo pink and really bright fuchsia pink. They’re versatile.
“They’re much easier to deal with than geraniums.”
And she certainly likes coral bells. “My mother-in-law gave them to me when we moved here,” she says.
What’s behind her passion for gardening?
“I think I have gardens because I like to pick the flowers and bring them inside. I like to arrange them,” she says.
“And there’s always something new. I go to garden shops all summer long to see what is blooming.”
The family love of flowers extends beyond the home. Reilly says one of her daughters was married in the Central Park Rose Garden in Schenectady.
Any gardening tips?
She is diligent about cutting off the “deadheads.” And she recalled something a woman with bright blue and lavender hydrangea shrubs once told her to bring out the color.
“Put pennies underneath the hydrangea shrubs when you plant them.”
Some of the flowers in Susan Reilly's gardens
- Canna lilies
- Bachelor button
- Bee balm
- Coral bells
- Bell flowers
- Butterfly weed
- Painted fern
- Hen and chicks
- Silver mound
- Black-eyed Susans
- Russian sage
- Northern sea oats
- Lady’s mantle
- Vinca flowers
- New Guinea impatiens
- Ivy geranium
- Vince vine
- Purple alyssum