Gardening is a labor of love, and for Emmaus resident, MJ Bishop that labor started with the purchase of her home in 2002. The original backyard was just a patch of grass, and over the years, Bishop has expanded the plant beds, taken out trees that were crowding other plants, and added a fence for a bit more privacy. Additionally, a patio was added, which helped to give the garden an atmosphere all its own. Complete with a remodeled back porch, the space enables Bishop to enjoy the area throughout the season, rain or shine.

With the yard renovation complete, Bishop starts her annual gardening in the early spring when most of us are still waiting for those first buds. Bishop starts by mulching her yard, and planting her annuals. As the weather gets warm, Bishop says “things pretty much take care of themselves through most of the season.” General maintenance includes weeding and watering when necessary, as well as mowing the lawn, and trimming back plants.

Bishop is careful in her selection of plants, looking for texture and color in foliage that complements her existing plants. She keeps a watchful eye on her garden throughout the season, and notes when plants need to be removed or replaced, as well as when a former plant can be re-grown for the season. Bishop loves being outside in her garden, and it is evident in her wonderful transformation of the space.

Editor's Note: Creative Gardens will be an ongoing focus of the Emmaus Patch this summer, as we explore, through photography, both the private and public gardening activities that make Emmaus such a lovely place to spend the summer months.

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