The Beautiful Garden of Natalya Guseynova in the Bryansk Region
“How did it happen that I have my own garden today? I ask myself this question and realize that I don’t have a reasonable answer for it. Moreover, if someone had shown me the current photographs of my own garden fifteen years ago, I would have sadly sighed and thought, ‘People are capable of such things…’
But let’s start from the beginning. The village of Kokino, where I live, is located in the Bryansk region, 20 kilometers away from the city, right in the heart of the Central Black Earth Region. After the war, when the technical school was restored and reopened its doors, the students and teachers of our village laid out parks and planted the first apple orchards.
To be honest, what I proudly call a “garden” is actually just a rectangular plot of land surrounded by a dull gray concrete fence on three sides. The area of the plot is 20 acres. Its length is three times its width, everything is standard and uninteresting. Our house is located on the plot, and there is also a “garden house,” which was initially a shed but eventually lost its original purpose.
In fact, we have three lawns – small, large, and distant. My husband takes care of them. In spring, he aerates them using a verticutter, regularly mows them in summer, and even spreads fertilizers.
If I’m honest, the development and planning of the plot were haphazard and poorly thought out, and much of it now looks questionable. So now we have to adapt to what we ourselves have created.
Several years passed after purchasing the plot before I had a meaningful desire to plant and sow. The process gradually started to captivate me and become addictive, and even a sense of excitement emerged! Cosmos, marigolds, asters… A simple assortment of annuals that everyone starts with, and I was no exception.
However, it became clear that I catastrophically lacked knowledge, skills, and… taste. So, I started reading gardening magazines passionately. I bought everything I saw at kiosks. I spent hours looking at photos of other people’s gardens, absorbing, learning, firmly believing that the quantity of information I received would eventually turn into quality.
By the way, I learned much later that what is called “stephanandra” is actually stephanandra. I bought it from an old lady at the market under the name “Bulgarian bush.” Today I have several of those bushes, two of which are planted outside the fence, near the entrance to the house. Their leaves turn beautifully in autumn!
Apart from my notorious mound, I consider the huge thuja, with its umbrella-like branches, which covers a significant area around the house, as the garden’s signature feature. If only I had known that thuja trees grow like that.
Another unquestionable favorite of mine and a rebellious garden hooligan is sumac. I know everything that people think and say about it, but it’s love, and I can’t do anything about it. I even have two of them. They give me no more trouble than thorns on roses.
Of course, there are roses too. But that’s more in spite of my care rather than thanks to it. And my former enthusiasm has significantly diminished. But the most resilient and enduring ones are still with me.
Lastly, I want to say that many flowers, shrubs, and even some trees in the garden were grown from seeds or cuttings by me. I usually acquire plants from online stores, and some from the nearest garden centers.”