Gorgeous vegetable garden is focus of Lancaster landscape

path to lovely vegetable garden in Lancaster
The large vegetable garden is a focal point of the backyard. Flower beds line the path that leads directly to the front gate of the vegetable garden. Note the roses on the trellis over the front gate. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


by Connie Oswald Stofko

In the past, people would hide their vegetable gardens in a back corner of the yard. That’s changing, and more and more people boldly display their veggies in garden beds among their ornamental plants.

One problem is that vegetables often need even more protection from critters than ornamental plants do.

Jane Bednarczyk protects her vegetable plants, and she does it in a way that’s not only attractive, it’s a focal point of the yard.

Bednarczyk and her family shared their yard on the Lancaster Garden Walk in July 2017. This year’s event will be held from 8:45 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 20 for the nighttime walk and from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22.

Their backyard is a place many gardeners would envy because it’s large and sunny. That’s perfect because vegetables like sun, and because the yard is so big, Bednarczyk was able to create a vegetable garden that some of us might call huge.

As you walk along the side of the house, the first thing you see in the backyard is the flower-covered trellis over the vegetable garden’s front gate. It welcomes you in.

path to backyard in Lancaster NY
Hostas and other shade plants line the walkway leading from the front to the backyard. This is the only area of the landscape that isn’t sunny. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


The path continues on and leads directly to the front gate of the vegetable garden, as you can see in the photo at the beginning of this article. Garden beds with flowers and garden ornaments line the path.

The fence around the vegetable garden is functional– its purpose is to keep the deer and rabbits out. Tip: To prevent animals from burrowing under the fence, Bednarczyk put pieces of Plexiglas at the bottom of the fence.


This is the side view of the long vegetable garden. The garden is so large it also has a gate on the side. Whimsical decorations add charm to the fence. Plantings on the side of the fence incorporate the fenced-off vegetable garden into the rest of the landscape. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


raised beds in vegetable garden
The vegetables are grown in raised beds. Jane Bednarczyk set rubber padding between the rows so she wouldn’t have to weed. While she has beds that change from year to year, plants in some of the more permanent beds include asparagus, currants, rhubarb and gooseberries. In one bed, she allows lettuce to reseed itself. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


Bednarczyk  also has fruit trees and shrubs outside the vegetable garden. One is a thornless bush she got from a friend that produces what she calls “the world’s best blackberries.” Unfortunately, she’s not sure what variety the plant is. Some people have said it might be a thimbleberry. Whatever the plant is, it produces great berries.

“They get as big as a chestnut.”  Bednarczyk  said. “They make the best jelly.”

The deer will eat the bush in a pinch and voles chew the bottom, but the critters don’t bother it enough to destroy the entire bush. And as soon as a vine touches the ground, it starts a new plant.

This past winter was mild, and that may have helped the summer’s yield, she said.

“I’ve never had a crop like this, ever,” Bednarczyk  said. “I can’t wait!”

She also has a sour cherry bush called ‘Carmine Jewel.’  She covered that bush with netting to keep the birds from eating all the cherries. The previous year she made juice from the cherries, froze the juice, then made jelly.

thornless blackberries on bush
Jane Bednarczyk is enthusiastic about the thornless blackberries she got from a friend, but she doesn’t know what the variety is. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
hazelnut tree in Western New York
She also has a hazelnut tree. While the nuts are edible for humans, squirrels get most of them. This is how the flowers looked in July. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko







Bednarczyk Family on Lancaster Garden Walk 2017
The Bednarczyk Family shared their landscape during the Lancaster Garden Walk in July 2017. From left are Ed and his wife Jane with their children Jonathan, 12 and Alexandra, 8. These gardens are along the back of the house. The flamingos are just a couple of the many garden ornaments in the landscape. A neighbor had thrown out the flamingos and the Bednarczyks painted them in colors chosen by the kids. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


front of house on Lancaster Garden Walk
The house was brand new when the Bednarczyk Family moved in eight years ago. There was nothing in the landscape, not even grass. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

8 Comments on “Gorgeous vegetable garden is focus of Lancaster landscape

  1. With the plexiglass, i lay it at the base of the fence so the rabbits don’t squeeze through the fence. I use whatever sizes I have or can find. I like to reuse old stuff.

  2. Hi! We have a few trees in our front yard. We have a river birch by the driveway, 2 linden trees in the tree lawn. We also have a wonderful fast growing Russian mulberry in our backyard (I’ve never been able to eat the fruit since the birds get to them before we do) and a Bradford pear that was started for us by our wonderful neighbors from our old house in cheektowaga.

  3. I definitely want to see your garden- gorgeous. What was that plexiglass beside the fence to keep rabbits out? Do the rabbits go up to the beds? Pls explain how it works, size of flexiglassetc

  4. I really enjoyed looking at your beautiful garden. What is the tree in your front yard. I am interested in fast growing trees for my landscape.

  5. Wow Jane it is amazing what you accomplished. I remember how it looked when you moved there. Job well done. Not only beatiful but it looks so peaceful. You and God did a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing. I know you put a lot of hard work and many hours and it is well worth it. Congrats!

  6. Hi! I’m glad you like my garden! I purchased “gym mats” on Craig’s list and cut them To Fit between the garden boxes, I’ve also used the large rubber walkway tiles and even an old conveyor belt my dad had at home! Oh, I’ve even used rubber barn flooring! Anything to keep
    The weeds down!

  7. This is an exquisite garden, very beautiful.
    What is the rubber padding between the raised beds ?
    Where do you get it ?
    Thank you

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