Currently, coneflowers, dahlias, daisies and perennials are blooming.

Currently, coneflowers, dahlias, daisies and perennials are blooming.

The edges of the courtyard are home to shrubs and different types of colorful flowers. Hosta plants and shrubs line the yard. Music from wind chimes meanders through the leaves and branches of a large Bradford pear tree, which is now illegal in Ohio due to its invasive qualities.

The joy of gardening

Currently, coneflowers, dahlias, daisies and perennials are blooming. Susie enjoys working in the garden and admitted that she would have liked to work for a florist, because she loves going out into the backyard, picking flowers, and creating a bouquet. Susie has been gardening since she was young and enjoys it.

“I think I love watching it grow. I feel good when I put something out, but I’ve had things that haven’t worked out, that’s for sure,” Susie said.

She was part of the garden club when she first moved into the house. The group will do crafts and go on garden tours. She loved seeing the new flowers but would inevitably compare her garden to the one on the tour.

“There’s always something new to see, and then when I get home I think, ‘Oh my God.’ “My garden doesn’t look like that,” she said.

Sam said he liked to stay in the yard and read. There is a gazebo on the deck with various tables and chairs. The house originally had a small courtyard and balcony, which were expanded in the 1980s. Over the years, they had bird baths and a vegetable garden. Some of these things require a lot of maintenance.

work as one team

Together, the couple works to keep the garden and backyard looking their best. Sam said he just mows the lawn and “digs holes,” while Susie takes care of the flowers and takes care of planting everything. Susie also said having a plan for the space is key.

“A little planning helps. Because I have to say that’s the value that has changed over the years because I didn’t plan it. It didn’t work and then I would do something different. It’s nice to have someone to help you,” Susie said.

There are some future plans they have for their backyard space. Sam would like new rims. Some bushes need to be removed, and Susie wants to put in more flowers. It currently has lights that are about to bloom, and is a type of hydrangea.

“They’re really great plants in the summer, late summer, because they add something to the garden. It gives a lot of color. They go real white and then they kind of fade away. I think the best way to create a garden is to have something that blooms at times,” Susie said. “Different.”

If they had to do it over again, they probably wouldn’t have put in the pond, Susie said. Pond maintenance can take a lot of hard work. The pool should be professionally cleaned and the filters should be cleaned. Also, frogs can be very noisy. An irrigation problem killed all the fish for one year.

“I wanted to do a water feature of some sort, but at the time we were more adventurous, and they said they could dig a pond for us, so we did that,” she said.

The picture is perfect

Besides planting flowers, Susie also likes to take photos of flowers. She made note cards with pictures of her flowers. In addition to the flowers, there are also tomatoes and herbs growing in the courtyard around the garden.

The retired couple said they go out into the backyard daily. Susie said they try to mulch every couple of years, but there are people who come in to do it for them. Susie wouldn’t give up the garden, but she said that if money wasn’t an option, they would get more things done for them, so they could enjoy the gardens more and work with them less.

“We’ve been doing this for years. It’s hard work. I have to say the only thing about having a garden is that it’s going to be hard work. It’s no joke,” she said.

For now, the pair will do what they can and will continue to add new features. Susie said it was hard for her to go to the garden center and not buy anything. As summer begins to wind down, the couple plans to enjoy every moment in their stunningly peaceful backyard.

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