“The whole place is a great variety of beauty,” Jones, 71, said.
But he’s quick to give his wife, Carolyn Sue, all the credit for the colorful array of hydrangeas, coneflowers, river birches, viburnums and hostas.
“She has an eye I can’t match,” Jones said. “So, if she says, ‘Bring the wheelbarrow,’ that’s what I do.”
The couple’s garden received the Best of Show award at the Dispatch Backyard Garden Awards, held at the Central Ohio Fall Home Show this month. The prize was a $500 gift card to the Auckland Nurseries Prize Giver.
Caroline Sue, 68, said people encouraged her to take part in the competition, but she never felt the park was good enough until now.
“We’ve been working at (the park) for probably ten years,” she said. “It’s all organic. It’s not like we have a plan.”
Carolyn Sue, a recently retired nurse, has been able to devote more time to projects around the house, which she and Bruce have taken on since they met.
“We are both widowers, and we met on 11/11/11,” she said. “Since then, we’ve done nothing but try to spruce up our house. Without him, this would never have been the case.”
Her husband couldn’t resist making a cute joke.
“I have a tractor. That’s the only reason she married me.”
The couple was one of about 340 entries in the Dispatch Backyard Garden Awards. Several winners in other categories also received Oakland Nursery gift cards. See who won below.
more: HGTV star Joe Mazza talks about the new show and the strangest on-the-job incidents before visiting Columbus
Best home landscaping
first place: “At the Edge of the Woods” by Sharon Kelly, Marysville
Second place: “Serene Pond” by Amy Meaders, Delaware
Best botanical garden
first place: “Tanya’s Plant Pot” by Tonia dos Santos, Worthington
Second place: “The Nervous Gardener” by Courtney McGinty, Galloway
Best container garden
first place: “Love’s Break” by Jessica Love, Reynoldsburg
Second place: “Trash, My Treasure” by Carol Smith, Pickerington
Best community garden
first place: Stems For Seniors/LifeCare Alliance Flower Garden, on behalf of Todd Davis, Powell
Second place: Wagnalls Memorial Library, on behalf of Pamela Jarvis, Litopolis
Best local botanical garden
first place: “The Original Paradise” by Brenda Rushen, Grove City
Second place: Daniel Marcus, Columbus
Best perennial garden
first place: “Pollinator Paradise” by Van Thomas Staros Malinowski, New Albany
Second place: “Morning in Our Garden” by Mary Ann and Ed Kitchen, Columbus
first place: Joyful Garden St Andrew’s Christian Church, courtesy of Catherine Hoagland, Dublin
Second place: The Chickenshire, by Philip Shimer, Columbus