August 2018 Garden of the Month
Gardens with a Story
The Gettysburg Garden Club, through its Garden of the Month committee, is pleased to present the August Garden of the Month award to Tim and Carol Plank of 98 Blacksmith Shop Rd, Gettysburg PA 17325. Twenty years ago when Tim remarried and moved his new wife Carol into his childhood home, all that was there was a bed of tulips. Things have drastically changed in that time. Now surrounding the modest ranch home are several well thought and laid garden areas, each bringing about a fond memory of which Carol is glad to share.
As you walk up to the home from the driveway you will immediately notice a small water garden. This pond was a birthday present from Tim to Carol about 10 years ago. The yellow water lilies offer little protection for the fish to hide from a very hungry raccoon. Decorating the edge of the pond is a cluster of seashells, a pelican statue and some fishing rods.
Moving towards the house, there is a small porch with a window box filled with petunias and clogs by the door so that Carol can easily slip them on to weed her gardens weekly or pick vegetables for dinner or canning. Edging the home is a flower bed about two feet deep, filled with plants her sister in Ohio gives her whenever she visit. Which must be often! Many varieties are not your normal big box perennials. From sedums, hostas, columbine, lirope, spireas, a magenta crape myrtle and many grasses, each variety would be its own pleasure to look at.
However, hidden amongst the colorful array of easy care plantings are little statuaries, signs, and other eye catching treasures. Three miniature bird baths filled with blue glass pebble and a blue bird perch on each one are just one eye catcher. Each time I viewed the gardens I found something else that peeked my interest.
Along the fence, Carol planted a memory garden when she lost her daughter to cancer. An angel statue is surrounded by grasses similar to those of her South Carolina upbringing. Leaning against the fence is an old bike with petunias in the basket. She had planted a wonderful pink hibiscus with the grasses but it didn’t do so well in that spot and it had to be moved. It now greets you with a colorful hello around the sitting patio covered by a metal carport-type structure.
From the patio to the garage, Tim built a small wall of dry lay stones to break up the rolling yard and create some harmony and flow from one bed to the next. Lining the garage is the Echinacea garden. Several varieties including, champaign, old fashioned, hot papaya, suntan, and knee highs look right at home with free standing antique wash tubs and walling hanging basins. The other side of the garage is what Carol calls her barnyard garden. A large pink pig statue is nestled in black eyed susans, some golden cypress separate it from concrete chickens and a wagon wheel. She even has a fire hydrant from when Harrisburg replaced theirs with new.
Behind the garage is their vegetable garden, lined with zinnias and sunflowers the tomatoes, potatoes, corn, onions are ready for harvest. Carol will decorate with the squash and pumpkins as fall comes around. Near the back of the acre of property bamboo and cedar trees have been planted for privacy. Close to the middle of the yard is an outhouse that Tim built. Above the door is a sign that was hand painted by Carol’s mother reading “Welcome to Maddie’s Treehouse.” Somewhere along the way Tim and Carol’s granddaughter thought that is was going to be a treehouse for her to play. Surrounded with an old school bell and well pump fountain, blood grass, hostas, petunias and a hummingbird feeder, even I would have been tempted to play in an outhouse that pretty in my younger years.
Viewing each corner of this garden I was reminded of some advice I heard a long time ago, when decorating get what you like. It may not all seem to fit together at first, but if you keep adding to it, it will eventually all flow together. Angels, fishing poles and pigs may not sound like they belong together but Carol and Tim have created an area in this world where they definitely belong together.
To nominate your property or someone else’s for the Garden of the Month award please call or text Deb Steckler at (717) 357-3623 or fill out our form.