Making ‘Time to Garden’ on Parkland club’s tour
BY LOU WHEELAND
Special to The Press
The Parkland Garden Club was blessed with a break in the rainy weather on July 15 for its annual garden club tour.
This year’s tour, the 24th, was titled “Time to Garden.”
Eight gardens were included in the event.
Two of the locations visited were the Stacey and Tim Nash garden, and the garden of Paul and Patty Huck, both in Orefield.
The Nash garden was a reflection of memories that started with the trees Stacey’s grandfather planted in the mid-20th century, especially an apple tree and Japanese maple which remain today.
In 1980, the garden was enhanced by Stacey’s mother with more trees and created spaces for journeys in the garden with the use of shrubs and paths.
Today, the garden has three private sitting spaces, along with a small water element, subtle rain gardens, sunny prairie gardens, and many others.
This garden has evolved through the decades and reflects the ever changing environment to become an ecologically sound garden.
The Hucks started their garden in 1990 with the plan to plant plants that would neither need to be babied nor provide a food source for deer and other animals that roam the property.
There is a stream dividing the property making for a very scenic backdrop for their plants and trees.
Most of the perennials and many of the shrubs came from seeds Paul Huck grew and propagated by division.
One of the gardener’s goals is to have color and blooms from spring to fall.
Sue Kittek, “Morning Call” garden writer, was at this garden to answer visitors gardening questions.
The eight wonderful gardens whose gardeners added their own special touches to their gardens also included:
The garden of George and Kristen Benckini in Allentown, had many landscaping features.
In the back there is a pool, an expanded paver patio and outdoor grill island with a sink and a tranquil fountain.
Included in the design was a variety of green and vibrant planting materials and outdoor lighting.
In the front are flower beds filled with lush green plants, tropical and domestic flowers along with trees that make this a nature-lovers paradise.
Ellie Laubner of Allentown welcomed visitors to her Dutch Tutor home where they could view drift roses, clematis, baptisia, crepe myrtle, lilac and amsonia punctuated by a petite wren house and goldfinch feeding station.
The soothing sound of a waterfall lured visitors to a pond stocked with goldfish gliding among the water lilies.
The focal point of the garden was the Victorian-style gazebo set for dinner alfresco.
From here visitors could mosey along the curved main garden, bordered by native amelanchier (service berry) trees.
This garden is a butterfly magnet with Jeanna phlox, cat mint, and miniature butterfly bush.
The garden of David Shimp and Gregory Woods, of Allentown, was a blank slate when they purchased it in 2003.
The pond built in 2004 now contains a thriving goldfish population.
The functional greenhouse houses a collection of hoyas and succulents as well as some of the owners’ garden décor.
Some of the iris and day lilies plants are descendants of plants Shimp’s great-grandmother planted nearly 60 years ago.
The garden contains crepe myrtles, franklinia, and upscale annuals like super cali, potato vine, and hardy and tropical maureli and siam bananas.
Many varieties of cannas are found in the garden.
Gardeners George and Kathleen Dolgos, Allentown, were on the Parkland Garden Club’s 2001 tour.
The focal point of this garden is their two tiered koi pond which is the home of koi, goldfish, turtles and frogs.
A recent addition is a low stone wall and paved sitting area by the pond.
This area was created to match the raised patio attached to the house.
The gardeners enjoy watching the changes in their garden flowers.
A silent auction was held at this garden.
The garden of Becky and Rich Gorton of Macungie is located behind their 18th century stone miller’s house.
The use of natural materials is incorporated into the landscape.
There are flower and vegetable plots located behind the bluestone patio with several stone walls.
As visitors roamed this garden plot they were able to see a variety of annuals and perennials which are intended to provide a sense of beauty and calm, but also provide nectar for the bees and allow birds to search for bugs and other critters.
During the 1980s, the surrounding property shifted from agriculture to housing.
The property became a Christmas tree farm.
It is now a succession forest with mowed walking paths which offer tranquillity in the midst of a rapidly changing township.
Therese Ciesinski gave a talk at this garden about refreshing midsummer container plantings.
A freelance writer, her articles have appeared in “Garden Design,” “Coastal Home” and “This Old House” magazines and she has received gold and silver medals from the Garden Writers Association.
Sal and Gretchen Scarlata of Macungie, started their garden nearly 20 years ago when they built their home in 2004.
They started gathering rocks from around the neighborhood to use in their garden.
Each bed has a theme. The yard was planned around the natural contour of the property.
There is a tropical bed by the pool, a koi pond, and many beds that contain countless flower varieties of every height and hue.
Most of the trees tell stories as to commemorate special events.
The hens are an integral part of the natural ecology of their garden.
The “hugelkultur method,” a sustainable gardening method used in Germany, is used for the raised vegetable beds.