Friday, June 19, 2009

Two Ohio Gardeners

For some time now, I have enjoyed reading one of the most beautiful garden blogs on the internet. BG Garden Blog, authored by Brenda, not only is located in the same zone as Our Little Acre, but is also just a short hour and a half drive away. Yesterday, upon the invitation of Brenda, I visited her gorgeous gardens.

As I neared Brenda's house, I passed a wind farm, much like the one that is being planned for our area. I'd forgotten that Bowling Green had this and I was happy to get to see the gigantic wind turbines in action.

A short time later, I turned into the drive at Brenda's house and I was taken back to the time I visited Hiddenhaven, the gardens of Tracy DiSabato-Aust. The rural setting was very similar to Tracy's, complete with pond and woods.

Brenda met me as I stepped out of my car and from that moment on, we were two friends and gardeners immediately off on a day of talking plants and flowers and design, with the latter being a mostly one-sided conversation, as garden design isn't my strong suit. It clearly is something that comes naturally for Brenda. She has a knack for putting things together in a perfect blend of color and texture.

We casually walked around her house and Brenda explained some of how things got where they were and what were her favorites. She shared her plans for planting various landscaped areas, flower beds, and the vegetable garden.

The Portage River runs through their property, back through the wooded part. Oh yes, lots of woods and we walked some of the trails. There were remnants of the spring wildflowers, such as bloodroot. Black-winged damselflies (Calopteryx maculata) flitted here and there, and graciously allowed me to get close enough for a decent photo.

There are several beautiful cats roaming BG Gardens, because like us, they like their kitties. I got to meet Jack, Oppie, Kink, Boo, and Gracie.



After we did our walk-through, we took off for Genoa, where I introduced Brenda to one of her fine local dining places - Muggz's Tea Nook - where I'd been at the end of May, during the Cleveland trip. Funny how that is, that something can be right in your back yard almost, but for some reason, you're not aware of it. I tried to finagle the recipe for the Tomato Basil soup out of the chef, but alas, it's the only thing she won't give out, of all the things she cooks. (She did tell me she uses honey in it, though.)

With our tummies full (Thank you, Bren!), we traveled a short distance to Elmore, home of Bench's Greenhouse & Nursery (as well as Schedel Arboretum and Gardens). As we turned into the parking lot, we saw a sign out front that said, "40% off all plants." A flurry of words were exchanged between us, as we pondered if that meant what we thought it meant.

When we got inside, we saw another sign:

And then another:

Finally, Brenda went to the counter and asked just what really was 40% off. The answer? Anything with a root system.

Well, let me tell you, we were beside ourselves and like two kids in a candy store. In some places, a sale such as this might not be all that exciting, but this was Bench's. Brenda had told me they had a huge variety of plants, trees, and shrubs to offer and that they were healthy too, and she was right.

We probably spent two hours or more, looking through their things, picking and choosing and having the best time. The only thing stopping me from getting more than I did is that I'm running out of space to plant things, unless we make the gardens larger. They're already at the upper limit of what Romie and I can manage, so I left the 'Coppertina' ninebark and the 'Diane' witch hazel there. It was really hard passing up the witch hazel, at $60 for a large one, but the sale meant there was no guarantee on anything and I wasn't sure I wanted to risk that much.

Brenda used to work at a greenhouse, so she shared some tips with me as we chose plants and talked about where they might be planted and how to take care of them. We took our purchases to the checkout, and Brenda was concerned that we might not be able to fit everything into my van, but I assured her that over the course of all the gardening trips Mom and I had made in the past, we both knew how to pack a van to the maximum. No worries!

Do we look like we just won the lottery, or what?

We felt good about our choices and the great deals we got on some fabulous plants. Brenda got a couple of Snowberry (Symphoricarpos) shrubs and a 'Sutherland Gold' Sambucus, as well as other perennials. I found my hanging Boston ferns for under the pergola and the gazebo, and a few other plants that I've never seen in any garden center before, such as a tricolor St. John's Wort (Hypericum × moserianum 'Tricolor').

I also picked up a Japanese Beautyberry, a Sunset Hyssop (Agastache rupestris), two Siberian Irises ('Pink Haze' and 'Strawberry Fair'), and an orange German Bearded Iris ('Savannah Sunset'). A Gloxinia, at $2.99, just jumped right into my cart, too. Those perennials, in quart containers? $2.00 each.

By now, it was after 6:00, and I needed to think about heading for home, so after taking Brenda back to her house and saying goodbye to her lovely family, she and I said our goodbyes too. It was amazing how quickly the time had passed, but that's how it is between friends, isn't it?


Entangled said...

What a fun day! I haven't had the pleasure of seeing Brenda's garden blog before, and will definitely spend some time there. But I was surprised to see the town of Elmore mentioned, because I have a nodding acquaintance with it. My great-great-great-great-grandfather moved there from Lorain in the late 1800s with one of his daughters and her husband. Small world.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Sounds like you two had a really fun and profitable day together! What a van-load of plants! Guess we know what you will be doing today.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Sounds like you had a fun day! Brenda's garden looks wonderful as do her cute cats! And, man, did you leave anything at the nursery?! ;-) Finally, I've been to Bowling Green but didn't notice the windmills. Where abouts are they?!

Cathy S. said...

What Fun, I frequently visit Brendas blog like you she is always posting great plants and veggies. It's nice to meet fellow gardening bloggers.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Wow Kylee, what a fun day. I would have been hard pressed to leave the Coppertina and the Diane!! Both of those plants are ones I covet!!

Town Mouse said...

That sounds like so much fun! And just think of all the money you saved....;->

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What an exciting day meeting Brenda and touring her garden. Then finding the sale. What a bonus. I am so glad we got to meet her. She has a beautiful garden.

EAL said...

Lucky you! Sounds perfect. You know there are a lot of great gardens around here that I need to visit and never get to. This inspires me to make more of an effort.

Kylee Baumle said...

Entangled ~ Snall world indeed! Get this - when my dad's family immigrated to here from Germany in the late 1800s, they settled in Elmore. I don't know if we have any distant relatives still there or not. I'll have to ask.

Robin ~ We had a ball! I've almost got everything planted.

Monica ~ We left a LOT at the nursery! Get going, I'm sure they have JUST the thing you need! ;-)

The wind turbines were on US 6. If I remember correctly, you can also see them from 75.

Cathy ~ And I hope to meet you someday, too! :-)

Janet ~ It was so hard to leave those there, especially when they are both something that I've looked for in the past.

Town Mouse ~ Why yes, you could go broke saving money there! LOL!

Lisa ~ She sure does have a lovely garden and she's a really fun person, too! You us, Lisa! LOLOL

EAL ~ I'm always excited to see another garden, and especially a fellow garden blogger's!

Victoria Williams said...

What a great looking day, and with a plant sale. Doesn't get much better than that.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

You girls certainly had a wonderful day! I like the Internet and what it does for people. It can help us to get new friends that can turn from virtual to real friends! Thank you Kylee for stopping by MySecretGarden and leaving a comment.

Katie said...

How delightful! Her garden looks as magazine-worthy as yours. It must be a nice problem to have when you have too many plants and not enough space!

I cannot believe how you lucked into such a great sale. I am jealous!

bg_garden said...

Can you hear my giggling all the way in NW Ohio?!!! I am just tickled and HONORED to read your blog entry. You are the BEST!!! This was truly one of the best Garden adventure days every!

I love your photo of Jack. That has to be the best one ever. He is just all over the place today loving the June Blooms.

Can't wait to see where you plant all those goodies we bought. WHAT A DEAL... and YES WE DID win the lOTTERY... that was great stuff!

I have yet to plant my finds so it is off to the garden....

((((HUGS)))) Thank you!

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