The gifts of the Erb Park neighborhood just keep giving.
Yesterday, we, who can’t always tell an orchid from a weed, enjoyed a genuinely lovely garden walk though the hood. We noshed on Queen Ann’s Lace (did you know it tasted like parsley?), learned about rainwater irrigation techniques, met some talented landscape artists, dug up a couple of potatoes and a giant onion, and decided we’d like to live in the Peterson backyard.
Our neighbors rock, which we’ve always known. Yesterday, we saw their talents take root.
We’d peeked in the yards during previous strolls through the neighborhood, but last night we got the insider’s tour. I’m going to let the photos tell this story of an unassuming neighborhood full of some of the kindest and most talented people we know.
Our first stop was right down the street, where we toured the Lokensgard yard. (Note the gorgeous bee balm plant in the background.)
The Lokensgard’s are also growing several varieties of hydrangeas, including the charmingly named let’s dance moonlight variety.
They built this impressive display of box gardening.
Next stop was our friends the Kolls.
Kathy Koll planted more than 180 different varieties in her garden, including these cool and aptly named gooseneck plants.
This is a voodoo lily, a little creepiness in an otherwise cheerful place.
This whole vase is filled with flowers from Kathy’s own garden. I love summer.
When I grow up I want to live in Paula Peterson’s backyard, which happened to be the next stop on our tour.
The whole yard teems with color-coordinated life.
These look like twinkle lights, but they’re actually climbing plants. So beautiful.
Our next stop in the garden walk provided cool drinks, hot coals and gourmet s’mores fixins.
Brian Kemp has only lived in this house three years, but he has done amazing things with the yard.
I asked how many varieties of lilies Brian has and he said he has no idea. “My friends give them to me and I plant them,” he said. They make for a lovely, lovely yard.
Next door to Brian, Narla Mischler turned her whole yard, front and back, into an artistic vegetable garden.
Across the street from them, Jim Case, who is the heart of the Erb Park Neighborhood program, boasts an impressive garden as well. I like the message on his garden frog. “All things grow with love. Without it I gain nothing.”
Our last stop took us to Nick Heinritz’s backyard.
Check out this amazing rainwater irrigation system, including an underground pipe out to the farthest corner of the garden.
Nick, and most the the gardeners, also compost.
Nick showed Molly how to harvest onions and potatoes and we came home with four Yukon Gold potatoes and a large onion. Can’t wait to cook those up!