Good gardeners adapt to changes PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN, Sentinel Garden Editor   
Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:26
Lynne Mazur speaks on her stone wall garden in the backyard her residence in Bowling Green. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Good gardeners understand the need to be flexible and to be able to adapt to changes. Gardeners have to work with the conditions and surroundings and make adjustments as needed.
Lynne Mazur has done that with her Sheffield Drive backyard.
When she and husband Bob moved to the home, there was one tree in the backyard and a sand ridge which provided a natural border along the back of the property.
Mazur has transformed that space to what she calls a "very private area where we still feel like we're out in the country."
After they moved to the city, she heard tales of how the ridge of sand came to be. Years ago when the area was still farm fields, Mazur said the farmer who owned the land had built a fence in that area as a windbreak for the blowing sand.
That fence eventually became covered with sand, so the farmer built another fence on top of the new sandbar and it also became covered.
Mazur wasn't sure of the story's accuracy until a neighbor family started installing a pond. They dug out their area of the sand ridge and found the stacked fences.
"It's just all sand from blowing across the corn fields," Mazur said.
Thus, the former farmer and Mother Nature provided a nice hillside in the backyard for the Mazur family. As the hill was being transformed, a new home was being built across the street and the builder uncovered piles of stone and rocks. On a whim, the Mazurs asked about using it and the builder was happy for them to take the rocks and save the expense of hauling them away.
A lawn chair, is seen near a garden in the backyard of the Mazur residence in Bowling Green.
The Mazurs now had the hardscape materials to convert the hill to a layered terrace.
Her husband calls the garden her "rock pile."
When the couple first moved, there was only a small walnut tree in the space and Mazur, being new to gardening, planted mostly annuals. She quickly learned the value of perennials and continued to add more and more each year.
"I was not into yard work until we moved here," Mazur said. "Now it has kind of consumed me."
The walnut tree, though small, was very productive and the couple offered a grandson a nickel for each walnut he picked up to clean up the yard. To their surprise, they ended up paying him roughly $40. Fast forward 16 years or so and the tree has grown considerably and continues to deliver walnuts in great numbers. Last year they paid a neighbor girl a penny per walnut and she received $38.
The tree's growth, along with additional trees planted in the yard, have considerably reduced the amount of sunlight which reaches the sand dune terrace garden. Mazur continues to adapt as more and more of the perennials are converted to shade lovers as opposed to those which require greater amounts of sunlight.
"We have gone from almost total sun to total shade," she said.
Currently there is a small area which does get good sun and is visible from inside their home. Her daisies and other flowers will provide vibrant colors for her "pretty much all summer."
The couple have made other changes over the years, such as adding steps to make it easier to get to the hostas which adorn a great amount of the top of the sand dune. There is also a relaxing patio area under the walnut tree. Mazur said they like to sit there because there is often a nice breeze.
"The trees make it cooler, it's very cool like at the City Park," she said.
Like most gardeners, Mazur has found the hobby involves a lot of adaptation and work.
"I really do enjoy it," she said. "If you don't, it really is hard work."
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 July 2014 10:40

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