Shaded yard provides ‘piece of heaven’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN, Sentinel Garden Editor   
Thursday, 12 June 2014 08:18
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A section of a garden at the Bowling Green home of Rick and Jodie Hoover. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Having a shady past is not a source of pride and often places one on rocky ground. Such hidden things can be unpleasant. However there is a shady backyard hidden garden filled with rocks which is a source of fulfillment for Jodie and Rick Hoover.
Near Bowling Green State University, their Crim Street home looks nice from the front; however, a trip to the back finds what Rick Hoover calls "a piece of heaven."
He says the area is "so peaceful, it's like a little garden paradise."
The backyard is predominantly shaded which some gardeners find challenging. The Hoovers' back yard garden has ample growth without any grass.
While Rick Hoover assists in acquiring many of the rocks which are prominently featured throughout the yard, he extends all the credit to his wife.
"She just keeps doing more and more all the time," he said of Jodie Hoover.
That more and more all the time involves an 11-year process to date according to her.
"The lawn was so shaded and we had mildew. It was a mess," Jodie Hoover said.
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Jodie Hoover works with hostas within a garden at her home.
The solution was to rip up all the lawn and for three years she left it with nothing but mulch and sand which was added.
"Slowly I started adding plants, a little more each year," she stated.
While the first two things many amateur gardeners think about for shade are hostas and impatiens, this female gardener has found a lot more things which can thrive in the shade.
"Just know that just because the tag says it needs sun, some will grow in the shade if you are willing to take a chance," Jodie Hoover said.
While she has no exact count, there are likely more than 100 varieties of plants and shrubs in the Hoover yard. One area of her yard does get some sun where there is a break in the trees and that's where she says her ground covers thrive.
While the snow and cold winter did create some casualties, most of their yard continues to look fine.
One of the other prominent features of the yard are 45 ferns harvested from a former neighbor's yards. According to the Hoovers, their neighbors Fran and Bob Keefe had a lovely English garden; however afterthey both died, the new owners of the home were completely tearing out
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all the landscape and yard. They approached the new owners seeking to transplant the ferns and were graciously granted permission.
"They are all here and doing well," Jodie Hoover said of the Keefe ferns.
She added, "Everything I do is an experiment, it's just kind of fun."
This year she has found a variety of an ivy-like plant mixed in with her English ivy and creeping myrtle (periwinkle vinca minor).
"I have no idea what this is, but it just showed up and I like it," she said.
The couple say the rocks have been mostly acquired through two sources, her father's farmland along the Sandusky River near Fremont as well as spotting them along farm fields where area farmers have dug them out.
A large evergreen was recently removed, thus providing another area to develop for the Hoovers.
 

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