Peg Zurface is an art teacher and it shows up in her yard. She is inspired by Claude Monet, an impressionist artist as well as an avid gardener. Monet said “All my money goes into my garden.” He painted the same nature scene over and over during different seasons and different times of days. Peg and a friend visited his gardens this year in France.
Peg gardens for blooms, butterflies, and birds. Don and Peg have lived on the farm for 20 years and each year they have added a new bed. Salvia, daylilies, lily tuff, hostas, and coneflowers were in bloom in July. Sweet pea was growing up the fence and is great for hummingbirds and bees. Several features in the yard were great conservation measures.
Peg is a recycler. For example, a concrete gate post was turned into a seat, and a piece of a log for a table. Peg has an eye for turning something she finds and painting it to go into her beds. She also recycles natural items. Small dead trees are yanked out so the roots are intact. The tree is turned upside down and put in the ground. The roots act as a plant hook for her hanging baskets. Peg also uses twigs and sticks to make structures.
They have just created a pond this year and already have a resident frog. They planted native grasses around the pond. One area of the yard they let the grass grow up for several years and volunteer maples came up. The area is now mowed but the volunteer trees make a nice shady area. Tomatoes and raspberries are planted by the fence in the flower garden and by the garage. Peg received 30 marsh milkweed plants for the butterflies from the University of Kansas for a research project that they were conducting.
Peg also leaves flower seeds for the birds. It is tempting to want to cut dead flowers in the fall and clean up for the spring. However, leaving the flower heads provide seeds for the birds. It is also time to collect seed for next year. Think ahead. There are a lot of sales at stores throughout the fall season. They are trying to get rid of their inventory. A perfect time to plant some perennials and bushes for next year.
For more pictures of the Zurface’s backyard visit our Facebook page, Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District. Get creative, be artistic, and be inspired!