Now that fall is coming, maybe it’s time for everyone to take a garden field trip.
That’s just what 10 Deercreek Daisies did on Aug. 13 as they headed down Route 22 to Williamsport. They were in search of a self-pick garden so they turned right at the traffic light and just five miles down Chillicothe Pike at a bend in the road, they found this lovely country garden, called “BLOSSOMS ON THE BEND.”
In the summer of 2009, owners Nancy Heskett and Becky Messer attended a 10-week small farm college at Ohio State University. These sisters knew they wanted an ag-related venture as a post-retirement project. Here they learned business ideas and started to plan their garden enterprise. In the fall of 2009, they planted eight different varieties of Peonies in two curving rows, at counter-point to the bend in the road. The next year they added another row which included some pink peony root-stock from their grandmother, these have grown to five rows now. Nancy’s husband, Bill, mowed and tilled beds for other future flowers.
The garden contains zinnias, cosmos, dusty millers, verbena, salvia, butterfly bush, geranium, baby’s breath, Bells of Ireland, snap dragons, statius, coreopsis, artemesia, fever few, dianthus, holly hocks, cocks comb, cleome, sedum, ageratum, and more. One flower bed parallel to peony’s is called Lou’s Bed and contains many transplants from their mother’s gardens. They just added Straw flowers to their collection this year.
An older house, with parts dated to the early 1800s, is located in the front of the garden with instructions for guests stopping by the area to pick flowers. The barn is made from White Oak trees that grew on the farm when settlers came through in the 1830s. These sisters also use it to dry flowers or store flowers for special events like supplying Peonies for two different weddings this summer. This garden site is registered and certified as a Monarch Way-station since the site milkweeds, nectar sources, and shelter needed to sustain butterflies as they migrate through North America. You may have seen these sisters at the Farmers’ Market in Washington C. H. earlier in the summer with their lovely Peonies.
Everyone wandered the garden asking questions, looking around and learning more about the plantings and flowers from Becky and Nancy while each picked a bouquet of fresh flowers. Then all cooled off under the trees and visited with water and some fresh peach cobbler, made from peaches Bill has grown this year. This summer has been a difficult growing season, going from mud to drought and they lost 50 percent of their Zinnia crop year.
They can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.comblossomsatthebend or 5564 Williamsport Pike Williamsport, 43164 to find out what’s blooming. Look for their wreath classes this fall. The meeting hostesses were Marty Cook and Barbara V., and members stopped by Connie’s Café in town for a short meeting and lunch. Judy Gentry won a dried arrangement by answering garden questions.
Next meeting is Sept. 19.