The love of gardening mixed with the whimsical additions proved to be a “tie that binds between Jeanie Merritt and her neighbors, Dick and Joni Wickline when they opened up their garden to the public this past summer. Jeanie says, “This caused us to become good friends.”
I had gone by the Wickline’s home numerous times being that it is just around the block and on my way to the shopping centers in our little village of London, Ohio. I was always intrigued by the small, close-to-the-road garden that seemingly was forever changing with wonderful new things to ‘slow down’ and look at.
But, I would soon discover that the front of their home, visible to the public, was only a ‘teaser’ to what lay beyond those big wood fences and steel gates.
One sunny day in July when I was driving by I noticed a big green handmade sign that said “GARDEN TOUR SATURDAY 9:00,” and I knew this was my chance to finally get a peek into what I had been gandering quick looks at for months as I drove by. Now, I would have a legitimate reason to go on the grounds and take a look without the possibility of getting arrested.
When I entered the big steel gate and fence it opened up into a wonderland that I could not even imagined. So close to my home and I didn’t have a clue!
The front was charming, but once I got past that big gate I knew I had just entered the world of some awesome gardening. A friend of Dick Wickline’s was doing the tear down and reconstruction of the old county jail. Dick was given this set of bars from an actual jail cell in which he made a wonderful and interesting trellis for some roses.
Touring Dick and Joni Wickline’s Ohio gardens every year is never the same tour twice. New things are added each year, old things are moved around and re-displayed…It’s a mystery and awesome adventure each and every time I attend.
One of the most intriguing features for me, besides the waterfall and the flowers, are the special little ” sit a spell and rest” areas…. here are a few that I have kicked my shoes off and rested before traveling on…
P.S. A little creativity, a little paint, some old flea market chairs and whimsies made new….it’s all in the magic of an avid Flea Market Gardener!!!
The Wicklines had several Glass top tables with pretty flowers blooming underneath.. Under one of the tables there was a miniature pond with real fish swimming around.
I love the dresser that I created this spring…and I am proud of it. But…THIS one was done by my friends who had the Garden tour and I like it even more… All others that I have seen, including my own, planted up the drawers , but Dick left the bottom drawer empty, completely took out the middle drawer, and put pots of flowers in the top..By leaving that middle drawer open, when you are sitting in the outdoor dining area of his porch, you “see” the traffic out front going by through that drawer… Clever! And he took the mirror out of it’s frame and hung a plant..
Walking the paths and seeing a bit of something, everywhere was amazing. Around every corner, nook and cranny, there was something else delightful to see or be amazed at.
Frogs jumping in the pond, birds chirping nearby at the feeders, beautiful robust annuals and perennials blooming everywhere, they were all greeting you into a very special place.
Every few yards there were seating areas that you could sit and sip on a glass of fresh lemonade..I particularly enjoyed this ” watermelon” area…
Dick’s special talent with the “whimsy”, added to the natural flowers and wildlife, made this certainly a garden tour to remember. It has since been a place where I have been invited to visit often, and I have been doing just that! Thanks Joni and Dick for this wonderful tour!