With summer heat coming quickly, we asked last week for submissions from local greenthumbs to show us the most-loved Lebanon County home gardens.
Many of you took us up on the offer. From native plant pastures to backyard oases and lush garden retreats, the local planter and gardener scene is clearly thriving despite the disruption brought around by the pandemic.
Peak color might be passing quickly, but let this photo story serve as a record of the color and beauty Lebanon Countians brought into the world this spring.
Cindy Johnston of Swatara Township sent pictures of her shade garden, which she said looks best in the spring. “I planted mostly natives to attract the bees,” said Johnston, adding later: “And if I had the money and willpower, I would convert my entire yard to a meadow.”
Not professionally done, but could you tell?
Kermit Wengert of Lebanon shared pictures of his home gardens. “Keep in mind, they aren’t professionally done,” he noted to LebTown—we couldn’t tell! Take a minute to appreciate Wengert’s efforts at keeping his front yard beautiful for all who pass by.
The perfect place to keep cool in the summer heat
David and Susan Wood of West Cornwall Township shared pictures of their perfect Mt. Gretna retreat. With the status of many community pools in question for this summer, invitations to retreats like the Woods’ will be a hot ticket indeed!
Planters and annual beds around the pool area help transition from the house to the backyard.
The garden designs seen below are by Ryan Fretz Arts, notes Susan—you’re looking at moss armchairs built with wooden frames and packed with mud and adhesive moss.
Stump planters carved and burned out to create the perfect environment for plants provide a unique and beautiful touch.
The pollinator garden
Jean Zaun of Fredericksburg/Bethel Township shared photos of a couple gardens she maintains on the property, one of which is the pollinator garden. Judging by the shots Zaun shared, looks like the name is accurate!
“The garden was created to help out the challenged pollinator population and also provide inspiration for my oil paintings,” said Zaun. The garden is comprised mostly of annual wildflowers that reseed themselves annually, as well as assorted sunflowers, gay feather, zinnias, Sweet William, swamp milkweed, and marigold. Plus a variety of herbs, including creeping and English thyme and chamomile.
Here are a couple of the paintings Zaun shared based on the pollinator garden. These were created for a virtual art show held by the Red Raven Art Company in April.
Susan Miller of North Lebanon Township shared photos of her mostly perennial and shrub flower garden which reaches its peak glory in early spring through mid-summer, after which Miller gets to admire everyone else’s hard work.
As you can see, it’s quite a transition from the winter to spring at the Miller household! Check out the “glorious” white spirea hedge as it huddles through the cold, awaiting its bloom in the spring.
Birds and bugs love native plant layout
Evelyn Koppel and Sidney Hostetter of South Londonderry Township shared photos of their backyard retreat, which also follows the native plant theme we’ve seen elsewhere. Koppel notes that the native plants provide food and cover for the native birds and bugs that also call Gretna home.
The perfect spot to have a picnic lunch.
A seventeen year labor of love
Ray and Leslie Bures of West Cornwall Township shared photos of their spring garden, a seventeen year labor of love.
Unique stone and floral bookcase
Sue Hostetter of Mount Gretna Borough shared her stone and floral bookcase, also built by Ryan Fretz, and a beautiful winding path framed by hostas, hellebores, and bleeding heart.