Archive for Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Lowther nabs honors for ‘Yard of the Week’

August 16, 2000

This week's "Yard of the Week" belongs to Ed Lowther, 507 Fourth Street.

Ed's grandfather played third base for the Cincinnati Reds baseball team in 1912. He also loved growing roses. His secret to growing beautiful roses was to add a little Beechnut chewing tobacco to the soil around the roses. He said this took care of blackspot, bugs and any other problems that roses have.

Ed Lowther, a new resident of Baldwin City, named for his grandfather, also enjoys growing handsome roses in his flower garden. He gave up smoking years ago and never did chew tobacco but he has his own secret rabbit droppings. Beautiful green glossy foliage and lovely blooms are the results. Ed's fertilizer is gathered and bagged by his grandchildren, Morgan and Chris Grissum, who raise rabbits for a 4-H project. Morgan won the grand champion for her rabbit and Chris won blue ribbons at this year's Douglas County Fair.

Ed lives in a duplex and has created an oasis of beauty in his small yard. His landlord planted two young maple trees and a white ash tree. A birdbath and feeder let the birds know they are welcome year round. He keeps his bird book by his chair and has counted 22 species at his feeders this first year.

Ed made a circular flowerbed in the front yard, which faces east. This is a good location for roses. There is morning sun and yet it's not too hot later on in the day. Ed has planted tea roses, impatiens, a large mum, a gladiolus and rose moss in this flowerbed. The roses include Chrysler Imperial, Roseanne, an apricot-colored rose, another red rose and a white rose, named Immaculate Conception. Ed brought a large rock for the center of the flowerbed from the Lake of the Ozarks area.

On this same trip, he bought a wooden cutout of a Dalmatian from one of the Ozarks' woodcraft stands along the road. This cutout was added because of a sweet natured Dalmatian that he saved recently from the Douglas County Humane Society. Duchess greeted us when we stopped to see Ed's yard. She then lay quietly down by the front door looking up at us occasionally as we visited, especially if we were talking about her.

Along the side of Ed's home there are 30 feet of colorful blooms. Tea roses, President Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, French Perfume and Sheer Bliss are growing with cheerful looking marigolds. There are pink, red and purple verbena and impatiens.

The back side of the house has maiden grass, hostas and mint. Because Ed likes the fragrant roses, this is a determining factor for what he decides to plant in this flowerbed. Some of the newer hybrid roses, although lovely, do not have a fragrance. Ed, now semi-retired, is a part-time custodian at Baldwin Elementary School. He likes to share the blooms from his roses with the teachers. The roses are producing their fall blooms right on cue for the beginning of the school year.

The spirea bushes gave spring color to the front area of Ed's home. Two fire bushes will add color this fall. There is a light blue planter filled with pink impatiens by the door. Ed waters regularly to keep his new trees, bushes and flowers looking healthy.

The nomination for this yard came from Ed himself. That's the kind of man he is he enjoys his flowers and he wants to share their beauty with his new community. He is a gregarious, interesting man. He told us he enjoys reading about the yard of the week because he likes to hear about the people who are growing the flowers. It is his way to get to know people in the community. We are glad to get to know you, too, Ed. Thanks for calling.

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  • Gardening Quote of the Week:

Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among the thorns.

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