Archive for Wednesday, July 5, 2000

DeSpain’s yard full of beauty, with flair for Fourth

July 5, 2000

Driving down the nostalgic brick streets, the flags are flying, the carillon bells are ringing through the air and the bunting is hanging from the side porch at 603 Eighth Street, the home of the Rev. Ira and Barbara DeSpain. It is the Fourth of July in Baldwin City.

We have been waiting for the impatiens in this yard to be in full glory but when we drove by and saw the bunting hanging from the side porch and the flag displayed at the corner of the house, we knew we had found the right "Yard for this Week."

Barb laughed about the bunting being a deciding factor for the choice, since that's her area. She readily admits that it's Ira that does the work to make the yard so attractive. He has a different take on the issue.

"She's in charge of planning and acquisition," said Ira. "I'm in charge of implementation and maintenance."

Large mature ash trees and two hard maple trees along the curb shade this lovely Victorian home. In the front of the home are red and white impatiens between the barberry and yew bushes. Young flowering crab trees have been planted on each corner of the house.

A collection of birdhouses accent the many containers of flowers. Red and white impatiens, red geraniums and spangeri fern spill out of a basket sitting on an antique wheelbarrow near the front door. There is a statue of a small girl reading a book under a front bush. A terra cotta saucer of water welcomes the birds to stop for a drink. A lovely variegated double impatiens is in a container near the saucer.

Hanging baskets of spangeri fern hang from the ceiling of the long side porch. A variety of house plants are enjoying the summer outdoors among the white wicker furniture. There is a porch swing, sittee, chairs and table. This creates a restful atmosphere for the DeSpain family and friends to enjoy being outside on a summer evening or to read in the early morning.

Along the porch on the south side are plants of dusty miller and red geraniums. Additional birdhouses, a welcome sign and unique stepping stones add interest to this area. One stone has a colorful cardinal and several stones have a maple leaf design. There is a unique statue of an angel along the porch. In her hands she holds a heart shaped birdbath.

The corner of the house has a beautiful weeping mulberry tree. Its leaves are an unusual shape and quite shinny. A wooden fence that encloses the backyard has an arbor trellis gate. Enclosed in the fenced area are beautiful natural plantings. A wooden bench offers a spot to stop and enjoy the view.

There are pink hydrangea bushes, hostas, Liatris, a yellow day lily, silver mound, monkey grass, two red buds, a dogwood and a smoke tree. Red and white impatiens spill gracefully from two baskets hanging from a shepherd's hook. Two family roses are included in this delightful area.

This main street home says "Welcome" to those who drive by and enjoy its colorful, serene beauty.

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  • Marge Bell of Tauy Creek apartments has a pink hydrangea that is in full bloom. We stopped by after receiving a call from Margaret Counts telling us about the flower gardens at the apartments. We've decided to do a "Block of the Week" in the near future on these mini yards. These senior citizens know how to grow beautiful flowers. Stop by and any one of the residents would be glad to give you a "grand tour" of their yard.

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  • The day lilies in Baldwin City are reaching their peak of beauty. Bob and Jean Lawson's yard at 903 Tenth Street is an outstanding example. Drive around to the backyard. There are poppies still in bloom in the iris bed and a wonderful array of summer garden flowers planted country style among the vegetables. There are zinnias, rudbeckia, gladiolus, coreopis and phlox to name just a few.

The Lawson's collection of day lilies are a lovely variety of yellows, oranges, reds and pinks. When one drives by they will be amazed at the colors as bright as the Fourth of July. When the Lawson's moved from a farm outside of Baldwin City, they brought with them the beauty of their flowers. They are well known for the sharing of their many talents throughout the Baldwin City community.

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  • Gardening quote for the week:

This sign for our garden was left inside our door:
Old gardeners never die, they just spade away.
I also have this sign in my garden:
Old gardeners never die, they just need repotted.

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