Page’s yard, home gain weekly honor
This week's "Yard of the Week" belongs to Roger and Pam Page of 814 Jersey. The front yard has a mature oak and a maple tree shading the lot. The grass is thick and healthy looking. A new sapling maple tree has been planted in the side yard.
Pam and Roger Page's home, painted a brick red with white trim, is a bungalow built around 1914. This home is beautifully maintained yet retains the charm of a past era. Walking up the stairs to the typical bungalow porch is like stepping back in time. Red begonias are planted in a tree stump. There are several planters filled with geraniums and colorful petunias at the corner of each step.
The relaxing dr of a white painted porch swing and two adirondack chairs, all with plush pillows are complimented by two large hanging baskets of fern and a fuchsia. A hummingbird feeder hangs beside the fuchsia.
What really caught our attention as we drove by were two white planters sitting on each side of the porch filled with vivid pink and white impatiens ready to cascade down the sides of each pot. A small ladder on the porch has a brown pot filled with yellow lantana, a duck planter and a bird house sitting on each rung. Old lanterns, bird houses, several Noah's arks of wood, jugs and large pots rest on the railing and porch for decorations.
A welcome sign is also of a Noah's ark design. A wall tin container filled with a mix of silks and real flowers is on one side of the door. Beside the front door there is an old wooden bench. Next to the bench sits a pot of sunflowers in an old crock. A grapevine wreath beside the door also is decorated with sunflowers. Natural fibers and plants create an airy bow. There is a container of flowers in the replica of an old Pepsi wagon.
Roger works third shift at Hallmark. He usually comes home and works several hours in the yard each morning before going to sleep. Sometimes when he relaxes on the front porch swing, that is where he falls asleep. He commented that his farm background makes it natural for him to enjoy working in his yard and growing plants. His parents grew crops and large vegetable gardens. He has planted many bushes and perennials around the house and Pam enjoys planting the annuals.
Their plantings compliment each other throughout the yard. Roger has planted a live-for-ever, firebushes, yews and Goldmound spirea in the front below the porch. The front corner of the porch has grasses, cannas and red begonias. Anthony Waterer spirea, a snowball bush, forsythia and two variegated wegelia continue around the west side of the house. In the fence corner there are peony bushes with cannas planted behind them.
Opening the gate into the back yard, we saw the play area for Pam's day care children. It is under the shade of a pecan tree and well equipped with swings, slides and other outdoors fun. Even with the care of six children, Pam still maintains an attractive back yard which the children enjoy and also learn about growing and appreciating flowers. The low fence has mulch and a well designed brick edging about three feet out.
There is a hanging basket of pink geraniums and greenery on a shepherd's hook and several containers of red and white geraniums hooked over the fence. Planted in this edged area around the back yard are Kansas gay feather, meadow sage, hostas, coleus, yellow marigolds, Plumbago Larpentae and carpatica campanula, (bell flower) mums, ornamental grasses, begonias and an azalea bush. A bird bath graces one corner with round stepping stones placed around it.
There is an interesting metal sculpture of a ladybug, and another bug type creature. Placed upside down in a hosta plant was a large pop bottle. "Did one of the children put that there?" Danny wondered. "No," replied Roger, "that is my way to slowly water this plant I am watching closely."
Next to a tool shed painted red and white like an old barn is a small vegetable garden. The strawberries looked healthy and were covered with a fine-sized bird netting. The super sweet 100 cherry tomato vines had a few ripe tomatoes. I had to slap my hand to keep from picking one! The regular sized tomatoes and peppers were growing and tomatoes were forming on the mulched vines.
In one area there is natural rock edging. A dwarf Korean lilac bush is planted as a background for more perennials and annuals. On the other side of the backyard there were two newly planted Lady Betty Barfour clematis vines growing up separate trellises on the garage. There are Baby Sun coreopis and gladiolas in this area where tulips had bloomed earlier.
A patio table with an umbrella and surrounding chairs has two pots of flowers sitting in the middle. The back porch has containers of annuals sitting on each step leading to the door. Roger opened the gate leading to the driveway. There were a variety of small tricycles and wagons neatly lined up along the fence by the day care children. They were inside with Pam having a mid-morning snack after taking a walk/ride through town.
Along the side of the house that lines the driveway are additional interesting containers of annuals. Some are planted in galvanized tin buckets. Crocks and jugs are artfully placed between the flowers. Throughout the plantings are interesting rocks brought back to the Pages by friends and family who have been on vacation. One rock had an indention deep enough to hold water for the birds on one side.
When we asked Roger the name of one of the plants in the back yard, he went inside and came back out with a small plastic bag. "I keep the tags so I can remember the names of the plants and how to take care of them," Roger remarked.
This yard and home retains the best qualities of an old era in Baldwin City. Its attractive, graceful and relaxed setting says welcome to a time gone by. It also shows that a couple working full-time and even having six children around all day as part of a daycare business can still maintain a lovely summer yard. It is the type of yard that makes visitors from out of town drive by and say, "Ahhh, so this is what Baldwin City is all about."
The gardening quote of the week is:
"On every stem, on every leaf and at the root of everything that grew, was a professional specialist in the shape of grub, caterpillar, aphid or other expert, whose business it was to devour that particular part. Oliver Wendell Homes (1809-1894).