Flowers, flowers and more flowers!

Posted July 6, 2015 at 9:17 pm

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Linda Anderson’s favorite pastime is her flower garden. Even though she works 40 hours a week as a nurse in Rock Valley, she still finds time for the flowers. And it shows because her’s is one of the most beautiful gardens ever! The spot has been a popular place for wedding pictures and she is happy to share the garden with those who are interested in that type of thing.

“It is more relaxation,” Anderson said, than it is work. “It looks overwhelming in the spring, but once you’re out there it’s more relaxing.” Anderson loves the outdoors and when her kids left home, she needed a hobby that kept her busy and outside when she wasn’t at work. The flower garden was just what she needed. “It is definitely better than sitting around watching TV,” she said.

Anderson estimates it took about 24 hours in May to get the garden up to snuff this spring and then another 24 hours or so in June again before she was truly satisfied. Now it is just upkeep as time goes on, pulling the weeds, etc. Anderson has had the flower garden for about 10 years. It all started with a few rose bushes.

One of Anderson’s favorite things at the time was roses. She started collecting a few different varieties and it just grew from there. At one time she had around 80 roses. They put up a fence on the north side of their garden as a backdrop for them. Now the garden runs the length of their property. “I thought I’d just put a couple flowers in and it just grew and grew and grew,” she explained.

A few years ago they had professional landscapers put in a pond with a waterfall. It is a beautiful relaxing place, as you sit and listen to the gentle soothing noise of the waterfall, which is just off their deck. They thought about putting fish in the pond, but decided against it due to the extra work and upkeep that would bring.

“My husband made a mistake.” Anderson explained how her husband, Lynn, thought it was great she was taking over the lawn with her flower garden so he had less mowing to do. She kind of took it as her cue to keep expanding the flower garden. “I thought, that’s a good idea, I could just put everything in flowers!” she said.

Her love for flowers and nursing sick plants back to health probably came from her dad. She said her dad, many, many years ago, took four seedling trees out of a creek just west of Hull and planted them on his property. To this day, those trees still stand strong and tall. Anderson’s favorite place to shop is the “hospital” portion of various greenhouses where sickly plants are discounted for quick sale.

Anderson said when she gets to a green house, she just can’t help herself! She finds so many plants that need to be nursed back to health or things she doesn’t have, so she buys them and gets them going again. Maybe it’s her nursing instinct, but it usually seems to work out. She has done wonders with many sickly plants. “I’d see things — well, I don’t have that and one of those would work here — and if it was kind of a challenge, I’d buy it and see if I could get it to grow,” she explained.

The flower garden has so many different varieties, it’s impossible to name them all! The garden also seems to be a favorite place for birds to visit. Anderson said there are many different varieties of birds including oriole, cardinal, finches, hummingbirds, wrens, blue bird and most of the usual ones that visit every summer. The birds’ singing makes the backyard area so peaceful. “At night, it’s kind of (interesting), they just go wild, flying low,” in the back yard, Anderson said.

Anderson doesn’t spend much time watering. “I water to get (the plants) started, otherwise I don’t water too much,” she said. Most of the flowers thrive pretty well off of just the rain.

Anderson has a few decorative landscaping items in the garden also, but doesn’t like it too cluttered. “Just a few things is enough,” she said. Her favorite items include an old antique hoe Lynn found, a fire pit full of flowers, and some wrought iron sunflowers. She also has a couple birdbaths.

In the future, Anderson expects she will continue growing the garden.

“I’ve gone to less annuals because there’s so many new things to try at nurseries, etc,” Anderson explained of her future plans. She is also looking into a few more evergreen type plants that hopefully will take a little less care. For now, she keeps the bird feeders full and keeps the weeds at bay. Other than that, it is mostly pure enjoyment!