Inspirational stroll

Smiths to show off garden home
during Crestwood Civic Garden Tour

Annual fundraising event
includes two luncheon seatings

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (June 2009) – When Sandy and George Smith were married under a pergola in their yard, they had no idea that their Crestwood home would be included in a garden tour four years later. All of the hard work they have put into their landscape has paid off. They will be sharing their satisfaction with others who tour their gardens in June.

Crestwood Garden

Photo provided

The beautiful gardens of Sandy and
George Smith will be highlighted at the
Crestwood Civic Club's Garden Tour in June.

“We have a little of everything,” dotting the gardens that surround our Cape Cod home, said Sandy Smith. “I like the cottage look.” Roses, azaleas and hydrangeas planted close to the house give the property a country home feel.
The home was built in 1992 on a lot that was terribly overgrown. In the beginning, “We couldn’t see more than three feet in front of us,” said Smith.
The couple cleared the land themselves, and when her husband died two years later, Smith turned to gardening as a hobby and as a way to cope with the loss of her husband. She saw great potential for a property that had begun as a very challenging site.
The Smiths’ gardens are just one of three selected sites on the Crestwood Civic Club’s Annual Garden Tour and Luncheon, scheduled for Friday, June 19, from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. There are two seatings for lunch – 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. –  at the Clubhouse located at 7215 Kavanaugh Lane in Crestwood.
The Crestwood Civic Club will also play host to a plant sale at the clubhouse, with proceeds benefiting their scholarship program. Students from four Crestwood area schools receive scholarships from the club and proceeds also go toward their school indigent fund.
“Each garden on the tour has its own personality and character,” said Jean Olson, Crestwood Civic Club president. “We try to choose ones that have a different look to them. The owner’s tastes are reflected in their plant choices.”
Visitors come from Louisville and southern Indiana, as well as locally, to take the tour, said Olson. Many times friends and acquaintances of club members take the tour, and die-hard garden people will come even on a rainy day. Olson herself is an Oldham County Master Gardener and member of several garden clubs including the Green Thumbs Garden Club and Cardinal Garden Club.
Smith said she has always had flowers surrounding her home, mostly roses which she loves. She is inspired by looking through garden books, and reads a lot in the winter months. “If I see a plant and like it, I buy it and try to find a space for it,” she said. A majority of her efforts have evolved through trial and error.
Her future husband, George, had built a pergola in her yard, and it was here that the couple married in the fall of 2004. The hillside was a blaze of color from mums Smith had planted and the pergola is one of her favorite spots that has been created in her landscape. It contains a huge swing from which the entire gardens can be viewed.
Currently, lots of different types of coral bells are in bloom, bringing life to the landscape with colors of peach, citronella and even bright fall colors of red and orange. The property contains 35-40 different varieties of hostas, as well as lavender, day lilies, astilbe, clematis, peonies and ferns.
Smith’s husband has added several structural elements to the garden, such as beautiful retaining walls along the creek that runs through the property. Rock from the property has also been used to build paths to the creek.
“Their landscaping was designed to help meet erosion needs and has evolved over time,” said Olson. Tour visitors can get ideas on how to use challenging sites to their advantage by viewing the Smith’s landscaping, she said.
The second garden on the tour is owned by Ruth and Eugene McBride of La Grange. Ruth, a Master Gardener, has planted grape hyacinths, fairy roses, lilacs, Shasta daisies, tiger lilies, forsythia and a vast array of flower varieties on the couple’s acre and a half retreat in Heather Hill.
The couple has built stone walls, landscaped creatively with brick edgers and installed a terraced garden on their property. They even used discarded tree trunks and branches from last year’s winter ice storm to boarder planting areas and craft rustic benches to enhance their outdoor seating areas.
The third garden on the tour is that of Alma and Bob Greenrose of Crestwood. The property contains an historic manor house built around 1843 and 10 acres of the original 4,000-acre Cassady family land grant.
Like Sandy Smith’s property, the Greenrose’s property was full of bushes and briars when they purchased it in 1997. They made a rare discovery when they unearthed buried brick walks and a plan for a terrace that had never been built.
They built the terrace and added a second one, fish pond with water fall, shaded sitting areas, shrubs, trees, grasses, perennials and annuals to make their home and gardens arelaxing oasis.
“All of these gardens are different and unique,” said Olson.

• Tickets and self-guided maps for the Crestwood Civic Club’s Annual Garden Tour and Luncheon may be purchased in advance for $15 by contacting Anne Murner at (502) 292-2701 or Jean Olson at (502) 222-7908. Tickets will be $17 at the door.

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