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Hundreds stroll through garden galleries in Waynesboro

September 26, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The garden of Peggy and Don Weller of Waynesboro is a study in contrasts. A century-old copper beech tree shares the yard with a Japanese garden under construction and a two-week-old grape arbor that has 60-year-old grape vines trailing across it. A sun garden is on the opposite side of the house from a moon garden.

Garden aficionados could visit the Wellers' garden and nine others in the Waynesboro area Sunday afternoon, admiring the beauty and gleaning ideas for their own plantings.

The tour, dubbed An Autumn Stroll, was the third such fundraiser for the Franklin County Master Gardeners.

Anne Finucane, organizer of the event, said the money raised supports educational programs and community service gardens. The Master Gardeners provide land, seeds and guidance for probationers and the migrant community to have gardens.

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The gardens on Sunday's tour represented a variety of styles and sizes.

Finucane said she expected about 200 people to view the gardens.

Peggy Weller, of 512 S. Potomac St., said she took a photo of an octagonal grape arbor in Germany this past summer and asked her husband if he thought he could create a similar one to replace the old, traditional-style one that was falling down.

Although he had no measurements, Don Weller built a huge arbor with chains supporting the top vines. "We just started training the vines onto it two weeks ago," Peggy Weller said. "In two years it will look like the pictures.

"As Master Gardeners, we're an educational group," Peggy Weller added. "The trees are old, and there are established beds. We tried to show something new also, to give ideas of what you can do."

Her bright, cheerful sun garden has a sundial surrounded by orange, yellow and red flowers.

The moon garden under the kitchen window is planted with Dusty Miller, lily of the valley, white impatiens, white garden phlox and silver cascade artemsia.

"At night, a little moonlight brings out the colors. I can see it from the kitchen," she said.

Peggy's mother, Helen Overington, 98, sat on a bench admiring the new grape arbor. She moved to the house in 1956 and now lives next door. She thinks that what her daughter and son-in-law have done with the garden is, "Wonderful. Unbelievable. The grapes will be spread out and be bigger and better."

Dr. James McKenzie and his wife, Linda, of 9063 Rinehart Drive, have an average-size backyard completely filled with an artfully-designed garden. Pennsylvania blue flagstone, several levels of wooden deck, a waterfall, a bridge and numerous potted plants combine to create a relaxing atmosphere. McKenzie, a retired radiologist, said he had the garden put in nine years ago by a landscape architect from Washington, D.C.

"It took nine months," he said. "Before, it was a sloping yard and a deck." A huge old maple was incorporated into the architect's design.

McKenzie does all the maintenance himself, and made his first attempt at growing roses this year. A gazebo with a fan and a wisteria-covered pergola offer seating.

Three of the trees at the Will and Marty Macfarland home, at 433 Clayton Ave., are on the Pennsylvania Big Tree List of Champions, a European Beech, an oak and a sycamore.

Forestry classes from Penn State Mont Alto have come to study their trees, Marty Macfarland said.

A dozen sequoia trees planted in the early 1970s also grow on the four-acre property. While the trees have adapted well, they are small compared to those in their native California, visitor Edgar Stallings said.

Stallings, of Bedford County, and his daughter, Elizabeth Stock of Greencastle, Pa., visited five of the gardens on the tour. While Stallings said he is "sort of" a gardener himself, Stock said, "He's modest."

Marty Macfarland transformed a former rose garden - most of the roses were dead, she said - into an herb garden. Bronze fennel, which tastes like licorice, shares space with Russian sage, oregano and a Japanese apricot tree that blooms in early spring. "I've never seen a plant I didn't like," she said.

The Macfarland property also includes a formal fern bed, a perennial cutting garden, beehives and a small glass greenhouse.

The couple bought the property in 1996, moving from Connecticut and bringing their beehives with them.

The other homes on the tour were Doris Goldman, 11632 Woodlea Drive; Ellie Benish and Athena Varounas, 11025 Old Forge Road; Donald and Nicola Milne, 12547 Stonecrest Circle; Allie and Jo Ann Kohler, 11455 Pine Hill Drive; Diana and Paul Gunder, 9932 Mentzer Gap Road; Holly and John Wheeler, 114 Myrtle Ave.; the Renfrew Four-Square garden, 1010 E. Main St.

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