September 2018 Garden of the Month

September 2018 Garden of the Month

The Gettysburg Garden Club, through its Garden of the Month committee, is pleased to present the Garden of the Month award for September 2018 to Deborah Altemose of 125 Knoxlyn Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325 nominated by Betsy Bender. Forty years ago when Deborah moved into her home it was all woods. She remembers starting out with just a small, around the home edge garden of azaleas, ground cover and a weeping Japanese maple. Now, she has a magnificent shade garden in the front lawn and a huge water garden in the back yard. She plans on installing a rose garden along the garage and some fun plants along the wooded trails through her backyard as her ash trees die allowing more sunlight.

The shade garden at the front of the house while good looking now, is even more beautiful in the spring time according to Deb. Lots of pachysandra and hardy begonias make up the bases of the winding beds. Sprinkled in amongst backdrops of azaleas and cherry laurels are hostas, painted ferns, St Johns wart, petunias, ajuga, may apples, Jack in the pulpits and a Magnolia tree.

This year as many have experienced due to the excessive amounts of rain, some of her plants have rotted, not come up, haven’t matured at the proper time or are doing the complete opposite and thriving in the wetness. But it will survive as it always does because she harvests seeds from the plants at the end of the season and replants them next year. She also gets plenty of ‘volunteers’ that pop up.

Lining the driveway are purple and lavender petunias. Not only do they catch ones eye with the abundant flow of color but they save Deb from mowing the sloping lawn. Alongside the garage she plants more of a sun-loving bed, zinnias, cleome, and black eyed susans. For some winter interest a walking stick tree is there to show off its twisted branches. Kokedama balls of hens and chicks dangle from shepherd’s hooks. A hydrangea is planted at the corner. Deb gets a little misty eyed when explaining that for years she tried to grow hydrangeas but they always died. She tried planting in different spots each time but always the same results. When Deb’s mother passed away she was given this hydrangea as a gift and it seems to still be living and doing well, perhaps, with a little spiritual help.

On the other side of the driveway behind the house is a massive water garden. Belonging to the water garden club for about 30 years, she has evolved her water garden over the years. Starting with a pond at the top of the hill and a pond at the bottom, Deb decided they needed to be connected. Even though the plants around the pond made it appear as they were, she wanted a stream. So now she has one connecting the two ponds with a little rock bridge to cross near the top. Altogether her garden is about 40ft from top to bottom with the ponds being 3 ½ ft. Her husband, Tom, helps with the upkeep of the water pond but leaves the rest of the gardening to Deb. Protecting the goldfish in the pond are plenty of plants on top of the water and around.

Water lilies, tall grasses and very large elephant ears offer hiding spots. Hostas, sedums and lungwort offer flowing greenery from top to bottom. Bear’s breeches, purple hyacinth beans, gerbera daisies, impatiens, popcorn plant, cotton plant, beebalm, Echinacea, and sunflowers offer bits of color to the water garden and around the adjacent patio. Frogs, birds, and the sounds of cheerful grandchildren fill the air in the late summer, helping Deb relax and de-stress after a long day of work.


To nominate your property or someone else’s for the Garden of the Month award please call or text Deb Steckler at (717) 357-3623 or fill out our form.


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