In 1979, the landscaping at 285 Riverside Drive in Rossford's Eagle Point Colony consisted of one tree peony, a couple of big pine trees, and a solid yard of dandelions.
Today that sorry little collection has become a living tapestry of color, shape, size, and texture - Japanese maples, vines, ground covers, rare dwarf conifers, blooming plants, and more - the culmination of 30 years of gardening by Dave Merrell.
He and his wife, Jan, will welcome the public Saturday to see it for themselves. Their home is one of 13 in the neighborhood that make up this year's garden tour fund-raiser for Toledo Day Nursery, called "In Another Garden."
"It's all kind of packed in here," says Dr. Merrell, who likes his plants to be chummy. "They grow together and they complement one another," he adds. "It gives a very pleasing effect."
The gardens of Marlene and Tom Uhler, 104 Eagle Point Drive, in Rossford.
Gazing at the garden where he says he spends part of just about every evening, Dr. Merrell says he can see plants he put in 30 years ago - including a 55-foot-tall dawn redwood that was just two feet high when he bought it - and plants he set into the earth just last week.
He says he hopes that this weekend's visitors to his garden "get an appreciation for plant material other than just annuals and plain old pine trees."
And if those visitors have questions, Dr. Merrell says, he'll be right there in the garden and glad to answer them.
The tours will give gardening enthusiasts lots of good ideas they can incorporate into their own yards and flower beds, says Lynda Gilbert, who is organizing the garden tour. All proceeds go to Toledo Day Nursery, a nationally accredited child-care center that dates back to 1871 and serves at-risk children of Toledo's central city.
Looking down from a patio onto one of the gardens at the home of Jan and Dave Merrell.
The array of gardens that will be open include such features as borders, courtyards, sculpture and other garden art, plantings for sun or shade, paths, window boxes, patio planters, and water elements such as a fountain and a pond. One home has a greenhouse, two have pools, and five are on the river. Some gardens are large, others small.
"There's a good variety," Mrs. Gilbert says, adding that this is one of the largest tours that Friends of Toledo Day Nursery has organized.
Joining the Merrells on the tours Saturday:
•Betsy and David Allison, 405 Forest Drive
•Susan and Jack Pesci, 424 Forest
•Suzi and Ted Hahn, 230 Riverside Drive
•Christine and Don Helvey, 249 Riverside
•Becky Furhman and Don Leary, 335 Riverside
•Jim Mann, 321 Riverside
•Sherry and Richard Leichtamer, 368 Colony Rd.
•Bethany and John Rust, 129 Eagle Point Drive
•Pat and Jim Appold, 520 Riverside
•Linda and Robert Bunda, 528 Riverside
•Carol and George Koury, 530 Riverside
•Marlene and Tom Uhler, 104 Eagle Point
Friends of Toledo Day Nursery's "In Another Garden" Tour 2009 takes place at Eagle Point Colony in Rossford from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 in advance from Garden Delights, Ken's Flower Shops, Black Diamond Garden Centers, Hoen's Greenhouse and Garden Center, Emery's Flowers & Company, Schramm's Flowers, and Select Stone Company. Tickets will be $20 the day of the event from any of the garden tour stops or the shuttle site. Free parking and shuttles are available at Rossford High School, 701 Superior St. A preview party will be held at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the home of Elaine and John Bachey, 270 Riverside Drive. Tickets are $75 per person; reservations are required. Call 419-243-2627.
Contact Ann Weber at: firstname.lastname@example.org