NOTE: Weed It & Reap goes dormant with this, our final article for the 2013 growing season, the fourth year we’ve brought you this feature. For 24 weeks, we’ve introduced a variety of people who are enriched by planting, nurturing, and harvesting. To read their stories and see their gardens, go to http://bit.ly/19KgzBK
Name: Gary Reddish, owner of Reddish Contact Sports Supply, living in East Toledo.
Garden specs: More than 2,000 square feet in the backyard. When I was a kid, we’d help build terraces going down to the river at the home of my father, Max Reddish. He loved to garden.
PHOTO GALLERY: Gary Reddish's 'stress relief'
When did you start gardening: 1977, shortly after we married and had a place in East Toledo.
What do you grow: Decorative grasses, several varieties of ferns, daylilies, tea roses, many varieties of hosta, hydrangea, trumpet vine, water lilies, elephant ears, a couple of tomato plants, plus annuals to fill in. We have iris we’ve moved with us from Toledo to North Carolina, southern Ohio, and back. I bought New Guinea impatiens this year because last summer’s downy mildew wiped out the impatiens. We have a lot of annuals this year from Mercy Health Partners. My wife Deb went through breast cancer surgery and extensive treatment, and when she got better, she was in a spring photo shoot for the Mercy Gets Me campaign.
Favorite plant: Hosta, particularly one our daughter brought from Pittsburgh.
Give us a tip: Have patience. And don’t be afraid to prune and thin, plants love to be cut back. I use a pruning pole on the weeping cherry.
Hours spent gardening: Four to seven a week. On Saturdays, I close the shop at 1, and then I’m out here puttering until dark with a break to barbecue.
Annual expense: $200-$300.
Challenges: Critters. Cats have been laying and spraying on some of the plants such as iris and New Guinea impatiens. You’d be surprised at the amount of wildlife in the city: possums, tree rats (squirrels), raccoons, peregrine falcons from downtown, and deer.
I’m proud of: The brick patio, fountain, and pergola I built with my son, Max, when he was in high school. After the neighbor behind us took down a huge tree, we had unbearable sun, and the trumpet vine that covers the pergola provides shade (although little trumpet vines pop up all over the place).
What do you get out of gardening: I love to work in the garden and it’s stress relief. In the last few years I’ve had a heart attack and Deb was off work for eight months dealing with breast cancer. Also, we’ve had St. Bernard dogs for more than 35 years and are on our fourth. Some have been more kind to the garden than others. Our current one, Grace, likes to grab a mouthful of coral bell leaves as she saunters by, not even breaking stride. One cooled her paws in our raised pond. But my favorite story is about our second Saint, Holly Rose. She would walk along the fence line, stop at each different flower, close her eyes, lean in, and smell the flowers. The most wondrous thing you have ever seen.
Contact Tahree Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org and 419-724-6075.