Out of the Earth

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The Haires aren't the only ones to appreciate their garden

Sherry Archie


For The Lancaster News

The Haires built their home in 1970. Many of the original boxwoods and hollies kept neatly trimmed continue to thrive in the yard – a direct result of Judy’s green thumb.

“Growing plants has always been easy for me,” Judy said. “Many times I have just stuck a small cutting from a plant in the ground and it really takes off.”

She says part of her secret is using Black Kow manure whenever she plants something new. Sprinkling a little Black Kow into a pre-dug hole then blending it with the soil helps to create a nurturing home for the new plant. Then she mixes a little Black Kow into the soil surrounding the plant and packs it gently to hold the plant firmly in place. She uses this same trick for vegetable gardening as well.

More evidence of her green thumb can be found throughout their yard. Hardy perennials, annuals, bushes and established trees surround the house foundation and fill the many sculpted islands in the large yard. Whimsical yard ornaments, birdhouses and bird feeders gathered through the years are nestled here and they’re adding their own charm to the setting.

The Haires do share the yard work, which includes taking about four hours a week to mow the massive 4.5 acre lot. Judy says she enjoys mowing on their zero turn lawn mower so Charles can tend to the weedeating. She’s a little hesitant for him to pull out the weed killer though. A few years ago, he was spreading some Round Up and accidentally took out six or seven established azaleas that once created a bright pink spring hedge along the front sidewalk. Now marigolds fill that spot between landscape fencing and a row of monkey grass.

Judy enjoys working in her yard, saying sometimes she’s outside from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. While she’s out there watering, weeding and caring for her yard, she also takes time to enjoy the hummingbirds that frequent her feeders. The feeders are protected by an umbrella to offer a cooler, shady spot for feeding. It also helps to keep the nectar fresher longer. She says sometimes there are 25 to 30 hummingbirds competing for a shady sip.

Their yard has been a work in progress. About four years ago they removed about 65 pine trees to open up the yard. Next they hope to add a gazebo to the side yard offering another vantage point to enjoy the view.

The Yard of the Month is sponsored by the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs. Recipients receive a $25 gift certificate complements of The Home Depot. If you would like to nominate a Yard of the Month, please contact Jeri Sullivan at 285-3369.