by Connie Oswald Stofko
No matter how hot it gets, you can always find a shady spot to sit in the yard of Sharon and Bob Rowitsch of Springville. They have made a point to create seating areas throughout their half-acre landscape.
You can see their gardens during the Scene Garden Walk, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8 in Springville.
Pick up maps at Fiddler’s Green Park, Franklin and S. Buffalo St., Springville.
The walk is organized by the SCENe (Springville Concord Elder Network) Garden Club. This is the second year they are holding the walk. The event is sponsored by Waterman’s Greenhouse.
There will be 18 garden walks this year as part of Gardens Buffalo Niagara (formerly the National Garden Festival). They include nearly 1,000 gardens!
The garden walk season will be kicked off this weekend with the Lewiston GardenFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18. Pick up maps at the hospitality booths at 411 and 625 Center St., Lewiston.
I appreciated that the Rowitsches opened up their gardens so many weeks before their garden walk. In addition to it being so early in the season, many plants that would be blooming now, such as roses, are late because of the cold, wet spring weather. Yet their gardens were lovely and there was so much to learn from the couple.
Sharon uses dianthus in her garden beds because “Deer don’t eat dianthus— at least they don’t in my yard.” Then she added: “But they’ll eat anything if they’re hungry enough.”
The deer have done a lot of damage over the years. You see can rows of mature arborvitaes in the Rowitsches’ backyard, punctuated by what looks like a small sapling here and there. Those “saplings” are actually the same age as the other shrubs, but those are the ones that, for whatever reason, the deer choose to munch on the most.
Those tiny arborvitaes might stand a chance this year because Sharon and Bob found the spot where the deer like to enter the yard. The couple recently strung six lines of clear fishing line there. The deer don’t like bumping into that fishing line.
“It seems like it’s working,” Bob said.
They also offered a tip for dealing with groundhogs. They used to live in Cuba, New York, and groundhogs that had dug a hole near their vegetable garden were becoming a nuisance. The couple (who had six children in ten years) took a dirty diaper and placed it in the groundhog hole. That worked to keep the groundhogs away from the garden. The Rowitsches figure the animals don’t want to be near humans, and scent kept them away. (They said a dirty diaper, not just a wet diaper, seemed to do the trick.)
Get more ideas and tips from the photos below.