“In the beginning, our plant exchange was really small,” says Elkhart County Park Department Chief Naturalist, Jerry Good. “But, it’s been growing. This will be our fifth year.”
Yesterday, DH and I traded plants with more than 60 friends and neighbors. The sun was out. We met new people. We took home a Rose of Sharon, a tea plant and yellow irises. I petted a baby raccoon.
It was a perfect day.
One man’s excess might be another man’s garden centerpiece.
Queen patiently waits while her family trades plants and tours the gardens.
Steve Ganglo, DeFries Garden Park Caretaker, with orphan, Coonie.
Who could resist that face? Coonie is being raised on half ‘n half and baby formula.
THE CALENDAR GARDEN
Designed by Jon Curtell, DeFries’ Calendar Garden has a section for each season. It is further divided by months. Every month features grasses, bushes, plants and flowers at their peak. Native Indiana plants are on the outside of the garden. Horicultural displays are toward the inside.
Pathways representing four lunar equinoxes, form a compass leading to a pond in the middle of the Calendar Garden.
The pond with it’s water lilies is the garden focal point. There are goldfish and bluegill, too. The bluegill were added because the park department wanted native Indiana fish. Nobody considered size. As a result, the number of goldfish is dropping.
A patch of green amidst pink lily pads.
Every month has a lunar marker featuring a distinct moon phase.
One of the seasonal sections.
May is in full bloom.
This is the back entrance to the house Beth DeFries built and donated to the Elkhart County Park Department. Steve Ganglo, the park caretaker and his wife Linda live here now.
Benefactor Beth DeFries, an amateur botanist interested in preserving Northern Indiana’s native plants, donated her land and house to Elkhart County’s Park Department.