A Small Urban Garden

A Small Urban Garden

Part of Ep. 901 Personal Spaces, Public Spaces

Portage County Master Gardener Ann Whipp and  husband Rick highlight a stained glass gate, grapes and roses during a tour of their Stevens Point garden.

Premiere date: Mar 03, 2001

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley:
We're visiting a private garden in Stevens Point. From the sidewalk in the front of the house, you'd never know there was a beautiful garden hidden in the back yard. This is the garden of Rick and Ann Whipp. And Ann is a Portage County Master Gardener. Ann, thank you for letting us come and visit you today.

Ann:
Welcome, Shelley. Why don't you come on in. One of the first things I want to show you is our garden gate door. We took an old door that was sitting in the basement, cut out the glass, Rick painted the vines around the edges, and of course, we've got Bacchus, the wine God, in the center.

Shelley:
This is a great idea for an entrance to the garden, too. I love it. About how old is this garden?

Ann:
This area is the oldest. It's five years old-- the pergola and the brick. We've got a four-year-old concord grape on this side and a three-year- old Edelweiss vine on this side.

Shelley:
It's amazing that they grow that quickly. I thought it would take a lot longer. You've already got a nice sense of shade established here.

Ann:
Right.

Shelley:
And it looks like a beautiful chandelier, here.

Ann:
Yes, it's great. It's candles, so we can light those in the evening and share our glass of wine out here on the shaded pergola.

Shelley:
A nice intimate spot.

Ann:
One of my favorite things in the garden are roses. I've a tree rose, here.

Shelley:
It's got a beautiful bud on it. Look at the colors in that thing.

Ann:
And I've got, in ground, Old English roses here. I like English Roses best because they've got wonderful scents and great big blossoms.

Shelley:
They can really perfume the air. This is just a nice back yard. This looks like a very full-sun perennial bed, mostly?

Ann:
Actually, a little bit of both. One of my favorite parts to this bed is the Bird Girl in the center. As you mentioned, she's surrounded by a mixture of perennials. One of the great things about this bed, is we've been able to extend it a little bit by the graciousness of our neighbor, whose garage this is. She's allowed us to hang a window box on her window.

Shelley:
So, you've really dressed up a white wall with that.

Ann:
Right. And here, we've got another window box that Rick has painted from inspiration from a Parisian apartment building.

Shelley:
I like the design repetition, here, too. You've got the real flowers in the window box and then this beautiful painted one. Great idea. It's nice to see art in the garden, like this, too.

Ann:
Yes, it adds a lot.

Shelley:
You've done it again. These are great.

Ann:
Right. Chairs in the garden give you another perspective. And why not dress up those big backs with Monet-inspired paintings?

Shelley:
Rick did this again?

Ann:
Rick did that again.

Shelley:
You've got paintings on the wall-- Actually, the fence, too.

Ann:
Right, and the fence acts as a wall, so why not hang art outside on the walls, as you would inside?

Shelley:
Sure, we do it inside to make our walls interesting, too.

Ann:
And right down here, we've recycled some stone. We created a miniature Stonehenge. And we've topped it off with a strawberry jar with a mix of perennials. We've got some Woolly Thyme and some Hens and Chicks in there.

Shelley:
I'm going to have to try that. I have a lot of recycled rock in my back yard, too. Here, you've done something with these beautiful, old, weathered bricks. This is just a lovely little spot. Tell me about it.

Ann:
Well, the bricks came from the old Lullaby Factory in town that they demolished a couple years ago. And as you mentioned, it adds a lot of character. We've set our pond within this area. It's a pre-formed pond. And we've covered the edges with overgrown herbs.

Shelley:
You've got Dahlias for some color. That can change from season to season.

Ann:
I really enjoy changing the color scheme from time to time.

Shelley:
You also seem to enjoy using these found or salvaged materials, too.

Ann:
The best part is it's easier on the pocketbook.

Shelley:
I like that. You can just store them for the next project every time you find something.

Ann:
One of my other favorites is this Blue Hydrangea.

Shelley:
This is gorgeous.

Ann:
It began as a pink one, but I wanted to try making it blue, so I add a tablespoon of aluminum sulfate each fall around the crown. And after three years, I've got an all-blue blossom.

Shelley:
Now, this is one we have to be careful with. It's Zone 5. It's marginally hardy in Wisconsin.

Ann:
Correct, so you need a sheltered area to put it in.

Shelley:
So, along the wall. Great idea. I really like that. I also like what you've done to hide some of your work areas. You've got this beautiful variegated vine. And you've turned a shed into a thing of beauty, too.

Ann:
Right. The sunflower was added, just as you mentioned, to perk up the utilities area.

Shelley:
Was this by Rick, again?

Ann:
Rick again.

Shelley:
I think it's time I met the artist of your garden.

Ann:
And there he is.

Rick:
Welcome.

Shelley:
Thanks. I have been looking at your artwork throughout here. Tell me a little bit about what you've done. It's really very impressive.

Rick:
Well, as Ann told you, I've been kind of inspired by Monet and Matisse. And those are my own creations. But this garden shed was a thing that even you can do.

Shelley:
Oh, good.

Rick:
I had a picture from Versailles of these statues. And I made a transparency from that, and I was able to get the scale right this way. By using an overhead projector, I put the transparency on the projector and put that image on the shed wall.

Shelley:
So, you traced it.

Rick:
I traced it. And then colored it in with my pastel chalks and then covered that, along with everything else that's out there, with a polyurethane UV protectorate.

Shelley:
For water.

Rick:
For water.

Shelley:
Rick, thank you. This is something that I am going to have to try.

Rick:
You're welcome.

Shelley:
Thank you both for letting me see your garden today.

Rick:
It's been fun.

Ann:
Thank you.

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