Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`I Think My Wife's Garden Is Beautiful,' Says Proud Man, Who Has Reason to Boast

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`I Think My Wife's Garden Is Beautiful,' Says Proud Man, Who Has Reason to Boast

Article excerpt

My tips for garden viewing come from many sources.

Usually it's a friend or neighbor who tells me I simply must visit a certain garden. Sometimes it's the gardener himself or herself who takes pride in a beautiful achievement and wants to share experiences.

Today's spotlight was directed by a husband toward his wife's accomplishment.

"I think my wife's garden is beautiful," Greg McCaskill wrote. "I hope you agree. Everything we have done is trial and error with lots of the latter. The whole thing is a continual work in progress, and if you would like to stop by, we would love to have you."

He also enclosed some pictures of a clematis showering flowers over an equally colorful bed of impatiens, and one of steep steps leading to another garden area with a tantalizing glimpse of beauties beyond the rise. It was enough to take me to the Town and Country home of Greg and Patty McCaskill, a beautifully planted place with many gardens on many levels.

It is a work in progress as every thriving garden is, and Patty admits with a laugh that it is not what she envisioned.

"I had never gardened in my life, and what I thought I'd have was an English garden," she recalls.

"I remember thinking, `In two years I'll have it all planted, and I'll never have to do anything more to it.' It didn't turn out quite that way."

For one thing, every time they planted an area it bordered on a neighboring area which offered possibilities for another garden. The steps I'd seen in Greg's picture lead up a hillside past flowering trees and Japanese maples to a terraced garden with three levels of perennials and a gorgeous green background of hosta in the shaded border. The bottom level overlooks what I always call my "favorite water feature" in anyone's garden, a swimming pool. You skirt the pool, go down to another area and still another garden.

"We consider them as rooms in a house," Patty describes her gardens. "We have five of them, counting the pocket garden at the front door."

In the beginning, about 10 years ago, they bought hit and miss, a bit compulsively, as all new gardeners do, including "all of Central Hardware's orphan plants," Patty said. …

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