Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Big Hug Cranberry Garden Designed to Give Home a Loving Embrace 2012 Great Gardens Contest Fall/year Round Large Garden Category Winner

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Big Hug Cranberry Garden Designed to Give Home a Loving Embrace 2012 Great Gardens Contest Fall/year Round Large Garden Category Winner

Article excerpt

When an avid gardener gets the opportunity to start from scratch in a new location, it's always interesting to see what happens. Rose Romboski took that challenge when she started over on a half-acre lot in Cranberry five years ago. Her new creation worked out so well that she was selected as the large garden winner of the PG Great Gardens Contest, fall/year-round category.

Mrs. Romboski, who as a child lived above her parents' funeral home in Coraopolis, became interested in flowers early on.

"I was always amazed by the beautiful floral arrangements in the funeral home. I'd ask my Dad after the funeral was over and the families would take the arrangements they wanted if I could 'pick flowers to make bouquets.' Of course he said yes because those flowers get thrown away. I would make my own arrangements going from basket to basket picking flowers, even taking them to school for my teachers."

When she and her husband, Larry, purchased their first home in 1995, it was partially landscaped. But she saw potential for a shade garden in the back of the property. As that garden grew, she became more interested in gardening and eventually completed the Penn State Master Gardener program in 2000.

"That first garden was nice," Mrs. Romboski says, "but what I really wanted was to design everything from scratch and have the house feel like it's getting a 'hug' from the gardens around it. So when Larry and I decided to build our current home, we thought of all the details, from the beds that surround the entire house, meandering sidewalks that connect the front yard to the back, to the 51/2-foot stone wall that runs the entire length of the backyard. I literally drew out what I envisioned and worked with the contractors to incorporate the sidewalks, walls and garden beds with the construction of the house."

Mrs. Romboski credits builder Wayne Henchar with having the same vision she did when he constructed the lovely stone walls that run along the back of the property.

All the plants are new, except for some hostas that she brought from her former home. Bob Yates of Pride Nursery was instrumental in helping her select some of the large trees and shrubs. …

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