The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 25, 2013

Garden of the Month

Christine Seuffert’s lovely garden awarded August honor

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Hostas and holly, roses, a blue spruce and a large rhododendron greet visitors to Christine Seuffert’s home in a delightful way.

The well-groomed yard and home lends a “cottage in the woods” feel and invites all who see it to come in and stay awhile.

Christine Seuffert, 6018 Hillcrest Ave., is the winner of the Garden Trails Garden Club’s August Garden of the Month Award.

“It’s a beautiful mixture both of textures and plant types—perennials, vines, shrubs, trees  — most of them intermingling in a happy, companionable way,” said Cheryl Sheer, chairwoman of the Garden of the Month Committee. “The roses are in full bloom, the hostas are just wonderful; it’s visually appealing and creative.”

A green thumb came naturally to Seuffert, who has lived on Hillcrest for 25 years.

“My parents were avid gardeners; so much of what’s in my yard was in their yard in South Euclid,” she said. “Both are deceased, so when I’m out here, they are with me.”

A stone walkway lined with raspberry bushes on the north side of the house leads visitors to the backyard, highlighted by a lovely oak leaf hydrangea with a pink-tinged Oriental lily peeking through its foliage. There is a quite nice pink lacecap, as well.

A collection of blue bottles are displayed artfully, a multitude of varied container plantings tucked here, there, everywhere — each a delightful surprise.

“The blue bottles keep evil spirits away,” Seuffert said.

Many, many shade-loving plants please the eyes. Rose campion reappears here and there, as do certain ferns and hostas, lending a nice continuity. Bird baths, bird feeders and a sundial are suitably placed.

One of the judges noted, “I'm not a big fan of goat's beard, but specimens in side garden are really enviable.”

Seuffert credited Brobt’s Landscaping for the clean edging and good use of mulch. She hires them once a year to come in and work, leaving the grass in the back looking like it was trimmed by “conscientious elves with tiny hedge shears,” a Garden Club judge noted.

All of Seuffert’s plants and flowers looked healthy and free of pests.

The black-eyed Susans are quite spectacular and various echinaceas brighten the side garden with fabulous euphorbia popping up everywhere (even out front). Their yellow flowers are gone, but the lady's mantle makes a lovely drift in the back.

Visitors may think  a garden would be less charming in August, but think again. Seuffert’s garden is wonderful, Sheer said, including the tea rose in the front, which is full of glowing, multi-hued, rosy, orangy, gold roses.

The Garden Trails Garden Club invites residents to “stop and smell the roses” and be thinking of a city resident to nominate for next year’s (flower) Garden of the Month Award.

Elke Wellman of Ashtabula nominated Seuffert’s garden.

Winners will be chosen for the months of June, July and August and will receive $50 prize money, a photo and certificate of achievement.