Saturday, July 17, 2010

Irv and Louise Dingus

"The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth, one is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth." -
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, Garden Thoughts

This is a popular poem, but I think I never really understood it fully until I experienced Louise's garden. You see, Louise is my father's wife, of more than 20 years now, but as I got to know her


during their courtship, I couldn't help but admire her taste and style, both indoors and out. But we'll save indoors for another day. Today is the day to explore the beautiful garden that she and my father, Irv have built together.
Dad and Louise began their marriage at Glenmere, a wonderful old 1920's bungalow in Kingsport, Tennessee, but as time passed, kids moved away, and grandchildren were born, they decided to relocate in order to share more fully in the lives of the little ones. As they contemplated the move, one of the things they

Hydrangea in bud

most hated to leave behind was their garden; so, they brought as much of it with them as they could. These Hydrangea plants were one of the very first plantings in the new garden. In order to save her beloved Hydrangea, Louise dug small shoots from around the original plant in Tennessee and planted them at their new home in Alabama. I am amazed at how those tiny shoots grew and developed!
But, while several plants made their way to a new home, it was time to say "goodbye" to others and start afresh...just like these cheerful Daffodils that herald the beginning of Spring.
Other early blooming plants included were, Creeping Phlox, Azaleas, Pink Dogwood, and some beautiful Irises.
Both the Bearded Irises (above) and the blue Siberian Irises (left) were artfully planted. As you can see in the background, the roses have now started to bloom.

Siberian Iris in Spring Garden

Yellow flowers are one of my dad's preferences, so these yellow roses were one of his garden picks.
The Stella d' Oro daylily is probably, however, my dad's favorite flower. He likes this variety so much that he named their adorable little

Stella and the Daylilies

dog Stella after them. Dad and Stella share a May 5th birthday, so a couple of years ago, I gave Dad a Cinco de Mayo Rose. I felt that it was an appropriate choice to commemorate the special day.

Cinco de Mayo Rose

Louise planted it in the perennial garden near the patio so that they could enjoy it often. Rosa Cinco de Mayo is a floribunda variety. It has performed very well in the perennial garden, and during first bloom, is nearly completely covered in small semi-double blooms. The colors are reminiscent of a Mexican fiesta; reds, yellows, and peachy oranges all combined in one lovely flower!
One of Louise's choices was the Cecile Brunner rose, a blush pink heirloom climber. This is one of my favorites!
The flowers in the vase are another of the pink rose varieties in the summer garden. Other flowers grown for summer bloom include purple coneflowers and a large variety of daylilies, including of course, Stella d' Oro. You can see the plant bearing the roses in the vase near the bottom left corner of the photo below.

Pink Roses

Since Louise is an avid swimmer, one of the first things they did when they relocated was to install a swimming pool.
This is the view from the pool itself. I think I could spend all day here! Dad and Louise's yard is not only beautiful in the spring and summer, though; they have truly planted a garden for all seasons.
In the fall, Black-eyed Susans, Chrysanthemums, and Sedum Autumn Joy begin making an appearance. I think the gold and rust tones

Autumn Garden

combine beautifully with the purples and blues that are still in bloom from the summer garden. I hope you've enjoyed the tour of my parents' garden, and that perhaps it has provided ideas and inspiration to you as it has to me.

Until next time,


  1. I enjoyed the tour of this beautiful garden.

  2. Thank you! I think Louise has such a gift for putting plants together, and she definitely has a green thumb!


Your comments make my day!


Related Posts with Thumbnails