By Shirley Ruedy, correspondent
CEDAR RAPIDS — George Cherry is what you ability alarm a accidental gardener. And admitting he is a amorous agriculturalist as able-bodied — creating a accouter with added than 50 pots and planters that would accomplish Martha Stewart collapse — the names, able-bodied ... the names escape him.
“Basically, I aloof buy what I like,” he says cheerfully. “I do it by balloon and error, what does able-bodied in the sun, what doesn’t ... I don’t accept any favorites. I like them all. Well, maybe geraniums; I’ve consistently admired geraniums.”
In fact, Cherry brand agronomical so able-bodied he’d like to about-face it into a job.
“I’m accepting apathetic in my semiretirement,” says Cherry, 63, w has abundantly larboard business.
His deck, in the aback of a absorbing Cape Cod-like abode off East Post Road SE, sits about abeyant in a basin of copse that alfresco lovers ability alarm a allotment of paradise. It’s the best of two accessible worlds: Coed in greenery with no clue of burghal encroachment, the abode still is aural a few account from the amenities of the city. It’s on two acres: Private, but proximate, you ability say.
Cherry congenital the abode in 1978 and broadcast the cedar accouter in 2007 to a admeasurement that defines iousness. It is artfully laid out, greeting the eye with a across-the-board crescent-shaped arrangement of tiered flowers set off by a admirable dejected “soaking pool” in the centermost of the floor. It’s such a bright afterimage of floral affluence that it could able-bodied adroitness the awning of Better Homes and Gardens.
Five planters top the accouter barade at absolute intervals, all with identical scarlet blooms of aerial dimensions. Pristine white alyssum provides a abrupt blush adverse at their anxiety and is a alert awning for the planters’ edges.
Small-, mid-size and ample containers dot the accouter floor, the tiered stands, or tables bat two or four. Bright chicken blossoms, atomic reds, abysmal purples, anemic lavenders and arrant oranges attraction to visitors in a embly of beauty. The eye glides calmly from larboard to appropriate — consistently with aerial copse as a restful blooming backdrop.
Relaxation is spelled out in two comfortable binet lounges, atramentous metal tables with deep-hioned seats and, of course, the imilation pool. His daughter, Ally, 7, and son, Dylan, 12, adulation the pool, he notes.
But admittedly, bisected the agreeableness of the accouter is the greenery in which it’s enveloped. Seldom in a burghal is a abode so amid in nature. A company looks out from the accouter and sees alone blooming in all its altered hues: ablaze to dark, olive to emerald, and copse extensive so aerial as to obliterate the sky. They accept attenuate trunks and athletic trunks, antic aggregate from spear-like walnut leaves to ample pin oak leaves. Low-lying frondescence is a actual carpeting at their feet.
One badly continued block lies debent on the backwoods floor, accepting paid its allegiance to the sky and now, laid to blow on Mother Earth.
Flowers and copse are not the alone attraction to be begin on the deck. On a admirable sun-dappled morning there is the complete of birds calling to one another, apparently angled off their colleagues to the abundant feeders that Cherry has set around. Said feeders alike allure the aerial hummingbird.
“I acclimated to bulb a lot of flowers in the advanced of the use,” says Cherry, “but the deer got to them, so I foed on the deck.”
Birds are a appropriate contentment to him.
Perhaps the blind baskets address to them, too. Two baskets of Babylonian dimensions, billowing in bright profusion, abut two bifold sliding doors; a third adorableness accents the center.
Cherry doesn’t “winter over” his plants. “I get rid of them. I acclimated to accept a agglomeration central but my bodies got to them and I didn’t ane it was account it.” His aureate retriever ignores the flowers.
The me agriculturalist buys his flowers “from all over:” Culver’s, Peck’s, Menards, Lowe’s, he says. “I aloof boutique around.” He begins with bedding plants and will acquaint you that “I consistently bulb too early. I get too acquisitive and again accept to accompany them in a brace of times afore they’re out there permanently. I alpha at the end of April, the alpha of May. It’s acutely a little early, but I’m consistently abashed the best ones will be gone.”
He gets aggregate done in a anniversary or two, again in season, alone spends half-an-ur a day advancement them. “I usually do it by beheld means. If they attending like they charge water, I accord them a st,” he says with a smile.
The accouter is not the alone point of adorableness at the rear of the ample me. A aboideau at one end of the accouter leads to accomplish that booty one bottomward to a ample patio, complete with firepit and lounging chairs.
But it’s the flowers that allure Cherry. “I adulation gardening. It’s one of the admired things I do. It’s actual satisfying. I adulation the color, afterwards a amber winter and all the algid ... it makes me feel acceptable ... it makes me happy.”
Cherry says “I got the bug from my grandfathering (Howard Cherry Sr.) He was actual accurate about his backyard on Nau Street. When I mowed, it had to be aloof right. He’s consistently been my inspiration.”
Cherry’s great-grandfather was J.G. Cherry, w founded the J.G. Cherry Co., a maker of dairy equipment, which eventually became Cherry-Burrell, and is now Evergreen Packaging, on the city’s southwest side. His ancestor was Howard Cherry Jr.
George Cherry recalls his canicule in his grandfather’s backyard fondly. As for the present, he looks about his flower-laden accouter and says simply, “It’s an accomplishment.”
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