Posts tagged Darrell Hennessey

Five Master Gardens

    Darrell and Joanne Hennessey turned a former cow pasture into a breathtaking landscape. Their home in Marion is one of five on the Linn County Master Gardeners Garden Walk, set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 13, 2009. The walk was canceled last year due to the flood.        Darrell said the couple battled hip-high weeds and grass when they built their home nearly 20 years ago. Invasive multiflora rose had to be cut out constantly. “It was kind of an uphill battle for awhile,” he said. They still battle deer, with 5-foot-tall plastic snow fence used to protect dwarf conifer and arborvitae in the winter. Soaker hoses are barely visible inside the beds and tags mark most of the plants, so identification is easy.

   The acreage is the kind of place where you could spend hours looking at the various flower beds that Darrell has constructed. He’s been spending four to eight hours daily getting ready for Saturday’s garden walk. If you get the chance, check out the Hennessey gardens and others on the tour.    I wish we could have visited all five of the gardens. They all sound marvelous.  More info and photos are in the Sunday, June 7, issue of The Gazette, and online at: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/linn/news/Garden+Walk.htm

      I didn’t get to stay nearly as long as I would have liked, but here is some of what I saw last week when I visited the Hennessey gardens:   

 

 

 

 

 

Several of the conifers at the Hennessey gardens/ Cindy Hadish photo

Several of the conifers at the Hennessey gardens/ Cindy Hadish photos

 

 

 

   

Darrell Hennessey takes a break from edging his garden beds to point out a feature of one of his dwarf conifers

Darrell Hennessey takes a break from edging his garden beds to point out a feature of one of his dwarf conifers

Hosta bed and trees at the Hennesseys' Marion acreage

Hosta bed and trees at the Hennesseys' Marion acreage

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Garden walk

From Linn County Master Gardener Claire Smith: Hi again – I promised to give you more info on the gardens that are being showcased in the Master Gardener Garden Walk.

 

First, though, a quick review of the Garden Walk info – Saturday, June 14, 2008; 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – $5 per person, $10 per family.  Five diverse gardens.  Either go to www.extension.iastate.edu/linn for info and a map, or call the Hortline at 319-447-0647.

 

The Ortberg, Skripsky, and Weiss gardens are pretty close to each other on the southeast side.  I covered the first two last week, and we’ll start with the Weiss gardens this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Weiss Gardens – 4255 Beaver Hollow SE, Cedar Rapids

Talk about Hills!  This beautiful, cottage style home sits on a medium to steep hill in a forested area – about an acre.  The home of Master Gardener Kevin Weiss, this challenging landscape qualifies him as an expert in hillside techniques.  The front is a medium slope, and with limestone steps, urns, and terraced beds, they provide an elegant entrance to the home.  The back yard is 75 percent steep hill, with limestone slabs and containers dispersed up the hill and with a magnificent rushing stream/falls that land in a pond.  The landscaping provides the effect of a garden portrait that causes one to gasp with delight.

 

The Walser Gardens – 3934 Falbrook Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids

Deb Walser is well known as one of the “Voices” of the WMT Master Gardener Radio spot.  She is a wealth of information ranging across ALL types of plants and gardening.  Her gardens near Kennedy High School show that expertise on an odd shaped, sloping urban lot.  Her beds will dazzle you with their range of plants and settings with raised vegetable beds, annuals, perennials, and fruits.  She has used her space to great effect with multiple decks and boardwalks that lead you from one type of garden style to another.  As she says, “Amazing what can be done on your own!”

 

The Hennessey Gardens – 5524 Cimarron Court, Marion

 

Darrell Hennessey is known in Master Gardener circles as “Mr. Conifer.”  His acreage in Marion has magnificent sprawling conifer beds that  provide a backdrop for 14 flower beds.  But the true centerpiece must be the conifers – in all shapes and sizes, arranged in beds on a property that is vast enough to showcase them beautifully.  If you’re interested in learning more about conifers and how to choose them for your property, this garden is a must!  Darrell is also refining his beds for lower ongoing maintenance, and he and other Master Gardeners will be happy to share ideas to help you accomplish the same thing.

 

There you go – the line-up for Saturday, June 14.  Hope you can join us for a beautiful garden day!

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Need a “little something?”

The following information comes from Master Gardener Darrell Hennessey. 

 

Did you just move to a new or new-to-you home? Need to revitalize your current landscape?  Have a space that needs a “little something”?     Consider dwarf conifers!   A conifer, meaning a woody plant, usually evergreen tree or shrub; “dwarf” meaning the plant will grow only 3-4” per year, will provide you with:

 

  • Easy care
  • Varieties for either sun or shade
  • Year round greenery  
  • Wonderful for limited spaces
  • Available in wide variety of texture, size and color i.e.,

Rainbow’s End shows butter-yellow tips on new growth against

the green background

Limeglow, a creeping juniper with foliage turning shades of

copper-bronze in the winter

                                    Pendula, a hemlock with weeping branches

                                    Chamaecyparis colors ranging of soft green to spectacular yellow 

·         Shapes vary from airy and feathery to closed and tight-looking

·         Pine cones provide character and material for crafters

·         Mulch well, reduce weeding!

  Dwarf Conifers thrive in rock gardens, add elegance to ornamental grasses and provide a perfect backdrop to colorful annual and perennial beds.  You only need your imagination to enjoy these little wonders!  

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