Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Garden Lover's Dream

About seven years ago, when Keith and I were living in Leavenworth (city), we began to talk about a possible move to the country.  I had had a five-acre place in Wyandotte County, to the east of us, and loved living on my little spot with my chickens, dogs, and cats. (and guinea pigs, ducks, etc. etc. etc) you get the picture)

We began to look at little places, mostly as drive-bys.  Keith, however, stopped during the day while out and about sometimes, and looked at places without me.  Most did not recommend themselves to us... either too big... too unfenced... too situated next to dangerous roads.... or way too expensive. 

One day a realtor showed us a ten acre place about five miles farther west from where we are now, on the far side of Tonganoxie.  Truly out in farm country, it was on a quiet side road, and had a house, several good barns and some smaller buildings, along with two good horse corrals on ten acres.  I fell in love with the yard when we pulled up, and thought it was just gorgeous.  The only neighbors were out of sight on one side, and barely seen on the other.  It faced an open pasture. 

There was obviously a gardener living there, as you could tell wonderful perennials were planted all the way around the yard.  Right at the back door had been built a pond, full of goldfish, with a merry running fountain.  It was a very peaceful place.

Imagine our horror, then, when we opened the back door to find that the bathroom was almost falling off the house, that the whole thing was heated by a woodstove in the kitchen, and the rooms were very, very dark and dreary.  Whew.  The boards in the kitchen floor felt almost like they were giving way, and almost every window had at least one crack.   There WAS a newer bathroom in one bedroom (the "master") but upstairs were two tiny eaves bedrooms, both hot. 

After we talked about the pros and cons... we decided this project was going to be too much for us.  Oh, stupid us.... because today, I went to buy some iris from a lady about whom a story was written in this week's Tonganoxie Mirror , Mrs. O'Hare.  The only directions were:  go out County Road 16 past Hubbell Hill Cemetery, and at County Road 30, turn right and go to the third house.

As I got closer, I began to laugh. 

Here is what I saw:

The central part of this house was the house we looked at, which at the time we suspected was a "push-over".   As you see, it is absolutely LOVELY.  The O'Hares put on the sunroom in the front, and the lovely picture window in the kitchen in back.

The beautiful backyard, with all the little buildings that would have been mine, mine mine!!!!!!  There was also a very nice two stall horse barn, and two very large fenced corrals. 
The largest has been turned into this:

Mr. O'Hare is into "show cars" as he explained to me, so the only animals on the place are cats.  They have benches sitting everywhere so they can sit and enjoy the fruits of their labors.  I have seldom seen such lovely iris. 
If you double click the pictures, they get bigger.  The front yard in the distance was gorgeous, with hostas and iris under the trees, and a swing in the shade to enjoy it all.

This is one of the darkest purple..almost black, I have ever seen.
I bought some whites, some yellows, some showy wine-colored ones, and some old-fashioned pale blue/yellows. 
I may go back tomorrow after church for a few more.  They are reasonably sold at 3 for 10.00, you can't beat that anywhere!
I had a good visit with Mr. and Mrs. O'Hare, and told them how very wonderful their little piece of heaven looks after the six years of hard, hard work they have put in!  What a wonderful credit to their work and ingenuity!  I so enjoyed seeing it again, and in it's beauty and wonder!


  1. What a story! Obviously they didn't feel it was too much for them and even though it looks lovely now, it might not have been worth the frustration for you! Beautiful irises though. They did a fantastic job with the place.

  2. Isn't it funny how things turn out! It really does make a good story.

  3. Way too funny. I agree with Teresa--it's funny how things work out.


  4. Maybe it will be for sale again...

  5. I have had that happen to me. I said 'no possible way' and someone else said 'I see a way'. Of course that someone else probably had plenty of cash. Those iris's are amazing.

  6. They probably spent a LOT of money on improvements.

  7. One never knows what might have been. The Iris are beautiful. My mother had quite a lot of different Iris. She also had a bed of Lily-of-the-Valley about 3 feet square...and of course, Roses. One was called Sterling Silver, just beautiful. Your place is coming right along. LOL Mary G.

  8. Did they share how much $ they had poured into the place? That might help to put it in better perspective. ☺ Beautiful irises! I love irises. One of the few living things that grow more and more beautiful with age.


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