Grand Haven area landscapes to be featured on Garden Walk Saturday

Lance and Kathy Parma wanted to find a cozy cottage in downtown Grand Haven when they started searching for a new home five or six years ago, Lance said. They bought the fixer-upper at 114 N. Fifth St. with the intention of creating a backyard oasis as well. They concentrated on the house, then finished up the yard last spring. Now they will be sharing their oasis with participants in the Tri-Cities Garden Club's 17th annual Garden Walk on Saturday.
Becky Vargo
Jun 22, 2011

 

Walk hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets will be sold at each of the six homes on the day of the tour. Tickets are also available in advance at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, 200 Washington Ave., between 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. today through Friday. The cost is $8 for adults. Children age 12 and  under will be admitted for free.

The Parma house, located on Fifth Street across from the Grand Haven Community Center and adjacent to the Community Center’s parking lot, featured a sloping yard with a sparse hedge along its borders — hardly the ideal place to wind down after a hard day’s work, Parma said.

So he and his wife incorporated the help of a professional landscaper to pull it together.

Parma said he and his wife both work long hours and they didn’t have time to create the space, let alone maintain it.

“We didn’t want to do it a little at a time,” he said. “We wanted it done right now.”

Parma, who manages a marketing company, said he knows the benefit of hiring a professional.

“A professional landscaper would take it to another level I wouldn’t be able to do myself,” he said.

They hired a hardscape specialist who transformed their “tiny yard” into a quiet, private space where the Parmas love to spend time with their two dogs.

The landscape includes rocks, flagstone, a variety of grasses, flowers and trees. It also has a waterfall, a gas fire pit and a custom-designed fence with special openings to make sure there is good air flow in the yard. Custom lighting is hidden behind some of the plants, which Parma said will spread and cover more area once it is better established.

Parma said they wanted to extend their living area into the backyard, so comfortable furniture was essential. There’s a large table with an umbrella, and two lounge chairs with ottomans and thick, white cushions.

“We wanted it very intimate,” he said. “Once the chores are done, I try to get out here.”

Another requirement was that it’s easy to maintain he said. There are very small patches of grass, and rocks instead of mulch.

Parma said their total investment in the yard project was between $20,000 and $30,000, something they had planned for when they first bought the property.

The reason for the cost in part is that the yard had to be reshaped with a bulldozer.

“Every detail we splurged a little bit on,” Parma said, including custom fencing, lighting and the waterfall.

“People could do something like this for a lot cheaper” if they didn’t select some of those high-end options, Parma said.

“This is such an easy little house to live in,” Parma said. “We just love living downtown Grand Haven.”

Parma said with the house being on the tour, it gives people a chance to see that they can make something really special out of something tiny.

Parma said he would not be able to be at his home during the garden walk, so their landscaper, Tom Czerniak of Landscape Solutions West, will be on hand to answer questions.

The gardens

1. Lance and Kathy Parma, 114 Fifth St., Grand Haven
Take a walk on the tumbled brick pavers through the backyard to a patio surrounded by lush plant material. Woody shrubs include variegated boxwood, burgundy ninebarks and vander wolf pines. Perennials such as various ornamental grasses, lavender and cone-flowers offer that soft colorful touch.

2. Hank and Sharon Ottens, 17271 Lincoln St., Grand Haven
A natural terraced shade garden setting with many unusual plants cascading among the rocks and planters. In back is their sunken garden with a brook and waterfall. Walking the path in the woodlands are unique art sculptures, statuaries, and  birdhouses among the beech and ornamental trees.

3. Tom and Lynn Rohlf, 12629 Lincoln St., Grand Haven
In two years, this large yard has changed from a grass filled blank slate to fences, garden beds, and a variety of trees and shrubs. The backyard has turned into a restful retreat after adding a deck and arbor with koi pond, and many annuals and perennials.

4. Rich and Kay Anderson, 10338 Rich St., West Olive
Beneath a canopy of tall pines, a cedar bark path invites you to this woodland garden. Native ferns, mosses, lady slippers, and partridgeberry complements this gardener’s collection of hostas, ferns, hellebores, astilbes and other shade loving plants. Rhododendrons, hydrangeas, viburnums and various evergreens have been added for structure. An extensive daylily collection borders the front yard while gardens of roses, lilies, and vegetables can be found in the backyard. Two years  ago a pond and waterfall were added to provide an area of relaxation and reflection,

5. Dale and Liz Deppe, 10745 N. Cedar Drive, Grand Haven
As the founder of Spring Meadow Nursery, Dale has traveled the world hunting for new and exciting shrubs. Located on the banks of the Grand River, Dale’s 15 acre property serves as a showcase and trial garden for the newest flowering shrubs including hydrangeas, butterfly bushes, and roses. Dale has personally selected and planted every plant in his garden. It’s not only a canvas to display the latest in flowering shrubs, it’s also a place of inspiration and recreation for the family.

6. Rick and Pat Bazany,  14012 132nd Ave., Grand Haven
Rick and Pat have carved out their “garden in the woods.” Rick plants and maintains a fruit and vegetable plot while Pat cares for several hundred perennials in various beds around the property. The gardens blend wonderfully with the woodland surrounding their home. Birds and butterflies love it here and add color and song to this idyllic spot.

 

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